Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

The Princeton Review, in partnership with Entrepreneur, ranks the top graduate programs.
Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020
Image credit: Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
32 min read

To start your journey as an entrepreneur, you can choose the "figure it out as you go" approach (fingers crossed!) or you can attend a college or a university with a program dedicated to giving you all of the tools that entrepreneurs need to launch and grow a business. These programs are built to inform and inspire, showing you a multitude of roadmaps for making your dreams a reality. And at the same time, surrounding you with other future innovators who have the mindset for achieving success.

Each year Entrepreneur partners with The Princeton Review to rank the top 50 undergraduate and top 25 graduate schools for entrepreneurs. Now in its 14th year, this survey examines more than 300 colleges and universities in the U.S and abroad and considers each institution’s ability and dedication to providing access to world-class mentors, professors and alumni, as well as creating an environment where ideas can flourish. (To read more about our methodology, pick up our Dec. 2019 issue of Entrepreneur.)

Related: What's Happening on the Entrepreneur Index Right Now

Click on the slideshow to see who made the list for the top 25 grad programs for entrepreneurship.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

1. Rice University

1. Rice University
Image credit: Rice University
Houston, TX
Full profile +

Tuition:
$63,162
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
30
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
610

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
83%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
242
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$1,644,219,096

About the program

Rice Innovation District (opening 2020) a $100M investment • Rice Student Venture Fund: venture funding and entrepreneurship • Rice Launch Challenge: Workshops, networking events, ideation sessions and competitions • Liu Idea Lab coworking space: common location for interdisciplinary teams to work and engage in entrepreneurship classes, events, and workshops • The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship: building successful ventures through education, guidance and connections. • Owlspark: Rice-affiliated startups with resources, funding and space to launch companies and technologies • New Venture Development: several courses and labs in developing new ventures • Venture Capital Forums: students attend 3 venture capital forums in energy and clean tech and biotech • Rice Business Plan Competition: World’s richest and largest graduate-level business plan competition • Mentoring: In business plan development, pitch coaching, and fundraising • Ignite Entrepreneurship Silicon Valley Trek: A 3 day trip includes company visits and chats with entrepreneurs about experiences & challenges • Emphasis on social entrepreneurship: Social Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization courses aid students social-minded ventures • Found Finders events allow students to share their business idea or research with others interested in entrepreneurship

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

2. The University of Chicago

2. The University of Chicago
Image credit: University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Full profile +

Tuition:
$59,753
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
38
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,790

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
55%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
411
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$842,407,082

About the program

The Polsky Center is the catalyst for enabling entrepreneurs to move from idea to impact. We are distinguished by:
New Venture Challenge: Our program has been consistently recognized as one of the top accelerator programs in the nation, an honor shared only by other notable accelerators such as Y Combinator and Techstars. Our NVC companies have raised more than $1 billion in funding and delivered more than $7.5 billion in exit value. Companies successfully launched through the NVC include household names like Grubhub, Braintree, and Simple Mills.

Access to capital and PE/VC training: Not only do our entrepreneurial students get access to capital through many of our programs, the brightest minds in venture capital and private equity hail from Chicago Booth, including faculty and industry experts, Professors Steve Kaplan and Scott Meadow. The Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab course at Booth placed 118 students with 73 host firms for an unparalleled experiential learning opportunity. Advancing Scientific Innovation: The Polsky Center manages a multi-million dollar Innovation Fund to help early-stage research and technology reach the market. The University has also set aside $25 million from its endowment to invest in UChicago startups. UChicago has also been an NSF I-Corps site since 2014 to help scientists commercialize their research. The Polsky Center also launched the Life Sciences Launchpad to provide in-depth support to early-stage life sciences companies.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

3. Northwestern University

3. Northwestern University
Image credit: Kellogg School of Management
Evanston, IL
Full profile +

Tuition:
$75,134
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
64
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,760

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
81%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
131
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$218,593,285

