Top 25 Undergraduate Programs for Entrepreneurship 2012
Entrepreneur magazine's annual Princeton Review report on business schools renews its rankings of the top entrepreneurship programs in the country. The roster is based on a survey of more than 2,000 institutions, looking at academics and requirements, as well as the percentage of recent graduates who've started up and the percentage of faculty who already have.
The survey also includes off-campus learning opportunities such as partnerships, clubs and competitions.
1. Babson College
Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
Babson Park, Mass.
2011-12 Enrollment: 2,007
Babson College's undergraduate entrepreneurship program may be one of the most expensive on our list but the scholarship and grant money awarded to students is plentiful. In the 2011-12 school year, a whopping $27 million was made available to undergraduate entrepreneurship students.
Plus, there are 90 entrepreneurship clubs and organizations available for students to practice outside the classroom. Still, only 6 percent of recent students launched businesses upon graduating -- the lowest percentage on our top 10 list.
2. Baylor University
Baylor Entrepreneurship Program
2011-12 Enrollment: 300
With the second oldest undergraduate program among schools on our top 10 list, a tradition of entrepreneurship would seem thoroughly engrained on Baylor University's campus. The school's Baylor Entrepreneurship Program boasts a faculty that's comprised entirely of entrepreneurs. Further, roughly two thirds of recent students started up since graduating and 75 percent those Baylor alums are still in business.
3. University of Houston
Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,847
With the second-largest program on our top 10 list, the University of Houston's Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship offers one of the more modest tuition price tags. One hundred percent of the school's entrepreneurship faculty has started, bought or run a business, and there are nine mentorship programs available to undergrads.
4. University of Southern California
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,170
The University of Southern California may have the oldest undergrad entrepreneurship program on our top 10 list, but it's also one of the most expensive -- with an annual price tag of $42,818 this year. Still, for winning business ideas, there's opportunity to reel in top dollar prizes. In the 2011-12 school year, $157,000 was divvied out to competition winners. Further, half of all recent graduates started up businesses and 100 percent of them are still up and running.
5. Washington University in St. Louis
Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,041
Though the scholarship and grant money afforded Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies students is light years away from those offered by competitors on our top 10 list, $500,000 is generous. Plus, 55 percent of recent students were able to launch just after graduation.
But with an annual tuition of $43,705 this year, Washington University in St. Louis' undergraduate entrepreneurship program did clock in at the most expensive school on our list.
6. Brigham Young University
Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology
2011-12 Enrollment: 88
Brigham Young University's Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology may be exclusive -- there were just 88 students enrolled in the program in the 2011-12 school year -- but with an annual price tag of $4,710, it's a steal.
In addition, the school boasts a total of 13 entrepreneurship clubs and organizations and 20 mentorship programs -- putting the school at or near the top of the heap in both categories.
7. University of Arizona
McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,500
The University of Arizona's most recent undergraduate entrepreneurship class is one of the largest on our top 10 list. And though just 36 percent of McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship's undergraduate entrepreneurship faculty has ever started, purchased or run a successful business, 100 percent of the recent alums who started up after graduation are still in business.
8. Temple University
Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute
2011-12 Enrollment: 405
With an undergraduate class of 405 entrepreneurship students in the 2011-12 school year, Temple University's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute maintains just two entrepreneurship clubs and organizations.
But the school does offer a sizeable set of prizes. For the students participating in contests this year, their winnings rang in at $149,300.
9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Chapel Hill, N.C.
2011-12 Enrollment: 375
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers one of the least expensive undergraduate entrepreneurship programs on our top 10 list, as tuition this year set in-state students back about $7,694. But, the school only has just three mentorship programs available to students. And only 8 percent of recent grads launched companies. On the bright side, 100 percent of those companies are still in business.
10. University of Oklahoma
Center for Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 238
The University of Oklahoma's Center for Entrepreneurship offers students the second most-generous level of scholarships and grant money among colleges on our top 10 list. This year the tally came in at nearly $1.4 million. And though the program is also among the least costly on our list, just 7 percent of recent students launched businesses upon graduating -- making it the second-least impressive in that regard on our top 10 list.
11. Syracuse University
Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,835
The large Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises program at Syracuse University boasts an impressive $1.8 million bank of scholarship and grant money for students. Not many of the recent graduating class have started a business (only 12%), but most of those that did are still in business (a respectable 89%).
A program of this size would do well to add some more out-of-classroom learning opportunities -- there are only three entrepreneurship clubs and six mentorship programs.
12. University of Missouri-Kansas City
UMKC Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Kansas City, Mo.
2011-12 Enrollment: 454
Three perfect scores boost UMKC Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation's overall ranking. Every single one of their the faculty comes to the classroom with business experience under their belts. Which could be part of the reason that 100% of the recent grads have launched a business, and an unbeatable 100% are still in business today. These numbers are especially impressive considering that the program is only six years old.
