There are two main options for students interested in studying entrepreneurship at the Masters level in the U.S.– either get a MBA (Masters of Business Administration) with a specialization in entrepreneurship or a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship.
Both degrees are typically offered through the university’s business school, along with Masters programs in Accounting, Finance, and Management, and different types of MBA programs (full-time, part-time, executive, online, etc.).
What’s the difference?
The main differences between MSE and MBA programs: the focus of the degree. MBAs are general degrees that teach the fundamentals of business to prepare you to work in management positions within a broad range of companies and sectors. Although you can specialize in areas such as marketing, finance, or even entrepreneurship, you will see that many MBA programs have a “Core” program that every student must go through. This “Core” includes classes on marketing, finance, economics, management, and leadership.
The Master’s of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE), on the other hand, is a more specialized degree for people who are sure that they want to be involved in entrepreneurship. It is typically just one year (as opposed to two years for most American MBA programs) and is designed for students without the 2-7 years of work experience that most MBA programs prefer, or for experienced professionals in other fields that want to incorporate entrepreneurship into their work.
Most MSE programs accept either the GMAT or GRE exams– as do MBA programs– though most students applying to MBA programs take the GMAT exam.
The University of South California (USC) Marshall School of Business is a great example of a top American Business School (located in Los Angeles) that offers a complete set of business degrees.
If you go to https://www.marshall.usc.edu and hover over the Prospective Students menu option, you will see that the Marshall School of Business offers undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) programs, several different MBA programs (including Full and part time, executive, online), a doctoral PhD program, and graduate accounting and specialized masters programs.
The Entrepreneurship Master can be found under the specialized master’s programs, which include over ten masters programs along with a similar number of certificates. The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (M.S.) is the second one listed, under the Master of Science in Business Analytics.
As you can see, each of these Master programs are designed for people who want to become specialists in one narrow field of business, whether that be Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Library and Information Science, Long Term Care Administration, Marketing, Medical Management, Supply Chain Management, or other fields.
Whereas, the MBA is a general degree that provides a broad overview of many different areas of business, these specialized programs are designed for students with a more narrow focus.
Do Your Research
The only way to get comfortable with what you want– an MBA, a Master of Management, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, or maybe a Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship– is to look at the offerings of many different business schools across the U.S.
Start by searching on Google for articles such as this one from Forbes that details the rise of Master of Science in Entrepreneurship programs across the U.S. in the last 20 years. There are many similar programs across the country.
Visit each business school’s website and look for the programs that it offers. The list below includes several programs that we have found, but it is by no means complete. The fact that a program is listed here does not mean that it is recommended by Global College.
Program List (not complete)
University of Michigan- http://entrepreneurship.umich.edu/
(although the website says that the program is closed to new applicants as of Fall 2014– maybe the program is shutting down and it is not listed on the University of Michigan Ross School of Business website.
USC Marshall School of Business- https://www.marshall.usc.edu
-Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (M.S.)
-Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship
Oklahoma State University- http://watson.okstate.edu/
-Masters in Entrepreneurship (MSE)
Eastern Michigan College of Business- http://www.emich.edu/cob/
-Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Center for Entrepreneurship
University of San Francisco School of Management- https://www.usfca.edu/management
-Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management
Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship- http://www.actonmba.org/
-MBA in Entrepreneurship
Western Carolina University College of Business- http://www.wcu.edu/academics/departments-schools-colleges/COB/
-Master of Entrepreneurship (M.E.) (online)
Northeastern University- http://www.damore-mckim.northeastern.edu/
-MS in Innovation (part-time for working professionals)
-MS in Technological Entrepreneurship (MSTE)
Rochester Institute of Technology Saunders College of Business- http://saunders.rit.edu/
-MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovative Ventures (GRE/GMAT not required)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lally School of Management- http://lallyschool.rpi.edu/
-M.S. in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship
University of MIssouri Kansas City Henry W. Bloch School of Management- http://bloch.umkc.edu/
-Master of Entrepreneurial Real Estate
-PhD in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business- http://www.smu.edu/cox
-Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship Certificate in Starting A Business
University of Florida- http://warrington.ufl.edu/graduate/
-Master of Science in Entrepreneurship
University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management- http://jindal.utdallas.edu/
-MS in Innovation & Entrepreneurship (MSIE)
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Lubar School of Business- http://uwm.edu/business/
-Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship
Global College found most of these programs based on a Google search and from a gradschools.com list. However, there are likely many more Master of Science in Entrepreneurship programs by going down the list of MBA programs provided by US News.
There are close to 500 American business schools ranked by US News & World Report. Most of the top business schools will have specializations in entrepreneurship, and some of them may have full Master of Science degrees in Entrepreneurship. Use the ranking to go to the website of each business school in order to check for MS Entrepreneurship programs.
Click on Business category and then you will be able to select whether you want the complete business school rankings or the MBA entrepreneurship specialty rankings.
The first thing that you can do is to visit the website of each university listed under the Entrepreneurship MBA rankings in order to see what kind of programs each business school offers.
Entrepreneurship MBA Ranking
The MS Entrepreneurship programs that we found were:
Babson College- http://www.babson.edu/
-Master in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership (MSEL)
Stanford University School of Management- https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs
-Various certificate programs in Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business- https://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/
-M.S. in Technology Commercialization (MSTC)
University of Arizona Eller College of Management- https://www.eller.arizona.edu/
-McGuire Entrepreneurship Program (must be a student at the University of Arizona)
Although only a handful of these programs have Master in Entrepreneurship programs, they all have great entrepreneurship resources that can be accessed through their MBA or other programs.
Feel free to look at the full MBA Rankings to for a list of more business schools with entrepreneurship programs.
Then use the following links to access more business schools with strong entrepreneurship programs and see if they have the degree that you are looking for:
It will take quite a bit of time to look through the websites of each school in the rankings. However, taking time to do your research will pay off in the end because you will know exactly where you want to apply and why. As we finish up this section, read this article to keep you motivated.