About the program

Our program offers three core tracks; New Venture Creation, Growth & Scaling and Corporate Innovation. Each track includes a robust offering of co-curricular programming and resources designed to enhance the curriculum. This allows students to customize their experience both in and outside the classroom and caters to the diverse professional goals of our students. The most promising New Venture students can participate in the Zell Fellows Program, a unique seven-month internal accelerator. This program provides mentoring, leadership coaching, and funding to help each Fellow emerge as a stronger entrepreneurial thinker. In the Growth & Scaling track, the San Francisco immersion program provides 30 students with internships at growth-stage companies or VC firms, and entrepreneurship courses taught by Kellogg faculty. In the Corporate Innovation track, we run mini innovation labs that offer short-term projects with corporate partners. Additional resources include summer internship stipends for students to gain experience within early and growth-stage companies, as well as funding to work on personal ventures over the summer in place of an internship. Our close partnerships with the Innovation & New Ventures Office, Engineering School, Law School, and the Garage at NU fosters a strong culture of collaboration among entrepreneurship and innovation students university-wide, as well as access to resources and events offered by these individual units.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

4. Babson College

4. Babson College
Image credit: Babson College
Babson Park, MA
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Tuition:
$71,564
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
39
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,304

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
100%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
627
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$142,370,097

About the program

Babson teaches Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® across all disciplines. The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship is the hub for resources, including the Butler Launch Pad that offers co-working space, mentors, workshops, competitions, EIRS and access to a Seed Fund. Our application-based Summer Venture Program, a 10-week intensive accelerator provides free housing on campus, advisors and mentors, and programming worth over $200K in-kind services, helps students launch and grow their businesses. The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson empowers women entrepreneurs and offers a WIN Lab, an application based 6-month accelerator for female founders, based on milestone planning, competency building and connections to the local ecosystem. The Social Innovation Lab connects a global, interdisciplinary community of students and mentors dedicated to building social impact ventures. All programs may be taken either for credit or for experience (ungraded). Our Institute for Family Entrepreneurship fosters entrepreneurship in the family businesses and offers a 4-year Amplifier Program for students to work with classmates from other family businesses, connect with parents and owners of family firms, with the goal of launching entrepreneurial ventures in their family businesses. Our new 10,000 sq. ft. Weissman Foundry offers a collaboration space, media lab, woodshop, kitchen and performance space where students can create ideas and prototype.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

5. University of Michigan

5. University of Michigan
Image credit: University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Full profile +

Tuition:
$66,376 (in-state)
$71,376 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
62
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,289

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
48%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
405
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$70,495,822

About the program

In 1927, the entrepreneurial spirit began at the University of Michigan with the launch of the first family business class. Expanding from this initial offering, the core of the entrepreneurial curriculum at U-M has grown to include instruction in opportunity recognition, commercializing a concept, marshaling resources in the face of risk, holistic thinking, team development, initiating a business venture, venture capital and more. The graduate courses and programs offered at U-M bring a real-world immersive experience to our students.

Graduate students experience every step of venture creation. From participating in one of five student-led venture capital funds to launching a company within our student accelerator programs, U-M offers a taste of entrepreneurship that fits every palate.

Michigan recognizes that all students may not seek an entrepreneurial career path; however, the building blocks of entrepreneurship assist all. Our courses highlight all aspects of entrepreneurship; family business, intrapreneurship, entrepreneurship through acquisition, and new venture creation. This broad and deep approach inspires students from every area of campus to be creative and innovate–regardless of their intended career.

In addition to our top-ranked programs in business, healthcare, technology and engineering, graduate students at U-M work on groundbreaking commercial research projects at an institution with over $1.5 billion in research funding.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

6. University of Virginia

6. University of Virginia
Image credit: University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
Full profile +

Tuition:
$65,350 (in-state)
$68,350 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
29
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
626

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
100%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
122
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$887,860,800

About the program

Darden is distinguished by a deep, institutional commitment to empowering purpose-driven, entrepreneurial leaders, evidenced by:

  • Restricted endowment ($136.9 million) supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Entrepreneurial scholarships supporting more than 30 Darden MBAs annually.
  • Renowned faculty with expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation, comprising nearly 25% of all Darden faculty.
  • 15 full-time staff committed to student and faculty interests in entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Nearly 30 graduate courses directly related to entrepreneurship, offered by best-in-class teaching faculty.
  • Year-round portfolio of workshops, bootcamps, and field experiences (many university-wide) with a total of 940 participants.
  • Full-time incubator and accelerator for new venture development, open to students, faculty, staff and community.
  • Sponsored startup internship programs, providing placements with high-growth, VC-backed technology startups around the country.
  • Direct access to Silicon Valley through full-time staff in the Bay Area, leveraging alumni and corporate partners to support students learning and careers.
  • Darden’s flagship i.Lab, a 10,000 square-foot facility that supports an incubator, accelerator, and other venture creation programs.

