Event Planning Schools

What Schooling Do I Need to Become an Event Planner?

One of the questions I get asked by my readers is, "What event planning schools do you recommend?"

The event planning industry is such a dynamic field that there aren’t any specific educational requirements that you need to adhere to in order to succeed as a planner.  Unlike many other industries, it doesn't matter what your degree is in, and there aren't any legitimate certifications that you can take as a beginner.  

Therefore, for most people I don't recommend that you go back to school if you already have a degree. But if you are planning on going to college and are looking for event planning schools or programs, then keep reading!  

As the event planning industry grows increasingly competitive, event planning education and training are becoming increasingly more important.  These days, employers don't have the time to train you on how plan events; so you must take it upon yourself to learn how to plan events before you even begin your job search.  

Many people believe that merely getting an "online certification" is enough to land them a job.  It's very important to realize that you should take online courses for the purpose of learning events; not merely to have "resume material."  It is going to be very, very difficult for you to break into the industry unless you have a solid understanding of the basics of event planning.  

However, you need to be cautious which course you choose, as most online courses are full of fluff and useless information.  For more on this, be sure to read about event planning training courses here.

If you have not yet finished college, however, or would like to pursue an education while working toward an event planning career, keep reading to find a list of event planning schools or universities. 


**Warning!** Be Cautious of "Hospitality" or "Travel and Tourism" Programs

A word of caution: due to the fact that the event industry is still evolving and, until recently, wasn’t considered a “real career,” very few universities and schools offer actual event planning degrees. Many universities and online programs, however, offer courses in “hospitality or restaurant management" or “travel and tourism.” Be very careful and research these programs thoroughly, ensuring that there are a fair number of classes specializing in event planning within these programs.

For example, a degree in "Hospitality" might sound like it's the right path; but if most of the courses are about restaurant management, that's not a good path for someone who wants to be an event planner (unless, of course, you are also interested in restaurant management as a potential career).

In other words, don't get so swept up in the title on the degree that you don't research what you'll actually be learning.

Basically, in my opinion, it comes down to this:

  • If you already have a college degree, have been in the work force (or out of it) for a few years, and if you know you want to be an event planner and are not interested in working in restaurants, hotels, or travel and tourism, getting a degree will not be worth the investment of your time or money. I, personally, would focus on taking an online course that teaches you how to plan events, and then getting some hands-on experience.  
  • If you have not yet attended university or do not have a degree and want to go to college, then there are a few schools and universities that offer event management degrees; which I will outline below. However, the list is small!  As I've mentioned, event planning hasn't really been considered a legitimate career path until the last five years or so; and most schools are slow to catch on.  Therefore, there just aren't that many event planning schools or degrees out there.  If you can't attend one of these schools, then you can still make the most out of your degree to make it apply toward your future as a planner.  If you want to get a degree but can't attend one of the few universities please read my suggestions on which classes to take or degree to pursue.  

Are There Any Schools or Universities
with Event Planning Degrees or Programs?

There are two ways to get an event planning education:

  1. Online Courses
  2. Universities and Colleges

If you are interested in furthering your education online, click here to read about my online course, Planning Events.  

If, however, you are able to go to college and pursue a degree, then there are a few event planning schools, universities, or colleges that offer event planning and/or hospitality programs. Please note that I am not personally endorsing any of these event planning schools, as I do not have direct experience with any of them.  The only universities or colleges that I am aware of that currently have event planning courses or degrees are:

  • Northeastern State University
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • George Washington University

Of course, more schools and universities are adding courses all the time, so do your research.

Don't Have the Time or Money to Go to College?

If you would like some training without committing to a two or four-year program, then perhaps an online course is best for you. I offer an online Planning Events Course that is much more affordable than any other online course out there; not to mention it teaches you the skills you truly need to know to succeed as an event planner!

If you still have questions, then perhaps my free four-part video series can offer the answers you're looking for.  Read below for an outline and to sign up!

Still Have Questions?  
Sign Up for this FREE Four-Part Video Series,
"Three Steps to Become an Event Planner"
and Get All Your Questions Answered

Video #1: How Do
I Get Started?

  • "Where do I begin?"
  • Understanding why all event planning is NOT the same
  • The single most common misunderstanding about event planning

  • The differences between "party" planning, wedding planning, and special event planning
  • The types of events which you will be planning

Video #2: Event Planning Jobs & Careers

  • What is a "niche" and why do you need to choose one as soon as you decide to become a planner

  • The five main ways in which you will find work as an event planner
  • Determining your career goals and what event planning means to you
  • Important factors to consider when choosing your career path

Video #3: The Top Three Mistakes that Beginners Make

  • The Top Three Mistakes 99% of beginners make that will kill your chances before you even begin

  • The simple and obvious reason you're not getting any return calls on your resume

  • The three steps you MUST take if you want to succeed in event planning

Video #4: Certification & Experience

  • The mind-blowing yet pervasive lie about "certification" and how to sift through the conflicting information about certification

  • Do you need to go back to school for an event planning degree? 

  • How to get past that "catch-22" of needing experience before you can get experience