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The Best Colleges and Universities for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The Best Colleges and Universities for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

For the fifth year in a row, Babson College in Massachusetts tops the annual rankings from The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine of the best undergraduate schools for entrepreneurship. The school, which currently has more than 2,100 students enrolled in entrepreneur classes, offers 24 entrepreneurship-related undergraduate courses. Over the past 10 years, its graduates have launched 565 companies.

Brigham Young University, which has seen students graduating over the past five years start 320 companies and raise $430 million in funding, and the University of Michigan, which offers students access to 33 different clubs that support students' entrepreneurial efforts, are this year's second- and third-ranked undergraduate schools for entrepreneurship.

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 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. [See Related Story: Don't Quit! College Still Best Path to Entrepreneurial Success]

"It's exciting that schools across the country are embracing entrepreneurism, exploring and developing new ways to promote it, and preparing their students for an ever-changing economy that's full of opportunities," Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, said in a statement. "And it'll be even more exciting to see what these students do next."

Here are the top 25 undergraduate schools for entrepreneurship studies in 2017, according to the rankings:

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

For the third year in a row, Harvard University heads the rankings of the best graduate schools for entrepreneurship. The school offers 34 entrepreneur-related courses, and over the past five years, its graduates have started 114 companies and collectively raised $1.8 billion in funding.

Similar to its undergraduate offerings, Babson College also has an impressive graduate program for students looking to start their own business. The school, which ranks second on this year's list of the best graduate schools, has 22 entrepreneur-related graduate courses, and its graduates have started 753 companies in the past five years.

Rice University, third on this year's list of the best graduate schools for entrepreneurship, offers one of the largest and richest graduate student business-plan competitions. Last year, it awarded over $1.5 million to student entrepreneurial projects.

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

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

Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher at The Princeton Review, said The Princeton Review highly recommends all of the schools on these lists to any applicant aspiring to launch a business.

"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."

You can find more details on each ranked school here.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad 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. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.