The amount of prize money awarded to students ($20,000) isn't the among the highest, but the variety in clubs and mentorship programs offers a lot of hands-on opportunities.
13. Northeastern University
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
2011-12 Enrollment: 490
A tiny 2% of recent Northeastern University Entrepreneurship and Innovation's grads have launched their own businesses, but at least all of those startups are still alive and kicking today. The experienced faculty and $1.8 million in available scholarship money helps boost the program's ranking.
Students also benefited from $63,750 in prize money, but the three decade long program should add more clubs and mentorship programs.
14. University of Maryland
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
College Park, Md.
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,512
The youngest program on our list has a strong showing considering it's only the third year of operation. All of the faculty have an entrepreneurial background, but they only managed to encourage 7% of the recent graduating class to startup (89% of which are still in business).
Scholarship and award money are both decent ($345,380 and $55,500, respectively), but a program of this size could stand to add a few more clubs and organizations.
15. Clarkson University
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 368
All of Clarkson University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship program's recent graduates who started businesses (20%) are still in business today. All of their former teachers taught from a place of personal entrepreneurial experience as well.
The scholarship and grant money available is pretty good at $758,900, and the $38,610 tuition is pretty standard.
16. Miami University
Institute for Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 545
A tiny percent of recent grads from Miami University's Institute for Entrepreneurship braved the startup waters after graduation (just 5%), but at least all who did were successful (100% are still in business).
The experience of the faculty (all of whom have entrepreneurial experience of their own), is a boon for students, but more mentorship programs could help boost the number of grads confident enough to startup after college.
17. University of Utah
Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center
Salt Lake City
2011-12 Enrollment: 86
The Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center at the University of Utah has been around since the dawn of this century. While it has a decent amount of clubs and mentorship programs for its size, a mere 5% of recent grads have started their own businesses (but all of them have been successful).
Most of their faculty brings their own entrepreneurial experience to the classroom (91%), and the amount of scholarship and prize money is good for the size of the program.
18. University of Dayton
2011-12 Enrollment: 300
Recent grads from the University of Dayton's Entrepreneurial Leadership program had a 50% chance of their new businesses lasting. That's the success rate for the 15% of newly minted treps that launched businesses.
The scholarship and grant money and extracurricular learning opportunities could be better, but are about mid-range of the other schools on our list.
19. Belmont University
Center for Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 188
Less than half (44%) of Belmont University's Center for Entrepreneurship's recent alum have started a new business, but every single one is still in business. The rest of the school's stats are average: Seventy-one percent of faculty with an entrepreneurial background, $27,000 in scholarship and grant money, and ten mentorship programs to help students gain a competitive edge.
20. DePaul University
2011-12 Enrollment: 291
This well-established program has a strong showing for faculty knowledge (100% have started, launched, or bought a successful business themselves). Unfortunately only18% of recent grads have started their own businesses, but a respectable 76% of that group are still in business today.
The prize and scholarship money available to students is decent but not outstanding, and the amount of extracurriculars could stand some improvement.
21. Barch College, The City University of New York
Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 530
Prize money for students at the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship program is pretty tiny ($500), but tuition for The City University of New York's Barch College is reasonable ($5,910 in-state). Nearly a quarter of grads started their own businesses after graduation, and 90% of them are still in business.
A sparse showing for extracurricular clubs and mentorship programs is buoyed somewhat by the experience of the faculty (94% have themselves started a business).
22. Oklahoma State University
School of Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,520
Oklahoma State University's School of Entrepreneurship gets several middle of the road scores: 30% of grads launched a business and 30% of those young treps are still in business. Prize and scholarship money isn't that high, but tuition is average as well.
There are barely any clubs or mentorship programs, but nearly all of the faculty (90%) enter the classroom with their own business experience. The program is still less than five years old, so some of the kinks may be worked out as the program grows.
23. Bradley University
Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship
2011-12 Enrollment: 558
The small showing for extracurricular clubs, organizations and mentorship programs, might account in part for the 20% of grads dipping their toes in the entrepreneurial water. But at least all of the faculty at the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship have a business background themselves. And all of those grads that did launch businesses are still at it today.
24. Lehigh University
Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation
2011-12 Enrollment: 571
Lehigh University doesn't offer a major in entrepreneurship, but a minor in the field has been around since 2004. The small number of recent grads who have launched a business (a paltry 1%) might be due to the program's lack of emphasis. But all things considered the rest of the numbers aren't too shabby: All of the few newly minted entrepreneurs who did start up are still in business, and there are at least 17 mentorship programs available.
25. Texas Christian University
Neeley Entrepreneurship Program
Fort Worth, Texas
2011-12 Enrollment: 1,052
A nearly non-existent 1% of recent Texas Christian University Neeley Entrepreneurship Program grads decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge, but at least the few that did faced a 100% success rate. No information on available prize money and a small showing for clubs and mentorship programs also account of the school's lower ranking.