Successful Student has complied the 15 Best Online Entrepreneurship Colleges in the United States. The rise of our nation’s economy can be traced back to entrepreneurs who had the drive, dedication and passion to start new businesses, revamp business practices, provide job growth, and recognize potential in people or business opportunities. While it is not a requirement to have an entrepreneurship degree to do any of these things, this degree can provide training in subjects such as accounting, finance and economics – and will also focus on capital management, global businesses, risk management and product development, to name a few.
While it is a common conception that entrepreneurs are likely to launch their own ventures, there are many careers that can benefit with a degree in entrepreneurship. Some of these include but are not limited to business consulting, sales, research and development, recruiting, and business reporting.
Entrepreneur degrees come in many different sizes to fit the student. There are online programs that are Associate programs, which can typically be completed in as little as two years. There are also various Bachelor’s programs, which typically take four full-time years to complete, and Master’s degrees, which may be completed in one to two years following the completion of a Bachelor’s degree.
The following list ranks the top 14 Best Online Entrepreneurship Colleges. This ranking was created by considering the reputation of the school, quality of the program, costs and accessibility, among other factors. As always at Successful Student, this ranking was made from the student’s point of view. A
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15 million people were self employed in 2014. The best thing about being self employed? “No one can tell me what to do, because I’m the boss. I’m in charge of my own future.” ~ Angella Luyk, owner of two businesses in Rochester, New York.
Featured Online Entrepreneurship Degrees: Click for Information
1. Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, Oklahoma)
Oklahoma State University features a Master’s in Entrepreneurship (MSE) through their online program. This degree is a piece of the university-wide focus on entrepreneurship, and will couple traditional course work along with learning through experience, to equip their students with skills necessary for an aspiring entrepreneur.
The program requires 33 credit hours, and can typically be completed in 1.5 years. Students accepted to the program will complete courses to cover foundations in business (Financial Accounting and Analysis, Management and Organization Theory, etc), core Entrepreneurial courses (Entrepreneurial Marketing, Imagination in Entrepreneurship, Preparing Effective Business Plans, etc) and Electives (two courses from choices such as Dilemmas and Debates in Entrepreneurship, Operating and Entrepreneurial Firm, and Venture Capital, among others). The degree also offers the opportunity for a Study Abroad internship that can fulfill part of the elective requirements.
In order to be accepted to the MSE program, a student must have already completed a bachelor’s degree. The intent of the program is to recognize opportunities, manage risk, leverage resources, and be self-sufficient in ventures. There are several opportunities for students to participate in learning activities outside of the classroom, such as the Riata Business Plan Competition, Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) and the Technology Commercialization Project.
2. Washington State (Pullman, Washington)
WSU offers a Bachelor’s in Management program which allows students to select an “Innovation and Change” track. This specialty focuses largely on entrepreneurship, developing innovation and e-commerce. Most business courses in this program are seven weeks long, and all courses may be completed totally online. The program is intended to accommodate part-time students, and includes courses such as Leading People and Organizations, Management of Innovation, and Change and Business Intelligence. Part of the capstone course for the MBA involves creating a fully-developed business plan, an invaluable skill when creating a life as an entrepreneur.
US News has ranked Washington State as a top provider of online education, and also ranks WSU as #1 in student engagement. The WSU Carson College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It is part of only 2% of business colleges in the world which are accredited at the bachelor, master, and doctorate levels.
3. University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
The University of Florida (UF), which topped Washington Monthly’s list of national universities that offer the best bang for your buck, was one of the first universities to offer an online MBA in 1999. The program has since been hailed as one of the world’s best by Financial Times and US News and World Report.
The UF online MBA program offers an online format, but also provides occasional on-campus activities. These weekend excursions are intended to incorporate face-to-face interactions with faculty and peers, fostering the growth of each student’s network of professional contacts. Students looking to complete an online MBA from UF can select from a variety of options – either a one- or two-year track, depending on prior level of education.
Class sizes are limited to 65 students in order to provide an intentional level of collaboration for the classes. Students complete foundation classes, including accounting and finance, among others. Once these core competencies are achieved, the student can choose from one of four focus areas, which includes an Entrepreneurship specialization.
4. Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Drexel University offers an online Master’s in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. While the degree does provide the student with a foundation of launching an actual business, it also focuses on the entrepreneur as a person, and develops critical skills such as initiative, risk-taking, creating value, creativity, adaptability and critical thinking. The program offers mentors and resources for its students while developing students with the intent of fostering the pursuit of innovation.
Each student accepted to the program must have already obtained a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and will proceed to complete 45 credits. The Drexel program is divided into four ten-week quarters per year. Some of the courses a student can expect to complete are Measuring and Maximizing Financial Performance, Leading New Ventures, Early Stage Venture Funding, The Lean Launch, and Franchising.
5. Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Regent University recently scored as the #1 Best Online Graduate Education Program in Virginia, according to US News and World Report, 2017. Regent is a Christian university which aims to prepare students to succeed both in mind and in spirit. Their unique culture is one of strong academic emphasis within a faith-based community.
Regent offers an online MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. Through this concentration, a student will complete traditional MBA courses, along with courses intended to prepare students to understand and implement all necessary skills to be a successful entrepreneur. These facets include planning, development, marketing and management. Students will select courses from options such as Quality Management, Investing, Financing and Funding Relationships and Strategic Management. The MBA requires a total of 42 credit hours to be completed, and allows for up to five years for completion.
6. Suffolk University (Boston, Massachusetts)
Suffolk University, located in Boston, Massachusetts, first offered business classes through their Sawyer Business School in 1937. Through the online program, which was established in 1999, students can now earn an online MBA with an Entrepreneurship emphasis through the Sawyer Business School. The program features the exact same faculty and curriculum that is provided on-campus. Online students will participate in group projects and interactive class discussions while earning their degree from Suffolk. Each course has a required associated chat session to provide a platform to connect with faculty and peers.
The MBA requires finishing 34-49 credit hours, and as part of that curriculum, a student seeking an entrepreneurship focus will complete electives such as Social Entrepreneurship, Green and Sustainable Business, and Global Innovation and New Product Development in Virtual Team.
7. Arizona State University (Phoenix, Arizona)
Arizona State is a public research university. Originally named the Territory Normal School, the first 33 students were taught in 1885. But times change. In 2014, for example, Arizona State had one of the largest enrollments in the US, with over 82,000 students, due in large part to the popularity of their online programs.
The Online Bachelor of Science in Technological Entrepreneurship and Management at ASU is designed to train students to open their own technology-based businesses. This degree combines technological innovation with business, and teaches leadership, entrepreneurship, management, project leadership, and process innovation. This program is offered through their Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The course is 120 total credits, and requires at least 30 credit hours be taken through ASU. Courses include My Technology Venture, Design Methodology, Startup Workshop, and Understanding the Enterprise. Another feature of ASU is connecting innovators and entrepreneurs with helpful and necessary networks in order to bring the business, invention or enterprise to life and into reality.
8. Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana)
IU was established in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1820 as a state seminary, which became Indiana College in 1828. The college became Indiana University in 1838, and held its first online course in 1989. IU Online was then launched in 2012, which allowed for the online MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation to be offered to students today.
The program requires 30 credit hours to be completed, and intends to equip students with the necessary skills to launch and sustain new businesses. The program can be completed in as few as 15 months, and students who are participating in the program will experience three in-residence courses, and also have the opportunity to study abroad. While completing the MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, students will complete courses such as: Strategic Management and Leadership, Innovation Showcase (in-residence) and Venture Concept Development.
At Full Sail University, they take dreams and visions seriously. Their degree programs are offered at “full sail” – or full speed ahead, in order to launch their students into their respective careers after having prepared them for the fast pace they’ll experience in their futures. Their degrees are offered at a much quicker pace than traditional programs, and their Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship is no exception. The degree is intended to be completed in as little as twelve months, with different focuses for each of those months.
The program allows for a choice between three areas of focus: Ideation and the Creative Process, Research and Development, and Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures. Programs at Full Sail begin every month, so there’s no need to wait for a new semester to get started.
CTU was founded in an old skating rink as a military-friendly environment by two military men with a passion for providing a better transition for US Veterans into civilian life. That was in 1965, over 50 years ago. Since then, CTU has awarded over $4.5 million in scholarships to soldiers in the Wounded Warriors program. The online program was introduced in 1995, and they now incorporate common technology solutions – chat, email, mobile devices and social network sites – to boost their students’ success.
Colorado Technical University boasts a strong individual-driven online experience. They have implemented a program called “MUSE” (My Unique Student Experience), which allows students to select the learning environment that suits them best from watching, viewing, reading or hearing.
CTU offers an MBA – Entrepreneurship which is intended to equip its graduates with the skills necessary to start and run new business ventures. The program is accredited by ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs), and strives to connect traditional curriculum learning with real-world experiences. In 2015, the online MBA program at CTU was ranked among the Best Online Programs of 2016 by US News and World Report. The program requires 48 credit hours to be completed, with courses such as Entrepreneurial Strategy, Planning and Leadership and Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship: Skills for Success.
