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Start Your Business Entrepreneurs

The Best Colleges to Study Entrepreneurship

The Best Colleges to Study Entrepreneurship
Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Students who aspire to open their own business one day should consider attending colleges that are going to best help turn those dreams into a reality.

New research finds that some schools are more focused on helping their students become entrepreneurs than others. Babson College is one of those. It ranks as the best undergraduate school and the second-best graduate school for entrepreneurship studies in 2016 by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.

This is the fourth year in a row Babson has nabbed the top spot on the undergraduate list. The college currently offers 62 entrepreneurship-related undergraduate courses and 65 graduate courses. Overall, its undergrads have started 278 companies over the last five years, with its graduate students having launched 549 companies since 2010.

To determine the rankings, The Princeton Review surveyed more than 300 undergraduate and graduate business schools about their entrepreneurship offerings. The 60-question survey asked schools to report on levels of their commitment to entrepreneurship studies inside and outside the classroom. Topics covered included the percentage of faculty, students and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; the number and reach of mentorship programs; scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies; and the level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions. [Don't Quit! College Still Best Path to Entrepreneurial Success ]

"Formal instruction and mentorship from great minds in business can help leaders prepare for the challenges that come with entrepreneurship," Amy Cosper, vice president and editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, said in a statement. "The schools in our annual list have ranked high for creating some of the best environments to nurture the pursuit of building a business from the ground up."

The top 25 undergraduate schools for entrepreneurship studies in 2016 are:

  1. Babson College
  2. Brigham Young University (UT)
  3. University of Houston
  4. Baylor University
  5. Northeastern University
  6. City University of New York, Baruch College
  7. University of Michigan — Ann Arbor
  8. Temple University
  9. University of Oklahoma
  10. University of Maryland — College Park
  11. Miami University (OH)
  12. DePaul University
  13. Syracuse University
  14. Loyola Marymount University
  15. University of Dayton
  16. Belmont University
  17. Clarkson University
  18. Washington University in St. Louis
  19. University of Washington
  20. Texas Christian University
  21. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  22. Lehigh University
  23. Monterrey Institute of Technology (Mexico)
  24. University of Utah
  25. University of Arizona

Harvard University ranks as the best graduate school for entrepreneurship programs for the second consecutive year. The Harvard Business School currently offers 28 entrepreneurship-related graduate courses. Over the past five years, its graduates have started 77 companies and have collectively raised nearly $2 billion in funding.

The top 25 graduate schools on this year's rankings are:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Babson College
  3. University of Chicago
  4. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  5. Northwestern University
  6. Rice University
  7. Brigham Young University (UT)
  8. The University of Texas at Austin
  9. City University of New York, Baruch College
  10. Temple University
  11. University of South Florida
  12. University of Oklahoma
  13. University of Virginia
  14. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  15. DePaul University
  16. University of Washington
  17. University of Utah
  18. University of Maryland – College Park
  19. Saint Louis University
  20. Syracuse University
  21. Washington University in St. Louis
  22. University of Rochester
  23. Oklahoma State University
  24. University of Arizona
  25. Columbia University

Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher, said the schools on both of these lists all have superb entrepreneurship programs.

"Their faculties are truly engaged in entrepreneurism," Franek said. "Their courses are rich with in-class and out-of-class experiential components, and the financial and networking support their students and programs receive via donors and alumni is extraordinary."

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.