If you’ve always dreamed of being your own boss, if you have an idea for a new product or service, or if you currently run your own business and want to take it to the next level, then a master’s in entrepreneurship might be right for you. Meant for business-minded individuals, online graduate programs in entrepreneurship train you for the challenges of business ownership. In addition to finance and marketing courses, many programs also provide mentorship and access to valuable resources, such as legal advice and networks of venture capitalists.
Graduates with a master’s in entrepreneurship are more in demand than their bachelor’s degree-holding counterparts due to the additional coursework and mentorships that accompany graduate study. An online MBA entrepreneurship program will give you the leadership skills you need to manage a team, evaluate business opportunities, structure financing, and craft marketing strategies. These are in-demand skills that you can use in your own start-up or leverage for career advancement in managerial and professional positions across industries.
Entrepreneurs are a vital force in the economy, and working for yourself can often earn you 50% more than working for someone else. With an average entry-level annual salary of around $75,000 for entrepreneur graduates, however, a corporate job could be an attractive option.
Entrepreneurship is a rapidly growing field, and you don’t need to spend a fortune or uproot your life to further your education. Online programs are an excellent way to flexibly pursue your career objectives while enjoying nearly all the benefits of an on-campus school without having to relocate or quit your job. The following ranking of the best online MBA in entrepreneurship programs is designed to help you find a quality online program that is both rigorous and affordable, taking into account cheap tuition and best return on investment.
Online Entrepreneurship Master’s Degrees at a Glance
|Time to Complete||One year|
|Credit Hours||Around 30|
|Concentrations||Students should expect courses similar to:
|Accreditation||Distance Education Accrediting Commission; Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs|
|Additional Info||Some programs offer capstone programs that require internships or startup-simulating projects|
Oklahoma State University
|Value Score 8.92||
OSU offers an online master's in entrepreneurship program that is designed for students who are aspiring entrepreneurs in for-profit, nonprofit, military, and public sectors. Offered through the School of Business at OSU, the program emphasizes the power of relationships and tight-knit communities. While the program is open to any qualified candidate, it is designed for working professionals who are ready to start their own ventures.
OSU’s 33-credit program can be completed in two years of full-time study. The curriculum includes 19 credits of entrepreneurial classes, 12 credits of business foundation courses, and a three-hour practicum experience. The program offers students several opportunities outside of the classroom with organizations such as the Veterans with Disabilities Entrepreneurship Program, Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, and the Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa Program. Incoming students who have already taken graduate-level courses can substitute these classes for entrepreneurship requirements as long as they complete at least 27 credit hours at OSU. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75 and submit GMAT test scores to be considered.
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University of Houston-Victoria
|Value Score 7.31||
UHV offers a master's of science in economic development and entrepreneurship (MSEDE) that is regarded as one of the best online master's in entrepreneurships programs in the state of Texas. The program emphasizes an integrated model of economic growth and teaches students how to become experts in both economic development and entrepreneurship.
The 36-credit MSEDE program includes coursework in economic development and entrepreneurial skills, as well as electives chosen from MBA foundation classes and a culminating capstone project. The semester-long capstone project focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship, or both, and provides students the opportunity to work with local organizations, business, government agencies, and community leaders. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a GMAT score of at least 450 to be considered. This program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
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Peru State College
|Value Score 6.65||
Peru State College was founded in 1865 in Peru, Nebraska, by the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Today the school serves more than 3,500 students each year and offers a variety of distance learning programs, including a master's of science in organizational management (MSOM). This asynchronous online program offers cheap tuition and is flexible enough to meet the needs of nontraditional graduate students. The MSOM coursework allows students to work on their own businesses and community enhancement projects throughout the program.
This affordable online master’s entrepreneurship program requires the completion of 36 credits over two years of full-time study. The curriculum covers a variety of topics, including conflict management and mediation, eCommerce and internet communication, and economic development. Students must also must also complete six hours of thesis, internship, or research requirements. They can also take an additional three-hour course in human resources development in order to earn a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Organizational Development. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered.
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|Value Score 3.54||
Everglades University, formerly known as the American Flyers College, is a private nonprofit institution located in Boca Raton, Florida. The university’s master’s degree in entrepreneurship emphasizes business concepts, theories, and strategies that will prepare students to start innovative business ventures. The program teaches students how to understand the risks and rewards associated with developing a working model for their business.
This affordable master’s entrepreneurship online program consists of 36 credits and can be completed in 12 months of full-time study. The curriculum emphasizes analysis and decision-making skills and includes courses on marketing management, new venture creation, and global business ventures. Students must also enroll in a three-credit entrepreneurship capstone course. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a GMAT score of at least 500 to be considered.
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|Value Score 3.13||
Suffolk University is located in Boston, Massachusetts, offering students local opportunities with world-class organizations in biotech, finance, healthcare, and other industries. The university’s MBA program features several concentrations, including finance, accounting, international business, marketing, strategic management, and entrepreneurship. The online MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship is designed for students looking for an affordable entrepreneurship program that also provides opportunities to engage with a dynamic urban environment.
Students in the entrepreneurship concentration are required to take core business classes, as well as courses in social entrepreneurship, global innovation and new product development, and business opportunities using design thinking. They can also choose to participate in in-person opportunities such as travel seminars or on-campus classes to supplement their online learning experience. The program is offered in a full-time or part-time format. Full-time students can participate in internships with local Boston organizations or with organizations in their home state or country.
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What Will I Learn in My Online Master’s in Entrepreneurship Program?
A master’s degree in entrepreneurship online will provide students with the skills to open their own businesses. Core courses in these programs focus on honing business strategies useful for entrepreneurship, such as financial management and competitive strategy. Some programs offer capstone programs or practicums that allow students to come up with a new venture or participate in an internship to get hands-on experience. Some of the courses students will take include:
- Strategic Entrepreneurship This course is designed to foster strategic management skills in students and train them to think about the strategies of organizations. It will introduce students to the theory and practice of strategic management and challenge students to solve strategic problems.
- Financial Management This course provides students with a basic understanding of how to manage the finances of an organization or small business. Students should come away from this course with an understanding of financial reporting and how to interpret financial or accounting data.
- Competitive Strategy This course provides students with the tools to develop long-term strategies within the global market and how to compete with other organizations. The class teaches students to think strategically, incorporating game theory, economics, and other components of business strategy.
- Venture Planning and Execution This course is meant to provide students with the basic knowledge of how to plan and execute their own ventures into business. It challenges students to develop an innovative concept and overcome emerging business challenges.
Some entrepreneurship programs offer further concentrations within the field based on specific industries or occupations. At some schools, entrepreneurship is a concentration within a larger degree in management or business administration. At other institutions, no formal concentrations are offered but students can choose to take elective courses in a specific area. Below is a list of possible concentrations within entrepreneurship.
- Entrepreneurship in Technology A specialization in technology is geared toward students who are interested in starting a business venture in tech, which requires an understanding of both computer information systems and business strategy. Some programs have capstone or practicum courses that allow students to shadow a company in Silicon Valley. Other programs prepare students to earn certification in coding and software development.
- Global Entrepreneurship A specialization in global entrepreneurship focuses on the skills necessary to start an international business. Some programs offer study abroad components that allow students to explore international entrepreneurial relations and to understand the global entrepreneur’s mindset.
- Consulting or Strategic Analysis A specialization in strategic analysis or consulting shows students how to analyze business problems and provide tenable solutions. Courses within this specialization may ask students to create projects that address real issues that businesspeople experience and to provide a strategic solution.
Employment Outlook for Master’s in Entrepreneurship Graduates
Master’s in Entrepreneurship Careers
Entrepreneurship master’s programs provide students with the knowledge and skills to become self-employed business owners. Master’s degrees in entrepreneurship also allow students to enter into the traditional job market and become a part of a larger corporation. The skills required for entrepreneurship—such as coordinating projects with a lot of moving parts—are valuable in managerial or top executive positions. Below are some of the possible careers for graduates from an online entrepreneurship master’s program.
Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Manager
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are in charge of organizing and overseeing marketing efforts and publicity projects. They work with other staff members to plan strategies for generating interest in a company’s products or services. This position usually requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and work experience in marketing, advertising, or promotions. A master’s degree will facilitate promotion within a company to higher management or executive positions.
Projected Growth Rate 9%
Architectural and Engineering Managers
Architectural and engineering managers work at architectural or engineering companies planning and coordinating various projects. Work can vary from overseeing workers in an office to supervising construction and industrial production sites. These managers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree and work experience within their chosen field. Many master’s programs in entrepreneurship offer concentrations in architecture or engineering, giving students more specialized experience.
Projected Growth Rate 2%
Management consultants optimize the efficiency of a company. They often advise on which management strategies are best suited to the work environment. Most consultants travel from city to city in order to work with different companies. The requirement for an entry-level job as a consultant is a bachelor’s degree. However, many employers prefer candidates with master’s degrees.
Projected Growth Rate 14%
Licensure and Certification
Some careers in business and entrepreneurship require licensure or certification in addition to schooling. Licensure and certification in a specific field can help supplement a master’s in entrepreneurship. For instance, an entrepreneur starting an architecture firm would need a degree or certification in architecture along with knowledge of how to run a business. Below are a few certifications common within the business world.
