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Certificate in Entrepreneurship


Expand the Reach of Your Graduate Degree With the Certificate in Entrepreneurship

Apply your knowledge in a new venture

Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in global economic growth and bringing new technologies and services to society. Whether you plan to lead or be part of a team, you’ll learn to imagine opportunities and take action to create value through new ventures.

You can earn the Certificate in Entrepreneurship while enrolled in any degree-granting graduate program at UW–Madison. The curriculum covers financial, legal, and marketing considerations as well as organizational structure and strategies for growth. Start by taking two business courses then customize your program with options across campus that address your interests and career goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

The focus of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship is on working in new ventures and the business considerations for a startup organization. The Certificate in Strategic Innovation focuses on research, innovation, and product development in existing organizations.

Both certificates emphasize the business context; both can be used to probe sustainability and social-mission goals. Students may earn both certificates by completing unique business courses for each.

There is no additional tuition charge to earn any of the certificates.

Business students pay a tuition surcharge to support the WSB services. Please use the career services for your degree-granting program.

There is no advance registration process.

If you decide not to pursue the certificate, please complete the Withdrawal Form.

Program Overview

The Certificate in Entrepreneurship provides flexibility to customize your certificate based on your interests and career goals. In addition to earning 12 credits, you are encouraged to participate in entrepreneurship competitions and student organizations to expand your experience.

The required foundation course, MHR 722, has no prerequisites and is open to all graduate students in a degree-seeking program at UW–Madison. In addition to MHR 722, you must earn at least 3 credits from the Advanced Entrepreneurship Courses list below and up to six credits of additional advanced entrepreneurship or elective coursework.

Note: You may not use the same advanced Wisconsin School of Business course to acquire two certificates (i.e.,  MHR 715 – Strategic Management of Innovation, MHR 722 – Entrepreneurial Management, and MHR 741 – Technology Entrepreneurship cannot be counted for more than one certificate).

Note: Courses may not be taken pass/fail. 

For examples of how you might customize your certificate, review some sample portfolios.

Required Foundation Course (3 credits)

Advanced Entrepreneurship Courses (at least 3 credits)

Elective Coursework

Up to 6 credits of electives can be counted toward the required 12 certificate credits.

  • ACCT IS 300/765* Accounting Principles/Financial Accounting (*restricted access; previously offered as ACCT IS 700)
  • GEN BUS 310 Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance for Non-Business Majors
  • GEN BUS 311 Fundamentals of Management and Marketing for Non-Business Majors
  • GEN BUS/IES 365 Issues in Family Business Ownership
  • GEN BUS 701 Managing Legal Environment
  • MKT 300/MKT 765* Marketing Management (*restricted access; previously offered as MKT 700)
  • MHR 632 Introduction to Arts Entrepreneurship (previously titled Art Enterprise: Art as Business as Art)
  • MHR 636 Entrepreneurship in Arts & Cultural Organizations (previously titled Art Enterprise: Art as Business as Art)
  • MKT 765 Design Thinking for Business
  • MKT 765* Marketing in the Digital Age (*restricted access)
  • MKT 737 Developing Breakthrough New Products: A Practicum
  • MHR 704 Managing Behavior in Organizations
  • MHR 705 Human Resource Management
  • MHR 765* or MHR723 Business Strategy (*restricted access)
  • OTM 860 Planning for Quality in New Products and Services
  • RMI 650 Sustainability, Environmental & Social Risk Management
  • MHR 977 Emerging Entrepreneurship Theory and Research

  • LAW 751 Patent Law
  • LAW 752 Copyright Law
  • LAW 753 Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
  • LAW 817 Business Organizations I
  • LAW 854 Clinical Program: Law & Entrepreneurship
  • LAW 906 Law, Science & Biotech
  • LAW 918 Topic: International Intellectual Property
  • LAW 940 Topic: Fundamentals of Business Transactions I & II
  • LAW 940 Topic: Business Transactions Essentials
  • LAW 953 Topic: Transactional Intellectual Property
  • LAW 953 Topic: Advising Private Business Owners

  • AAE/MHR 540 Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation, and Technology
  • AAE 706 Applied Risk Analysis
  • LSC 435: Theory & Practice of Integrated Marketing Communication
  • LSC 625: Risk Communication
  • LSC 902: Public Opinion of Life Science Issues

  • ECE 601 Business for Engineers
  • EPD 690 Business and Entrepreneurism for Engineers
  • ISYE 671/OTM 671/INFO SYS 671 E-Business: Technologies, Strategies and
  • Applications
  • NE/ISYE 708 Societal Risk Management of Technological Hazards
  • ME 549 Product Design
  • INTEREGR Process Innovation: Concept-Select-Commercialize

  • ART 908 Career Tools and Strategies for Artists
  • COMP SCI 638 Starting a Software Company
  • LIS 603 Research and Evaluation Methods (previously offered as LIS 710 – Research and Evaluation Methods)
  • LIS 732 Strategic Information Services (previously titled: Corporate and Specialized Information Services)

  • CNSR SCI 250 Retailing Theory and Practice (restricted access)
  • CNSR SCI 501 Retail Leadership Symposium (previously offered as CNSR SCI 501 – Retail Leadership Symposium)
  • CNSR SCI 561 Direct Retailing
  • INTER-HE 455 Entrepreneurialism and Society (previously offered as INTER-HE 501 – Role of Entrepreneurship in Society)

  • ENVIR ST 900 Seminar: Venture Capital and Green Entrepreneurships

Sample Portfolios

The Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship provides flexibility and can be earned by selecting from many options to customize your certificate. Here are a few possibilities:

Law student who wants to work with small business or startup clients

Computer Sciences graduate student who wants to start a business at graduation

MBA in brand management who wants to start a business at graduation

MBA in operations technology management who wants to learn about entrepreneurship with a goal of starting a business in the future

Genetics graduate students who want to join a startup at graduation or after a few years at a large firm