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The 4 Best Online Entrepreneurship Programs

Investopedia logoInvestopedia 16-11-2015 J. William Carpenter
© Provided by Investopedia

Some of the top business schools in the country offer online entrepreneurship programs at the master's degree level. These programs are designed to train students in the entrepreneurial process in preparation for building new businesses or for introducing entrepreneurial thinking into existing businesses to inspire positive change and a culture of innovation. These programs are generally for students who have past business training and relevant work experience in a business environment. Some programs also accept non-business professionals who have new business ideas and want to learn how to develop them properly.

1. Indiana University Kelley School of Business

The Indiana University Kelley School of Business offers an online master of science in entrepreneurship and innovation degree with an annual fall start date. As with most graduate entrepreneurship programs, this program provides broad training in business planning, business formation, and networking and communication skills. The program also includes three short in-person courses that combine to provide 12 days of intensive hands-on training designed to create in students an entrepreneurial mindset suited to the competitive challenges of the marketplace. Students can complete the program in as little as 15 months or over the course of several years.

The Kelley School of Business has garnered top rankings from a variety of respected publications for its traditional and online entrepreneurship degrees, including undergraduate and graduate programs. The school's entrepreneurship faculty is also very highly regarded in the field, with high national rankings for its research output and its innovative approaches to teaching and course design.

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School is home to one of the top online MBA programs in the nation. Students in the program must choose to focus their studies on one of several concentration areas. The entrepreneurship concentration is designed for flexibility, allowing students to get the training they need to meet their professional goals by selecting from a range of available elective courses. Entrepreneurship students can select from courses covering startup management, corporate entrepreneurship, innovation management and new venture discovery, among other topics. Students can complete this program within 18 to 36 months.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Kenan-Flagler Business School oversees entrepreneurship research and teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The center's entrepreneurship programs make annual appearances near the top of national program rankings. The center has also received awards for its research and student engagement activities.

3. University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business

The University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business offers an online master of science in entrepreneurship degree for students who want to build businesses or nonprofit organizations from the ground up. This program provides students with the concepts, analytical tools, research skills and entrepreneurial mindset required to build startups and respond to challenges effectively throughout the venture creation process. This program welcomes students from professional fields outside of business. The degree takes two academic years to complete.

In the fall of 2015, the Hough Graduate School of Business also began offering an online MBA program with a focus on entrepreneurship. This program provides traditional MBA training centered on managerial analysis and strategy while providing access to entrepreneurship courses typically available to students in the master of science program.

4. University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg School of Management

The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers students the chance to focus on entrepreneurship as part of the school's online MBA program. In addition to core MBA courses, students can choose from more than a dozen electives to develop the entrepreneurial skills required to start new business ventures or to revitalize established businesses. This program is designed to be completed in two or more years. The Isenberg School of Management appears annually in lists of the top MBA and graduate business programs. The school has made strides in recent years, achieving multiple top-12 rankings in 2015.

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