Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Minor

Program Code: ENTI_UMNR

Program Description

Skills attributed to entrepreneurial behavior and innovative thinking are beneficial for students in most if not all majors, and are critical to career success in established companies and new organizations to address pressing needs around the globe. This interdisciplinary minor uses problem-based learning and other active learning pedagogies to prepare students to create value and be agents of positive change in their discipline and their careers. The courses develop skills, knowledge and values in problem solving, innovation, opportunity recognition, self-efficacy, leadership, ethics, communications and learning from failure. To meet the students’ broad range of entrepreneurship and innovation interests, core courses (9 credits) establish foundational knowledge, and then students select a concentration cluster aligned to specific contexts such as entrepreneurship in food and bio-innovation, technology, bio-tech, the arts, media, hospitality, digital, social entrepreneurship, advocacy or new ventures. Students who complete the ENTI minor will be better prepared to be innovation leaders in their chosen career path, such as being entrepreneurial in an existing company (intrapreneurship), engaging in a start-up venture full or part-time, finding avenues to leverage their art or craft, or creating alliances to meet social or business needs.

Advising for students in this minor and approval of curriculum exceptions will be available through the Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) adviser for each cluster.

Bio-Tech Cluster (Eberly College of Science)

This specialization prepares students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and apply innovative strategies to find solutions that benefit humans, animals, and the environment. Students will also develop unique skills in career readiness such as teamwork, leadership and communication. Students who complete this cluster will be better able to take an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems through Biotechnology.

Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cluster (College of Information Sciences and Technology)

This specialization prepares a student to harness digital technologies and digital business models to develop their own concepts into commercial concerns or to contribute to the innovation activities of existing organizations (i.e., intrapreneurship). The IST Digital Entrepreneurship & Innovation cluster focuses on the impact of Information Technology (IT)-driven innovation across multiple industry sectors including for-profit, non-profit and governmental organizations. IT-driven innovation has created new business opportunities for both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs and is key to increasing efficiencies and expanding the linkage between user-centric products and services. Students who complete this cluster will gain a foundational understanding of emerging information technologies, the components of digital business models, and implementation and design techniques that meet or exceed user-centric requirements.

Entrepreneurship as Advocacy Cluster (College of the Liberal Arts)

This specialization empowers students to utilize the process of entrepreneurship as a form of advocacy to improve the human condition and enhance public life. The cluster leverages a critique of the business paradigm of "maximize shareholder value" to encourage students to create organizations that can be a force for positive change in society.

Food and Bio-innovation Cluster (College of Agricultural Sciences)

This specialization will develop future entrepreneurs and innovators to address opportunities and challenges in the agriculture and life sciences space. The cluster focuses on the cornerstone challenge for agriculture: producing food for the world with entrepreneurial activity and innovation to develop, convert and use biological materials and natural resources (plants, animals, ecosystems and organisms, etc.) to meet the material and energy needs of society. Students are encouraged to take a series of courses in the cluster that complement their personal venture interests and engage in a series of immersive venturing experiences that can range from creating new ventures to mentoring with seasoned entrepreneurs or working within entrepreneurial organizations.

Hospitality Management Cluster (College of Health and Human Development)

This specialization prepares a student to create and develop novel but sound entrepreneurial concepts related to the hospitality industry in such businesses as lodging and food service. For example, through this cluster, students could develop and refine entrepreneurial concepts related to hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, quick-service restaurants, upscale restaurants, mobile dining such as food trucks, on-line travel agencies, and other on-line ventures. The minor is also designed to prepare students to be innovators within existing organizations. Students who complete this cluster develop skills in creating business plans, feasibility studies, competitive analysis, supply and demand analysis, market analysis and financial forecasting. Students in this concentration are expected to include a mix of majors, not only students majoring in hospitality management.

New Media Cluster (College of Communications)

This specialization examines opportunities and challenges in the creation and distribution of news, entertainment and information. The same technological innovations that make it easy to start a media enterprise have introduced a host of editorial and business complexities. Media production and distribution skills and knowledge of media business, technologies, law and ethics are critical.

New Ventures Cluster (Smeal College of Business)

This specialization helps students develop the skills and ways of thinking required to create, develop, innovate and manage entrepreneurial companies. Students learn about acquiring and balancing limited resources, changing business direction quickly, building a coherent team, managing intellectual property, and creating new markets. This cluster develops a wide range of managerial skills not usually demanded in one person within a larger organization.