 

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

7. Columbia University

7. Columbia University
Image credit: Columbia University
New York, NY
Full profile +

Tuition:
$71,624
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
33
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:

About the program

Columbia's entrepreneurship ecosystem is not only high caliber in each discipline, given the strength of its undergraduate and graduate schools, but each is in turn further enhanced by the interdisciplinary nature of the programming. Columbia Entrepreneurship also has a strong emphasis on Human Centered Design, which gives the entrepreneurs the tools they need to thoughtfully rethink, reframe, and refocus their big idea in a way that is empathetic, responsible, and viable. Finally, Columbia's advantage of being in the City of New York — where there is every industry, market, customer, demographic, and an extended set of entrepreneur and venture capital resources — makes it a strong center of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

8. The University of South Florida

8. The University of South Florida
Image credit: University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
Full profile +

Tuition:
$8,537 (in-state)
$16,472 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
149
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
2,301

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
92%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
68
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$15,000,000

About the program

Our graduate offerings at USF are cross-campus, fully interdisciplinary and strongly rooted in advanced STEM, with our five core courses being both Business and Engineering courses. Additionally, we offer electives that focus on STEM entrepreneurship in sustainability, medicine and biotechnology. These courses are open to every graduate student. Our courses integrate curricular content with professional training through the use of interdisciplinary and experiential team-based learning in and out of the classroom. Our educational framework utilizes immersive clinical training rooted in constructivist learning theory which integrates key elements of innovation and creativity with advanced concepts of opportunity recognition, innovation, sustainability, social responsibility and value creation. Our use of external subject matter experts as mentors, educators and keynote speakers, provides advanced connections for students within the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our diverse and flexible program allows graduate students from all disciplines to engage in our educational offerings through individual courses, concentrations, certificates, MSEAT and dual graduate degree programs with colleges across campus. Our program supports the creation of student and alumni ventures though various initiatives, including our business and innovation competitions and the USF Student Innovation Incubator. USF prepares students as intrapreneurs to become global corporate technology innovators.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

9. University of Rochester

9. University of Rochester
Image credit: University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
Full profile +

Tuition:
$47,212
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
35
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
656

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
77%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
151
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$536,864,500

About the program

The Ain Center for Entrepreneurship manages the MS in Technical Entrepreneurship and Management degree (TEAM), designed for entrepreneurial engineers, allowing them to speak the “languages” of engineering and business fluently. Classes are split up between the business school and engineering school. TEAM facilitates tech transfer across campus and often results in the launch of several new companies each year. Grad students work with mentors, VCs, and angel investors. In June, TEAM was presented with the award for Excellence in Curriculum Innovation in Entrepreneurship by the Deshpande Symposium. New this year, we partnered with RIT to offer a summer accelerator program. We also collaborate with Rochester Business Alliance, Excell Partners, Rochester Angel Network, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, and NextCorps. In recent years, entrepreneurship at UR has received several multi-million dollar gifts to support the Student Incubator, a student-run VC fund, and a Tech Development Fund. The Ain Center has been awarded three grants (Fulbright Romanian Professor Entrepreneurship Education Program, the Upstate New York NSF I-Corps Node (in partnership with Cornell and RIT), and a University Center designation (the first in the region) by the EDA) totaling $2M in the past two years. Our standard and new programming allows students to gain new perspectives on how entrepreneurship functions in different settings and to experience entrepreneurship firsthand.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

10. Northeastern University

10. Northeastern University
Image credit: Northeastern University
Boston, MA
Full profile +

Tuition:
$44,605
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
70
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,984

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
47%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
172
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$7,071,034

