Advice

Best Business Schools For Becoming An Entrepreneur (USA)

Though a budding entrepreneur does not require a degree to start a business venture, the chances of success are greater for those who do take up one or more degrees. Proof for this comes from a 2008 study of more than 500 tech startups which revealed that college graduates secured two times the number of employees and average revenue than their counterparts who didn’t go through college. What’s more, entrepreneurship degrees help students gain knowledge in areas such as accounting, management, finance, economics, marketing and ethics.

Business school - study

© Flickr | aesop

This article takes a comparative look at 10 of the nation’s best business schools to go to for exemplary education in the field of entrepreneurship. We will look at 1) what kinds of degrees are suitable for entrepreneurs, 2) criteria for choosing a business school, and 3) top business schools in the US for becoming an entrepreneur.

WHAT KINDS OF DEGREES ARE SUITABLE FOR ENTREPRENEURS?

Multiple business school powerhouses currently offer graduate and even undergraduate programs in entrepreneurship. Degrees suitable for entrepreneurs and offered at universities, colleges or business schools are chiefly of four kinds – Bachelor Degree, Master’s Degree, Associate Degree and Doctorate Degree. The duration of a Bachelor’s Degree program is usually 4 years and of a Master’s Degree program is 2 years. Students can usually earn an associate’s degree in entrepreneurship within two years. A doctoral degree is typically attainable within four to six years for a holder of a Master’s Degree in entrepreneurship. It goes without saying that part-time students would require more time than their regular counterparts to earn a degree.

While the MBA is still a useful degree for prospective entrepreneurs, it is losing out in importance as an entrepreneurship degree in favor of a Master’s in Entrepreneurship.

What They Don’t Teach in Business School about Entrepreneurship

CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A BUSINESS SCHOOL

Owing to the many different business schools and course options available, young men or women looking to take up an MBA program with entrepreneurship as focus may find themselves in a fix about choosing right. Given below are 4 factors that make a particular business school preferable to others:

  1. Entrepreneurship as a concentration or official track – This feature means that the school takes the business aspect of entrepreneurship more seriously in their curriculum than schools which don’t have it as a designated area of study.
  2. Both part-time and full-time faculty specializing in entrepreneurship – This provides for a more balanced setting than that in schools with only part-time faculty or only full-time faculty.
  3. The faculty can offer some assistance towards your business idea – If the prospective student enrolls in the program with an idea in mind for a service or product he wishes to launch, he would obviously appreciate it if the business school could help in some way to realize that business idea.
  4. There should be experiential learning – Entrepreneurship is not something that can be learnt merely through textbooks and exams. A certain degree of experiential learning is required. A venture competition is one example.

TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS IN THE US FOR BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR

1. Babson College

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

Situated in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business has an MBA program characterized by a unified curriculum offered through four different streams – Two Year, One Year, Fast Track and Evening. Apart from the MBA degree, Babson College offers an MSM degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership and an MS in Accounting degree. The chief degree concentrations available are Finance, Healthcare Administration, Investment Banking, International Business and Marketing.

Duration of the program

The duration of the various programs is as follows:
Two year MBA: 24 months
One year MBA: 12 months
Evening: Average of 42 months
MSM Degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership: 9 months
MS in Accounting: 12 months

What makes this program unique

The business school integrates entrepreneurial skills with extensive functional business knowledge across disciplines with the intention of developing graduates possessing a unique ability to make a difference in the world. There is a focus on Entrepreneurial Thought and Action, as well as dedication to people, planet, and profits.

