BYU Ranks 4th in Nation for Entrepreneurship

Sep 21 2010


Brigham Young University's entrepreneurship program is No. 4 at both the undergraduate and graduate levels according to Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. The report finds BYU's strength in 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.

"I am very proud of the direction our program is heading," says 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 knowhow and values taught at BYU."

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.

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); providing experiential or entrepreneurial opportunities outside of the classroom; as well as 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," says 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," says 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 gifted faculty — is what is beginning to separate us from the pack."

The center has worked hard 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," says Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's senior vice president of publishing and nationally recognized expert on college admissions.

The results of the survey, along with the analysis, appear in the October issue of Entrepreneur, on newsstands September 21.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems, and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Contact Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Tyler Weaver