App Deadline: Dec. 1, July 1
Pre-Requisites: GRE NOT required
Time: 18 months - 30 credit hours
Whether you aspire to build or grow your own business, or lead change within an organization, WCU’s Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship program can help you to minimize risk and maximize ROI in your pursuit of innovation. Our program offers two concentrations: Entrepreneurship, for those launching or growing an entrepreneurial firm, and Innovation Leadership, for those wanting to focus on innovation within an existing organization via intrapreneurship. All students in our program join a collaborative and resourceful community of support dedicated to helping them successfully operate and grow their enterprise.
Fully online and accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the international accrediting agency for business schools, our program offers the flexibility you need to enhance your entrepreneurial experience on your time, while balancing your career and personal life.
If you have a creative idea and would like to confidentially speak to one of our faculty members to see how your concept and your career could benefit from our program, we would be delighted to speak with you!
Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more
about Western Carolina University, understand the Graduate School application process,
and meet key program representatives.
Virtual Open House
Tuesday, January 18, 2022: 5-6pm
Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University, understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.
Many enrolled students actually launch their start-up while in our program. Benefitting from a professional network and the mentorship of our experienced faculty of successful entrepreneurs, our students explore possible markets, examine product/service feasibility, identify funding opportunities, and learn to build an effective team. This concentration is designed to help students build the tools, assets, experience and network they'll need to lead an entrepreneurial venture.
Innovation Leadership Concentration
Today’s organizations are faced with a rapidly changing environment, creating both challenges and opportunities to evolve and prosper. The Innovation Leadership Concentration addresses the emerging practice of Intrapreneurship, broadly defined as the application of entrepreneurial capabilities to the development of new ventures within an existing firm. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to serve as innovation leaders and change agents.
Students completing the Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship degree will learn how to:
Taught completely online, our program allows students to continue working while pursuing their degree. Students typically complete 6 credits of coursework per semester for a total of 30 credits at the completion of the program. Students who begin in spring or fall semesters can complete the program in five semesters, while students who begin in a summer term can complete the program in six. View the plan of study.
The Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program requires 30 semester hours. This includes a 21 hour core and a 9 hour concentration.
The Core consists of:
The Entrepreneurship Concentration focuses on launching or growing an entrepreneurial firm.
The Innovation Leadership Concentration focuses on identifying, driving, and leveraging innovation for internal opportunities, typically within an existing organization.
"This program can help anyone out there, it doesn't have to be just about someone owning their own business but rather more about being innovative in any aspect of your career."
"ENT 601 expanded my view of entrepreneurial creativity and innovation. It showed me the importance of keeping pace with the ever-changing business world and exposed me to many resources that I can use in my business ventures moving forward"
"Thank you for exposing me to this world! It has given me an even deeper appreciation for the creators our there, and entrepreneurs everywhere."
"I learned so much more about the process of innovation based on learning about the theories, history and how this information ties into the future. I learned to focus more on the future as a strategy to analye what's to come."
"I find it very exciting that I can work on real life projects and not just hypothetical ones. With limited time in each day, knowing that what I am working on for school assignments also crosses over into real life, is a real blessing to me."
Applicants to the Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship program are diverse. To support the diverse applicant pool, prospective students are strongly encouraged to present their best possible case for admission. You will be among peers who are passionate about innovating and leading from within organizations, or by creating and growing new entrepreneurial ventures. Accordingly, students must submit required items, and should submit any, or all, of the preferred/optional items as may be necessary to build their case for acceptance.
Additional Optional Items:
*If deemed necessary to support an applicant's case beyond other materials submitted.
Application Deadline(s) for Priority Consideration*:
*Applications received after the priority consideration deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Course Offerings: Entirely online
Although tuition and fees tend to change from year to year, in state students are expected to be able to finish the program for less than $10,000. Out of state and international students can expect to finish the program for less than $30,000. There are special rates for those who are out of state and using military benefits.
WCU has limited scholarship options for graduate students. University scholarship applications are due via an online portal in early February, while College of Business opportunities are communicated via email and are generally solicited between March and June, for the following academic year. The university offers a payment plan through an external vendor, and students can apply for federal loans through FAFSA.gov. For assistance with the FAFSA application, students can contact the Financial Aid Office at 828.227.7290.
The mission of the Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship degree program is to inculcate entrepreneurial vision and the wherewithal to succeed in our graduates. The first part of our mission requires that we develop in our graduates the ability to identify entrepreneurial opporunities that already exist: these may represent unsolved problems, unmet wants and needs, and untapped/under-served markets. Of equal importance is the requirement to develop the skills to implement change: the invention, development, and exploitation of entirely new ideas, products, and services; and the creation of new industries, infrastructures, and ways of doing business. Our mission encompasses all types of entrepreneurial ventures: not-for-profit and government organizations as well as for-profit business ventures.