Academic programs that might appeal to potential even planners in Arizona are offered at three schools in the state. Programs typically cover hotel and restaurant management skills and may complement other programs in business, marketing or management.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is based in Tempe and offers a special events management minor. Students who are pursuing majors in other fields, such as business or communications, but still wish for a career in event planning may want to complete this minor program. The program requires the completion of two core courses that cover special events management, and the remainder of the curriculum is made up of three elective courses. Some of the electives students can choose from include meeting and convention planning, program planning, and tourism marketing.
Northern Arizona University
Through the W.A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management. This four-year degree program provides the fundamental background needed to start a career as an event planner. Students must complete 1200 hours of hands-on training in a hospitality environment and may also have opportunities to pursue internships. Required courses that may be of interest to event planners include hospitality information technology, food/beverage cost control, and hospitality marketing.
Pima Community College
Aspiring event planners may choose to earn an Associate of Arts (AA) in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Pima Community College offers this degree program at its Northwest campus in Tucson. This AA program can teach students the basic skills needed to obtain entry-level jobs in the hospitality industry. Students who complete the program can also choose to pursue a bachelor's degree program at a four-year school, and the school has a transfer agreement with Northern Arizona University. The program requires the completion of 61 credits and includes courses in food services systems management, commercial food, and hospitality.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, event planners typically have a bachelor's degree and some related work experience. Although hospitality programs are common paths that potential event planners pursue, related programs in business may also offer relevant career preparation.
School Comparison Table
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Event Planning Degree Options||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Arizona State University||Four-year; public; midsize city||Minor in Special Events Management||$10,822 in-state; $28,336 out-of-state*|
|Northern Arizona University||Four-year; public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management||$11,564 in-state; $25,828 out-of-state*|
|Pima Community College||Two-year; public; large city||Associate of Arts in Hotel and Restaurant Management||$2,142 in-state; $7,458 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.