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USF Center for Entrepreneurship Ranked Best in the Southeast, 10th in the Nation

By Keith Morelli

USF's Center for Entrepreneurship Ranked #10 Nationally

TAMPA (Nov. 16, 2016) -- The University of South Florida's Center for Entrepreneurship has the best graduate program in the Southeast and is ranked No. 10 in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review.

The rankings were released Wednesday and the center, located in the Muma College of Business on USF's Tampa campus, was the only Florida school on the list. The rankings have placed the center in the top 25 for the past 10 consecutive years.

"Small businesses are the engine that drive the U.S. economy," said Michael Fountain, founding director of USF's Center for Entrepreneurship, "and this honor proves that we are doing our part to fuel that engine."

He said the program is exceptional because of its interdisciplinary approach and hands-on learning opportunities for graduate students in the fields of business, engineering, health sciences, and sustainability.

The center also offers those who work in the corporate world a chance to strengthen their business skills.

"Entrepreneurship is about starting a business," he said. "But for students who want to work in the corporate world, the center helps generate the kind of thinking that intrapreneurs — people who think like entrepreneurs but work for traditional businesses — need to thrive."

The survey included 300 universities offering entrepreneurship studies from across the United States.

The rankings will be published in the December issue of Entrepreneur, available next week.

The Princeton Review conducted a 60-question survey between May and August, asking schools for data on levels of their commitment to entrepreneurship studies inside and outside the classroom, according to the announcement of the survey results.

More than 40 points were analyzed for the tally to determine the rankings, the announcement said. Topics included: the percentage of faculty, students, alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, the number and reach of mentorship programs, scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies, and the level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.

USF Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem noted the excellent company USF keeps on the list: Harvard University, which has ranked first for three consecutive years; Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, all ranked in the top 10. USF ranked higher than prestigious schools known for their entrepreneurial programs.

"The Center for Entrepreneurship at the Muma College of Business has proven again and again its record of success," Limayem said. "And its success is a win not only for the students enrolled in the program, but for the university and the community it serves."

"These colleges and (business) schools have superb entrepreneurship programs," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's senior vice president-publisher. "We highly recommend them to any applicant aspiring to launch a business. Their faculties are truly engaged in entrepreneurism. Their courses are rich with in-class and out-of-class experiential components, and the financial and networking support their students and programs receive via donors and alumni is extraordinary."

Kenneth Hamner is an adjunct professor teaching a graduate intellectual property course at the center. He also is a graduate of the center and a practicing attorney.

He said he's proud to have been a student there and now, an instructor.

"I learned a lot," he said. "It's a unique program."

While MBAs are valuable in the business world, he said, "the entrepreneurship program is something a lot more useful for people entering the world as aspiring entrepreneurs. The types of classes offered there are not something you see in an MBA program."

Here's The Princeton Review's list of top graduate schools for entrepreneurship studies for 2017

1. Harvard University

2. Babson College

3. Rice University

4. Northwestern University

5. University of Chicago

6. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

7. Brigham Young University (UT)

8. City University of New York, Baruch College

9. Temple University

10. University of South Florida

11. University of Virginia

12. University of Texas at Austin

13. DePaul University

14. University of Washington

15. University of Utah

16. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

17. Syracuse University

18. Saint Louis University

19. University of Oklahoma

20. University of Maryland—College Park

21. Texas A&M University

22. University of Texas at Dallas

23. University of Rochester

24. Washington University in St. Louis

25. Northeastern University