Event Planning Certificate Programs in Arlington, VA, with School Info

There are five schools within about 35 miles of Arlington, VA, that have event planning certificate programs. Read an overview of the program requirements and find out which college is the right one for you.

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Arlington Event Planning Schools

Event planners coordinate and manage event and meeting logistics, which can include responsibilities like site selection, vendor management and scheduling. Several event planning career training programs are available near Arlington, VA, which is about five miles outside of Washington, D.C. This article covers the course requirements and internship opportunities at three schools. To find out additional information about each college, including tuition rates, check out the table below as well.

  • University of the District of Columbia is located about four miles from Arlington, and offers a certificate in meeting and event management program. The course is provided through the school's continuing education department.
  • A certificate program in meeting, event and exhibition management is available at Northern Virginia Community College, which is located in Annandale, VA, about seven miles from Arlington. The program allows students to complete an optional internship.
  • The College of Southern Maryland is around 25 miles south of Arlington, in La Plata, Maryland. This 2-year college has training programs in event and meeting planning and wedding event planning. Some students use the educational hours earned in these programs to count toward the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential from the Convention Industry Council.

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Comparison of Schools

Use this table to compare stats and facts about each of the profiled institutions. There's information on campus environments, acceptance rates, graduation rates and more.

University of the District of Columbia Northern Virginia Community College College of Southern Maryland
School Type 4-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 4,247 51,190 7,201
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Fringe rural
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $795 (meeting and event management course)** $5,498 (in-state)
$11,505 (out-of-state)*
$3,690 (in-district)
$6,406 (in-state)
$8,266 (out-of-state)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2017)* 83% 57% 49%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* Open admission policy Open admission policy Open admission policy
Retention Rate (2017)* 73% 73% 64%
Graduation Rate* 16% (students who began in 2011) 25% (students who began in 2014) 28% (students who began in 2014)

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website

University of the District of Columbia

This university offers a meeting and event management certificate through its continuing education department. Students will need to have an internet connection in order to enroll in this course.

Meeting and Event Management Certificate

This certificate program covers the basics of event planning including marketing and event production techniques. Students will explore the ways that successful meetings are carried out. The course meets twice a week from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm.

Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) offers programs designed for those planning to work in event and meeting planning. The certificate program is offered at the Annandale campus. NOVA also has an associate's degree in hospitality management, which allows students to take electives in event and meeting planning.

Certificate in Meeting, Event and Exhibition Management

The curriculum for this 30-credit certificate program is intended to prepare individuals for careers in meeting, trade show and event planning. Some of the course topics for this program include meeting and exhibition ethics, meeting planning principles, event marketing and exhibition management. In addition to classroom instruction, students can complete an optional event planning internship to gain practical experience.

College of Southern Maryland

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is located in a different state but is less than an hour away from Arlington. The college has a career training program for meeting and event planning and a training program in wedding event coordination. Continuing education credits can be earned from each course in both training programs.

Meeting and Event Planner Training Program

This program is designed for students who want basic career training in event and meeting planning. The program can be completed in less than one year through part-time study and involves topics in food and beverage planning, event marketing, meeting management, site selection and contract negotiation.

Wedding Coordinator Training Program

For students interested in the field of wedding event planning, CSM offers a career training program for becoming a wedding coordinator. The program takes less than one semester to complete and covers marketing, service agreements, vendors, budgets, creative planning and wedding day coordination.

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