About the program

The distinguishing features of our offerings: breadth, research basis, interdisciplinary, and experiential. Entrepreneurship is a core strategic initiative for NU, so it is imbued in every college on campus and is considered a legitimate academic field. We taught our first graduate entrepreneurship course in 1958 and now have 70 courses in 21 departments. Since tenuring an entrepreneur professor in 1973, our faculty are research productive, so they are developing courses from their research. This allows us to provide great breadth and depth in offerings. The courses are populated by students across campus, as entrepreneurship is tied into their curricula. This cross-disciplinary environment is not only with students from multiple disciplines but also with faculty from multiple disciplines. NU is known for its experiential education and so the courses tie theory with practice. The courses take advantage of the strong entrepreneurship ecosystem we have. Princeton Review rated NU as one of the most active entrepreneurship ecosystems in the country and the number one coop school. This gets reflected in teaching approaches as the culture at NU is to mix the classroom with experiential activities. Our students are required to work with startups through the student-run accelerator or to create their own companies. The FT MBA requires a 6-month coop, where students are working full time with companies in their fields. Students are learning, therefore, both theory and practice.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

11. The University of Texas at Austin

11. The University of Texas at Austin
Image credit: The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
Full profile +

Tuition:
$49,534 (in-state)
$54,924 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
52
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
503

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
92%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
75
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:

About the program

One distinguishing aspect is geography: Austin topped the Kauffman Institute Index for Metropolitan Startup Activity in 2015, ’16, & ‘17 was second only to Miami / Ft Laud. Austin is at or near the top of similar lists by Crowdspring, Business.org, and Forbes’ ranking of cities creating the most tech jobs in the country for the past several years.

The biggest advantage is the sheer size and variety of entrepreneurial opportunities that the flagship public university of 51,000 students offers. Over 50 formal classes across 17 university departments — including business, education, engineering, law, pharmacy, and public affairs--are offered that specifically focus on entrepreneurship. The McCombs offers the lion’s share of these, as well as an award-winning incubator, world-famous competitions, student organizations, and mentorship programs that are campus-wide and well-connected to the business community.

Our MS in Technology Commercialization is an elite executive degree like no other. It prepares candidates to be successful technology entrepreneurs. In one year the MSTC Program prepares technical and business professionals for moving technologies from concept to market. Candidates learn to evaluate emerging technologies, identify customers and marketing strategies, develop broad, flexible business plans, build a high-functioning management team to drive the new venture, devise approaches for securing funding, and manage intellectual property.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

12. Brigham Young University

12. Brigham Young University
Image credit: Brigham Young University
Provo, UT
Full profile +

Tuition:
$13,450 (LDS)
$26,120 (non-LDS)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
33
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
551

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
93%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
131
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$87,284,493

About the program

We believe we may have the finest INTEGRATED core for teaching entrepreneurship in the world. The curriculum reflects the latest academic thinking and research in the field and is augmented with real-world experiential components.

Our competition series awards over a ¼ million dollars to BYU student teams. The series includes 10 robust competitions/programs and each year helps to guide more and more students through the venture creation cycle. We believe our extensive network of mentors is unparalleled and the secret sauce that allows our students to achieve so much success. Lack of relevant know-how among a company’s founders is a leading cause of startup failure. Our mentors not only help students navigate specific, short-term problems, but also commit to help promising teams on a longer-term basis as lead mentors.

Our summer accelerator program is on par with Y Combinator and Techstars. During the program, startups receive a myriad of amenities and the top companies pitch to investors at the end of the summer.

As an NSF I-Corps Site, BYU awards $1,000-$3,000 grants to promising student teams working on ideas in STEM-related fields.

The International Business Model Competition is the first and largest lean startup competition in the world and is fully funded by BYU. The competition offers cash prizes totaling over $200k to teams all over the world. The IBMC is one of the last student competitions offering so much in cash prizes

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

13. University of Washington

13. University of Washington
Image credit: University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Full profile +

Tuition:
$35,334 (in-state)
$51,531 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
78
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
2,397

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
74%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
235
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$31,483,332

About the program

The Buerk Center focuses on integrating entrepreneurship across the UW, with collaborations across campus and the Seattle community. UW’s Buerk Center and CoMotion directly connect students through coursework, extracurriculars, and other offerings to every major VC firm, angel investing group, and others in Seattle.

