What Are the Different Types of Entrepreneurship Degree Programs?

Lainie Petersen

Entrepreneurship degree programs vary by degree levels, specialization as well as quality of instruction and educational opportunity. In many jurisdictions, individuals interested in entrepreneurship degree programs have their choice of completing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. In addition, programs may have a special focus, such as small business management or technology innovation, which may be particularly significant to some students. Other differences between entrepreneurship degree programs typically have more to do with a school's facilities and faculty as well as logistics such course scheduling, delivery method and cost.

Entrepreneurship degree programs may specialize in specific areas like startups, international business or technology.
Entrepreneurship degree programs may specialize in specific areas like startups, international business or technology.

Many colleges and universities, including community colleges, offer degrees in business to students. School business departments may offer several different areas in which a student can focus his or her studies. In addition, schools may offer entrepreneurship degree programs at multiple levels of academic achievement. For example, it is not unusual for school to offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Undergraduate entrepreneurship degree programs include the associate’s degree, a two-year program that is often, though not always, completed at a community college. Colleges and universities also offer bachelor's degree programs that in the United States, typically take four years to complete. In other countries, such as the more or less full-time study may be required: In the United Kingdom, a bachelor’s degree typically takes about three years to finish.

Postgraduate entrepreneurship degree programs include the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) as well as the option of an academic master’s or doctoral degree. The differences between the MBA/DBA degrees and an academic postgraduate degrees varies between schools; MBA/DBA programs may be more oriented in practical application whereas academic postgraduate degrees may be more focused on theoretical research. A master’s degree can take anywhere from one to two years of full-time study to complete whereas a doctorate may take several years to complete, depending on the length and complexity of a student's dissertation.

The focus and specialization of entrepreneurship degree programs can vary significantly between schools. While some programs focus on starting new businesses in a general sense, others may offer specialized training in international entrepreneurship, small business management or technology. In addition, some programs will offer students the opportunity to partner with established businesspeople and industry leaders so that they can begin developing a business plan while they are still in school.

Other variations in entrepreneurship degree programs include course delivery methods and scheduling. While some programs are highly traditional in nature, requiring attendance at classroom-based courses that are offered on a full-time academic schedule, some schools operate differently. Schools that encourage the enrollment of students who are already working or developing their businesses may offer part-time or online learning options. Others may also offer convenient course scheduling that allows students to take classes during the evening or weekends.

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