Brigham Young University’s entrepreneurship programs are No. 4 at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, according to Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. The report lists BYU’s strengths as offering low tuition, double the number of mentorship programs of any other undergraduate school in the top ten and a high number of campus organizations and clubs.
This ranking moves the Marriott School undergraduate program up 14 spots from its previous rank of 18 and marks the first time the school’s graduate program has been recognized in the publication’s rankings.
“I am very proud of the direction our program is heading,” said Gary Cornia, dean of the Marriott School of Management. “These rankings are a much-deserved recognition of the enterprising work that our faculty and Entrepreneur Founders organization are doing. We have some of the brightest students in the nation developing businesses that incorporate the know-how and values taught at BYU.”
As one of more than 2,000 programs surveyed nationwide, BYU was evaluated based on key criteria in the areas of teaching entrepreneurship business fundamentals in the classroom (staffing departments with successful entrepreneurs and excellence in mentorship) and providing experiential or entrepreneurial opportunities outside of the classroom as well as on the non-traditional and distinguishable aspects of its program.
The in-class experience for students at BYU has been enhanced by focusing on faculty members who are successful in their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
“Our teaching is not just academic,” said Steve Liddle, academic director of the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. “It’s also real-world. Our faculty has been out there doing it and knows what it takes to start a successful business. They help our students to cut through all the confusion of what is important and what is not.”
Contributing to all three criteria at BYU is the Rollins Center with the mission to prepare students for entrepreneurial success through ethical leadership, global experience and external mentor support. The center works to match students with resources and mentors that will aid them in launching their own businesses.
“The experienced mentors at BYU are a great strength to the work we do,” said Scott Petersen, chair of the Entrepreneur Founders. “They provide energy and contribute to the vision of our program. Accordingly, the talent we have assembled in the Rollins Center — including our faculty — is what is beginning to separate us from the pack.”
The center has worked to build the fundamentals of entrepreneurship in undergraduates and helped graduate students push their business acumen to a new level. It is estimated the number of new business startups by graduate students has increased more than 40 percent from last year, with nearly double the number of success stories. This increase in both quality and quantity of businesses has helped BYU rise in the rankings.
“Behind the top-ranked schools is not only a great formal classroom experience, but a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching entrepreneurship that embraces and encourages a student’s vision to build a successful business,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president of publishing and a nationally recognized expert on college admissions.
The results of the survey, along with the analysis, appear in the October issue of Entrepreneur, now on newsstands.
For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschool.byu.edu/news.
Writer: Tyler Weaver