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10 great colleges for aspiring entrepreneurs

The entrepreneur life can be pretty sweet. You get to make your own schedule, be your own boss, hire whoever you want and run things your way. In many cases, you even get to live where you want. But it's not always simple, which is why studying the subject in college may help you learn how to become an entrepreneur.

Here are 10 colleges future entrepreneurs may want to consider:

Babson College: It's no wonder Babson College ranks as the second best entrepreneur college in Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 list of "The Best Undergraduate Business Schools." Babson's entrepreneurship program teaches students skills that are vital to any business or organization, while still allowing them to specialize in technology, global, family, general retail or service, social/nonprofit or corporate settings. Babson College offers a 10 week-long summer program where students form teams that receive housing, mentors, work space, speakers and a number of other resources to help them build their businesses. At the end of the program, they get to showcase their work to investors.

Baylor University: Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business offers students the opportunity to complete an entrepreneurship major at both the undergraduate (BBA) and graduate (MBA) level. U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor's undergrad entrepreneurship program #13 on its list of best undergraduate programs in 2013. The school offers over 20 scholarships for entrepreneur students, sets students up with mentors, and puts on a two-day competition where students pitch their business ideas for an opportunity to receive expert feedback and win prizes.

Brigham Young University: Part of the renowned Marriott School, BYU's entrepreneurship program sets itself apart from many programs by placing an emphasis on an entrepreneurial career and perspective instead of just individual ventures. The school connects students with mentors and local startups, has several entrepreneur-related competitions, hosts lectures and features many entrepreneur/startup student clubs. Besides, anyone who attends a school that prides itself on developing students into good leaders who are "capable of dealing with change in a competitive global environment" should be in good hands.

Case Western Reserve University: Case Western Reserve University has a great perspective on business, which can be summed up in a quote by their Weatherhead School of Management Dean Robert Widing: "We develop leaders who innovate to create sustainable value and are good global citizens." Students who enter this highly ranked entrepreneurship program often do so while studying accounting, economics or management, granting them a comprehensive business education. In addition to the undergraduate offerings for entrepreneurs, Case Western has award-winning entrepreneur-related master's degree programs in entrepreneurial biotechnology, chemistry entrepreneurship and physics entrepreneurship.

Lehigh University: Not many entrepreneur colleges have as many offerings as Lehigh University: a minor in entrepreneurship, a master's in technical entrepreneurship, an MBA in corporate entrepreneurship, a graduate certificate in corporate entrepreneurship, LehighSiliconValley (where you go to Silicon Valley to learn from and connect with top entrepreneurs) and much more. If that's not enough to convince you, then courses titled "how to save the world" and "gender issues in entrepreneurship" perhaps will. Entrepreneur students at Lehigh truly get a unique college experience.

Southern Methodist University: The Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University has a long history, starting around 100 years ago. So, of course the school has excellent offerings for aspiring entrepreneurs, from a master's degree in entrepreneurship that accommodates a working adult's schedule to the Starting a Business Certificate program, which features lectures from distinguished entrepreneurs and has renowned graduates. SMU has a bi-monthly breakfast meeting where students can meet venture investors and local professionals, as well as an active undergraduate entrepreneurship club.

Syracuse University: Once you hear of the Whitman School of Management offerings at Syracuse University, it won't surprise you at all that the business school is highly ranked. At the undergraduate level, students can major in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises, which teaches students both entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial management. The school also offers an MBA in entrepreneurship and an MS in entrepreneurship, which requires students to create a business plan for an original business during the program. Syracuse even offers a PhD in entrepreneurship, to produce scholars and teachers in the field of entrepreneurship. This school doesn't mess around when it comes to helping students start a business or non-profit.

Texas Christian University: Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business keeps entrepreneurs in mind throughout its undergraduate business administration program and MBA programs. Throughout the year, business students at TCU have many opportunities to showcase their work, from elevator pitch events to boot camps to several free lectures from renowned entrepreneurs. TCU has a few scholars programs as well, where students can get involved with startups or work directly with angel investors for a few months. There's no shortage of offerings for the striving entrepreneur at TCU.

University of Florida: On the University of Florida website for the Warrington College of Business Administration, the school makes it clear with the words: Warrington is entrepreneurial. No one can deny it, either. In addition to offering a minor in entrepreneurship, an MBA in entrepreneurship, a certificate in new venture creation and an MS in entrepreneurship, the school also offers:

  • Gatornest, where students work with startups.
  • Lean Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, where students launch businesses through startup grants.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Study Program, where students go and learn from entrepreneurs in Europe.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Ranked the number one entrepreneur school by Bloomberg Businessweek, Worcester Polytechnic Institute teaches entrepreneurial thinking to not only its entrepreneur students but to all its business students. In addition to numerous courses in launching new ventures and entrepreneurship, Worcester hosts five competitions (for inventing and planning), regular workshops and lectures, and several monthly programs and networking events.

Business and entrepreneurship students at WPI come across many investors and business leaders during their studies, making it rise above so many business schools. The WPI slogan "where business isn't business as usual" rings true, since it's not typical indeed for a school to integrate an entrepreneurial spirit and a bent toward technology in all of its business programs.


Sources:

“The Best Undergraduate Business Schools by Specialty 2013,” businessweek.com, 24 June 2013, Geoff Gloeckler. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-24/the-best-undergraduate-business-schools-by-specialty-2013

"Facts and stats: Baylor Business," baylor.edu, 2013. http://www.baylor.edu/business/index.php?id=82869

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