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Making the Grade

Learn the process behind ranking the top college entrepreneurship programs.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The , a leading provider of educational services, solicited survey data from more than 2,300 undergraduate and graduate schools about their offerings in . The questions used in the final ranking were divided into three areas: Academics & Requirements, Students & Faculty and Outside the Classroom.

Under Academics & Requirements, schools were asked if they offer an entrepreneurship major or minor, and to specify the courses offered (e-business, social entrepreneurship, international entrepreneurship, etc.) and other academic requirements (internships, experiential learning, consulting for small-business owners, etc.).

Under Students & Faculty, schools were asked what percentage of their total student body was formally enrolled in their entrepreneurship program for the 2008-2009 academic year, what percentage of their total student body was enrolled in an entrepreneurship-related course for the 2008-2009 academic year, what percentage of formally enrolled entrepreneurship students in the most recent graduating class had launched a business since graduating, what percentage of those students are still in business and what percentage of the entrepreneurship faculty had started, bought or run a successful business.

Under Outside the Classroom, schools were asked if they have partnerships with other schools that allow access to their entrepreneurship program, how many officially recognized clubs and organizations they offer for entrepreneurship students, the annual budget for those groups, how many non-curriculum-based activities and competitions they offer in the area of entrepreneurship, the annual budget for those activities and competitions, how many officially sponsored mentorship programs they offer for entrepreneurship students, if they offer entrepreneurship scholarships and the total dollar amount of those scholarships.

The questions were refined and the results validated with the help of an advisory board of professionals in entrepreneurship education. The survey was conducted from December 2008 through June 2009 by Ben Zelevansky, assistant vice president of data collection, and David Soto, director of content development. Additional assistance was provided by Joe Praino and Colin FitzPatrick at The Princeton Review, and Kristin Ladd, Adam Pringle and Deborah Song at Entrepreneur.

Honorable Mentions
They may not have made the list, but these stellar schools are all standouts.

Harvard: A prominent business center, the pioneered the Case Method, where students are asked to solve real-life business problems.

of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Introduced more than 40 new courses in entrepreneurship in the past five years; established the international Entrepreneurs Without Borders program.

University of Illinois, Chicago: The of Business Administration includes the 25-year-old Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Kennesaw State University: Invites all students, faculty and alumni to submit ideas to the Concept 2 Reality Competition to facilitate a business launch.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program focuses on networking with CEOs, alumni, students, faculty and venture capitalists.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities: Student groups receive as much as $15,000 to start businesses.

University of Pennsylvania: The Wharton School boasts the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program, offering more than 20 courses to 2,000 students.

Saint Louis University: Students can earn an MBA from an AACSB-accredited university in 12 months.

Stanford: The Graduate School of Business co-sponsors Entrepreneurship Week with the School of Engineering.

Texas Christian University: Inspires students with programs such as Dinner With a CEO, a Distinguished Speakers Series and the TCU Elevator Pitch Competition.

Wake Forest University: Home to the Babcock Demon Incubator, providing support to new ventures for approximately 12 months.

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