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USF Center for Entrepreneurship Ranked No. 8 in the Nation by The Princeton Review

By Keith Morelli

Michael Fountain

TAMPA (November 13, 2019) -- For the third time, the University of South Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship cracked the Top 10 ranking for graduate entrepreneurship programs by The Princeton Review. Among public schools, the graduate program achieved its highest ranking ever – No. 3 – behind the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia. Overall, USF was ranked No. 8 in the nation.

This is the 13th consecutive year the program, housed in the Muma College of Business, has been ranked among the top 25. It is the only Florida program to be represented on the top 25 list, rising four spots from last year’s ranking.

The Princeton Review surveyed entrepreneurship programs in more than 300 schools that offered both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Michael Fountain, founding director of the center, said the recognition is a result of the continued support by the USF’s senior administration, faculty, staff and students, who have created and nurtured a culture of entrepreneurial innovation across all of the colleges within the university.

“This team effort has brought together the business community in Tampa Bay, USF alumni and the entire university community,” he said, “to create a thriving and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in southwest and west central Florida.”

The effort has been led and nurtured by a continuing partnership between the Muma College of Business, USF Health, the College of Engineering and the Patel College of Global Sustainability to provide an interdisciplinary learning environment for students from all disciplines, he said.

“The support for these efforts over the past two decades has engendered the entrepreneurial mindset and spirit within thousands of USF students and alumni who use the entrepreneurial skills gained in and outside the classroom to positively change the world both here in Florida and around the globe,” Fountain said. “Hundreds of our USF alumni have created successful ventures around the world and many more use their entrepreneurial training gained at USF to innovate as positive change agents within organizations here and abroad.”

The rankings were announced this week by The Princeton Review and will be published in Entrepreneur magazine next week.

The methodology on which the rankings were based included the demographics of the student enrollment and faculty and the number of companies started by graduates over the past 10 years. The survey also took into account programs in which students are mentored by individuals outside the university and how many mentors worked with students.

Competitions sponsored by the center were included and whether the university hosted those competitions. Scholarships and grants also went into the mix that came up with the rankings. A 60-question survey was sent out by The Princeton Review between June and August, seeking information on which to base their findings. More than 40 points were analyzed to determine the rankings.

Fountain said USF is in good company, listed among such private research universities and business schools as Rice University, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and Babson College, all ranked in the top 10.

Hundreds of students have graduated from the USF center’s graduate program since its inception in 2006, and many have gone on to create new ventures around the world with more than half the graduates forming one or more new enterprises after graduation.

The center also assists intrapreneurs – corporate executives with an eye toward implementing entrepreneurial strategies within their own workplaces – to achieve success.

“These schools have truly robust offerings in entrepreneurship studies,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review's editor-in-chief in a statement released this week. “Their faculties are outstanding. Their courses are rich with in-class and out-of-class experiential components, and the financial and networking support their students receive is extraordinary.”