Nowhere else in the world is the entrepreneurial spirit more alive than the United States. Each year, entrepreneurs launch thousands of new businesses. While most of those companies remain small, many grow into business titans that become common household names.
Entrepreneurs help create more than 2.9 million new jobs each year, the Journal of Economic Perspectives reports. Students who harbor the dream of creating their own company to grow and idea or product can use the information gathered here to learn more about 10 of the top entrepreneurship degree programs from U.S. colleges and universities. Educational options range from certificates of achievement to bachelor's degrees in entrepreneurship and business management. Students who complete on-campus or online degrees for entrepreneurship gain valuable business skills that can help their companies succeed where others have failed.
Read on to learn more about our 10 featured schools. We've also compiled helpful information, such as scholarships for entrepreneurs, career outlooks, and common career paths for program graduates with new campus-based or online entrepreneurship degrees.
Best Colleges for Entrepreneur Degree Programs 2018-19
Students interested in forming a company and building a business can look through the schools featured here to gain insight into program offerings from 10 of the best colleges for entrepreneurship degree programs. These rankings were creating using a unique methodology based on data gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics. Keep reading for more on these featured schools' entrepreneurship degree programs, or click on the button below to learn more about how each school was ranked.
No.1 is a public state college in central Florida. Seminole State College has a flagship campus at Sanford and additional campus locations at Altamonte Springs, Oviedo and Heathrow.
The college offers an Associate of Science degree in entrepreneurship and business management, as well as a Bachelor of Science in business and information science with a specialization in entrepreneurship. The associate degree prepares students to start their own organization, while the bachelor's pathway is designed for students who want to increase business efficiency through entrepreneurship and applied technology. Students must complete 120 credits to earn the B.S. degree, including 12 credits in entrepreneurship. The college also offers two certificate programs in entrepreneurship.
SSC offers an open admissions policy, as well as the flexibility of night and evening classes for working students. It also had the second-highest graduation rate of any college in our top 10.
This two-year college located in the capital city of Montana was founded in 1939. It makes our rankings at the No.2 spot based on its favorable cost of in-state tuition, and it's tied with one other school with a low 13:1 student to faculty ratio.
Helena College offers a Certificate of Applied Science technical degree in entrepreneurship. The two-semester program is designed to stack with an Associate of Applied Science degree in business technology, and students who complete the A.S. program can seamlessly transfer to Montana State University and earn a B.S. in business and entrepreneurship. The certificate program at Helena College covers the essentials of launching and operating a small business, including economic resources, legal considerations, and business recordkeeping.
No. 3 of our best colleges for entrepreneurship programs is located in Brooklyn Park, the sixth-largest city in the state of Minnesota. The college has an annual enrollment of more than 10,000 students.
North Hennepin Community College's 14-credit certificate in entrepreneurship can be completed entirely online. The Associate of Applied Science degree in entrepreneurship program, meanwhile, is delivered both on-campus and online. The 60-credit A.A.S. degree is designed for students to articulate to one of four regional four-year universities and complete either a B.A. or B.S. degree in business, organizational, human resource or marketing management.
More than one-third of all students at North Hennepin Community College were enrolled in distance education programs. The college also features alternative tuition payment plans and job placement services for program graduates.
No. 4 of the 10 best colleges for on-campus or online entrepreneurship degrees is located in the village of Herkimer in the Mohawk Valley region of New York. The two-year college is a member of the State University of New York system.
Herkimer County Community College offers a completely online Associate of Applied Science in small business management for aspiring entrepreneurs. The program teaches students how to write a business plan, work with bankers, accountants and lawyers, and organize and structure a small business or partnership. HCCC has articulation agreements with Morrisville State College, Niagara University and SUNY Canton so students interested in continuing their educational journey to the baccalaureate level can seamless transfer to a four-year institution.
HCCC has the third-highest graduation rate among our featured institutions, and it also has an open admissions policy. Approximate 38 percent of the college's students are enrolled in distance education programs.
Miles Community College is a small institution in the Montana town of Miles City. The college was founded in 1939.
MCC offers both on-campus and online options for its Certificate of Applied Science in entrepreneurship program. Students must complete 31 total credit hours in the two-semester program. Instruction focuses on the principles of running a small business, including writing a business plan, proper hiring techniques, marketing, bookkeeping and business law. Miles has articulation agreements with Chadron State College, Dickinson State University and Montana State University Billings to help students make a smooth transition into a four-year university.
Miles Community College makes our rankings with the highest graduation rate among these featured schools. It also has the lowest student to faculty ratio at 10:1. Half of all students at Miles take distance education classes.
At No. 6, CWC is a small two-year college in Riverton that serves residents of Fremont, Teton and Hot Springs counties. The college enrolls about 2,000 students each year.
Central Wyoming College offers two certificate pathways in entrepreneurship, as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree in entrepreneurship. The A.S. program requires XX credits to complete, including 45 credits in the business and entrepreneurship classes and 13 credits of general education courses. The entrepreneurship 1 certificate program is for students who wish to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset by learning how to evaluate business opportunities, conduct strategic planning and financing. It requires 40 credits to complete. The entrepreneurship 2 certificate is an abbreviated 18-credit pathway covering the same topics.
CWC had the third-lowest cost of in-state tuition among these 10 colleges. However, it's the high number of entrepreneurship degrees and certificates conferred to students that earns CWC its No.6 ranking.
Our seventh school is a member of the Santa Clarita Community College District in California. Enrollment was just under 21,000 in 2016. College of the Canyons places seventh in our rankings of best colleges for entrepreneurship programs primarily due to its low cost of in-state tuition - at $1,154, it's less than half that of the next most-affordable school in these rankings.
