Program in Entrepreneurship

Academic Unit

Program Information

Entrepreneurship is driving enormous social and economic changes that are shaping our collective future. The program has three main aims: to create focused pathways through the curriculum that will allow Princeton undergraduates to supplement work in their major departments with a systematic and coherent understanding of, and practice in, entrepreneurship; to leverage, expand, and enhance the University’s offerings across the liberal arts in order to fulfill the previously stated aim; and to promote an interdisciplinary academic community of undergraduate students, faculty members, and others who share an interest and commitment to learning from and contributing to these areas.

Admission to the Program

Student interested in the program will be expected to apply to the program director, normally at the end of the sophomore year and, in general, no later than the fall of the junior year.  At the time of application, students must submit a short statement outlining a tentative plan and timeline for completing all of the requirements of the program.  The statement will include an account of the two core courses and one breadth course (as explained below) that the student proposes to take, and explain how these courses fit into his or her aspirations for learning and practicing entrepreneurship.

Program of Study

The certificate program exposes students to different ways of understanding, conceptualizing, and for some, building enterprises that create value through positive impact on society, whether through a commercial or social venture.  Students will develop necessary skills through a set of practicing courses such as “Entrepreneurial Value Creation,” “Entrepreneurial Leadership” and “Scaling the Enterprise.”  But they will do so while developing a contextual understanding of the social forces at work through courses that might include, for example, “History of American Capitalism” or “Psychology of Decision-Making,” and more broadly, by developing an informed understanding of the social and global challenges to which entrepreneurship can seek to contribute.

Program Requirements

There are four sets of requirements:

  • Courses (intellectual foundation)
  • Workshop (practical skill acquisition)
  • Practicum (learning by doing, with a high bar of excellence)
  • Colloquium (shared social experience)

Requirement 1: Five Courses

  • Two common introductory courses: EGR 200/ENT 201 and EGR 201/ENT 200.
  • Two core courses: must be chosen from a list, which may be updated each year by the Executive Committee
  • One contextual breadth course: to be chosen from a list of suggestions or be proposed by students to the program director

 

Introductory Courses (two mandatory courses)

  • Currently EGR 201/ENT 200, Foundations of  Entrepreneurship
  • Currently EGR 200/ENT 201, Introduction to Creativity, Innovation, and Design Thinking

 

Two Core Courses (choose two out of nine courses listed)

  • ANT 300 Ethnography, Evidence and Experience
  • COS 448 Innovating across Technology, Business, and Markets
  • EGR 395 Venture Capital and Finance of Innovation
  • EGR 491 Customer Discovery, Commercialization, and Value Propositions
  • EGR 497 Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • EGR 488 Designing Ventures to Change the World
  • EGR 475 Complex and Regulated Ventures
  • HIS 379 History of American Capitalism
  • SOC 345 Money, Work, and Social Life

One Breadth Course

Unlike the above list of core courses, the below list of possible breadth courses is illustrative only. Each student may suggest other courses outside of this list, subject to approval by the program director. Students from science or engineering must use a course from the humanities or social science to satisfy the breadth course requirement.

An illustrative list of possible breadth courses:

  • ANT 301 The Ethnographer’s Craft
  • ECO 317 Economics of Uncertainty
  • ECO 385 Ethics & Economics
  • HIS 481 History of the American Workplace
  • VIS 214/ARC 214/CWR 214 Graphic Design
  • VIS 439 Art as Interaction
  • POL 377 Rise of Asia: Political Economy of Development
  • POL 349 Political Economics
  • PSY 311 Rationality and Human Reasoning
  • PSY 420 The Psychology of Poverty
  • NEU 425 / PSY 425 Neuroeconomics
  • SOC 346 Sociology of the Cubicle: Work, Technology, and Organization
  • WWS 340 / PS 321 Psychology of Decision Making

 

Requirement 2: One Entrepreneurship Workshop

Workshops (without academic course credits) will be offered on practical skills involved in the entrepreneurship process, organized as supplements to credit-bearing courses – including and modeled on e-workshops offered currently at the E-Hub.  These are short-term one-off or sessional workshops, normally of 3-12 hours in duration, and students will be required to complete at least one of their choice.

Requirement 3: Practicum

A high level of substantial creative and practical experience in entrepreneurship is required outside of classroom learning. The aim of the practicum is to foster the entrepreneurial mindset in certificate students, in all sorts of settings -- from startups, corporate-to-service organizations and not-for-profits, through “learning by doing.”  The suggested model for the practicum encourages students to go through a process of customer research/empathy, hypothesis setting and testing, prototyping and deployment. It is encouraged, but not required, that this process lead to the actual creation of an entrepreneurial enterprise.  Expectations of the practicum are as follows:

  • The student will develop a novel hypothesis in the practicum project, not one that they have already developed in class.  
  • While the project may be supported through existing programs such as the eLab summer accelerator (for at least one summer full-time) and Tiger Challenge (for at least one year), it can happen independently of these.
  • Throughout the process, students should receive the mentorship of either faculty members or entrepreneurial mentors the University has identified.
  •  The project proposal and the “final product” both would be reviewed by a committee appointed by the program director.  Potential end users for this product/ service could also be on the committee.  
  • The final presentation to the committee would not be a traditional investor pitch, but rather a discussion of how the hypothesis was derived and how the practical testing and prototype development and deployment was carried out.  The evaluation of the practicum leads to a pass/fail result and would focus primarily on the process of entrepreneurial endeavor.

Requirement 4: Colloquium 

Students are required to present their practicum, or a combination of their academic work and practicum, at least twice before graduation: in an annual program poster session and in one session of a periodic program colloquium. These social events also serve to foster community and conversation among the certificate students. The mentorship of faculty in certain practicing opportunities and of alumni in others will also help to build a greater sense of interaction across the Princetonian community of people with entrepreneurial interests.

Certificate of Proficiency

A student who fulfills the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receives a certificate of proficiency in entrepreneurship upon graduation.