U of A Graduate Entrepreneurship Program Ranked No. 1 in SEC, Top 50 Internationally

The core courses of the U of A Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship are integrated into multiple degree programs across campus, lending the program a unique interdisciplinary structure.
Roy G. Cordell

The core courses of the U of A Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship are integrated into multiple degree programs across campus, lending the program a unique interdisciplinary structure.

The U of A has the top-ranked graduate entrepreneurship program in the Southeastern Conference, according to the Princeton Review, which also listed the school at No. 4 in the South on its international compilation of the top 50 graduate entrepreneurship programs for 2024.

Both rankings are an improvement from last year, when U of A made its debut on the prestigious listing.

"Our graduate program is made strong by collaborations across campus, an incredible community of more than 150 mentors and the foundation of experiential learning we offer through the Sam M. Walton College of Business," said Sarah Goforth, executive director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which leads the longstanding Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship program in partnership with the Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Venture Innovation.

Goforth teaches the New Venture Development courses at the heart of the graduate program alongside David Hinton, executive director of the Office of Technology Ventures.

The rankings, which date to 2006, analyzed more than 40 data points, including an institution's academic offerings, experiential learning opportunities and career outcomes, according to the Princeton Review.

Some other noteworthy statistics for U of A:

  • The university has started 39 companies in the last five years, in industries ranging from medical devices, software, supply chain, outdoor recreation and retail.
  • The core courses of the U of A graduate program, New Venture Development I & II, are integrated into multiple degree programs across campus, lending the program a unique interdisciplinary structure.
  • Since 2020, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has selected four to six postdoctoral researchers per year to pursue the program as fellows in an NIH-funded, two-year program.
  • Students in the program have secured more than $560,000 in cash prizes awarded through regional, national and international business plan and investment competitions in the last five years.

"The Princeton Review ranking reflects incredible effort on the part of our faculty and staff to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset, across not only the Walton College but also the entire campus," said Brent D. Williams, interim dean for Walton College.

"The integration of the Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship across multiple departments and institutions has transformed students into problem-solvers in myriad industries, which makes for a brighter future for them post-graduation, enriches the learning environment on campus and propels our state forward."

About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students across all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village, and Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative, the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions and startup coaching. A unit of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Division of Economic Development, the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation  also offers on-demand support for students who will be innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs who start something new.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News

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