If you’d like to study event planning at the master’s degree level, you may complete a program in tourism management, hospitality or even business management. Read on to learn about degree options, admissions requirements, coursework and online program options.
Can I Earn A Master’s Degree in Event Planning?
If you’re interested in graduate education that will prepare you for a career in event planning, there are several options. While master’s degrees specifically in event planning are not available, you can pursue a master’s degree in hospitality or tourism management. Both of these degree fields often include coursework in event planning. If you’re particularly interested in business, you might choose to enroll in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a hospitality management concentration.
|Degree Options||Master of Hospitality Administration, MS in hospitality management, MBA|
|Prerequisites||Bachelor’s degree, professional experience in hospitality or tourism|
|Common Courses||Business, management, marketing, special events, hotel and restaurant administration|
|Online Degrees||Hospitality and tourism management master’s degrees available online|
|Median Salary (2018)||$53,390 (for all lodging managers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||4% growth (for all lodging managers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Are The Prerequisites?
You’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning your master’s degree program. While most programs don’t require you to have an undergraduate degree related to event planning, many will require that you possess prior professional experience in the hospitality or tourism industry. In some cases, this requirement can be waived if you’ve worked professionally in another industry but are seeking a change of field. Additionally, you’ll likely be required to submit scores from a standardized graduate school admission test, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
What Courses Will I Take?
The focus of both hospitality and tourism management master’s degree programs is to develop your skills in providing outstanding service from a leadership position. Courses focus on providing service not just for special events, but for the restaurant, lodging and travel industries as a whole. These programs often include internship experiences, during which you can get hands-on training in a field of interest. For example, if event planning is your specialty, you may work with a local wedding planner, party planner or event organizer for a hotel.
To prepare you for a leadership position, your program likely will include additional coursework in business and management. These lecture-based courses may cover accounting, human resources and effective personnel management practices. Additional coursework tailored for the hospitality or tourism industries might cover consumer theory and marketing tactics.
What Online Degree Options Are Available?
You can find both hospitality and tourism management master’s degree programs available for online study. These programs typically are intended for working professionals since they allow you to complete your coursework asynchronously and at your own pace. In an online program, you’ll take identical coursework to what you’d find in a campus-based program, though all of your work will take place using a computer-based coursework delivery platform, such as Blackboard. Some online programs include brief residencies, during which you’ll study intensively on campus. It’s also common for these programs to encourage you to participate in local internships or field experiences.