Princeton Review Gives USF Program High Marks

The USF Entrepreneurship Program is named among the top 25 graduate programs in the U.S.


By Jessica Aspiras

Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2011) – The University of South Florida’s graduate entrepreneurship program is ranked number 19 in the nation for 2011 by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Last year, the university’s academic program, which is six years old, was ranked number 25.


USF’s graduate program in entrepreneurship is number three among public universities in the Southeast, and it is the only Florida university, in addition to the only Big East university, to be included in the ranking of the top 25 graduate programs.


The Princeton Review, a leading provider of educational services, surveyed more than 2,000 colleges and universities about their entrepreneurship offerings. The ranking criteria included the percentage of graduates who had started a successful business, the number of official organizations and clubs offered to current students, and the availability of internships and externships.


“To be recognized yet again as one of the best graduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation is a testament to our commitment to providing quality education to our students,” said Michael Fountain, director of USF’s Center for Entrepreneurship. “From the start, our vision has been to create an internationally recognized center of excellence for interdisciplinary entrepreneurship, which fosters entrepreneurship education, training, and research to develop tomorrow’s leaders. This latest ranking confirms we continue to be on the right track.”


“We’re thrilled to again be recognized as one of the best in the nation by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine,” said Bob Forsythe, dean of USF’s College of Business. “It isn’t just this ranking that’s so exciting; it’s the knowledge of what we can achieve when we work in an interdisciplinary way. The Entrepreneurship program is part of the College of Business, and it’s a collaborative effort with the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine. We’re proud to partner with our colleagues in this way.”


Graduates of the program have many opportunities. Some go to work for venture capital firms, some start new ventures, while others create and grow new businesses. These new ventures bolster existing business clusters and create new business areas of concentration, creating jobs locally and reducing the outflow of highly trained graduates to other parts of the nation.


Ventures sparked by the Entrepreneurship Program are important to the regional economy. “It is much better to seed, nurture, and grow new businesses than relocate, transplant, and graft non-local businesses into our region,” said Fountain. “Roots for home-grown businesses run much deeper than transplanted ones and are able to better weather adverse economic environment conditions and bear more fruit though new business growth.”


The USF Center for Entrepreneurship has also received other honors. The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship lauded the Center for three consecutive years, most recently in 2006. USASBE awarded its top national “Innovative Pedagogy for Entrepreneurship Award” to USF, honoring the Center’s programs linking business, engineering, science and medicine across the USF Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Master of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies.


Jessica Aspiras can be reached at (813) 974-2479.