Event Planning and Management



Plan and manage memorable events with a degree from PennWest California.

Event planners are in demand to organize and implement successful gatherings of all sizes, from intimate weddings to stadium concerts.

PennWest California’s interdisciplinary event planning and management program provides the event-planning skills that are essential for success in this fast-paced career.

You’ll also learn business basics such as accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing and more, so you’re equipped to start your own business or find employment with top corporations, nonprofits organizations, convention centers and other event venues.

This flexible event management degree is delivered in a hybrid (on-campus/online) or 100% online format. It includes a required 120-hour internship that gives you firsthand experience in planning events and helps you build a robust resume even before graduation.

Adding the required minor field of study lets you personalize your degree and focus on an area of interest such as tourism, marketing, sport management, professional golf management or public relations. You can expect to finish this bachelor’s degree concentration in eight semesters, or four academic years, or you can add the 18-credit event planning minor to another degree program.

Is a career in event planning right for me?

Successful event planners blend creativity with careful attention to detail. Students in PennWest California’s business-focused degree program learn all aspects of event management, including design, risk management, finance, sustainability, marketing, logistics and evaluation.

Graduates are prepared to plan and manage a wide variety of events, from meetings, seminars conferences and conventions to weddings, concerts, fairs, festivals, family celebrations, trade shows and sporting events.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: Event Planning and Management

On-site experience: PennWest California’s conference services staff manages nearly 100 event venues on campus, ranging from SMART classrooms and fixed-seat theaters to the 6,000-seat Convocation Center and the 98-acre Roadman Park recreational complex. Students in the event planning and management program can experience a wide range of professionally planned and executed events, and gain real-world experience without leaving campus.

Virtual settings: Virtual and hybrid (blended in-person and online) events now have a permanent place in the event planning industry. The global pivot to virtual connections in 2020 demonstrated that well-planned and carefully executed virtual gatherings can attract participants from around the world. PennWest California’s event planning and management concentration prepares students for success in this high-tech environment.

Ready for more: PennWest California’s undergraduate event management degree prepares you to pursue professional certification through organizations such as Meeting Professionals International, the International Live Events Association or the International Association of Exhibition and Event. A graduate who obtains these credentials is recognized as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP), or a Certified Exhibition Manager (CEM).

Accredited program: PennWest California’s interdisciplinary studies in business and commerce degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, an assurance of quality in business-focused education.

Learn about applying

Projected employment growth for meeting, convention and event planners (2019 to 2029), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Number of semesters required to complete the event planning and management concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies: Business and Commerce.


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Degree Benefits

PennWest California’s event planning and management degree gives you a solid foundation in the fundamentals of business, along with theory and skills specific to the event planning industry. A focus on client relations and exceptional service provides a competitive edge for future professionals. This program requires a 120-hour industry placement that provides firsthand experience and helps you begin to build a professional network. These internships are often paid, and can be remote, in-person or hybrid.

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Graduate Outcomes

Program graduates are equipped with skills that are in demand across the event planning industry. Recent PennWest California graduates have found employment in event planning and management positions with Allegheny Health Network; Carnegie Science Center; Country Music Awards; Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon; Disney Weddings; Eat ’N Park Hospitality Group; Gateway Clipper Fleet; Hilton International; Nashville Predators; Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers;  Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta; and Tampa Bay Rays.

Event Planning and Management
Table in a hospitality setting


Event planners are in demand, and the field is growing as the U.S. economy rebounds. Graduates with a degree in event planning and management are candidates for employment with top corporations, nonprofits organizations, convention centers, private clubs, attractions, casinos, theme parks, wineries, stadiums, cruise lines and more.

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Event planning and management students have the option to complete their program in a hybrid (on-campus/online) format or 100% online. This flexibility makes it easier to combine earning a degree with work or family responsibilities.

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Travel Club

Attend regional, national or even international tourism conferences with the Travel Club, one of PennWest California's 100+ student organizations.



Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100 First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
CDC 101  Public Speaking
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 181  College Algebra
Health and Wellness
REC 165  Introduction to Recreation and Leisure
Technological Literacy
MIS 201  Management Info Systems
PHI 115  Logic and Language (or other humanities with adviser approval)
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
PSY 100  General Psychology 
Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
GEO 100  Intro to Geography
General Education Options
  • ENG 211  Business Writing I  OR  ENG 102  Composition II
  • MAT 225  Business Statistics 
  • BUS 281  Management Science I
Business Core Courses 30
ACC 200  Financial Accounting 3
ACC 321  Managerial Accounting 3
BUS 242  Business Law I 3
BUS 381  Management Science I 3
BUS 499  Integrated Strategic Capstone
ECO 201  Principles of Microeconomics 3
ECO 202  Principles of Macroeconomics 3
FIN 301  Financial Management 3
MGT 300  Principles of Management 3
MKT 300  Principles of Marketing 3
Required Event Planning and Management Concentration Courses
TOU 102  Hospitality Industry and Operations 3
REC 235  Special Event Management in Recreation Settings 3
TOU 330  Meet Expo Event and Convention Operations 3
TOU 350  Hotels, Resorts and Lodging 3
REC 412  Program Planning and Evaluation 3
GEO 479  Internship  OR  BUS 492  Internship 3 (min.)
Related Event Planning and Management Electives 9
Select three courses from the following (not all are available online):
  • TOU 101  Introduction to Tourism Studies
  • TOU 277  Casinos and Gaming Entertainment
  • CDC 330  Introduction to Public Relations
  • MKT 311  E-Marketing
  • MKT 341  Non-profit Marketing
  • Any 300-level or above BUS, GEO, MGT, MKT, REC or TOU courses not already required or included above  
Required Minor/Certificate* 12 
Students must select a minor or certificate. Additional information is listed below.  12 (min.)
Free Electives 10 or 11
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): ECO 460 Global Economic Perspectives
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): BUS 499 Integrated Strategic Capstone AND Any ECO, MGT, MKT or TOU Upper-Division Writing-Intensive Course
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): BUS 381 Management Science II

Required Minor/Certificate: Students cannot have more than 9 credits in the major also count toward their minor. Students must select from one of the following minors: Management, Business, or Tourism Studies. Students may select a different minor or a certificate, with the approval of their adviser. "Free Electives" may be fulfilled with courses required for the minor.

The management and business minors are 21 credits; however, 9 of these credits are required in the “Business Core Courses” above. The tourism studies minor is 18 credits; however, 6 credits are completed in the "Event Planning and Management Concentration Courses" and 3 credits are available in the "Event Planning and Management Electives."

Program Note: Students who complete dual degrees or dual majors do not have to complete a minor or certificate.

Related Programs

  • Tourism and Hospitality Management Minor