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Entrepreneurship Graduate Programs: Overviews by Level of Study

Oct 19, 2019

It's rare to find degrees in entrepreneurship at the undergraduate level, but students can pursue a master's degree in business administration or a doctorate degree in entrepreneurship. In these programs, students will learn how to run a business successfully.

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Essential Information

Students in master's and doctoral programs spend extensive time researching an entrepreneurship-related topic of their choice. Most programs also include some traditional coursework in business topics, like management strategies and financial data analysis. Students pursuing an entrepreneurship master's degree learn about financing new business ventures, developing burgeoning industries, and creating revenue streams from new ideas. Students in doctoral programs are sometimes asked to teach undergraduate courses in management, business, and finance.


Master's Degrees in Entrepreneurship

A master's degree in entrepreneurship, often available through a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, introduces students to advanced concepts in the management and operation of new business ventures. Earning a master's degree in entrepreneurship involves an extensive academic effort. Most schools require master's candidates to submit a research dissertation conducted under the supervision of a faculty member while maintaining a 3.0 grade point average. These programs take about two to three years to complete.

To start an entrepreneurship master's program, students must first possess a bachelor's degree in business, engineering, or another technical field. Individuals with bachelor's degrees in the liberal arts or social sciences can also pursue graduate entrepreneurship education by focusing undergraduate coursework on subjects in business, finance, and mathematics. The application process for admission into an entrepreneurship graduate program usually requires that students submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Although programs may have similar core courses, some curricula allow students to focus on a specific area of entrepreneurship, such as high-tech enterprises or intrapreneurship (the development of new products or systems within established companies). A typical master's program in entrepreneurship might include classes in the following:

  • Strategic management
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Managing emerging enterprises
  • Organizational behavior
  • Forecasting business trends

Doctoral Degrees in Entrepreneurship

An entrepreneurship doctorate is a multidisciplinary program involving subjects as varied as sociology, psychology, and economics. In addition to entrepreneurship-related coursework, doctoral students are expected to produce a dissertation based on original research. Most classes in entrepreneurship doctoral programs are small and have students engage in independent research and study. Doctoral candidates looking to earn degrees in entrepreneurship can typically finish coursework in three to five years.

In order to begin an entrepreneurship doctoral program, students must have a bachelor's degree. Admission to doctoral programs in entrepreneurship is highly selective, and many applicants already possess graduate and professional degrees. In addition to submitting scores from the GRE, doctoral applicants are generally asked to meet with admissions counselors for a face-to-face interview.

Doctoral programs in entrepreneurship will typically include courses emphasizing research methods and analysis along with business-focused courses. Common subjects include the following:

  • Multivariate statistics
  • Venture capital
  • Data analysis
  • Psychological foundations in entrepreneurship
  • Business pedagogy

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a master's degree in entrepreneurship can work in various segments of the business industry, whether to form their own start-up or to advance and improve the workings of a mature company. Some popular job titles include the following:

  • Operations manager
  • Financier
  • Account executive
  • Human resource manager
  • Business innovator

The Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship qualifies graduates for postsecondary teaching positions as well as business-industry careers. Potential job titles include those listed below:

  • Venture capitalist
  • Investment banker
  • Risk assessment analyst
  • Marketing consultant
  • Professor

Employment Prospects and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the number of employed postsecondary teachers who specialized in business should grow about 15% from 2018-2028. According to the BLS, college teachers who specialized in business earned a mean annual salary of $103,330 per year as of May 2018.

Entrepreneurship graduate programs can open the doors to careers as managers, bankers, consultants and college professors. These programs require intensive research in business and management topics.

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