If you have always wanted to start or lead a business, consider earning an MBA in entrepreneurship. This degree provides the confidence, skills, and connections you need to start a new venture or move up in the business world. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 185,000 students earned MBAs in the 2014-15 school year, making it the country's most popular master's degree.
MBAs are so popular because they prepare students for a variety of roles in nearly every industry. Businesses of all kinds need skilled leaders to oversee operations, manage employees, and set long-term goals. An MBA enables you to work for a small tech startup, an established multinational corporation, or somewhere in between. Read on to learn more about the courses and career opportunities you can expect from an MBA in entrepreneurship program.
Should I Get an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
This degree is great for those who have worked for a few years and want to advance their careers. An MBA provides a boost in skills and credibility that you need to advance to a leadership role or start your own business. And getting an MBA in entrepreneurship benefits workers in nearly any industry.
Some choose to get an MBA soon after their undergrad, while others earn the degree to elevate their careers later on. If you recently finished your bachelor's and you desire to pursue a position that requires an MBA, you may want to apply to traditional, on-campus MBA programs. Working professionals looking to change careers usually prefer flexible, online MBA programs.
MBA programs help students master the managerial, leadership, and critical-thinking skills necessary to run a business. By analyzing case studies, MBA students gain a deep understanding of the many factors that can affect a company's success. They learn to analyze financial information, read market trends, and coordinate operations between departments. Entrepreneurship programs teach students how to develop a business plan, work with investors, and ultimately establish a new company.
MBA programs also provide invaluable networking and career development opportunities. Through MBA programs, students gain access to extensive networks of successful alumni and corporate executives. Earning an MBA in entrepreneurship can increase your competitiveness long after graduation and enhance your credibility for your entire career.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
Graduates of MBA in entrepreneurship programs often dream of starting a new venture. Entrepreneurship students are typically innovators who aspire to develop a new product, technology, or service. Some entrepreneurship students would rather take their talents and newfound skills to an existing business. Many companies value entrepreneurial employees who are creative, driven, and inventive. Graduates of MBA in entrepreneurship programs possess the business skills to enter lucrative positions in practically any field. They often pursue careers as management consultants, financial managers, and top executives.
- Management Analyst
These professionals, sometimes called management consultants, advise companies on increasing revenue and improving productivity. They analyze financial data, observe workplace habits, and propose solutions to any issues they find. Many of the larger and more prestigious consulting firms prefer candidates who have earned an MBA.
Median Annual Salary: $82,450
Projected Growth Rate: 14%
- Financial Manager
These employees oversee the finances of businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. They analyze market data, prepare financial reports, and manage budgets. They work closely with top executives to maximize profits and ensure a firm's overall financial well-being. MBA programs help aspiring financial managers master data analysis techniques and software.
Median Annual Salary: $125,080
Projected Growth Rate: 19%
- Sales Manager
These workers oversee sales teams. They manage all aspects of the sales process by designing pricing plans, setting quotas, and developing sales strategies. At times, sales managers must resolve customer complaints and issues. MBA programs provide students with the fundamental business knowledge they need to effectively supervise sales teams.
Median Annual Salary: $121,060
Projected Growth Rate: 7%
- Top Executive
These professionals set goals and expectations for a business and develop strategies to meet those goals. Executives coordinate between many departments to ensure the business thrives. They negotiate contracts, hire vendors, and deal with investors and boards. An MBA teaches students the managerial concepts they need to succeed as top executives.
Median Annual Salary: $104,700
Projected Growth Rate: 8%
- Human Resources Manager
These professionals act as the liaisons between an organization's upper management and its employees. They manage the hiring process by scheduling interviews and reviewing applications. Human resources managers also resolve disputes between employees, and ensure a comfortable and productive workplace. Some high-level human resources positions require an MBA or other advanced degree.
Median Annual Salary: $110,120
Projected Growth Rate: 9%
Best States for Entrepreneurs
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the United States. A recent study showed that self-employment rose 2.8% nationwide between 2016 and 2017. Given the rise of remote productivity tools like Slack, Trello, and G Suite, remote workplaces prove more prevalent than ever.
