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Top (Unsung) Schools for Entrepreneurs


As most will tell you, entrepreneurs are cut from a different mold than regular students, colleagues, and professionals. Ambitious, creative, and many times eccentric, the educational curve of an entrepreneurial mind varies from their peers. With many schools keying in on entrepreneurial education, there are a slew of programs out there for entrepreneurs to learn about starting a business and to nurture their ambition.

While the entrepreneur programs at schools like Stanford and Harvard are well known, there are many programs that don’t quite get the attention they deserve. Here are some other schools have appeared on the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report lists as top undergraduate entrepreneurial programs and serve as top options for young entrepreneurs entering school..

University of Southern California

The USC Marshall School of Business follows the philosophy that “success demands an understanding of the inner workings of the global marketplace.” While the tuition is high, the quality of the programs makes the cost worth it. Students flock from around the globe to take advantage of the renowned programs that offer them real-world experiences. Another attractive aspect is that faculty members are entrepreneurs themselves. Notable graduates include Dan Bane (CEO of Trader Joe’s) and James Jannard (founder of Oakley Sunglasses).

Babson College

Massachusetts’ Babson College is known for a heavy academic workload and has been ranked as the number one entrepreneur college by U.S. News & World Report for 19 consecutive years. Many undergraduate students run their own businesses while attending this innovative institution. The primary focus is on “entrepreneurial thought and action,” which offers students a blended learning experience with traditional classroom time, hands-on experiences, business simulations and guest speakers. Notable alumni include Daniel Gerber (founder of Gerber Baby Foods) and Terrell Braley (founder of Quiznos).

Baylor University

Based in Texas, the Hankamer School of Business offers specialties in sports marketing and sales, financial marketing and portfolio management, with a strong connection to The Wall Street Journal. Although the college is based in Southern Baptist traditions, the student body is diverse, and opportunities abound to work with active entrepreneurs. They also offer an accelerated ventures program in which students can create real working businesses, raising money to launch actual products and services. Notable alumni include Ed Crenshaw (president of Publix) and Thomas W. Horton (CEO of American Airlines).

University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma offers a major in entrepreneurship and venture management energy. Norman, Oklahoma is considered one of the top 10 best small cities by Money Magazine, so this school boasts the perfect setting for budding entrepreneurs. Simulations, guest speakers, internships, competitions and projects are all part of the curriculum, and students are active in the campus Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization. Notable alumni include Randall L. Stephenson (CEO of AT&T) and Ronald Corbin (field vice president of Allstate Insurance).

University of Miami

The University of Miami offers an entrepreneurship major in its stellar business school. They take a “holistic” approach and offer coursework in business planning, consulting and finance. It doesn’t hurt that the weather is great and the beach is nearby. Academics are rigorous, and students are taught to launch businesses from the ground up. There is also a Business Plan Competition, where students compete for a $40,000 prize. Notable alumni include James J. Greco (CEO of Sbarro).