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2024's Top Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs

Aspiring entrepreneur eyeing the CEO chair? Explore 2024's leading graduate entrepreneurship programs. Elevate your journey with elite courses, real-world experience, and unmatched networks.

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View across the wide lawn in front of Lovett Hall at Rice University.
Lovett Hall, Rice University, Houston TX

Entrepreneur to CEO: 2024's Best Grad Programs unveiled

Embarking on a journey to become a successful entrepreneur often begins with the right education. In the U.S., both undergraduate and graduate programs in entrepreneurship play pivotal roles in shaping the future CEOs of tomorrow. These programs, meticulously designed to foster innovation, creativity, and business acumen, serve as crucial stepping stones in the career path to becoming a CEO.

Undergraduate vs. Graduate Programs

Undergraduate programs lay the foundational groundwork, introducing students to the essential principles of entrepreneurship. They offer a broad spectrum of knowledge, from understanding market dynamics to the basics of starting a venture. These programs are ideal for igniting the entrepreneurial spirit and providing a solid base upon which to build.

Graduate programs, on the other hand, delve deeper. They're designed for those who have a clear vision of their entrepreneurial goals or who may already have some business experience. These advanced programs typically offer more specialized courses, ranging from tech commercialization to venture capital. They often include practical experiences like incubators, accelerators, and mentorship programs, which are invaluable for real-world application.

Once again, we have compiled a list of the ten best graduate programs for entrepreneurship in 2024:

The Best Colleges & Universities for Business Leadership

1. Rice University

Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Location: Houston, TX)
Key Highlights:
  • 19 courses, tuition $66,000
  • 291 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Unique programs like Rice Innovation Fellows and Tech Commercialization Lab
  • Lilie Launchpad and Napier Rice Launch Challenge for funding and mentorship
  • Venture Capital E-Lab and Owlspark startup support

2. University of Michigan

Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies + Center for Entrepreneurship (Location: Ann Arbor, MI)
Key Highlights:
  • 82 courses, tuition $68,196 (in-state); tuition $73,196 (out-of-state)
  • 503 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Entrepreneurial curriculum since 1927
  • Practical venture creation experience through Desai Accelerator program
  • Broad range of topics including family business and intrapreneurship

3. Babson College

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship (Location: Babson Park, MA)
Key Highlights:
  • 42 courses, tuition $71,564
  • 394 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® across all disciplines
  • Resources like Butler Launch Pad and Summer Accelerator
  • Focus on female founders and people of color in entrepreneurship

4. Washington University in St. Louis

Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Location: St. Louis, MO)
Key Highlights:
  • 55 courses, tuition $65,219
  • 153 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Emphasis on interdisciplinary and community-connected learning
  • Hands-on workshops, graduate fellowships, and mentoring opportunities
  • Open to all graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni

5. University of California--Los Angeles

Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (Location: Los Angeles, CA)
Key Highlights:
  • 37 courses, tuition $71,071 (in-state); tuition $71,071 (out-of-state)tuition 
  • 216 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Curriculum tailored to Los Angeles' economy and sectors
  • Courses across functional areas of management and multiple disciplines
  • Focus on sectors like tech, media, and health tech

6. The University of Texas at Austin

(Location: Austin, TX)
Key Highlights:
  • 62 courses, tuition $52,550 (in-state); tuition $58,270 (out-of-state)
  • 95 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Extensive course offerings across various departments
  • Programs like MSTC and Texas Venture Labs for tech and business professionals
  • Strong ties with Austin’s vibrant startup ecosystem

7. University of Washington

Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship (Location: Seattle, WA)
Key Highlights:
  • 71 courses, tuition $37,392 (in-state); tuition $55,074 (out-of-state)
  • 395 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Creative Destruction Lab and Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program
  • Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate and Angel Investing course
  • Emphasis on medical device development and biotech innovations

8. University of Virginia

Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology (Location: Charlottesville, VA)
Key Highlights:
  • 34 courses, tuition $68,794 (in-state); tuition $71,112 (out-of-state)
  • 174 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • $158+ million endowment dedicated to entrepreneurship
  • Full tuition Batten Scholarships and diverse entrepreneurial courses
  • Startup Academy, i.Lab Incubator, and on-site InnovationLab facilities

9. University of South Florida

Nault Center for Entrepreneurship (Location: Tampa, FL)
Key Highlights:
  • 121 courses, tuition $8,500 (in-state);  tuition $16,435 (out-of-state)
  • 157 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Interdisciplinary focus with strong STEM character
  • Experiential pitch competitions and international venture opportunities
  • Integrated with Student Innovation Incubator for hands-on experience

10. Northeastern University

NU Center for Entrepreneurship Education (Location: Boston, MA)
Key Highlights:
  • 67 courses, tuition $44,280
  • 252 companies started by graduates in 5 years
  • Strong focus on experiential learning and global entrepreneurship ecosystem
  • Cross-disciplinary approach with involvement from 23 departments
  • Co-op program and active involvement in student-run accelerator IDEA

For a detailed look at 2024's Top 50 graduate programs for business mastery, check out the complete report by Entrepreneur here.

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