In addition to ideal conditions for self-employment, other factors make right now a good time to strike out on your own as an entrepreneur. Venture capitalists invested more money in startups in 2018 than ever before. Patents are more accessible than in recent years and the aforementioned rise of self-employment -- the so-called "gig economy" -- makes it easy for entrepreneurs and startups to find contract workers.
Given the current climate, entrepreneurs can find success throughout the country. The following list evaluates and ranks the 25 best states for entrepreneurs. Read on for a deeper dive into the methodology we used to construct the list.
We used the following criteria to determine the 25 best states for entrepreneurs:
- Major Cities with Strong Entrepreneurial Culture: States with cities possessing a larger creative class or a reputation as a hub for creatives and businesses earned higher spots on our rankings.
- The Number of Startups and Their Growth Rate (Kauffman Index): The Kauffman Index measures startup growth in different states. We combined that metric with the number of startups in a state to formulate our rankings.
- Resources for Entrepreneurs: States with resources such as entrepreneur centers, incubators, and startup organizations (e.g., StartupCincy) earned higher rankings on our list.
- Conditions for Entrepreneurship: States with access to small business loans and similar benefits for entrepreneurs received higher spots on our list.
- Number and Percentage of New Businesses: How many new businesses enter the state, and the percentage they make up of all of the state's businesses.
Utah excels in multiple metrics used to measure the most entrepreneurial states. For that reason, the Beehive State tops the heap. Utah maintains a strong relationship with Fulfillment by Amazon, a service for small and medium-sized businesses. Moreover, Utah provides the most small business loans per 100,000 people (57.43) out of all 50 states. Given these two metrics, small and medium-sized businesses experience particularly beneficial conditions when opening their doors in Utah.
The Beehive State also houses several havens for entrepreneurs. Most notably, the Provo-Orem metropolitan area claimed the top spot in a study of the most entrepreneurial small and mid-sized metros. Eighteen percent of Provo-Orem's businesses opened their doors between 2012 and 2014, and nearly 7% of all area employees work in startups/new businesses. Both metrics rank first out of all small and mid-sized cities.
If you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. This entrepreneurial spirit extends throughout the Empire State, which earns a spot near the top of the best states for entrepreneurs for its healthy small business growth, available small business loans, and plentiful resources for startups and entrepreneurship.
According to NerdWallet, New York state awarded more than 25 small business loans for 100,000 citizens in 2015. The average amount awarded totaled nearly $400,000. The state also boasted a healthy small business growth rate of 2.4% and housed 2.58 small businesses per 100 people. All of these figures combine to make New York one of the best states for starting a small business, making the Empire State fertile ground for entrepreneurship. New York City also offers several meetup groups where entrepreneurs can network, learn, and grow as professionals.
Dreamers of all kinds flock to Los Angeles, most often hoping to make it big in the film industry, but the City of Angels also makes for a great place to open a business as an entrepreneur. Thanks to the state's strength in these two particular geographic areas, Amazon named California the second-most entrepreneurial state in the union.
The numbers back up the Golden State's entrepreneurial strength. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that California added 3.54% of its jobs between 2016 and 2017 through new businesses, a figure good for third in the nation. The same study found that new businesses made up nearly 15% of all companies, good for sixth in the nation. Entrepreneurial success goes beyond the numbers in California, as tech havens such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley offer plenty of groups, meetups, resources, and incubators for entrepreneurs.
Virginia earns a spot near the top of the best states for entrepreneurs thanks to its Kauffman Index score. The Kauffman Index attempts to measure which states provide the best conditions for entrepreneurship, including startup growth rates and the density of high-growth companies in each state. Virginia maintains both the best overall Kauffman Index score and the most high-growth company density out of all 50 states. Approximately 208 companies in Virginia with $2 million in annual revenue achieve three years of 20% annual revenue growth, a figure that nearly doubles the number of similar companies in Georgia, the state in second place.