Enrollment costs

The estimated costs for enrolling in an undergraduate program at Babson’s inclusive of tuition with laptop computer, room, meal plan, Federal Direct Loan expenses and personal expenses  is $62,440 (average). The average total estimated expenses for a one-year MBA is $ 106,582, two-year MBA is $149,088 (for a two-year degree starting in September 2014), MSM in Entrepreneurial Leadership is $69,524 (excluding meals, visas and health insurance) and for a Blended Learning MBA ($81,400). Expenses for an Evening MBA are billed on a per credit basis – Fall 2014 to Summer 2015 Tuition ($1,550 per credit)

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Some examples of famous entrepreneurs from this business school are Bob Davis (founder of Lycos Inc.), Michael Bastian (founder of Michael Bastian), and Alberto Perlman (co-founder of Zumba).

2. University of Michigan

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

The University of Michigan has two entrepreneurship centers namely “College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship” and “Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies” and its business school called “Stephen M. Ross School of Business” through which it offers courses suitable for entrepreneurs.

College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship offers a Program in Entrepreneurship (PIE) with core subjects such as “Economics of Entrepreneurship,” “Clean Tech Entrepreneurship,” “Financing Research Commercialization Practicum” and “Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry.” The College of Engineering and Ross School of Business jointly offer a Master of Entrepreneurship degree. In addition to these, the Ross School of Business offers many elective courses with entrepreneurial emphases. MBA programs of various types are available at the University of Michigan.

Duration of the program

The Master of Entrepreneurship degree is of 1 year duration. MBA programs range in duration from 16 months to 4 years. Full-time and weekend MBA’s have a duration of two years, Global MBA of 16 months, Executive MBA of 21 months and evening MBA of 3 to 4 years.

What makes this program unique

The University of Michigan’s entrepreneurial courses incorporate specialized topics such as urban entrepreneurship and turnaround management.

Enrollment costs

Full-year in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees for the Master of Entrepreneurship program is $40,000 and $56,000 respectively.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Notable among the former students of the University of Michigan are these entrepreneurs – Larry Page (co-founder of Google), Jerry Murrell (founder of Five Guys Burgers and Fries), and David Barger (co-founder of JetBlue Airways).

3. Harvard University

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

Harvard University has graduate courses for entrepreneurs available through the Harvard Business School (business school) and Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship (entrepreneurship center). The Harvard Business School offers an MBA program for potential entrepreneurs. This school also offers doctoral programs in areas such as Accounting & Management, Management and Technology & Operations Management.

Duration of the program

The duration of the MBA program is 2 years. Doctoral programs can take 4 to 5 years to complete (including at least two years in residence).

What makes this program unique

The first year incorporates a compulsory course entitled “The Entrepreneurial Manager” while the second year has more than 30 entrepreneurial elective courses of three broad kinds – Entrepreneurship: a historical perspective; Entrepreneurial business creation and management; and Entrepreneurship in specific contexts.

Enrollment costs

$56,175 is the cost for in-state tuition and fees.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Some big names in the entrepreneurial industry who previously studied at Harvard University are: Salman Khan (founder of the Khan Academy), Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp (founders of Birchbox), and Scott McNealy (co-founder of Sun Microsystems).

4. University of Houston

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

The University of Houston offers undergraduate and graduate courses to benefit budding entrepreneurs through its Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship (entrepreneurship center) and C.T. Bauer College of Business (business school).

The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship offers a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in Entrepreneurship that covers four semesters. A certificate program called CEC (Corporate Entrepreneurship Certificate) is also available to undergraduates looking to enter the field of entrepreneurship.  C.T. Bauer offers an Executive MBA program for which elective courses in entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship may be taken. Other graduate MBA programs available at the Bauer College of Business are Full-time MBA and Professional MBA.

Duration of the program

The BBA in Entrepreneurship covers four semesters. The full-time MBA is of 18 to 22 months’ duration and the Professional MBA is of 22 months’ duration.

What makes this program unique

The college’s entrepreneurship students have access to a comprehensive and complete program that includes a lockstep program comprising six courses in addition to a number of enrichment activities to go side by side with academic instruction.

Enrollment costs

Tuition and fees for the full-time and professional MBA degrees is $40,000.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Prominent entrepreneurs who studied at the University of Houston include John Moores (co-founder of BMC) and Rod Canion (co-founder of Compaq Computer Corporation).

5. Brigham Young University (BYU)

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

Brigham Young University provides both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs through its Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (entrepreneurship center) and Marriott School of Management (business school). Entrepreneurial programs include Executive MBA and Executive MPA, MACC (Master of Accountancy) and MISM (Masters of Information Systems Management).

Duration of the program

Program durations are as follows:

Executive MBA: 2 years
Executive MPA: 3 years
MACC: 5years
MISM: 5 years

The duration of the last two degrees includes undergraduate years.

What makes this program unique

BYU’s entrepreneurial programs are characterized by unique features such as the following:

  • Utah county where the school is located in is a hotbed for both entrepreneurship in general as well as startups in the technology realm, in particular
  • Training to create complete leaders by educating through the mind, spirit and heart (aim of MBA program in Marriott School of Management)
  • The presence of a tech-savvy, entrepreneurial faculty that comprehends research, theory and managerial practice (at Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & technology)

Enrollment costs

In-state tuition and fees for the Brigham Young University is $11,280.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Famous entrepreneurs who studied at this university are Ben Zimmer and Dave Bateman (co-founders of Property Solutions International) and Jonathan C. Coon (co-founder of 1-800 contacts).

6. Stanford University

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial programs are available at the university’s Stanford Graduate School of Business with its Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Programs on offer include MBA or Masters of Business Administration (which freshers can also apply) and MSx or Stanford Master of Science in Management (which accepts only experienced leaders). In addition, online certificate courses are available covering a diversity of topics pertinent to entrepreneurs, innovators and intrapreneurs.

Duration of the program

The duration of the MBA program is 21 months and that of the MSx program is 12 months.

What makes this program unique

Students of business and entrepreneurial programs at the Stanford Graduate School of Business have access to world-class schools pertaining to several realms (earth sciences, humanities, business, medicine, engineering, law and education) on a single campus. This means they have exposure to greater inspiration, multiplicity and ideas. In addition, class sizes are smaller than those in some other top-ranking schools.

Enrollment costs

In-state and out-of-state tuition and fees to enroll at the Stanford University is $59,550.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Some examples of the University’s ex-students who have become highly successful entrepreneurs are: Reed Hastings (founder of Netflix), Jawed Karim (the co-founder of YouTube), Brian Acton (the co-founder of What’sApp), and Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn).

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers undergraduate and graduate courses for aspiring entrepreneurs through its Sloan School of Management (business school) and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship (entrepreneurship center).  The courses include distinctive degree and non-degree academic offerings.

Some of the management/entrepreneurial programs programs offered at MIT Sloan are MBA, Executive MBA, Leaders for Global Operations (on completion, students get a masters degree in both engineering and business administration) and PhD program. Courses at the Martin Trust Center are organized into a curriculum having four key categories namely Foundation Subjects, Industry Focus, Entrepreneurial Skill Sets and Other Entrepreneurship Electives.

Duration of the program

The duration of various management/entrepreneurial programs are given below:
MBA: 2 years
Executive MBA: 20 months
Leaders for Global Operations: 2 years

What makes this program unique

MIT’s motto is mens et manus (mind and hand). So, both within and without the classroom, MIT’s entrepreneurial programs are a combination of academic and practitioner mentalities.

Enrollment costs

The tuition rates vary with course. For example, the tuition rate for an MBA at MIT Sloan is $63,750 for the year 2014-2015. If the rates for a computer, books and supplies, medical insurance, transportation, housing and food are included, the average expected expenditure is $96, 014.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Some big names in the entrepreneurial world studied at MIT. The list includes Amar Bose (founder of Bose Corporation), Helen Grenier, and Colin Angle (founders of iRobot) and Jonah Peretti (founder of BuzzFeed and co-founder of The Huffington Post).

