The Best Entrepreneurial Colleges in the US for Business-Minded Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A woman giving a business presentation at an office meeting.

The Best Entrepreneurial Colleges in the US for Business-Minded Students

Around one-third of people want to be their own boss. This leads many high schoolers to lean towards entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial colleges. It’s an exciting career path with a lot of potential and unknowns. The career path of an entrepreneur isn’t as clear-cut as it is for other professions, leading many students to feel confused about their trajectory.

Many wonder whether or not college is even a worthwhile experience since, technically, you don’t need a degree to found a company.

However, the vast majority of uber-successful entrepreneurs earned at least a bachelor’s degree. In reality, the college provides you with a wide range of helpful skills and experiences that benefit your entrepreneurial endeavors.

A man pointing on a white board in front of his office mates.

Here, we’re going to explore the best entrepreneurial colleges in the country, along with some tips to help you increase your chances of getting into these prestigious schools.

What should an entrepreneur study in college?

Now that you know an entrepreneur should get a degree, you might be wondering what an entrepreneur should study? Well, contrary to popular belief, there are a bunch of entrepreneur-focused programs offered throughout the country that actually teach students the principles of starting, running, and scaling a business.

Countless colleges and universities accommodate business-minded students who have a knack for thinking outside of the box.

A woman writing on her notebook while the other woman is telling her what to write.

These self-starter students should keep an eye out for colleges offering uniquely targeted programs, degrees, and classes with an entrepreneurial focus. Of course, this isn’t all entrepreneurs-to-be should focus on in college.

You should also focus on various elements of running a business to become a well-rounded business person. Here are some of the classes you should consider taking to support your entrepreneurial trajectory:

Public speaking
Computer science

In addition to these fundamental classes, you could also take various courses that hone in on the industry you’d like to enter into after college as an entrepreneur.

For example, if you’re confident that you want to start a healthcare IT business, you might want to take some healthcare-focused and IT-centric courses.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure exactly what kind of business you want to start. There are more than enough courses and programs to give you the skills, experience, and knowledge you need to succeed.

1. Babson College – Wellesley, MA

A small private business school located in the town of Wellesley, Babson College just might be one of the best entrepreneurial colleges you’ve ever heard of. Since its founding, it’s been dedicated to a single purpose: producing successful entrepreneurs.

The entire curriculum is focused on providing students with the skills, expertise, and real-world experience they need to succeed in business. All graduates receive a Bachelors of Science in Business and are encouraged to select specific business concentrations during their junior and senior years.

2. MIT – Cambridge, MA

MIT’s Sloan School of Management is one of the top-rated business programs in the entire country, offering students a comprehensive education in running and managing a successful enterprise.

Perhaps the most exciting offering at MIT is the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship that provides aspiring entrepreneurs connections, support, and expertise no matter their field of study.

It’s the perfect place to get the kickstart you need during your formative college years to build the foundation of a successful entrepreneurial future.

3. University of California – Berkeley, CA

When considering the most outstanding entrepreneurial colleges in California, the University of California, Berkeley is one.

The Haas School of Business oversees the undergraduate business program here. This curriculum combines specialized business courses with liberal arts courses at Berkeley.

The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship provides future entrepreneurs with access to advanced courses, education standards, and cutting-edge research facilities well regarded across the worldwide business community.

Berkeley is a top entrepreneurial school due to the popularity of Stebe Blank’s Lean LaunchPad class, the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, an accelerator program, and other business modules available to students.

4. Indiana University-Bloomington – Bloomington, IN

With uber-successful graduates such as tech mogul Mark Cuban and the founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, Indiana University has earned a spot as one of the best entrepreneurial colleges in the country.

Whether you’re interested in becoming a self-employed owner or a manager in your own company, you’ll find the resources, insights, and tools you need from education at IU.

Namely, the Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation major is the degree of choice for aspiring entrepreneurs. However, any degree offered by the renowned Kelley School of Business is an excellent choice too!