Virginia also benefits from proximity to Washington, D.C., another hub for entrepreneurs. The state also houses several organizations that help innovation thrive in Virginia, including the Real Life Center for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Excellence in Richmond.
Though Florida exhibits strength in all of the metrics we employed to rank the best states for entrepreneurs, the Sunshine State earned a spot in the top five thanks to its creation of new businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' report on Business Employment Dynamics, Florida ranked first among all 50 states in the percentage of jobs added between 2016 and 2017 from new businesses (4.16%). The state also ranked third in the percentage of all businesses that classified as new businesses (14.83%).
Florida also ranked seventh in Amazon's list of the most entrepreneurial states, a study that evaluated the most per-capita small and mid-sized businesses using Amazon fulfillment services. NerdWallet found that Florida ranked seventh in terms of small business loans, seeing 3.7% growth for small businesses in 2010-2013 (fourth out of all 50 states) and 56.4% growth in small business loans (eighth).
Georgia exhibits strength in all of our metrics ranking the best states for entrepreneurs. The Peach State scores high on the Kauffman Index and proves its suitability for small and new businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Dynamics study, new businesses account for 3.53% of the jobs added in Georgia every year. That figure ranks fifth out of all 50 states. According to NerdWallet, Georgia also provided the nation's highest average small business loan (nearly $524,000) in 2014-2015.
Additionally, Georgia scores second overall on the Kauffman Index, which measures how states provide the best conditions for startup growth. Georgia's 99.25% startup growth rate ranks first in the nation. The Peach State also ranks second nationally in terms of high-growth company density, meaning that many startups grow quickly in Georgia.
Colorado scores highly on every single metric that we used to rank the best states for entrepreneurs. The Centennial State currently ranks eighth in the Kauffman Index, a metric that evaluates each state's suitability for entrepreneurship. Colorado earns this score by boasting a high startup growth rate and an impressive density of high-growth companies. Amazon also ranked Colorado fourth on its list of the states that house the most small and mid-sized businesses per capita using the website's fulfillment services.
Colorado also excels in terms of its suitability for small and new businesses. NerdWallet highlighted the amount of venture capital investment in the state (nearly $18 million per 100,000 people) and its volume of small businesses (nearly 3 per 100 people). Both figures ranked in the top 10 of all 50 states. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Dynamics study, the Centennial State also adds 3.16% of its new jobs from new businesses, and new businesses make up more than 14% of all of its businesses.
The Garden State benefits from its proximity to New York City, arguably the nation's greatest city for entrepreneurs and dreamers. Nevertheless, New Jersey also stands on its own as a haven for entrepreneurs, thanks to consistent strength across all of the metrics we employed to construct this list.
New Jersey earned the 13th spot in the Kauffman Index, which measures the entrepreneurial qualities of each state. The Garden State earned its high spot on the Index thanks to its high rate of startup growth statewide. Amazon also ranked New Jersey fifth on its list of the most entrepreneurial states, meaning that New Jersey houses the fifth-most small and mid-sized businesses per capita using the website's fulfillment services. New Jersey also houses unique resources for entrepreneurs such as the Women's Center for Entrepreneurship Corporation in Chatham.
Idaho earns a lofty place on the list of the best states for entrepreneurs for one main reason: the state's suitability for new businesses. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Dynamics study, the Gem State ranks fourth out of all 50 states for the percentage of jobs that it adds through new business (3.54%). Additionally, according to the same study, Idaho ranks second for the percentage of its new businesses (15.37%).
Idaho also houses several programs and initiatives that help support and foster an entrepreneurial culture statewide. Examples include the University of Idaho pitch and business plan competitions, the Eastern Idaho Entrepreneurial Center, Idaho Innovative Center, and the Idaho Small Business Development Center.