8. University of Southern California

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for prospective business owners. Master’s degrees include the Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals and the MBA for Professionals and Managers (Part-Time). Key concentrations of the other Masters’ degrees include Entrepreneurship, Finance, Accounting, Healthcare Administration, Investment Banking, Supply Chain Management and Organizational Behavior. Dual degree programs are also available such as MD/MBA and JD/MBA.

Duration of the program

Most Master’s degree programs have durations of either 1 or 2 years. However there are variations.
Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals: 2.5 years
MBA for Professionals and Managers: 3 years

What makes this program unique

The Marshall curriculum is about increasing academic flexibility while keeping to a thorough core business program. Students are offered a firm foundation in business fundamentals and participate in global experiential learning opportunities, selecting an area of comprehensive business study and taking up study in a facet outside business.

Enrollment costs

In-state and out-of-state tuition and fees for the University of South California’s academics and programs is $50,495.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Famous University of South California alumni in the realm of entrepreneurship are: Marc Benioff (Founder of Salesforce.com), Paul Orfalea (founder of Kinko’s), and Andrew Viterbi (co-founder of Qualcomm).

9. Rice University

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

Rice University’s courses for budding entrepreneurs delivered through its Jesse H. Jones School of Business aim at developing inventive and principled thought-leaders in international communities. With its main campus in Houston, the school offers MBA degree programs. Entrepreneurship is one of the key concentrations. Other key concentrations are Accounting, Finance, Healthcare Administration, Marketing and International Business. The school also offers dual degrees – MS/MBA and MD/MBA. Apart from these, Rice University offers the Rice University Education Entrepreneurship program (REEP) which targets highly motivated educators dedicated to heading public schools.

Duration of the program

The MBA programs are of 22 months’ duration.

What makes this program unique

Rice University’s entrepreneurial programs are marked by strong foundations in finance, marketing, accounting, organizational behavior and management with excellence in entrepreneurship, energy and healthcare. A distinctive feature of the business school’s educational efforts for budding entrepreneurs is the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) which has the reputation of being the world’s biggest and richest intercollegiate business plan competition.

Enrollment costs

In-state and out-of-state tuition and fees for the Jones School/Rice MBA comes to approximately $48,500.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Notable entrepreneurs from this business school include the billionaire and venture capitalist John Doerr who made original investments available in Google, Netscape, Compaq, Coursera, Amazon.com and Sun Microsystems; and the former CEO of Halliburton – Mr. Thomas H. Cruishank.

10. University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill

Short description of the program for entrepreneurship

Graduate and undergraduate programs with entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship-related concentrations are available through the University of North Carolina’s business school called “Kenan-Flagler Business School” and its entrepreneurship center called “Kenan-Flagler Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.”

The MBA programs at UNC are offered as full time, online, weekend, evening and OneMBA (global program) “Entrepreneurship” is available as a concentration for the full-time and online MBA and “Strategy and Entrepreneurship” is available as one of the concentrations for the Executive MBA (weekend, evening and One MBA) respectively.

Duration of the program

MBA program durations are as follows:
Full-time: 21 months
Weekend: 20 months
Evening: 24 months
OneMBA: 21 months

What makes this program unique

The University of North Carolina’s curriculum for the entrepreneurship enrichment is unique among many top business schools with respect to its extensiveness. The curriculum provides the training, analytical skills and experiential opportunities to support creators of new ventures, those who invest in venture capital and private equity, managers of entrepreneurial firms with considerable growth and certain advisers to entrepreneurial firms (such as a future board member).

Enrollment Costs

In-state tuition and fees amount to $31,510 while out-of-state tuition and fees amount to $52,915.

Famous entrepreneurs coming from this business school

Some well-known entrepreneurs who are the alumni of the University of North Carolina are: Jason Kilar (founder of Hulu) and Ryan Allis (co-founder of iContact).

By comparing key points of different leading business schools in the US for entrepreneurship, your task of making the right choice of school becomes easier.

Now, we would love to learn about your experience