5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI

As one of the best entrepreneurial colleges in the region, the University of Michigan offers a host of world-class courses aimed at helping business-minded students gain the confidence and expertise needed to start successful businesses. Some of the main entrepreneurial colleges you can take include:

Advanced Entrepreneurship Practicum
Business Entrepreneurship in Thought and Action
Business Finance
Creativity & Product Design
Entrepreneurial E-Commerce
Entrepreneurs Leadership Program
Entrepreneurship Practicum
Entrepreneurship Marketing

If that weren’t enough, the on-campus Center for Entrepreneurship is superficially designed to help entrepreneurs-to-be hone their skills.

6. University of Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania, PA

If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in entrepreneurial studies, the University of Pennsylvania is difficult to top. UPenn is a private, not-for-profit university located in the metropolitan city of Philadelphia.

It has a reasonably high student body. With a Best Schools ranking among the best entrepreneurial colleges at number thirteen out of 2,576 universities nationally, UPenn is an excellent institution in general.

Many entrepreneurship studies students graduated from UPenn in the most recent year, for which statistics are available.

When graduates of the University of Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurial studies degree program join employment, they earn more than one hundred thousand dollars more than the average graduate in their profession.

Entrepreneurial Studies is a concentration within the University of Pennsylvania’s business, management, and marketing degree.

7. University of Texas Austin – Austin, TX

The University of Texas – Austin has proven to be one of the country’s foremost entrepreneurial colleges. The school offers a wide range of classes, events, and opportunities for students to develop their entrepreneurial chops. Some of the most exciting and helpful entrepreneurial resources available at the University of Texas include:

Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute
Longhorn Startup Program
Austin Technology Incubator
IC² Institute
Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship
Office of Technology Commercialization

8. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT

The University of Utah offers a highly specialized major in Entrepreneurship where students are able to develop their own path of study by choosing from a wide selection of entrepreneurship and business courses.

The curriculum is focused on providing undergraduates with the insights, skills, and education needed to start businesses in the modern economy. They’ll discover, build, and pursue different opportunities through the development of actual services and products.

9. Baylor University – Waco, TX

Through Baylor’s department of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation, students can pursue a major of the same name, consisting of over a dozen entrepreneurial courses aimed at helping students clearly identify their ideal career options within the realm of entrepreneurship, develop a conceptual understanding of the process of starting a business, develop a viable set of skills, tools, and techniques for creating a successful business venture. It’s recognized as one of the top entrepreneurial colleges in the country for its specified focus.

10. Santa Clara University – Santa Clara, CA

SCU’s Leavey School of Business is the perfect place to develop your business chops. It features a wide range of dynamic business-related courses and concentrations designed to help students gain a better understanding of what it takes to start, run, and scale a successful company.

There’s even a specific Entrepreneurship minor that dives deeper into the strategies, methods, and skills required to succeed as a business owner.

The Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a great place for like-minded students to improve their entrepreneurial mindset.

11. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, CA

The Marshall School of Business and the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California provide graduate and undergraduate programs. The Lloyd Greif Center of Entrepreneurial Studies, which oversees graduate and undergraduate degrees, is housed here.

Even if applicants opt to study a fundamental graduate degree, they have access to the Center’s activities and the dazzling network of successful entrepreneurs in Southern California to help them grow their social innovation.

The Center is responsible for developing the curriculum, funding research, and organizing demanding and innovative contests for business students interested in pursuing careers as successful entrepreneurs. It is ranked highest among the entrepreneurial colleges in the country.

12. Duke University – Durham, NC

Duke University is one of the finest colleges in the country for pursuing an entrepreneurial studies degree. Duke Institution, located in Durham, is a private, not-for-profit university with a sizable student body.

Duke is a vital institution in general, with a Best Schools ranking of nine out of 2,576 schools nationally. It is among the oldest and most renowned entrepreneurial colleges in the state.

In the most recent data year, around nine entrepreneurship studies students graduated from Duke. Entrepreneurial Studies is a concentration within Duke University’s business, management, and marketing department.

You’ll learn more about the major here, including the number of graduates, the degree levels offered, and the ethnic composition of students. Additionally, we discuss how Duke compares to other colleges with entrepreneurial programs.

13. University of New York – New York City, NY

It is one of the top ten entrepreneurial universities in the country. New York University is in the Center of one of the most beautiful cities in the United States of America, New York.

