Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business has No. 4 graduate entrepreneurship program in the US

Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business has the No. 4 graduate entrepreneurship program in the country, according to survey results announced this week by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.

The Jones School’s graduate entrepreneurship program raised five spots to claim the No. 4 ranking.

“The Rice MBA continues to get more positive accolades for the value created for students, alumni and the community,” said Bill Glick, dean of the Jones School. “Entrepreneurship has been a strength of the program from inception and is getting even better recognition from the Princeton Review/Entrepreneur magazine. Built on a very solid business core, Rice MBA students specializing in entrepreneurship have all of the skills and expertise to succeed.  Rice provides a very fertile climate for those who wish to create, build and master the art of starting new ventures.”

The 2012 ranking is based on a review of more than 2,000 U.S. undergraduate and graduate programs. Babson College in Massachusetts and the University of Michigan topped the list. The survey results will be published in the October issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

During the past decade, the Jones School moved from an unranked position into one of the top 10 programs in the country. The Jones School is one of only 4 schools to achieve a top 10 ranking for the past 4 years.

Unlike other graduate school rankings, the Princeton Reviews places an emphasis on providing students with real-world education and opportunities in entrepreneurship and in starting a new company.   The Princeton Review analyzes several factors including business plan competitions, mentoring programs, number of new businesses started by students and number of faculty that have business experience.

The Jones School’s entrepreneurship program includes nationally recognized entrepreneurship faculty led by Ed Williams and Al Napier and co-curricular experiential learning supported by the Jones Graduate School Entrepreneurs Organization and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship.

“It is a great honor for the Rice Alliance of Technology and Entrepreneurship and the Jones School to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance. “The award recognizes the quality of the depth and breadth of the Rice entrepreneurship programs, both curricular and noncurricular. We are committed to help build successful technology start-up companies through education, guidance and connections. To be acknowledged by this esteemed organization is a confirmation of our work to advance entrepreneurial education and new business ventures.”

The Rice Alliance is a strategic alliance of three schools at Rice: the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Vice Provost and the Office of Research.

The Rice Alliance brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors to campus every year for its flagship programs, the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) and the Technology Venture Forums. The RBPC is the world’s richest and largest competition intercollegiate business plan competition. More than 128 past competitors that have gone on to launch their companies after competing at Rice and have raised more than $460 million in funding. Technology Venture Forums, a series of international venture capital conferences in energy/clean tech, information technology/web/digital media, life sciences/biotech, and nanotechnology.   In total more than 1,030 companies have presented at these conferences and raised more than $2.1 billion.

Through the efforts of the Jones School and the Rice Alliance, the entrepreneurship program won the top honor at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conferencer last year, winning the 2011 NASDAQ OMX Center of Entrepreneurial Excellent Award and the 2011 National Model MBA in Entrepreneurship Award from United State Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.   A recent survey showed that more than 22% of all Jones School alumni have started one or more entrepreneurial businesses.

The Princeton Review survey evaluated schools in the areas of entrepreneurship business fundamentals taught in the classroom, departments staffed with successful entrepreneurs, excellence in mentorship, provision of experiential or entrepreneurial opportunities outside of the classroom, as well as nontraditional features that distinguish the programs.

The Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) is another component of Rice’s entrepreneurship initiative. REEP is designed to equip current and aspiring school leaders with the management tools, strategic framework and supportive networks they need to meet the challenges of public school leadership.

To view the complete rankings, visit http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224441.

About Amy Hodges

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.