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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Event Planning

Majors Overview May 2, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in event planning and their coursework, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Event Planning

Schools typically offer event planning studies at the master’s level through concentrations in tourism or hospitality management programs; Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) programs sometimes offer concentrations in event management and leadership.

Graduate students become adept at conducting research into the problems connected with industry and event planning issues, interpreting their findings, and applying practical solutions. They may often be required to complete a thesis. It takes two years of full-time study to complete most programs, which consist of field-based and classroom learning.

Each school has its own admission requirements, but typically applicants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited school. They may also be required to submit letters of recommendation, entrance essays, transcripts, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) results.


Event planning programs include business courses such as organizational planning, theory and strategy, economics, data analysis, and information management. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Financial analysis
•Research methods
•Hospitality marketing
•Human resource management
•Strategic management

Job and Wage Outlook

Planners of events, conventions, and meetings are expected to see a 33% growth in jobs over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The increasing importance of these types of events to international business drives this growth.

In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $45,810 (BLS). Holders of Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification and/or a degree in hospitality management are expected to enjoy the best job prospects.

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Universities, colleges, and professional organizations are among the institutions that typically offer professional development courses in event planning. The Convention Industry Council offers a CMP credential for those seeking professional certification; they may also pursue the Society of Government Meeting Professionals’ Certified Government Meeting Professional credential offering.

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