The school also offers a bachelor of science in Business Administration – Business Development (BSBA – Business Development). This program was ranked among the Best Online Programs for 2016 by US News and World Report. The program intends to merge the core concepts of business with real-world test cases. This program is also accredited by ACBSP, and presents concepts that will equip students to succeed through analytical problem-solving, entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and research, among others.
11. Northcentral University (Prescott Valley, Arizona)
Northcentral University was founded in 1996 as a fully-online university. It is a regionally-accredited private university that offers several certificate programs, along with Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs to students worldwide. Their One-to-One mentoring program puts students in contact with their doctorate faculty.
Through their MBA program, Northcentral offers a specialization in Entrepreneurship to encourage students beyond the classroom to develop and launch their innovative ideas and solutions in real-world scenarios. Students develop core business skills – like marketing and finance – and also specializations such as business building skills, how to invest in businesses, and analyze business opportunities. The program is 30 credit hours, and students are encouraged to complete the degree in an estimated 16 months.
12. Southern New Hampshire University (Hooksett, New Hampshire)
Southern New Hampshire University was founded in 1932, and originally only functioned as a school of Accounting and Secretarial Science. The school was granted a charter in 1963, and granted its first degrees in 1966, then became New Hampshire College in 1969, before going through rapid changes in the 70’s – including moving to a new campus on the Merrimack River in 1971. The university’s MBA program was introduced in 1974, and SNHU Online was launched in 1995. The University now offers an Entrepreneurship MBA, which is designed to benefit all stages of entrepreneurs – those just starting out, those amidst growth, and those looking to improve their current situation.
The coursework involves much real-world application during its just over one year span. It aims to equip students with strategic problem-solving skills, the ability to critically evaluate franchise opportunities, and the skills to launch, develop and operate new businesses. Students will complete core courses like IT courses and Quantitative Analysis, while also focusing on entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, Consulting, and Franchising.
Walden University, an online university designed to provide working adults a way to earn doctoral degrees, was founded by Bernie and Rita Turner in 1970. Their curricula is specifically structured to identify and support how social changes affect various professions. The school was accredited in 1990 by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS), and now offers a DBA in Entrepreneurship. This degree is intended to foster the spirit of start ups and new business ventures. Beneficial skills are grown through combining classroom theory and real-world experiences. Coursework focuses on developing writing and critical-thinking skills at the Doctoral level. Along with 60 credit hours, the degree currently requires eight days of in-residence experience.
Walden also offers a DBA in Technology Entrepreneurship. This degree aims to examine concepts and determine what is innovation and what is not. It equips students to examine and apply new processes to improve their business environment and functionality in order to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The degree requires 60 credit hours filled with courses in areas such as Business Strategy, Research Methods and Specialization courses. The degree also requires two four-day academic residencies.
American InterContinental University was founded in Europe in 1970, with the idea that universities can transcend traditional boundaries. Their aim is to provide students with skill-building to pursue their interests in today’s technology environment. In 2001, AIU launched “AIU Online”, which was recognized as “Best of the Best” in the Education and Academia category at the 2009 Computerworld Honors Program.
The university offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Degree with a Specialization in Entrepreneurship. The degree uniquely merges traditional business coursework with other curricula specially designed to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, and skills required to start up or revamp existing businesses. Upon completion of this degree, students will have gained knowledge in areas of procurement, contracts, human resources, leadership and how social issues impact businesses. The degree requires courses such as Taxation, Employment and Labor Law, Advanced Entrepreneurship and Team Leadership, wrapping up with a Program Capstone. The program typically takes 36 months to complete.
In 1938, Stanley Kaplan wanted to find a way to prepare immigrants for tests and expand their opportunities for higher education in America. He believed education should not be reserved for a higher class, and that everyone should have the opportunity to study at a higher level. To that end, he began a coaching service to tutor individuals to qualify them for education at any level. The Federal Trade Commission declared in 1975 that test prep like what Kaplan provided helped to raise test scores, and therefore worked to revamp the college admission system to inspire students of all backgrounds for higher education. In 2001, pre-existing college American Institute of Commerce (AIC) became Kaplan College, and offered exclusively online degree programs.
One of those degrees is AAS in Business Administration, with a focus in Entrepreneurship. The program currently requires 20 total credits, with courses such as Starting a Business, Small Business Management, and Customer Service, along with traditional business courses. The core classes seek to equip students with the ability to manage day-to-day operations, and develop a foundation for a successful education and career.
15 Best Online Entrepreneurship Colleges
This article was written by Sarah Aholt. Sarah enjoys researching and writing about education. She is an Industrial Engineer from Oklahoma State, and has spent her career working in manpower analysis and oil and gas (primarily the midstream sector). Sarah resides in Oklahoma with her husband and their two young children.