UM to Offer New Graduate Program in Entrepreneurship

Students and venture capitalists seeking to bring more startups to Ann Arbor may find just the catalyst they’ve been looking for in a new University of Michigan graduate program in entrepreneurship. UM currently offers a nine-credit certificate in entrepreneurship for undergraduates, but the forthcoming master’s in entrepreneurship program—which will consist of 36 credits, according to a UM press release—represents the first full degree a student can earn in entrepreneurship.

The UM program will combine the resources and acumen of both the College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business and will commence in fall 2012. The program—awaiting a green light from the Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan next month—is designed to stand out from similar programs through its interdisciplinary approach and action-based curriculum.

“We spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what the archetypal entrepreneur needs, and we’re going to develop brand-new courses to fill their needs,” says Bill Lovejoy, the recently named co-director of the program and a professor in the Ross School of Business.

Lovejoy and his co-director, Aileen Y. Huang-Saad, a lecturer in the College of Engineering, say the graduate program is filling students’ desires for more entrepreneurial studies. Starting about two years ago, Huang-Saad and Lovejoy were part of teams that conducted research to gauge the level of student interest in such a program.

The program will include classes such as entrepreneurial finance and entrepreneurial operations, which Lovejoy says have “familiar” titles that overlap with MBA classes in name only.

“For example, in finance, these students will not need to know how to value derivatives, they need to know how to navigate the venture capital infrastructures,” Lovejoy said. “In operations, it won’t talk about what line-balancing and other things might do for an automotive firm. We’re going to talk about how do you get a … Next Page »

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Nicole Aber is a contributing writer for Xconomy. Follow @

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