Given its score of highly-ranked colleges, innovation abounds in the Bay State. Massachusetts ranks in the top 10 in nearly all of the metrics we used to construct the list of the best states for entrepreneurs and in turn earns a top 10 spot on this list. Massachusetts earned the fourth spot in the Kauffman Index, which measures each state's suitability for entrepreneurs. The state earned this lofty ranking thanks to a high startup growth rate and respectable density of high-growth companies.
Additionally, according to NerdWallet, Massachusetts maintains a particularly suitable climate for small business owners. In 2015, the Bay State ranked second in venture capital funds awarded per 100,000 citizens (nearly $79 million). Amazon also revealed that Massachusetts ranked ninth in number of small and mid-sized businesses using its fulfillment services in 2017.
Though most citizens know Washington, D.C., as a mecca for governmental and nonprofit jobs, the nation's capital also maintains a strong entrepreneurial culture. In particular, Washington, D.C., provides a haven for both small and new businesses. According to NerdWallet, the capital awards nearly $34 million in venture capital funding per 100,000 citizens (third-most out of all 50 states) and maintains 3.11 small businesses per 100 citizens (fifth-most). Additionally, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Dynamics study, Washington D.C. adds 3.41% of all of its jobs through new businesses (seventh out of all 50 states), and 17.32% of all of its companies classify as new businesses (first).
The capital also houses several organizations that assist and foster entrepreneurship throughout the city, including the Greater Washington Urban League Entrepreneurship Center Program, the D.C. Women's Business Center, and several meetup groups.
Delaware boasts universities that foster entrepreneurship, which establishes the Blue Hen State a spot among the 25 best states for entrepreneurs. Horn Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware in Newark helps create the next generation of innovators making a difference throughout the state. The university's entrepreneurship and technology innovation major is one of the few of its kind, allowing students to innovate in one of many areas (including food science, cybersecurity, and apparel design).
The University of Delaware also operates a Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship that helps teachers introduce entrepreneurship in their classrooms. Similar resources exist throughout the rest of the state, including the Delaware Valley University Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center and the Delaware chapter of the Small Business Development Center. Delaware also includes the eighth-most small to mid-sized businesses per capita using Amazon fulfillment services.
Oregon earns a spot among the best states for entrepreneurs thanks to the benefits that it offers small and medium-sized business owners. Amazon recently revealed that Oregon housed the 10th-most small and medium-sized businesses per capita using their fulfillment services in 2017. Additionally, according to NerdWallet, Oregon exhibited strong growth in the number of small business loans per 100,000 citizens, as that particular metric increased by 45.4% between 2010 and 2015.
In particular, Portland provides a hub for small businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs. The Rose City houses organizations like the Portland State University Center for Entrepreneurship and the Oregon Entrepreneurs Center, which provide resources, networking, and other support services. Additionally, Portland constantly proves more and more startup-friendly, with entire neighborhoods housing clusters of startups in various industries.
Aside from Silicon Valley, Seattle is likely the second home for the tech boom, as tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft operate out of the Emerald City. As such, Seattle maintains a deeply ingrained entrepreneurial culture. That culture extends to the rest of the Evergreen State, which provides plenty of access to venture capital and a hospitable climate for small businesses. According to data from NerdWallet, venture capitalists award nearly $19 million in funding per 100,000 people, a figure that ranked sixth out of all 50 states. Additionally, 95.5% of all businesses in Washington classified as small businesses at the time of the study, which ranked 12th in the nation.
Given the location of the tech giant's headquarters, Amazon reported that Washington housed the sixth-most small and medium businesses using the website's fulfillment services in 2017.
Texas earned a spot among the 25 best states for entrepreneurs thanks to a strong Kauffman Index score and a hospitable climate for new businesses. The Kauffman Index metric measures each state's overall strength in entrepreneurship. Texas scored fifth out of all 50 states on the Kauffman Index thanks to a high rate of startup growth and a relatively high density of fast-growing startup companies.
Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Dynamics study, the Lone Star State added 2.97% of its jobs from new businesses (15th out of all 50 states) and 12.83% of all of its businesses classified as new businesses (11th) in 2017. The city of Austin serves as a particular hub for creative and entrepreneurial spirits and repeatedly tops lists of the best places to start a small business thanks to recent expansion into the tech space.
Given the 2018 Supreme Court decision that allowed states to legalize sports gambling, Las Vegas serves as particularly fertile grounds for entrepreneurs looking to open up sports, gaming, and entertainment-related businesses. Even before the decision, Nevada offered a particularly welcoming climate for new businesses. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Dynamics study, Nevada added 3.10% of all of its new jobs through new businesses in 2017 (10th out of all 50 states). Additionally, throughout the Silver State, 14.8% of all companies received classification as new businesses (fourth in the nation).
Las Vegas offers several resources to entrepreneurs looking to make it big in Sin City. These resources include meetup groups and organizations such as The Startup Grind. Thanks to these groups and several other factors, including the presence of Zappos founder Tony Hsieh and local tax structures, Las Vegas now sits at the same table as Silicon Valley and New York City.
The Grand Canyon State earns a top 20 place on the list of the best states for entrepreneurs thanks to a strong Kauffman Index score and a welcoming climate for new businesses. The Kauffman Index measures each state's strength in entrepreneurship. Arizona placed sixth overall on the Kauffman Index due to its high density of companies that earn at least $2 million annually and also posted at least three years of 20% growth.
In addition to opportunities for rapid growth, Arizona provides opportunities for new companies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Dynamics study, Arizona added approximately 3% of all of its jobs through new business in 2017, a figure that ranked 14th in the nation. Moreover, 14.25% of all of Arizona's businesses classified as new in 2017, which ranked seventh out of all 50 states.
Connecticut benefits from proximity to New York City, one of the nation's most entrepreneurial cities. Many entrepreneurs live in Connecticut and commute to office space in New York. Nevertheless, the Constitution State also stands on its own as an entrepreneurial mecca thanks to the benefits that it provides to small businesses.
According to NerdWallet, entrepreneurs in Connecticut received the second-largest average small business loans out of all 50 states (over $523,000). Additionally, between 2012 and 2015, the average small business loan in Connecticut grew by nearly 95%, a figure that ranked fifth in the nation. The state also supports its entrepreneurs and business owners by housing entrepreneur centers in Hartford at the University of Hartford and in Storrs at the University of Connecticut.
Though the state features plenty of untamed wilderness, Maine also provides a haven for entrepreneurs, ranking 11th on a recent NerdWallet list. The state displays its entrepreneurial bona fides through the services that it provides to small businesses in particular. The Pine Tree State features 2.91 small businesses for every 100 citizens. Additionally, the average small business loan awarded to Maine companies increased by 67% between 2012 and 2015, which seems to indicate an upward trajectory for entrepreneurial conditions statewide.
Maine also houses several groups and organizations that help to foster an entrepreneurial culture statewide. Two of those organizations include the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and the University of Southern Maine Center for Entrepreneurship, both of which provide networking, advice, and training programs for all kinds of entrepreneurial spirits.
Many of Alaska's entrepreneurs and small business owners work in the state's thriving commercial salmon fishing industry. Perhaps the most famous among these entrepreneurs are the Salmon Sisters, who feature in a popular Microsoft Service advertisement. However, entrepreneurship remains strong across the Last Frontier, as the state provides several benefits for small business owners and maintains a general culture of self-employment and self-reliance.
According to data from NerdWallet, businesses in Alaska received an average small business loan of more than $500,000 in 2014-2015, a figure that ranked third nationally. The state also featured 2.5% small business growth from 2010-2013 and an 18.7% growth in the size of the average small business loan from 2012-2015, indicating an upward trajectory for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Buckeye State provides some of the best resources to entrepreneurs who want to operate within its borders. Each major city features an entrepreneur center or a similar organization, including StartupCincy (Cincinnati), the Cleveland State Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Cleveland), and the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (Columbus). As such, entrepreneurs can start businesses nearly anywhere in Ohio and still find access to resources, support, training, and networking.
Ohio also boasts a top-notch Kauffman Index score. The Kauffman Index aims to evaluate entrepreneurial conditions in all 50 states. According to the Index, Ohio ranks seventh out of all 50 states, thanks to a significant amount of high-growth startup companies and an impressive rate of startup growth statewide. Ohio ranks ahead of entrepreneurial meccas like New York and California on the Kauffman Index.
The North Star State earns a top 25 place among the best states for entrepreneurs in large part thanks to plentiful entrepreneurial resources in the Twin Cities and a high Kauffman Index score. The Kauffman Index uses multiple metrics to measure each state's conditions for entrepreneurship. Minnesota scores ninth out of all 50 states on the Kauffman Index, boasting a high rate of startup growth and a reasonably high density of fast-growing startup companies.
Minneapolis and St. Paul also boast plentiful resources for entrepreneurs looking to set up shop in Minnesota. Some of these resources include the University of Minnesota's Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, Twin Cities Startup Week, the Neighborhood Development Center's entrepreneur training program, the Minnesota Innovation Corps, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies, and the MN Cup startup competition.
Long known as a destination for dreamers in the music industry, Nashville now offers a home for entrepreneurs, particularly in the music and healthcare industries. Nashville consistently earns a place on lists of the nation's fastest-growing cities. The Volunteer State's capital city also continues to develop as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. However, entrepreneurs in Music City need not do it alone. Nashville's Entrepreneur Center is a nonprofit organization that aims to connect local entrepreneurs with the resources that they need to find success in the local marketplace. The center provides networking, coworking spaces, and other resources.
The Volunteer State's strength extends beyond its capital city. Tennessee placed 10th in the Kauffman Index, which attempts to measure each state's suitability for entrepreneurship. Tennessee earned this position thanks to relatively high scores in both startup growth rate and density of high-growth startup companies.
North Carolina's Research Triangle boasts a reputation of academic excellence. With three highly-ranked universities in the area, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area houses plenty of Ph.D.s and professors. In recent years, the Triangle Area became a haven for startups and innovation, as Entrepreneurship.org described the region as "striving to become one of the top five entrepreneurial hotspots in the country." Visible indicators of entrepreneurial progress continue to pop up throughout the area, as downtown Raleigh now houses at least two dedicated entrepreneurial office/coworking spaces: HQ Raleigh and American Underground.
Beyond the Triangle Area, North Carolina as a whole also boasts a Kauffman Index ranking of 18th. The Kauffman Index measures a state's suitability for entrepreneurship, and the Tar Heel State earns its place in the list thanks to a solid rate of startup growth and a relatively high density of high-growth companies.
One Forbes affiliate recently referred to Rhode Island as "The Startup State," highlighting Little Rhody's recent efforts to stimulate technology and startup development. In 2016, the state's government created a unique program called the Wavemaker Fellowship that provides student loan forgiveness to graduates pursuing careers in startups, design, or technology.
Governor Gina Raimondo maintains a pro-startup stance, as she worked as a venture capitalist before moving to the state house. She appointed Stefan Pryor, the state's first-ever Secretary of Commerce, in part to promote entrepreneurship and startups. Rhode Island also includes non-governmental support for entrepreneurship, including Brown University's new $25 million entrepreneur center and the Rhode Island Foundation's $300,000 Innovation Fellowship. Providence, in particular, serves as a hub for entrepreneurs, housing organizations such as Entrepreneur Providence RI.
How to Choose an MBA in Entrepreneurship Program
There are many variables to consider when choosing where to earn an entrepreneurship MBA degree. Keep in mind that no two schools are alike, and programs differ widely in terms of length, courses, and other requirements. If you are prepared to spend two years earning your degree, you may want to opt for a traditional, on-campus program. However, if you are eager to graduate and enter the workforce, you may prefer an accelerated online program. Some programs are designed specifically for working professionals and may fit your lifestyle and schedule better.
Be sure to thoroughly research course listings and capstone requirements before deciding on a school. Though many programs share several courses, you may find that a particular program offers more interesting electives. If you enjoy hands-on learning, you may want to prioritize programs that include a practicum component. If you learn best through independent research, find a program that requires a thesis or major research project.
Perhaps most importantly, you should determine the amount you are willing to pay for a degree. The cost between programs varies widely, and you should only enroll in a program that you can afford. Keep in mind that location impacts the overall cost of your degree. If you choose to study in a metropolitan area, you will likely pay more for housing, food, and utilities.
Programmatic Accreditation for MBA in Entrepreneurship Programs
It is essential that you earn your MBA at an accredited institution if you want to receive a top-quality business education. Accredited schools have been reviewed and evaluated by an impartial accrediting agency, and accredited institutions meet high academic standards set by leaders at other universities. Once a university becomes accredited, it must undergo a regular review process to keep its designation.
Make sure that your chosen school has received accreditation from a U.S. Department of Education-approved agency. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits MBA and other business programs. Students should prioritize universities that have received AACSB accreditation, as these schools excel at providing business-focused education. Employers understand the benefits of attending an AACSB-accredited school. If you earn an MBA in entrepreneurship from an AACSB-accredited program, future employers will be more likely to respect your qualifications and trust your knowledge.
MBA in Entrepreneurship Program Admissions
This section provides a general overview on the admissions process for MBA programs. The application process for graduate programs is similar to the process for undergraduate programs, but there are some key differences. Candidates for MBA programs must submit an application to each school, along with some additional materials. MBA programs typically require applicants to submit a transcript, test scores, and a few recommendation letters. Some schools also require a short essay. No Common App exists for graduate students, so you must apply to each school on your list individually.
Keep in mind that specific requirements vary by school. And remember that applying to online programs is typically more involved than applying to on-campus programs. Aim to apply to six to seven schools, and be sure to choose a few safety schools, a few target schools, and some reach schools.
- Bachelor's Degree: All MBA programs require applicants to earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Some schools prefer that students complete fundamental business courses in their undergraduate study.
- Professional Experience: Most applicants enter MBA programs with significant professional experience. MBA programs often require at least three years of work experience in business or another field.
- Minimum GPA: MBA programs typically require a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students who do not meet this requirement may still be admitted based on other application components.
- Application: The specific application form varies from school to school. It usually includes basic personal information, and can be completed fairly quickly online or by mail.
- Transcripts: Students must obtain their official transcripts from their undergraduate university. Submit a request to your university, and it will provide your official transcript for a small fee.
- Recommendation Letters: You must submit around three recommendation letters from former supervisors or professors. Ask for letters of recommendation well in advance of the application deadline.
- Test Scores: While some programs are test-optional, you most likely must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Some schools publish minimum test scores online.
- Application Fee: Application fees for graduate programs typically fall around $100. Some schools waive application fees for military veterans and low-income applicants who qualify.
What Else Can I Expect From an MBA in Entrepreneurship Program?
Read on for some guidelines on MBA in entrepreneurship curriculums, formats, and tuition costs. While most MBA programs follow the same general structure, every program has quirks and special requirements. Be sure to thoroughly research each MBA program as details vary significantly by school.
Courses in an MBA in Entrepreneurship Program
While course titles vary from school to school, every MBA in entrepreneurship program teaches students similar entrepreneurship concepts and principles. Entrepreneurship programs give students the skills they need to develop business plans, raise funding, and start a business. See below for some common MBA in entrepreneurship courses.
- Starting New Ventures
This course introduces students to the many challenges entrepreneurs face when starting a new business. Students learn about fundamental principles in risk management, market analysis, and networking. The course prepares students for the financial, legal, and personal decisions they must make in the early stages of a new business.
- Venture Capital
This course covers the role of venture capital firms in new companies. Students learn how venture capital firms operate, where they get their investments from, and how they work with entrepreneurs. This course is ideal for students looking to start a business or transition to the venture capital field.
