Aspiring event planners have several study options available to them in Minnesota. Though there is only one degree program in the state that focuses specifically on meeting and event planning, there are three additional programs in hospitality management that include coursework in event planning. Students may choose to earn a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in a related field. Some coursework may be offered online and/or in the evening. Completion of an internship is mandatory in the baccalaureate program.
Dakota County Technical College
Rosemount's Dakota County Technical College offers a certificate and an associate's degree program in meeting and event management. The program is offered at the school's Apple Valley site, about five miles west of Rosemount, and courses are available online and during evening hours. The program focuses on preparing students for careers as event managers, conference organizers, trade show managers and more in the hospitality industry. The 60-credit program includes 15 credits of general education coursework and 45 credits of core coursework in meeting, conference and event planning, event promotion, hospitality management, tourism, hospitality risk management, event design and project management.
Normandale Community College
Normandale Community College, located in Bloomington, offers certificate and associate's degree programs to roughly 9,500 students each year. Among these programs is an associate's degree program in hospitality management. This program prepares students for mid-level management positions in the industry or advancement into 4-year programs. Students learn business skills through coursework in accounting, international business and business practices in the global market; they also focus on hospitality coursework in meeting planning, hotel management and hospitality sales. The school's relationships with local hotels and centers of tourism provide internship experiences and potential employment opportunities after graduation. As part of the AAS program, students can earn a certificate in various specializations within the hospitality field. Two of those certificates - food and beverage management and hotel marketing and sales - include a course in convention and meeting planning management. Certificates can also be earned on a standalone basis.
Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College
Located in Saint Paul, this 2-year public school was recently ranked as the top community college in the country by Washington Monthly magazine. St. Paul College offers more than 39 associate's degree programs, including a hospitality management program that combines a foundation in business with training for the lodging, tourism, restaurant and entertainment industries. Students learn about consumer behavior, marketing, hotel and lodging operations, business communication, and event management and planning. The program also helps students hone key problem-solving, customer service and communication skills. The school also offers a certificate program in event and meeting management.
Southwest Minnesota State University
Marshall-based Southwest Minnesota State University offers a bachelor's degree program in hospitality management. This 4-year program provides a broad foundation in the subject and prepares students for entry-level positions in hotels, restaurants, convention bureaus and other facilities. Concentration options include, culinary management, event planning and management and hotel administration; the hotel administration concentration includes coursework in convention management. Students also learn about computer applications, marketing, hospitality law, nutrition, lodging management and club management. An internship is required. The Student Hospitality Organization offers an opportunity outside of the classroom to learn and interact with other students interested in gaining employment in the hospitality industry.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Dakota County Technical College||2-year, public; fringe rural|| Certificate in Meeting and Event Management,
Associate of Applied Science in Meeting and Event Management
|Normandale Community College||2-year, public; small city|| Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management,
Certificates in hospitality-related specializations
|Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College||2-year, public; large city|| Certificate in Hospitality Management,
Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management
|Southwest Minnesota State University||4-year, public; remote town||Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management with a concentration in event planning and management||$8,612*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator