50 Best U.S. Colleges for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

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Business startups seem to be everywhere these days. From the popular TV show “Shark Tank” to Peter Thiel’s challenge to quit college and start a business, the incentive to drop everything and do your own thing has never been stronger. Most business professionals, however, would counsel that a good business program is one of the best investments you can make in your professional future. Through an analysis of data from Crunchbase, Angel List, public business data, and other factors (such as proximity to major metropolitan entrepreneurial ecosystems), we have brought you a list of the 50 best colleges in the U.S. for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Top 10 Best U.S. Colleges for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Rank School Location
1 Stanford University Palo Alto, CA
2 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
4 University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
5 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
6 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
7 New York University New York, NY
8 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
9 Columbia University New York, NY
10 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
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  1. Stanford University
    Location

    Palo Alto, CA

    Stanford consistently ranks at the top of business school lists, and for good reason. Its business school boasts an all-star roster of alumni, innovative programs, a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an infectious energy and optimism about the power of business to shape the world for the good, and a location right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Like many elite schools, undergraduates pursue particular interests within a much broader liberal arts curriculum.

  2. University of California, Berkeley
    Location

    Berkeley, CA

    The undergraduate business program at Berkeley is facilitated through the Haas School of Business, which integrates business knowledge with Berkeley's larger liberal arts program. Aspiring entrepreneurs will benefit from the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, a leader in innovation, education, and research in the most influential sectors of the global business community. The Center is home to Steve Blank's famous Lean Launch Pad class, the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps, an accelerator program, and much more.

  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Like many other schools on the top of our list, MIT offers not just specific programs in entrepreneurship but a network of resources and centers. Foremost in this network is the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, which offers an astonishing range of courses from an equally astonishing range of professionals, educators, and practitioners in nearly every industry imaginable. The undergraduate business curriculum is facilitated by the Sloan School of Management offers a Bachelor of Science (SB) in Management Science, which is consistently ranked one of the best undergraduate business programs in the world.

  4. University of California, Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    The B.A. in Business Economics at UCLA is more analytical in nature, and students are required to coordinate their courses with the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management. The graduate school also hosts the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, so even undergraduates have exposure to some of the best business minds in Los Angeles. The Center offers a bootcamp, a certificate program, and numerous other initiatives and enjoys close relationships with some influential companies such as Johnson & Johnson.

  5. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    The Marshall School of Business and the Leventhal School of Accounting at USC hosts the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, which coordinates graduate and undergraduate programs alike. Undergrads pursue a general business degree but have access not only to the Center's initiatives but also SoCal's rich entrepreneurial network. The Center helps shape curriculum, sponsors research, and stages competitions for aspiring entrepreneurs.

  6. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Harvard Business School, famous for its case study method approach to business education, also houses the Rock Center for entrepreneurship, which puts on a new venture competition and hosts a variety of other fellowships and programs. But that's not all. There is also the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. With resources like these, it's no surprise that companies such as Facebook and Microsoft got their starts at Harvard.

  7. New York University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Like Columbia, NYU's location in the heart of New York City should not be underestimated. Students have access to a wealth of experience and expertise right in their backyards. Beyond the location, however, NYU is home to a litany of entrepreneurial centers, teams, institutes, and resources, including the Leslie eLab, the Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Entrepreneurial Institute. Undergraduates can complete a specialization in entrepreneurship as part of their major.

  8. University of Michigan
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    The Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan is located within the College of Engineering and sponsors a nine-credit Program in Entrepreneurship available to all undergraduates. Beyond this official program, the Center's resources are vast. The Center offers a multitude of grants, prizes, competitions, training programs, mentoring programs, and more.

  9. Columbia University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Columbia has a strong alumni entrepreneurial network in the city of New York, a less tangible fact that should not be overlooked. It also houses the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center in the Business School as well as a host of entrepreneurial networks that pair students with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Undergraduates in the College can opt to pursue business studies as a part of a larger liberal arts program.

  10. Cornell University
    Location

    Ithaca, NY

    Cornell University boasts several resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. From an Entrepreneurship across Cornell campaign to its own established Entrepreneur Network to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Cornell campus is saturated with resources for the aspiring entrepreneur. Undergraduates typically begin their entrepreneurial studies in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

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