- Entrepreneurial Thinking
Through this course, students learn to think and act like entrepreneurs. The goal is to get students thinking about how they can change existing industries and create new ones. Students learn to change their mindset and approach business, technology, and innovation from an entrepreneurial perspective.
- Management of Smaller Enterprises
This course focuses on the unique challenges and decisions managers of small businesses face. Students learn to understand the fundamental differences in the ways large and small firms operate. The course also covers how responsibilities shift after a small business takes on institutional investors or is acquired by a large company.
- Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This course teaches students how to build successful new ventures while being mindful of environmental impact. Through case studies, students become familiar with trends in clean technology and environmentally sustainable business. They also learn about the tools and frameworks that companies use to measure their impact on the environment.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
Full-time students can usually earn their MBA in around two years. However, different factors affect how long it takes. Some schools deliver MBA programs in an accelerated format, often called an executive MBA. These programs require students to attend class more often and for longer sessions. Students can complete them in one year.
Some traditional programs allow students to take extra credits so they can graduate faster. However, students with jobs may prefer to take fewer credits each semester and complete the degree in three or four years. It may be advantageous to finish the degree faster, as some schools charge a flat tuition fee each semester. Other schools charge per credit, so you pay the same amount no matter how long it takes you to graduate. Entrepreneurship MBA programs typically require around 36 credits.
How Much is an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
Earning an MBA can be quite costly, but the advanced career opportunities the degree provides make it well worth the price. Yearly tuition usually ranges from $25,000-$50,000, but the actual cost depends on your chosen program. Whether you choose to enroll in a public or a private university can greatly impact tuition costs. Public universities are generally more affordable than private ones, and enrolling in a public university in your home state is often the most inexpensive option. Schools differ in how they calculate tuition. Most have a set tuition cost per semester, while some bill per credit.
When budgeting for a graduate program, consider the costs beyond tuition. For example, rent, internet, and other living expenses vary widely depending on where you decide to study. If you wish to live near campus, research the typical living costs in the area. Textbooks and other academic resources also add significant costs to your MBA program. The format in which you choose to study can affect tuition cost as some schools offer reduced tuition to online students.
MBA in Entrepreneurship Certifications and Licenses
- Certified Management Consultant
Awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants, individuals must earn a master's degree, practice as a consultant for at least three years, and obtain recommendations from several clients to earn this certification. This international certification is recognized in around 50 countries.
- Chartered Financial Analyst
The CFA Institute offers this credential to financial and investment professionals in many positions. In order to earn the certification, candidates must complete the CFA program and pass three six-hour exams. It typically takes around four years to complete the program and earn the CFA certification.
- Financial Risk Manager
The Global Association of Risk Professionals awards this certification to risk professionals at banks, hedge funds, management consulting firms, and other organizations. Candidates must pass two exams to earn the credential. They typically become certified in around two years. The certification is recognized internationally.
Resources for Entrepreneurship Graduate Students
The AFA is an academic organization that promotes research in finance and economics. The association publishes an online academic journal on finance.
The Harvard Business Review covers a wide range of business-related topics such as finance, management, and leadership strategy. The magazine is published six times per year.
This peer-reviewed academic journal publishes research on several topics relating to finance, leadership, and business administration. The journal is sponsored by 10 universities.
This journal focuses on business from an ethics perspective. Articles explore the ethical issues associated with marketing, advertising, and manufacturing on a large scale.
This academic publication examines business, innovation, and entrepreneurship in developing countries. The journal explores the challenges of starting a business in an emerging economy.
Professional Organizations in Entrepreneurship
Several professional organizations offer valuable resources to entrepreneurship students and recent graduates. By joining these associations, students gain access to excellent professional development and career opportunities. Professional organizations also connect entrepreneurship students with a supportive community. The Entrepreneur's Organization's mentorship program pairs young entrepreneurs with experienced mentors. And the American Management Association provides access to seminars with business experts. Below, you will find a few organizations for entrepreneurship students.