The Iowa State University College of Business is the first state university to offer an undergraduate major in entrepreneurship.
Final approval of a new undergraduate degree was given by the Iowa Board of Regents on Monday, July 18. This decision comes just months after the college also received approval to launch a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship. The college also offers a minor in entrepreneurship.
“When it comes to entrepreneurship, Iowa State is the place to be,” said Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding. “Our Ph.D. program in entrepreneurship begins this fall, which is only the eighth stand-alone program in the country, and the only one in Iowa. Our undergraduate program, the first at a public university in Iowa, will be in the university catalog beginning in the fall 2017. However, students can begin the program this academic year.”
Entrepreneurship is one of the hottest and most pertinent topics in higher education today, Spalding said.
“Students want to be their own boss. They watch TV shows such as Shark Tank and they get excited. We need to offer programs that prepare students and future faculty members to lead this effort. Small businesses are the job creation engine in this country. We need to provide the future talent that will lead those businesses.”
A degree in entrepreneurship also provides opportunities beyond starting a business, said Judi Eyles, assistant director of the Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. “Many of our graduates go on to work for small businesses, and to have that degree and experience in entrepreneurship is very valuable.”
In addition to the new undergraduate program, it’s important for the College of Business to also provide the full-time Ph.D. program, Spalding said. The Ph.D. program prepares students to conduct and publish scholarly research in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology management. The purpose of the program is to place its graduates into academic positions at leading research-oriented universities in the U.S. and abroad, where they will teach the future leaders in entrepreneurship.
A Ph.D. student’s learning experience is enhanced through active participation in research seminars, joint research projects with faculty, and participation in academic conferences. Students are trained in effective teaching and how to conduct impactful research. They are strongly encouraged to publish their work in top-academic journals before they enter the job market.
Entrepreneurship faculty at Iowa State have excellent publication and teaching records, hold editorial positions at major journals, and are experienced in mentoring doctoral students. The program maintains a high faculty-to-student ratio, allowing close collaboration and interaction among faculty and students.
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The Iowa State University College of Business is among the top 50 public business programs in the country. The College offers a wide variety of programs to maximize student potential, connects students with professionals through case competitions, interactive learning, study abroad, internships and ultimately successful employment.