The 3-quarter Angel Investing class and the Venture Capital Investment class are examples of blending coursework with experiential learning outside the classroom. In addition, grad students can attend cross-disciplinary team formation nights, and panels on intellectual property, design thinking, and the student startup experience. The Buerk Center offers over $30K in prototype funding for teams each year and there are funding and grant opportunities for students across campus. Interdisciplinary teams participate in many of the competitions (health innovation, sustainability, new venture creation) hosted by the Buerk Center for students throughout the Cascadia Region.

UW also boasts faculty and alumni including William Gates Sr.; “the father of bioengineering and biotech” Wayne Quinton; Bill Ayer, former CEO of Alaska Airlines; Bruce Nordstrom, former CEO of Nordstrom; Thomas Furness, known as a “pioneer in human interface technology” and the “grandfather of virtual reality” who has launched countless numbers of companies; “Best 40 under 40” professor Benjamin Hallen; Jacob Colker, managing director at the Allen Institute for A.I. Startup Incubator.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

14. Syracuse University

14. Syracuse University
Image credit: Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY
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Tuition:
$49,868
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
26
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,836

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
100%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
158
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:

About the program

INNOVATIVE TEACHING EXPERIENCE: A unique component to our curriculum includes a focus on four different ‘tracks’ in entrepreneurship: new venture creation, as well as social, family, and corporate entrepreneurship. These tracks serve as guides for students around their specific/unique interests, matching courses with skills and career goals. No other school offers such a broad array of courses in such a structure. We also offer courses in conjunction with other schools on campus. This allows students to access additional skillsets and resources to run companies.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: Our focus is to help our students take what they learn inside the classroom and put it into action with growing companies in Central NY. We work with interested students and match them with entrepreneurs through internships, consulting projects, specialized courses, community engagement, and other practical experiences. Classes such as Corporate Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprise Consulting give students hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. We work with over 2000 local entrepreneurs in our WISE Women’s Business Center and South Side Innovation Center, among other projects. Our Blackstone Launchpad has tremendous success with student startups through robust mentoring and coaching activities. This has led to students receiving national media exposure (Newsweek and AdWeek, among others). All of these experiences help our students gain experience in the world of entrepreneurship.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

15. The University of Texas at Dallas

15. The University of Texas at Dallas
Image credit: The University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, TX
Full profile +

Tuition:
$17,229 (in-state)
$32,262 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
29
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
653

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
70%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
340
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$38,815,900

About the program

1. Strength of the curriculum (28 state-of-the-art courses).

2. Award-winning programs: a. National Model Master Program Award from USASBE (one of 24 universities that have received this award since 1990). b. UTD’s Blackstone LaunchPad won a Tech Titan award in 2018 & 19. c. Seed Fund and Support Courses nominated for a GCEC award in 4Q18.

3. Strength of Faculty, extensive experience including as CxO’s with public/private firms and as Managing Directors at leading VC Firms.

4. Strength of our students (high caliber, diverse in background and ethnicity, 8 years average work experience, over 100 nationalities represented).

5. Outstanding programs including our Big Idea Competition (1200 attendees, Tan France as keynote), Comet X Accelerator, Venture Development Incubator, Blackstone mentoring.

6. $1 million grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation in 2016.

7. Experiential focus: a. $300K Seed Fund course where students work as “venture associates” and make investment recommendations. b. Innovative startup launch courses with funding of up to $25K. c. Comet-X accelerator; Blackstone mentoring. d. Multiple other experiential courses and programs.

