Meeting and Event Management, Certificate

Program Code: MEMC_UCT

Program Description

This certificate will build on HM's and RPTM's core strengths, including their strategic teaching and service/outreach initiatives. Through coursework and experiential learning opportunities, students will be provided opportunities for engaged scholarship within the Commonwealth, across the United States, and in International contexts. This additional credential can help differentiate our graduates in the competitive job market across tourism and hospitality. Likewise the opportunity to expose more Penn State students to either of our fields through the certificate can enhance our diversity of students and awareness of our professional education programs.

The MEMC is intended to complement the professional certification programs offered by organizations such as Meeting Professionals International or the Professional Convention Management Association. It is designed for students interested in the academic and experiential components of the events and meeting industry. Emphasis is on engaging students in the industry prior to graduation and developing the management competencies necessary for success in the industry.

To obtain the Certificate students will be required to complete 9 core credits, including a 3 credit internship experience, and 6 supplemental credits in HM and/or RPTM for a total of 15 credits. Graduates will be competitive for positions as managers and planners in a variety of public, nonprofit and private businesses/agencies. The certificate credential delivery model for the Meeting and Events Management Certificate was selected over identifying a Meeting and Events Management minor so as to attract professionals, alumni, and others who are working in or or are interested in gaining credentials in the field of meeting and events management but who may not be enrolled in an undergraduate program at Penn State.

What is Meeting and Event Management?

The Meeting and Events Management Certificate (MEMC) combines the practice and theory of event management, planning, coordination, and design. Students develop knowledge and skills that complement professional certifications (e.g., Certified Meeting Professional, Certified Festival and Event Executive). Through the combined expertise in the School of Hospitality Management (SHM) and the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM), students develop, or augment knowledge and skills needed to work as event or event-related professionals in hospitality, entertainment, recreation and parks, corporate, medical, professional, social and governmental associations, sports, and more. Key skill areas include event design, marketing, budgeting and forecasting, contracting, supplier sourcing, risk assessment, sustainability practices, on-site management, event strategy and project and stakeholder management. Before pursuing the MEMC, students interested in strategic event management in diverse segments of hospitality management (e.g. lodging, food service, gaming) should contact SHM. Students interested in strategic event management related to recreation, community, amusement or entertainment, or health and sport should contact RPTM.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You recognize event strategy as a major component to 21st century business, marketing, community, and brand building initiatives.
  • You want to design events and meetings of various scales across industries (e.g. hospitality, entertainment, tourism, recreation, and sport), and communities in different context (e.g. convention centers, arenas, hotels, festivals).
  • You enjoy the process of assessing, developing, and operationalizing an organization or customer’s vision and purpose for an event or meeting.
  • You view events, gatherings, meetings and experiences as important components of social well-being and connectedness.

Program Requirements

To earn an undergraduate certificate in Meeting and Event Management, a minimum of 15 credits is required.

Required Courses
HM 384Introduction to Meeting and Event Management3
RPTM 3563
or HM 485 Advanced Meeting and Event Management
RPTM 3953
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Introduction to Management in the Hospitality Industry
Hospitality Information Technology Fundamentals
Hospitality Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Hospitality Marketing
HM 455
Advanced Meeting and Event Management
Tourism and Leisure Behavior
Non-profit Recreation Agency Operations
Introduction to Arena Management
RPTM 356
Marketing of Recreation Services
Commercial Recreation Management

Program Learning Objectives

  • Describe the events management industry
  • Articulate possible career pathways in events
  • Summarize three to four industry knowledge domains
  • Practice and apply technical skills such as:
    •  modeling strategic event planning practice
    •  creating and manipulating budgets, pricing schedules, revenue management
    •  employ marketing strategy and tactics
    •  manage sites and coordinate with partners in event management supply chain
  • Recall and appropriately use industry terminology
  • Summarize the relationship the study of events (i.e., events management) has with branches of knowledge in other academic disciplines (e.g., anthropology, sociology, psychology)

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Kristin Thomas
Instructor of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
801 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802

Nada Madrid
Academic Adviser
212 Mateer Building
University Park, PA 16802

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802

Career Paths

Completing an undergraduate degree that includes the Meeting and Events Management Certificate can lead to careers as Event Coordinators, Managers, Hospitality Managers, Convention Services Managers, or Event Marketing Specialists. Graduate school options include Master's degrees in Hospitality or Event Management, an MBA for broader business knowledge, Master's in Tourism Management, or doctoral programs for research and academia. These pathways offer opportunities for advancement and specialization in the dynamic field of meeting and events management.


Completing an undergraduate degree in that includes the Meeting and Events Management Certificate can lead to careers as: Event Coordinators, where professionals who handle logistics and planning; Event Managers who oversee entire event processes, ensuring smooth execution; Hospitality Managers who manage operations within hotels or event venues, emphasizing guest satisfaction; Convention Services Managers who facilitate large-scale events by coordinating logistics and exhibitors; and Event Marketing Specialists who promote events to attract attendees and enhance brand visibility. These roles offer opportunities for creativity, organization, and leadership within the field of meeting and events management.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

After completing an undergraduate degree with the Meeting and Event Management Certificate, students can pursue graduate studies for a Master's in Hospitality Management, focusing on advanced hospitality operations and strategic leadership. Alternatively, they may opt for a Master's in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management with a possible focus on areas like sustainable tourism practices or national park management. Other options include a Master’s in Event Management, and delving deeper into event planning or pursuing an MBA for broader business acumen. If a research emphasis is desired, a Master’s of Science or doctoral programs lead to opportunities in research and academia. These graduate opportunities offer specialized study, preparing students for leadership and advancement in the field.


University Park

801 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802

201 Mateer Building
University Park, PA 16802

World Campus

801 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802