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Don’t Let Your Fears Hold You Back from a Master’s in Meeting and Event Management

December 6, 2018

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the San Diego State University (SDSU) L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management have partnered to develop the first master’s degree tailored to the meetings and events industry.

With hundreds of Certified Meeting Managers, Certified Meeting Professionals, corporate planners, third party planners and other industry game-changers joining our Meeting and Event Management Master’s interest list, we want to ensure we are addressing any concerns that might be keeping you from investing in your personal and professional development.

We’re not here to pressure you; we just want you to know that many of our most successful graduate students shared and overcame the same fears. 


“Can I afford a master’s degree?” is the first and foremost question you are likely asking yourself. While many master’s degrees in the hospitality and tourism industry can cost upward of $100,000, the 18-month Meeting and Event Management Master’s Program comes in at a much more manageable $29,250 plus books and travel. Federal student loans are available up to $20,500 per academic year (or enough to cover the full program, which runs over the course of two academic years). Scholarship funds are also available through SDSU and our private scholarship sponsors; please contact us for access to our scholarship list.

Return on Investment

Next, you want to know, “Is it worth the money?”

We can tell you that graduate students in other SDSU programs earn a significant percentage more per year than they did prior to receiving a master’s degree, according to surveyed alumni. In our Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Master’s program, we have seen salary increases from 10 to 50 percent within one year of graduation.

Between the skills, leadership and credentials you will gain in the Meeting and Event Management Master’s Program, you can and should expect significant career advancement within two to three years following graduation. While a pay increase is the clearest indicator of ROI, keep in mind that other factors—such as visibility, connections, opportunities, etc.—can also make your master’s worth the investment many times over.

“Back to School”

When you completed your undergraduate degree, you figured you were done with college. Returning for a master’s degree evokes visions of lectures, lunch halls and heavy books. Whether you’re worried about getting back into learning mode, contributing to discussions or confronting your weaknesses, this program is designed to keep you engaged with the coursework and connected with your peers. It’s not taking a step away from your career to return to school; rather, embracing your professional growth in a master’s program to increase your impact in your organization.

On-Campus Commitment

The Meeting and Event Management Master’s includes two on-campus weeks at SDSU: one week in the beginning of the program and one week at the end. If you’re concerned about being out of office, we can assure you that you will have plenty of opportunities throughout the on-campus days and in the early evenings to respond to email or, if you’re based locally, possibly even make it into work for a couple hours at the end of the day. We suggest these not to tell you how to live your life, but to empower you to think creatively if you truly wish to pursue your master’s degree in Meeting and Event Management.

For those who are not based in California, we hope we don’t have to convince you to come spend some time in sunny San Diego with fellow industry leaders!

Online Learning

On the flipside, the online aspect of the program can be equally imposing for those who have never taken an online course. We will walk you through our portal at the beginning of the program. Once you’re familiar, you can log in any time to keep up with engaging, TED Talk-style guest lectures recorded weekly, Q&A sessions, readings on the latest industry trends, organic networking and a career-changing Capstone Project. Safe to say, it will not feel like you’re simply staring at a computer screen.


Finally, “Do I have the time?”

Between your busy work schedule and personal responsibilities, it can seem like there is not enough time in the day as it is, much less when adding a master’s program to your plate. Most of our master’s students spend 8-10 hours per week on coursework. Yes, it’s challenging—but by no means impossible when you make time management a priority.

We understand the ebbs and flows of working in the meetings and events industry. While we expect the work to be completed, the professors are flexible in assigning work and extending deadlines to accommodate personal work and travel schedules. Life is always busy; when will be better than now to take your career to the next level?

Have additional concerns? Let us help you decide whether the Meeting and Event Management Master’s from MPI and SDSU is right for you. Contact Candy Flynn, Student Experience Manager, at 619-594-5110 or

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