The college offers an Associate of Science degree in entrepreneurship and small business management. The two-year degree is designed to prepare students to pursue a degree in accounting or business administration at a four-year university. There's also a certificate program in entrepreneurship for students who wish to increase their business acumen.
No. 8 of our best colleges for entrepreneurship programs is located in the city of Hutchinson, Kan. HCC lands in the eighth spot here based on a combination of factors - student:faculty ratio, number of students in distance education program, graduate rate and open enrollment.
Hutchinson offers three programs in entrepreneurship:
- Supervisory certificate
- Sales associate certificate
- Associate of Science in business management and entrepreneurship
The A.S. degree requires 64 credits to complete, including 36 credits in the program core, nine elective credits in business and entrepreneurship, 15 general education credits and four elective credits. The program teaches students how to effectively organize and manage a small business and launch new business ventures. The sales certificate focuses on effective sales techniques, while the supervisory certificate focuses on how to effectively manage people.
Situated in the heart of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, NAU's East and West campuses in Albuquerque both offer Bachelor of Science degrees in business administration with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. Classes also can be taken online.
Key coursework include study in strategic entrepreneurship, developing a business plan, innovation, creativity and new product development, and international entrepreneurship. Students who complete the program are equipped with many of the tools successful entrepreneurs use daily, including scanning the business landscape for new ventures and developing product and service plans.
Students at National American University enjoy greater interaction with their professors due to the school's 16:1 student to faculty ratio. NAU also had the highest number of students enrolled in distance education programs of any institution in our top 10 at 89 percent.
The final institution in our rankings of the 10 best colleges for on-campus and online entrepreneurship degrees has campus locations at Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Belle Glade, Loxahatchee Groves and Palm Beach Gardens in Florida. The Lake Worth campus offers a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in supervision and management with a concentration in entrepreneurship.
Coursework focuses on concepts of planning new ventures, company management and growth, defining markets, raising funds and other key areas of entrepreneurship. The program requires 120 credits to satisfy graduation requirements, including 24 upper-division core courses in finance, ethical and legal issues, leadership, and management of information systems and human resources. Students also must complete an additional 18 units of coursework in entrepreneurial endeavors and business management.
Palm Beach State College makes these rankings in the tenth spot based on its strong graduation rate and open admissions policy. The college also offers flexible scheduling with night and evening classes.
Entrepreneur Degree Programs and Common Career Paths
Students who complete entrepreneurship degree programs are well prepared for the challenges of starting their own business. Many of the programs featured here culminate in a bachelor's degree, but students can decide their own level of educational obtainment. Here's a glance at several career paths for students who complete entrepreneurship degree programs.
Career Outlook for Entrepreneurs Majors
Entrepreneurs continue to play a vital role in the economic health of the country, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Entrepreneurs typically form small business as they grow their ideas and products and expand their customer base. In March of 2015 there were just over 679,000 businesses in the U.S. that were less than one year old. Business startup account for approximately 20 percent of gross job creating in the U.S.
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH(%)
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$131,570||72,460||10.4%|
|General and Operations Managers||$123,880||2,289,770||9.1%|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Entrepreneur
Funding an education can be almost as difficult as funding a business venture. Aspiring entrepreneurs can turn to federal financial aid programs to help pay for tuition, or they can pursue a scholarship dedicated to entrepreneurs. The Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship programs awards three scholarships annually to students who have started a business or have a detailed business plan. The National Association for the Self-Employed offers both scholarship and grants, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses Young Entrepreneur Awards program offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors entering their freshman year of college. Applicants typically must be running their own businesses.
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- Entrepreneurship and Business Management Associate in Science, Seminole State College, https://www.seminolestate.edu/business-admin/as-degrees/entre-as
- Certificate of Applied Science Entrepreneurship, Helena College, http://www.helenacollege.edu/catalog/accbus.aspx#entrep
- Entrepreneurship A.S., North Hennepin Community College, https://www.nhcc.edu/academic-programs/degrees-and-certificates/business/entrepreneurship-aas
- Online Small Business Management A.A.S., Herkimer County Community College, https://www.herkimer.edu/learn/online-learning/programs-and-majors/program/44/small-business-management-a-a-s
- Certificate of Applied Science, Miles Community College, https://content.milescc.edu/DownloadFiles/Web_Catalog2017-2018.pdf#page=96
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Associate in Science, College of the Canyons, http://www.canyons.edu/Offices/Counseling/Documents/2017-2018%20AS%20and%20Cert/2017-2018%20Associate%20Degree%20PDFs/Entrepreneurship%20and%20Small%20Business%20Management%20Associate%20in%20Science.pdf
- Business Management and Entrepreneurship A.A.S., Hutchinson Community College, http://www.hutchcc.edu/catalog/major/?major=5053
- Business Administration, Emphasis in Entrepreneurship Bachelor of Science, National American University, http://www.national.edu/program-page-auto/?Campus_ID=1&Program_ID=39&Tuition_ID=1&school=4°ree=3
- Supervision & Management, Bachelor of Applied Science, Palm Beach State College, https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/programs/bachelor/supervision-and-management/default.aspx
- Entrepreneurship and the U.S. Economy, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/bdm/entrepreneurship/bdm_chart1.htm
- The Role of Entrepreneurship in U.S. Job Creation and Economic Dynamism, Journal of Economic Perspectives, https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.28.3.3
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2015-16, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- Top Executives, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm