Drexel University was founded in the late 19th century by financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel. A prolific businessman himself, Anthony was pulled out of school at age 13 to work for his father's banking firm, which he took over at the age of 21. As a young, entrepreneurial investor, he was involved in the financing of Edison Electric, the Panama Canal, and the major railroad expansion of the time. He is quoted as saying, when talking about Drexel University, "I know that the world is going to change, and therefore, the University must change with it." That quote was incredibly relevant at the time, and is even more relevant today thanks to globalization and technology. Nimble academic programs and co-curricular offerings are key to a University's success in today's rapidly changing world, and the formalization of entrepreneurial education through the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship is a great example of that.
The Close School of Entrepreneurship is the nation's first freestanding, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship. Building on Drexel's existing academic and professional framework, the Close School was founded to continue to invigorate the entrepreneurial spirit at Drexel, in University City, and in Philadelphia. The School offers both graduate and undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates. The master's programs offered include Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Biomedicine and Entrepreneurship, Transdisciplinary Science Computing and Engineering Design, and Legal Studies in Law and Entrepreneurship. The undergraduate offerings, paired with a minor and certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, include a Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Drexel's traditional four-year, one co-op and the five-year, three co-op structure. The undergraduate program offers three concentration areas: New Venture Creation, Social Entrepreneurship, and Corporate Entrepreneurship.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, Close is incredibly excited to offer a first of its kind three-year Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This unique, accelerated plan of study has been designed for students that are determined, disciplined, and goal-oriented. It is a program that includes all of the academic rigor and high standards of the existing four-year and five-year degree programs, just condensed into a shorter period of time to help students learn an entrepreneurial mindset in just 11 academic terms. This program is perfect for students with an existing business, a robust business plan, and idea ready for market, or the next leader of their family business.
Although this three-year program will not include a traditional co-op, it will include a three-month structured entrepreneurship practicum during the summer between your second and third year. This period is meant to be a chance for the student to begin to apply their learned knowledge in a guided and advised environment with the help of fellow entrepreneurs at Drexel, the professional and academic staff at Close, and the school's vast professional network.
Beyond the academic program offerings, the Close school also caters to the rest of the University community, Philadelphia's vibrant start-up community, and others through their co-curricular programming, including the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship. The Baiada Institute is the cradle of entrepreneurship at Drexel; open to all students, the Institute provides physical space, mentoring, and resources for student-led start-ups from across the academic spectrum. The school also offers extensive funding opportunities, competitions, festivals and networking events, corporate initiatives, and the $15,000 Entrepreneurship Co-op.
Whether it is attending Startup Fest, completing a major or minor in Entrepreneurship, pitching your idea or product to investors, or working with career entrepreneurs in the faculty — Drexel's entrepreneurship offerings are vast. Drexel's classic co-op program is very well suited to incubate entrepreneurship education, and now, with the innovative three-year degree program, the Close school is ready to support students at all levels of the entrepreneurial process and mindset.
Kevin Murray is an Assistant Director in Undergraduate Admissions at Drexel as well as an alumnus. He spends his free time drinking coffee and thinking about where in the world he wants to travel next.