December 3, 2014
An entrepreneurial education will be available to all U-M students beginning in January with a new 15-credit minor in entrepreneurship that aims to attract students from diverse areas of study.
The minor expands on the nine-credit program in entrepreneurship currently offered and adds to the growing number of entrepreneurship programs and activities available for U-M students, including entrepreneurship centers, startup accelerators, countless competitions and more than 18 entrepreneurial student groups.
Two hundred students are expected to enroll once the minor is launched.
The minor will be based in LSA, and is the signature program of Innovate Blue, U-M's campuswide initiative on entrepreneurship and innovation.
"The University of Michigan's thriving entrepreneurial culture is a big part of why I was so attracted to this campus," President Mark Schlissel said.
"Our students are known for their interest in applying their talents and creativity in response to a need or problem. This program will provide students with knowledge they can use to further ignite their imaginations and pursue creative solutions to real world challenges."
The minor combines opportunities to learn and experience entrepreneurship on many levels. Students establish a foundation in creativity, innovation and business approaches through two core classes and have access to a variety of electives from high-tech to social science.
The minor also includes an in-depth practicum and substantial self-directed experiences outside the classroom.
"Today's world demands graduates prepared to be highly collaborative problem solvers ready to tackle big challenges," said Thomas Zurbuchen, senior counselor for entrepreneurship education and head of Innovate Blue.
"We believe all students have the capacity to be innovators. This campuswide minor provides them with the knowledge, skills and motivation to build the skills attributed to entrepreneurial behavior and innovative thinking necessary to succeed."
"I see this minor as an important aspect of what the student experience should be in the 21st century," said LSA Dean Andrew Martin.
"We're helping our students translate what they learn in the classroom to tangible results in communities through a structure that places Michigan on the cutting edge of student-driven social innovation."
The new academic program is a result of recommendations put forth by the multidisciplinary task force on campuswide entrepreneurship education, and substantial student input.
Established in May 2012, the task force surveyed opportunities on campus and offered recommendations for an integrated, campuswide structure able to provide a leading, cutting-edge entrepreneurship education for Michigan undergraduate students.