Best MBA Entrepreneurship Programs: How We Crunched The Numbers

The T-Rex coworking space in St. Louis. Courtesy photo

No doubt entrepreneurial success is tough to measure. Many schools tout the “entrepreneurial mindset” they use to train MBAs. That can range from building the next unicorn to creating a business that is beneficial to shareholders and stakeholders alike; or it could mean graduating students equipped to make changes in massive, established businesses through corporate innovation.

We set out to measure those qualities through the Best MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship. The ranking was created by the following categories:

Percentages and ratios were used instead of raw numbers to account for the size of each program. Once we had a methodology ready, we opened both the survey sent to schools and methodology to comments and suggestions early last spring. After reviewing all comments and suggestions made by entrepreneurship directors and deans at participating schools, we send back follow-up questions and numerous phone conversations to nail-down a set methodology and school survey.

In May, the surveys were sent to the schools. Of the 27 schools participating, 14 did not submit surveys. For those schools, we gathered the publicly available data from school websites and marketing materials. Once the data was gathered, we sent it back to the schools to corroborate or change. The 14 schools that did not submit a survey are: Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Univerity of Pennsylvania (Wharton), CEIBS, University of Virginia (Darden), INSEAD, Columbia Business School, Yale’s School of Management, University of Chicago (Booth), UCLA (Anderson), USC (Marshall), UC-Berkeley (Haas), and Northwestern (Kellogg).


Other publications with entrepreneurship rankings focusing on business schools include U.S. News, The Princeton Review, and The Financial Times. All have their flaws. The U.S. News ranking, similar to their undergraduate business school rankings, is not much more than a popularity contest. Deans and senior faculty are asked to rate programs on a one-to-five scale. The Princeton Review uses a convoluted and bogged-down methodology that considers raw numbers instead of accounting for program size, which greatly favors larger schools with more graduates. And The Financial Times isn’t much more than an extension of the alumni survey FT uses for its actual MBA rankings.

To be sure, no ranking is perfect. And the full methodology and data used to compile the rankings should be considered by readers. That’s why, along with the ranking and reporting that goes with it, we also publish our exact methodology and all data collected to calculate the rankings. So poke through the articles and data and learn about all 27 of these fantastic programs doing innovative work in the area of entrepreneurship education.


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