For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Maryland earned a Top 10 ranking in the Princeton Review’s annual survey of the top schools for entrepreneurship. In the 2020 rankings released yesterday and featured in the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine, UMD came in at No. 7 for undergraduate entrepreneurship education overall and No. 3 among all public universities. This marks the eighth consecutive year that UMD has been named a Top 25 program for entrepreneurship studies. 

The recent string of Top 10 rankings coincides with UMD’s campuswide initiative aiming to engage all 40,000 students in innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). This collaboration is spearheaded by the Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and engages not only business (Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship) and engineering (Mtech) but also all 12 schools and colleges as well as key partners like the Office of Undergraduate Studies (living-learning programs, general education), student organizations (Startup Shell, Bitcamp, Technica), economic development (UM Ventures, Office of Technology Commercialization) and social innovation (Do Good).

The consistently high rankings are a reflection of the vigorous collaborations between campus partners, said Dean Chang, associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation at UMD. What sets the University of Maryland apart is its aspirational goal of developing creativity and innovation skills and an entrepreneurial mindset in all students. 

“What we’re hearing from small companies, large companies, nonprofits, government and just about everywhere,” he said, “is that innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial to successfully tackling their biggest challenges and therefore should be part of every student’s education whether they're majoring in social sciences, engineering, the arts, business, public health, agriculture or anything else.”

In 2018–19, 7,422 undergraduate students were enrolled in at least one entrepreneurship course at UMD. Nearly half of that group took a schedule-friendly, online entrepreneurship course that taught them about starting new ventures while also satisfying a general education requirement. Beyond traditional entrepreneurship, UMD also offers over 100 courses in areas related to innovation like creativity, entrepreneurial mindset, social value creation and design thinking. Altogether, 16,760 undergraduate and graduate students took at least one of these innovation and entrepreneurship courses last year. 

The Princeton Review tallied its rankings for top entrepreneurship programs based on a survey conducted from June through August 2019 of more than 300 schools about their entrepreneurship offerings. While most entrepreneurship rankings include only UMD’s extensive business or engineering entrepreneurship programs, the Princeton Review additionally reflects UMD’s efforts to include its entire student population. 

The survey methodology looked at each school’s commitment to entrepreneurship education inside and outside the classroom. Among the many criteria were the percentage of faculty, students and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, the number and reach of mentorship programs, and funding for scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies and projects.