8. Continued growth with over 50 graduate students working on startups and over 800 graduate alumni entrepreneurs.

9. Strength of the DFW Metroplex. Rated the best city for jobs by Forbes (2017, 2018, and 2019). 10. Partnerships and shared space and events with VC firms like Capital Factory.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

16. Washington University in St. Louis

16. Washington University in St. Louis
Image credit: Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Full profile +

Tuition:
$63,765
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
39
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,055

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
52%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
74
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$113,911,611

About the program

Washington University in St. Louis continues to encourage creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship at all levels and across all disciplines. This distinguishes it from its peer institutions that limit entrepreneurship education to the business school. Olin Business School students can take classes in other schools, emphasizing the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. Entrepreneurship classes are highly experiential, collaborative and encourage students to test their concepts. Most courses connect students to the St. Louis community, expanding students’ network. Complementing WashU’s well-known, rigorous academics, the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship operates an independent, cross-disciplinary center where creative minds connect. The Center acts as a hub for co-curricular entrepreneurship activities. The center provides hands-on workshops, a grad fellowship (open not to just MBA students, but also law students, PhDs in science and humanities and social work students), mentors, grant writing assistance, business plan competitions, and partnerships with the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem. Most notably, the majority of opportunities are open to ALL undergrad and grad students, faculty, staff, postdocs, and medical students. It is this blend of curricular & co-curricular; campus & community; creativity and entrepreneurship; unlimited by discipline or school that distinguishes our entrepreneurial offerings.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

17. The University of Oklahoma

17. The University of Oklahoma
Image credit: The University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK
Full profile +

Tuition:
$16,229 (in-state)
$33,804 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
18
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
164

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
100%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
29
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$990,948,000

About the program

All MBA students in the Graduate School of Business must choose a specialty area. Entrepreneurship is one of the most popular specialties; Arts Entrepreneurship is the newest. All students in these specialties enter the statewide business plan competition, the Love’s Cup. To prepare for it, students take courses in lean startup and business canvas principles and receive mentoring by practicing entrepreneurs, industry experts, and world-class entrepreneurial faculty who guide the students along their entrepreneurial journey as they discover, develop, ideate, and launch companies. Required courses are supplemented by courses in Design Thinking, Social Entrepreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurial Law. The MBA program now also requires all students to study abroad including trips to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe and Asia.

Students are supported in creating prototypes in the Tom Love Innovation Hub and seek intellectual property protection in our Office of Technology Development. Increasingly, such activities, which are offered outside the typical classroom, support OU graduate entrepreneurship students in achieving their business launch, company renewal and economic development goals. Students also have access to a 3,000+ network of OU alumni. MBA student startups are supported by world-class facilities, internships, experiential programming, and mentorships aimed at setting high standards for entrepreneurial education at the MBA level.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

18. University of Utah

18. University of Utah
Image credit: University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
Full profile +

Tuition:
$30,500
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
23
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
298

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
93%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
119
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$16,690,968

About the program

The ability for students to get an exceptional academic experience inside of the classroom and then apply what they have learned through our wide array of programs and offerings outside of the classroom is unmatched. This year we have launched a first-of-its-kind Master of Business Creation (Eccles.Utah.edu/mbc/). This degree is for serious entrepreneurs with emerging ventures. Students receive an accredited degree from the Eccles school after completing the 9-month intensive program. The MBC program combines the best parts of a business accelerator and a graduate business-degree to help entrepreneurs advance their startup companies. Students in the MBC program will access to scholarships to allow full time to focus on their ventures. These students will also have full access to our grants, workshops, and competitions. Our entrepreneur program is also at a unique advantage of being situated in Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah is consistently ranked in the top three states for business in the country by Forbes and other national publications. At the same time, the University of Utah was recently ranked No. 1 for technology commercialization by the Milken Institute. Lastly, in 2016 we opened a cutting edge 160,000-square-foot facility dedicated to inspiring young entrepreneurs to start their own companies. The one-of-a-kind building mixes a 20,000-square-foot creative space on the main floor with 400 residences above. This building houses students from over 60 different majors.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

19. DePaul University

19. DePaul University
Image credit: DePaul University
Chicago, IL
Full profile +

Tuition:
$45,468
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
44
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
858

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
63%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
99
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$129,100,000