It is one of the most excellent entrepreneurial schools in the country, and business students would be fortunate to get admitted. Students may take advantage of the knowledge and competence for which NYU is renowned.

Two people shaking hands in the office after a successful meeting.

Apart from its outstanding location, NYU ranks low in our entrepreneurship school rankings because of the university’s abundance of entrepreneurial centers, teams, institutions, and tools for business students.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can make use of the Entrepreneurial Institute, the Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship, and The Leslie eLab. Students may concentrate on any entrepreneurial subject that matches their ambitions due to the abundance of specialized courses offered.

14. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s undergraduate business school has an excellent reputation for training students to thrive in various business sectors – and their entrepreneurship specialization is no exception.

In contrast to the other universities on this list, UNC does not offer a specific entrepreneurship program. Rather than that, students pursuing a business degree might declare an entrepreneurial concentration.

UNC compensates for its absence of a dedicated entrepreneurial degree program with its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Innovate Carolina project is not limited to students studying business and entrepreneurship; the goal is to develop innovative ideas across all academic disciplines.

Students may explore various entrepreneurial possibilities via this program, including competitions, scholarships, mentorships, and use the accessible workspace to bring their concepts to reality.

Entrepreneurial opportunities at UNC include The Reese News Lab where students can learn how to use media and news to its maximum to get their ideas out. Another campus, a social justice-focused innovation organization, and the Y Incubator offer social entrepreneurs and innovators competitions, support, and space.

A degree in entrepreneurship enables students to obtain practical experience while still learning. Students may network with industry professionals and create their businesses before they graduate.

15. Harvard University – Boston, MA

When discussing colleges offering entrepreneurship programs, one cannot avoid mentioning Harvard Business School. It uses a case study technique to teach students about business processes.

The Rock Center for Entrepreneurship is headquartered here, hosts business contests, and offers several scholarships and programs to aspiring entrepreneurs.

However, Harvard University is renowned for much more! The Technology and Entrepreneurship Center and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship startup are located in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Together, these resources equip business students with all of the world’s knowledge. As a result, it’s unsurprising that Harvard had a significant part in developing well-known platforms like Facebook and Microsoft.

16. Columbia University – New York City, NY

Columbia University, located in New York City, boasts one of the most vital undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the country and a robust entrepreneurial network that serves to build the university’s foundation. The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center is housed in the Business School.

The brains behind the entrepreneurial networks link each student with their preferred entrepreneurial enterprises worldwide. It is one of the prime entrepreneurial colleges in the United States of America

Undergraduate students enrolled at Columbia University may also study business and entrepreneurship programs for budding entrepreneurs and other courses offered within the university’s liberal arts curriculum.

Tips for attending entrepreneurial colleges.

Becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting process that requires a ton of guts, perseverance, and commitment. You might not have all of the answers, such as the type of business you want to start, but you already know what you want to study.

A woman sitting in front of her laptop thinking.

That’s a massive advantage! On average, around 75% of college students are still unsure of what they want to study or will change their degree at least once throughout the course of college. Knowing what you want to study increases the chances of graduating in time.

We’ve already discussed the best entrepreneurial colleges. The key now is to increase your chances of getting accepted.

Focus on all of your academic subjects.

After determining what major to pursue in college, it’s tempting to only focus on the classes that relate to your intended degree.

A man with glasses working on his laptop at home.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that all colleges take a holistic approach to the college admissions process which means they consider your performance in all of your classes among a range of other factors. As a result, it’s essential to focus on all of your high school classes equally with the goal of maximizing your GPA.

Work with a college admissions specialist.

Applying to college is an incredibly selective process just by its very nature. When you apply to highly competitive schools, it’s even more difficult. One of the best ways to ensure your application stands out from the crowd is to work with a college admissions specialist.

These experts know exactly what college admissions officers are looking for and can help you cater your applications to meet these specific demands.

Also known as entrance experts, these professionals can help you with everything, including choosing the best high school courses, extracurriculars, summer programs, and much, much more.

One of the best ways to secure a spot in a competitive biology program is to work with a college entrance expert. These professionals can help you custom-tailor your application to catch the attention of admissions officers at your desired school.

AdmissionSight is a leading college admissions expert committed to helping high schoolers achieve their college dreams. Contact us today to learn more.


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