Schools that embrace the idea of teaching students to be successful entrepreneurs are showing how being an entrepreneur has changed from being an alternative option, or last resort if you can’t get a job, to a dream that folks want to do and can accomplish today.
Getting started early with a strong entrepreneurship program is a smart first step. That’s why the 2012 list of top 25 undergraduate and top 25 graduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation, by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine can help guide you in a school choice.
The study reviewed more than 2,000 schools and found Babson College had the best entrepreneurship programs for undergraduate and graduate students. The strength of Babson’s program comes as no surprise — Babson has been on the No. 1 spot for graduate programs for four consecutive years and was No. 2 for undergraduate programs in 2011.
The top schools had to do well in these categories: commitment to entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom, funding for scholarships and grants; number and reach of mentorship programs; and support of business plan competitions. But they also needed to show results, with how many faculty, students, and alumni are involved in entrepreneurial endeavors and the number and reach of their mentorship programs.
So who else took the top spots?
On the undergraduate entrepreneurship program list are two Texas schools — Baylor University (No. 2) and the University of Houston (No. 3).
The graduate entrepreneurship program list has University of Michigan as No. 2 and Brigham Young University in Utah as No. 3.
We love this comment from Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher, about the top schools: ”These programs stand out for the impressive ways they are supporting students with the vision and skills to create their own innovative businesses and to succeed at them.”
Here is what else is cool: There are new schools on the lists, showing the growing effort to educate would-be entrepreneurs. Those entrepreneurial-focused institutions include University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#9), Clarkson University (#15) and Lehigh University (#24), on the undergraduate list, and University of Utah (#15), Cornell University (#16), University of Louisville (#20), Columbia University (#23) and University of Oklahoma (#25) on the graduate list.
Are you curious to see if the schools you are considering attending is on the list? Check out the list here.