The graduate/professional certificate in entrepreneurship seeks to provide entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to students who desire to launch a new organization, work more effectively in startup situations, or explore and better understand the regulatory policies that affect company formation and performance. The  certificate is available to all UW–Madison graduate degree-seeking students (excluding University Special students).    

A student who has completed this certificate will have good foundational skills in recognizing promising opportunities and building a new organization or venture to create social/economic value.

Students who successfully complete the requirements for the certificate and submit the required certificate declaration and certificate completion forms to the Department of Management and Human Resources office will have the certificate noted on their official university transcripts by the Office of the Registrar.

Before beginning any coursework, we suggest you consult with your faculty advisor (or, where appropriate, graduate program coordinator).

Note: The application for declaring your certificate must be completed prior to graduation. Your application automatically serves as a declaration of your intent to pursue the certificate. This declaration will become part of your academic record.

Application information is available on the program website.

The 12-credit program draws upon entrepreneurship courses in the School of Business, but students may select approved, elective courses from a variety of schools and colleges across the university that address the ability to launch and lead new ventures. Approved courses develop and deepen students’ capacity to: assess opportunities, analyze the structure of markets, develop new products, perform financial analysis, understand the consequences of entity types, use intellectual property strategically in dynamic markets, form effective teams, and formulate strategies for organizational growth. Other courses help students better understand the role of entrepreneurial activity in economic growth and the achievement of societal goals.

1. Students will understand the different career paths in entrepreneurship.

2. Students will understand what makes an effective founding team for a new venture.

3. Students will understand critical legal issues in the management of an entrepreneurial firm.

4. Students will be able to write the central components of business plans including being able to apply critical financial and management accounting issues specific to the growing venture.

5. Students will understand key opportunities for minimizing risk and maximizing reward in new ventures.