- Certified Management Consultant (CMC) Certification The Institute of Management Consultants USA is a certifying body that offers the Certified Management Consultant designation for consultants who meet minimum education requirements and pass an exam on covering the code of ethics in consulting. Consultants are generally not required to be certified by IMC but certification can make a candidate shine.
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certification This certification is offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. In order to be certified, personal financial advisors graduate with at least a bachelor’s degree, have three years of work experience, pass an exam, and follow a code of ethics. Personal financial advisors are generally required to have additional licenses and certifications depending on the specific area they work in (stocks, insurance, etc.).
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification This certification is granted by the CFA Institute for Financial Analysts. While certification is not required for financial analysts, it can lead to advancement in the field. This certification requires financial analysts to have a bachelor’s degree and four years of experience. Applicants must pass three exams in order to receive certification.
A bachelor’s degree can help you get an entry-level position in business and some entrepreneurs even start their own companies without a college education. However, employment rates and salary growth both tend to be more favorable for individuals with a master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship. A recent study conducted by the Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) at Georgetown University found that professionals with a graduate degree in business administration and management typically earn 35% more than professionals with only a bachelor’s degree. An online master’s degree in entrepreneurship may be especially important for those who wish to start their own businesses because these programs explain more about business principles than undergraduate programs.
Master’s in Entrepreneurship Salary
Salaries for professionals in entrepreneurial positions differ based on the specific area or industry. More years of experience generally equates to a higher annual salary. The rate of growth, however, will depend on the occupation. For instance, personal financial advisors generally experience steady growth in salary for the first 10-20 years and much more rapid salary growth after that time. The table below highlights data from Payscale on the average salaries of marketing managers, managing consultants, personal financial advisors, project managers, and chief executive officers.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)|
|Personal Financial Advisor||$59,869||$51,000||$62,000||$204,000|
|Project Manager, Engineering||$89,125||$71,000||$89,000||$111,000|
|Chief Executive Officer||$163,059||$120,000||$154,000||$229,000|
Do I Need to Take the GRE/GMAT to Enroll in an Online Master’s in Entrepreneurship Program?
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test designed specifically for admission to business schools. It is composed of four sections: analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal. The GRE, on the other hand, is designed to test for the critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and writing skills that may be necessary for graduate school in general. It is comprised of three sections: verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing.
Most online master’s programs in entrepreneurship or another business-related degree will require either the GMAT or GRE. Many schools accept either one. Always verify with the school’s specific application guidelines to see which tests they accept. If the schools you are interested in accept either one, you may want to consider your own strengths and what sections you would excel at. Looking at practice problems for each exam may also help you evaluate which exam you might get a higher score on.
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Entrepreneurship Degrees
Accreditation ensures that scholarly programs meet certain minimum standards. In the United States, accreditation is awarded by either a regional accreditation agency or a national accreditation agency. Regionally accredited schools are generally recognized as more prestigious because they are highly regulated and standardized. Credits from regionally accredited institutions are usually easily transferable to other regionally accredited institutions. It is important to check that your potential school is accredited at least by a regional agency.
National accreditation agencies function in much the same way, but because there are several agencies that focus on different criteria, they are less standardized. For online programs, the most well-regarded accreditation agency is the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs is a national accreditation agency that focuses specifically on business-related programs.
Financing Your Online Master’s in Entrepreneurship Program
Financial aid can make your online master’s degree in entrepreneurship much more affordable. There are many financial aid options, including federal grants, student loans, and scholarships. Scholarships and grants are the most coveted types of financial aid because they do not need to be repaid. While they are generally more work (many require you to write an essay or ask for recommendation letters), they are absolutely worth the effort. All students should fill out a FAFSA each year in order to be eligible for federal aid. Low-income students are eligible for grants and subsidized low-interest student loans.
The tables below feature information about specific scholarships for business and entrepreneurship students.
BlueVine Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: Different for Fall and Spring
Eligibility Requirements: Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, write an essay, and have a 3.3 GPA or better.
Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship $7,000
Scholarship Deadline: April/May
Eligibility Requirements: Must be a student in a business-related field in their second year in undergraduate through their final year of a master’s’ applicants must also write an essay.
Greenpal Business Scholarship $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: October 15
Eligibility Requirements: Must be currently enrolled in a business program with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
QS Leadership Scholarship $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 30
Eligibility Requirements: Must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree and be planning to pursue a postgraduate degree. Applicants must attend a QS World Grad School Tour fair and complete the QS Graduate Applicant Survey.
The Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 15
Eligibility Requirements: Must be currently enrolled in a graduate business program and have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA