MBA in Entrepreneurship

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Small businesses have traditionally been regarded as the lifeblood of the American economy, but it’s not easy to create a successful venture. In reality, a significant number of businesses fail within a few years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS March 2017), 631,817 new businesses were started in March 2012. By March 2017, only 317,098 of them were still viable.

It’s important for aspiring entrepreneurs to arm themselves with the knowledge and experience it takes to start a lasting business. Earning a master of business administration (MBA) in entrepreneurship can provide a strong foundation of business skills, networking, and mentorship to assist people in bringing good ideas to fruition. Students not only learn how to start a business, but also how to expand an existing company and how to effectively launch a new product or service.

Entrepreneurship MBA graduates may seek careers such as consultants, product development managers, business development directors, technology officers, startup founders, market strategists, and franchise managers, among many other roles.

Graduates who are employed by others typically can expect increased salaries and opportunities for advancement after graduating from an MBA program. And fortunately for working professionals who want to earn an advanced degree without relocating or giving up their jobs, there’s a variety of online MBAs—including some focused on entrepreneurship—to give them the flexibility to level up their knowledge.

Read on to discover what to expect from an online MBA in entrepreneurship, including discussions of typical coursework and three exceptional educators in these programs.

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Professors to Know in Online MBA in Entrepreneurship Programs

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    Edmund (Ted) Clark, MBA Northeastern University

    Edmund (Ted) Clark is an associate academic specialist and the executive professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern University D'Amore-McKim School of Business, where he teaches entrepreneurship, small business management, marketing, and the management of family businesses. He is experienced in business startups, consulting, developing business-to-business strategy, and financial services. He on the board of directors for the Family Firm Institute and is co-chair of the Massachusetts Family Business Awards program. He holds an MBA and a BS in industrial technology.

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    Deborah Ferber, DBA Brandman University

    Dr. Deborah Ferber is an assistant professor of business and organizational leadership with Brandman University’s School of Business and Professional Studies, where she teaches at the Irvine campus and online. She has earned a doctorate of business administration, a master’s in management specialization and human resource management, and a bachelor’s in sociology and management. Her specialties include business management innovation, human resources, branding, and entrepreneur development and theory.

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    Patricia Swann, MA Utica College

    Patricia Swann is an associate professor in the Utica College MBA program, a senior faculty member who specializes in public relations and the former dean of Utica’s School of Business and Justice Studies. She has won numerous national, state, and local awards for her career activities and writing, including a widely-used textbook. She has a bachelor of arts in mass communication and a master’s of arts in public relations. Notably, she has more than 20 years experience working in the communications industry, as well as extensive experience as a dean and instructor.

Online MBA in Entrepreneurship Programs

The Northeastern University D'Amore-McKim School of Business offers a master of business administration in innovation entrepreneurship program that’s either fully online and partially online and on-campus. Students must complete 13 business core courses and five electives, for a total of 50 credits. Students may opt for a dual degree and obtain an online or on-campus master of science (MS) in finance with their MBA. The innovation entrepreneurship coursework includes classes such as managing operations, services and retail business creation, new venture creation, global social entrepreneurship and innovation, entrepreneurial finance for high tech companies, and new product development. Online applicants must have an undergraduate degree and five years of professional experience. If they have less than five years experience, GMAT scores are required. Students are not required to visit the campus. Online MBA students can complete a campus-based residency for a one-week intensive course in place of one elective. Online MBA students in good standing who have completed one year of core coursework may opt for an international field study residency. Locations vary.

Location: Boston, MA
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (school), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (program)
Expected Time to Completion: Two years
Estimated Tuition: $1,560 per credit
SARA Participant: Pending

Southern New Hampshire University offers an MBA in entrepreneurship, either online or on-campus. Students complete 24 credits in business core coursework, nine credits in entrepreneurship coursework, and finish with a capstone project for three credits, for a total of 36 credits. Entrepreneurship electives include small business management, consulting, and franchising instruction. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree. GRE/GMAT exams are not required and neither is a campus visit. Depending on courses already taken during their undergraduate degree, students may be required to take basic business classes before acceptance to the MBA program.

Location: Manchester, NH
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (school), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (program)
Expected Time to Completion: One to two years
Estimated Tuition: $627 per credit
SARA Participant: Yes

The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University offers an online master of business administration in entrepreneurship program. Students take 36 credit-hours of business core coursework, 15 credit-hours of entrepreneurship coursework, and finish with three residency credits, for a total of 54 credit-hours. The entrepreneurship specialization is designed to teach the skills needed to start up a business or social venture. Students employed within an established business learn methods to build growth in their company. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree and one year of professional experience. The GRE/GMAT exams are waived for students who have five or more years of professional experience. All the coursework is available on-campus or online; however, online students must attend three residencies for workshops and networking. Residencies are available in various locations, including overseas.

Location: Syracuse, NY
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (school), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (program)
Expected Time to Completion: Two years
Estimated Tuition: $1,500 per credit
SARA Participant: Yes

An online MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School requires 34 credits of business core curriculum and 32 credits of entrepreneurship electives for a total of 66 credits. Entrepreneurship coursework focuses on subjects such as new ventures discovery, business discovery, and technology management. All coursework is available online; however, online students are required to attend immersion weekends at the end of each quarter. Students may attend all four, but are only required to attend two. The costs of the immersions, except for travel, are included in the tuition. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of professional work experience. GRE/GMAT testing may be waived depending on the number of years worked and the kind of work experience.

Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (school), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (program)
Expected Time to Completion: Two years
Estimated Tuition: $1,728.45 per credit
SARA Participant: Yes

Utica College offers a MBA in entrepreneurship that’s fully online or a blended format of online and on-campus classes. Students complete 15 hours of business core coursework, 12 hours of entrepreneurship coursework, and finish with a capstone project, for a total of 30 credit-hours. The entrepreneurship coursework is designed to enable professionals to bring their product or service ideas to market. Students learn about business models, how to perform audience/market analysis, create revenue streams, and develop a prototype. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and two years work experience, but they aren’t required to take GRE/GMAT exams or visit campus.

Location: Utica, NY
Accreditation: The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (school), candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (program)
Expected Time to Completion: Two years if part-time
Estimated Tuition: $650 per credit; plus $70 per online course
SARA Participant: Yes
6Brandman University

The MBA at Brandman University can be earned online, on-campus, or a blend of online and on-campus. Students complete 24-36 credit-hours in business core coursework and 24 credit-hours in entrepreneurship coursework for a total of 36-48 credit-hours. Entrepreneurship coursework includes finance, marketing research, and new product development. Brandman University has 25 campuses in California and Washington and the MBA in entrepreneurship program is available on campus at 17 of them. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and satisfactory GRE/GMAT scores, which can be waived upon presentation of a portfolio demonstrating adequate professional credentials.

Location: Irvine, CA
Accreditation: Western Senior College and University Commission
Expected Time to Completion: Not disclosed on website
Estimated Tuition: $640 per credit
SARA Participant: Yes

Accreditation and State Authorization

When choosing a school, it is essential to determine if it is accredited, and if so, what agency accredited it. Accreditation is a process by which an independent agency evaluates the quality of the curriculum and the instructors. Certain standards must be met before accreditation is granted. The agency that accredits institutions that provide business education is The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) provides accreditation for individual programs. As a final note, State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) are voluntary agreements among states that establish “comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs.” The intent is to make it easier for students to take online courses from out-of-state institutions, thereby giving them more access to educational programs. A majority of online programs list their “state authorization” status (i.e., their ability to enroll out-of-state students) on their websites. For those which don’t, it’s advisable to contact program officials to determine eligibility.