About the program

DePaul University sits in the heart of Chicago’s business district and was ranked in the top 25 “most innovative schools” in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. DePaul has offered academic programs in entrepreneurship since 1982. The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) launched in 2003 and provides experiential programs to complement our strong academic record. The CEC opened a new $1 million, 5,000-square-foot center in 2016. As the hub of entrepreneurship at DePaul, the CEC connects students/alumni with the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Chicago. CEC programs are designed to be relevant for students/alumni from every college no matter which industry they enter. The CEC empowers students, alumni and community members to build sustainable businesses that do good and do well in Chicago. Academic Director Dr. Harold Welsch served as President of the International Council for Small Business and President of the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (1984) and is DePaul’s Endowed Coleman Chair. Executive Director of the CEC, Bruce Leech (DePaul MBA 1981), founded a $90 million business. He brings strong experiential components to the CEC, connecting the CEC with the entrepreneur community through memberships at 1871, the premier business incubator in the US, and 2112, an incubator for music, film, and creative tech. In 2019, we launched the first Women in Entrepreneurship Institute to provide programs, accelerator and research to women in entrepreneurship.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

20. Saint Louis University

20. Saint Louis University
Image credit: Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO
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Tuition:
$52,475
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
78
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
675

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
81%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
74
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$42,261,000

About the program

We have dense graduate academic offerings: entrepreneurship majors in business, nutrition and law, a campus-wide certificate in entrepreneurship open to all, 77 classes with entrepreneurship content across 24 departments in 10 schools. We support entrepreneurship in all its forms with a nationally recognized center, student business and medical technology accelerators, an NSF I-corps site, a shared-use kitchen and student-led cafe, a student-led entrepreneurship legal clinic, a nationally-ranked university-based angel network and two on-campus incubator spaces. We strive for innovation in action from our collection of competitions [new idea, elevator pitch, hackathon, pitch decks, innovation challenges, and student business competitions], to the textbook we have developed that showcases our approach (Entrepreneurial Small Business from McGraw-Hill) and is used in over 250 US schools, to innovative pedagogy such as classes co-taught by standing faculty [many with entrepreneurial experience] and local practicing entrepreneurs and experts. Our Entrepreneurship MBA and Center hold national awards for excellence. We have tight and deep integration with one of America’s top-ranked startup cities (see WSJ, Kauffman, etc.). Our team are prominent players in national entrepreneurship efforts like SXSW Student Startup Madness, Coleman Fellows Network, Kern Engineering Entrepreneurship Network and the Experiential Classroom.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

21. North Carolina State University

21. North Carolina State University
Image credit: North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC
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Tuition:
$25,797 (in-state)
$43,608 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
17
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
546

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
75%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
16
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$52,450,000

About the program

Graduate entrepreneurship education in the NC State Poole College of Management provides students the skills, knowledge, experience and mentorship needed for success in today’s dynamic, technology-oriented marketplace. Students may enroll in the Entrepreneurship Technology and Commercialization concentration in the college’s Jenkins MBA program, or earn a TEC Certificate by successfully completing the core courses in this graduate concentration. TEC extends Poole College’s expertise in entrepreneurship education beyond the NC State campus to other colleges and universities in the United States and abroad who have adapted the curriculum for their students. Students also have broader entrepreneurship education through campus-wide NC State Entrepreneurship, a partnership between all of the entrepreneurship units at NC State. Accomplishments include the creation of a university-wide NC State Entrepreneurship advisory board to help guide our strategic initiatives and an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship certificate program, where students can take part in a workshop series designed to create more well-rounded entrepreneurs, teaching them necessary financial skills and hiring practices.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

22. University of California San Diego

22. University of California San Diego
Image credit: University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA
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Tuition:
$51,453 (in-state)
$54,968 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
29
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
323

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
71%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
85
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$265,000,000

About the program

The Rady School of Management's MBA program is distinguished by its emphasis on entrepreneurship throughout the entire program. The program's core courses and electives are built around innovation and entrepreneurship, providing students with a strong foundation in startup business planning, new product development, venture funding, the commercialization of technologies, among many others. In addition, all MBA students are required to take the capstone Lab to Market course sequence. Lab to Market's three-course sequence begins in the classroom and moves into a project-based environment. Students perform market research and validation, feasibility studies, develop a business case and then a business plan and a go-to-market strategy. Working in teams, students generate business ideas, evaluate ideas from companies, and gain exposure to commercialization opportunities. Teams work closely with the Rady School's robust network of external advisers and coaches as they develop their business strategies. The Lab to Market course is not a classroom simulation, rather a real conduit for students to design and launch a startup company.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

