The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSEN) degree aims to serve a two-decade surge in entrepreneurial activity by leveraging the Graziadio School’s portfolio of courses in entrepreneurship and related areas to assist students in starting their own high-potential businesses. The MSEN program includes 39 units of course work delivered over five trimesters. The curriculum is specifically designed to assist would-be entrepreneurs who are currently employed yet determined to launch their own businesses as soon as possible. To this end, the MSEN offers a highly focused program that inspires a creative personal vision to be translated into an actionable business model within the bounds of its condensed graduate curriculum.
Entrepreneurship is, at its core, a creative activity. It involves starting a new venture with an innovative idea, frequently for a market that currently does not exist. Its purpose is not only the production of wealth for an individual entrepreneur, but also the expression of his or her personal values and the growth of a free-market economy. Increasing a person’s capacity to become an entrepreneur begins with the acquisition of knowledge in key foundation disciplines. Thus, the first two trimesters of the MSEN program are comprised of four core business courses covering the basics of accounting, economics, finance, and marketing. The remainder of the MSEN program is built around a series of courses framed by the notion of “entrepreneurship as creative problem solving” and designed to assist students in modeling, planning, and launching their own business ventures-for-profit solutions to real-world problems.
The program meets the following objectives for students’ learning:
- Increase understanding of the new venture creation process and assess interest in starting a business in order to consider a career in entrepreneurship.
- Develop the ability to determine the viability and desirability of new venture ideas.
- Enhance competency in managing the start-up process, including the development of financial models, operation plans, and marketing approaches.
- Increase proficiency in writing a business plan that will communicate a venture idea, map the start-up process, and help to obtain needed funding.
Core MSEN courses include ENTR 661 Entrepreneurship and the Generation of New Venture Ideas and ENTR 662 The Feasibility of New Venture Ideas -courses that assist students in the discovery of their own brainchild, a personally compelling venture idea with large market potential. These courses are followed by ENTR 663 Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures , ENTR 664 Managing Entrepreneurial Ventures , and ENTR 665 Marketing Entrepreneurial Ventures -three courses that flesh out a business model to generate profits, build an effective organization, and make connection with the intended market. The capstone course, ENTR 667 New Venture Creation , pulls it all together, resulting in a business plan that students will present to a panel of angel and venture capital investors.
The MSEN program is further enhanced by courses that help students discover their own leadership styles (BSCI 607 Personal Development for Leadership and BSCI 650 Personal and Leadership Development Workshop ) and test their ability to make more holistic decisions that balance each of the functional areas (GSBM 670X Integration in Business Operations ). The program is also strengthened by LEGL 668 Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship and DESC 669 IT-Enabled Process and Decision Support in New Ventures /ISTM 669 IT-Enabled Process and Decision Support in New Ventures . Finally, the MSEN program is expanded by a course that examines and applies the principles of entrepreneurship in an international setting: GSBM 694 G3: Going Global with Graziadio - Global Business Development Practicum .
Ideally, students will complete the final three trimesters of the MSEN program as a cohort.
Students who have already completed their MBA at the Graziadio School may apply to waive the MSEN foundation courses in the first two trimesters if they have achieved a minimum “B” grade in the equivalent number of semester units in equivalent graduate-level courses within the past seven years. This allows Graziadio School MBA alumni to obtain the MSEN by completing just 23 units of additional course work.
MBA alumni from other AACSB-accredited schools may apply to waive up to 8 units of the foundation courses in the first two trimesters if they have achieved a minimum “B” grade in the equivalent number of semester units in equivalent graduate-level courses within the past seven years. Such students may also request to replace an additional 8 units of the foundation course work with other Fully-Employed MBA electives if they have achieved a minimum “B” grade in the equivalent number of semester units in equivalent graduate-level courses within the past seven years. Either approach will allow MBA alumni from other AACSB-accredited schools the opportunity to obtain the MSEN degree by completing 31 units of course work over three trimesters.
Students who complete the MSEN degree can apply to waive up to 18 units (ACCT 652 , ECNM 657 , FINC 655 , MKTG 658 , and GSBM 670X ) from the Fully-Employed MBA core courses if they have achieved a minimum “B” grade in each of these courses in the MSEN program. This will allow MSEN graduates to obtain an MBA degree by taking an additional 22 units of MBA core courses plus a minimum of 8 units of additional MBA elective courses for a total of 30 additional units.
Admission Requirements for the MSEN
The MSEN application process is intended to ensure a good fit between the program’s objectives and the applicant’s experience, qualifications, and potential. Each applicant is assessed in a holistic way; no single criterion controls the admission decision.
To be considered eligible for admission to the MSEN program, an applicant must have an undergraduate degree with an acceptable grade point average from a regionally accredited four-year college or university or foreign institution. International academic institutions must be accredited by the ministry of education or like accrediting bodies from their respective countries.
- A completed online Application for Admission with a specified essay and a $75 payment for the nonrefundable application fee must be submitted electronically to the Graziadio School Admission Office.
- An official transcript with the baccalaureate degree posted and mailed directly by the registrar from the college or university that granted the undergraduate degree must be sent to the Graziadio School Admission Office. If work toward the undergraduate degree or any graduate work was completed at other colleges or universities, official transcripts from all these institutions must be submitted. Transcripts from non U.S. universities which do not calculate a cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale (A=4.0) must be certified, with GPA calculated, by a NACES member agency. For certification, we recommend WES (Course-By-Course Report or ICAP).
- An acceptable score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken within the last five years is required. The Fully Employed Programs Admissions committee may choose to waive the GMAT for applicants who have at least three years of full-time work experience and satisfy at least one of the following: (a) have a quantitative B.S. degree in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), finance, or accounting, (b) have a degree in economics that is quantitative in nature, (c) took statistics or calculus in college and got a grade of B or better, (d) graduated from Graziadio’s BSM program, (e) graduated from Seaver College at Pepperdine with a B.S. degree in Business.
- Applicants must either be currently employed or have a minimum of two years of work experience or its equivalent.
- All international applicants whose first language is not English must submit scores on one of the following tests. Any applicant who earns a bachelor’s degree from a United States college or university is exempt from this requirement. The bulleted list below contains test and contact information:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Contact: www.toefl.org or call (617) 671-2075.
- Pearson Test of English (PTE). Contact:email@example.com or call (323) 255-2771.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Contact: www.ielts.org or call (609) 921-9000.
- International applicants who do not hold a permanent resident visa in the United States must submit an International Applicant Data form. International Applicant Data forms may be obtained through the Office of International Applicant Services at http://www.pepperdine.edu/internationalapplicants/oiss-forms/.
Notification of Admission
The Admission Office will inform the applicant of the status of the application, but it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documents are on file by published deadlines for admission.
While acceptance to the program may allow an applicant to enroll for 45 days as an unclassified applicant, admission to Pepperdine University will not be considered until the application file is complete. Students will not be allowed to continue beyond the first term until all official documents have been received. No amount of credit taken while on unclassified status will assure a applicant of admission. Admission will be confirmed by a letter from the associate dean.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence may be granted during a student’s course of study. A letter or an e-mail from the student’s Pepperdine e-mail account must be submitted to the Program Office indicating the reason for the leave and the projected time of return. Students may be granted a leave of absence for up to three consecutive trimesters. If a student requires a leave of absence longer than three consecutive trimesters, the student must petition the Program Committee. For information regarding the submission of this petition, contact an academic advisor.
Standards and Measurements of Achievement for MSEN Students
Each course in the MSEN program has its own method for measuring achievement. At the beginning of each course, the standards of achievement and method of measurement for a particular course will be described in the course syllabus.
A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 throughout the program. All course grades assigned in the program are entered on the student’s official transcript and counted toward the cumulative grade point average. A core course in which a grade lower than “C-” is earned must be repeated before the student will be allowed to graduate. A grade lower than “C-” earned in an elective course must be made up by repeating any elective course. Upon approval by the Program Committee, a course in which a grade lower than “B” is earned may be repeated. However, a course may be repeated only once. In cases where a course has been repeated, both course grades earned remain on the transcript and count toward the cumulative grade point average.
Students’ academic records are reviewed at the end of each trimester. If a student’s grade point average falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation. While on probation, students will be limited to enrollment in one course. Students placed on academic probation shall be informed of any conditions for removing the probationary status.
Because students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to graduate with an MSEN degree, attention to the grade point average is of concern throughout the student’s enrollment. A student is subject to academic dismissal for any of the following deficiencies:
- Failure to earn at least a 3.0 grade point average in the first trimester of enrollment.
- Failure to achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
- Earning a grade of “B-” or lower during a trimester in which a student is on probation.
- Earning a grade lower than “B-” in more than two courses.
- Earning a grade lower than “D” in any course.
Certificate in Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible Business Practice
Students who complete the six core Entrepreneurship courses of the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (i.e., ENTR 661, ENTR 662, ENTR 663, ENTR 664, ENTR 665 and ENTR 667) and produce a business plan (as part of the course requirements for ENTR 667) that adequately addresses the SEER macro-values (as determined by the SEER Committee) will have satisfied the course requirements necessary to receive the SEER Certificate . All of the above courses are SEER certified and the final capstone course for the Entrepreneurship concentration (i.e., ENTR 667) substitutes for STGY 645 as the required course for the SEER certificate. However, to receive the SEER certificate, students must also complete the Certificate in Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible Business Practice service requirements.