23. Texas A&M University - College Station

23. Texas A&M University - College Station
Image credit: Texas A&M University - College Station
College Station, TX
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Tuition:
$42,462 (in-state)
$61,498 (out-of-state)
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
22
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
622

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
50%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
19
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$26,000,000

About the program

A primary distinguishing characteristic of our graduate offerings is the breadth of opportunities that we have available for the students. Our programs range from individual workshops that introduce various opportunities/topics in business and entrepreneurship up to year-long incubator programs that help students advance their ideas and successfully operate their own business ventures. In addition, we host multiple idea/pitch competitions, study abroad programs, and university-recognized student organizations, all of which help to foster the varied entrepreneurial interests and talents of the students on our campus.

As compared to many entrepreneurship programs that focus on idea development or startup creation, any student at Texas A&M has an opportunity to engage with us, regardless of their specific goals or what entrepreneurial stage they are in. Furthermore, participation in our programs is not limited to a specific graduate degree program, so we regularly work with students from over 10 different colleges, including the Mays Business School and the Colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts, Agriculture, Science, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine. Because of this, our Center is home to a diverse and growing community of Texas A&M students unlike any other on campus, all of whom have come together with a mutual interest in exploring, developing, and pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities.

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

24. New York University

24. New York University
Image credit: New York University
New York, NY
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Tuition:
$74,300
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
18
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,073

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
38%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
50
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$45,496,000

About the program

Stern is the hub of a thriving university-wide startup ecosystem, where students can unleash their entrepreneurial potential through:

  • Deep experiential learning opportunities that provide a chance to explore entrepreneurship as founders, early startup employees, and/or as investors through myriad programs.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with fellow students, alumni and faculty across 16 different schools including medical, law, engineering, arts and sciences, etc. as well as three degree-granting campuses in NY, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai.
  • Stern’s extensive connections to and location in the heart of New York City’s thriving startup ecosystem, which includes VCs, accelerators, angel investors, entrepreneurs, etc.
  • Proximity to large markets and leading corporate innovators who represent potential customers and strategic partners.

 

Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020

25. The George Washington University

25. The George Washington University
Image credit: The George Washington University
Washington, DC
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Tuition:
$52,826
No. of entrepreneur-related courses:
8
Students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes:
1,445

Percent of faculty with entrepreneurial experience:
80%
Startups launched by grads in last 5 years:
47
Funding raised by grads in last 5 years:
$434,000

About the program

Given George Washington University’s unique location in Washington, DC just six blocks from the White House, State Department, Agency for International Development, Institute for Peace and World Bank and a highly diverse international student body, we integrate social, policy and economic development into all our courses and activities. We also established strong working relationship with the GW’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship holding monthly meetings to minimize duplication of effort while providing students with a broad range of activities to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem we are building at GWU. The Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) handles the academic focus of the course offerings including introducing ae certificate in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) a four-course sequence offers students an opportunity to focus on the mindset of the entrepreneur while still getting the broad overview of the MBA. We ensemble a group of twenty and five alumni and faculty who advise us in developing these new pedagogical approaches. We integrated our elevator Pitch competition, “Pitch George” and our New Venture competition allowing students to experience these as part of their course work, we enlisted over 40 mentors, many alumni, to assist students with the proposed and in some cases, existing real businesses opportunities. In closing, we believe strongly in the concept of double loop learning presented in the management literature.

  • Top 25 Best Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2020
  • 1. Rice University
  • 2. The University of Chicago
  • 3. Northwestern University
  • 4. Babson College
  • 5. University of Michigan
  • 6. University of Virginia
  • 7. Columbia University
  • 8. The University of South Florida
  • 9. University of Rochester
  • 10. Northeastern University
  • 11. The University of Texas at Austin
  • 12. Brigham Young University
  • 13. University of Washington
  • 14. Syracuse University
  • 15. The University of Texas at Dallas
  • 16. Washington University in St. Louis
  • 17. The University of Oklahoma
  • 18. University of Utah
  • 19. DePaul University
  • 20. Saint Louis University
  • 21. North Carolina State University
  • 22. University of California San Diego
  • 23. Texas A&M University - College Station
  • 24. New York University
  • 25. The George Washington University
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