Product innovation Cluster (College of Engineering)

This specialization develops skills and knowledge through a practical entrepreneurial experience in a technology based environment. Technology and engineering design topics form the practical content of the cluster. General entrepreneurial business topics and tracking current and emerging technologies provide additional foundation structure for this cluster. Students understand and apply fundamental engineering design skills, product feasibility analysis and marketing techniques to move innovative products toward commercialization.

Social Entrepreneurship Cluster (College of Engineering)

This specialization focuses on creating sustainable social impact within marginalized communities. The cluster grounds students in social business, user-centered design for extreme affordability, systems thinking and scholarly research to develop innovative and appropriate technology-based solutions to address compelling global challenges. Travel and fieldwork in which students work in multidisciplinary teams to research, design, test, and commercialize ventures are required.

What is Entrepreneurship and Innovation?

Entrepreneurship and innovation is an interdisciplinary field that deals with new enterprise creation and the process of change and transformation in methods, ideas, and products. It is about problem-solving and the creation of value and positive change in business and society.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You want to learn what entrepreneurs do and how innovators create and solve problems in any field. Whatever you’re majoring in or whatever career you’ve chosen, entrepreneurs and innovators are there already making a positive difference. You can learn to be one, too.
  • You’re passionate about starting your own business, non-profit, or social enterprise (entrepreneurship) or pursuing a career as an innovator within an existing firm or organization (intrapreneurship).
  • You want to learn the skills and develop the mindset of an entrepreneur and innovator.


Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18-19

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ENGR 310Entrepreneurial Leadership3
ENGR/IST/MGMT 425New Venture Creation3
MGMT 215Entrepreneurial Mindset3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 or more credits from one of the clusters listed below 19-10

Students may not use a required course from their major in their chosen cluster. Other courses, such as technical electives, out-of-college electives, and general education courses may be able to be used to meet requirements in major as well as the ENTI Minor. In all clusters, students may substitute up to 3 credits of research topics, internship or independent studies courses focused on relevant entrepreneurship or innovation topics in consultation with an adviser. Each cluster is structured to provide a clear course "path" so any student from any major can complete the cluster and therefore the ENTI minor.

Bio-Tech Cluster

Required Courses
Choose one foundational course for the Bio-Tech cluster from the following list:3-4
Biology: Molecules and Cells
Honors Biology: Molecules and Cells
Molecular and Cell Biology I
Molecular and Cell Biology I
Introductory Microbiology
Introductory Microbiology
Choose one of the following advanced courses for the Bio-Tech cluster:3-4
Molecular Evolution
Biology of Aging
Ecology of Infectious Diseases
Biology of Cancer
Ecological and Environmental Problem Solving
Ecological and Environmental Problem Solving
Seeds of Change: The Uses of Plants
Developmental Neurobiology
Reproductive Biology
Developmental Genetics
Practical Bioinformatics
Evo-devo: Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms
Biology of RNA
Human Genetics
Contemporary Issues in Science and Medicine
Molecular Basis of Neurological Diseases
Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology
Advances and Applications of Plant Biotechnology
General Biochemistry
Laboratory in Proteins, Nucleic Acids, and Molecular Cloning
Cancer Development and Progression
Introduction to Computational Biology
Functional Genomics
Human Genomics and Biomedical Informatics
Environment Chemistry: Atmosphere
Chemical Spectroscopy
Chromatography and Electrochemistry
Advanced Synthetic Methodologies
Advanced Experimental Physical Chemistry
Biological Chemistry
Forensic Chemistry
Advanced Calculus for Engineers and Scientists I
Advanced Calculus for Engineers and Scientists II
Mathematics of Finance
Mathematical Modeling
Linear Programs and Related Problems
Mathematical Theory of Games
Microbial Physiology and Structure
Applications of Physics in Medicine
Network analysis of biological systems
Elements of Nuclear Physics and its Applications to Medical Imaging and Treatments
Choose one of the following capstone courses for the Bio-Tech cluster: 13
Microbial Biotechnology
Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology

Note: if a course is taken to satisfy 400-level elective, it cannot also be used to satisfy capstone requirement.

Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cluster

Required Courses
IST 237Digital Entrepreneurship3
IST 337Technologies for Digital Entrepreneurs3
IST 437Digital Design & Innovation 13

IST 237 is prerequisite for IST 437.

Entrepreneurship as Advocacy Cluster

Required Courses
LA 202Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Liberal Arts 13
LA 424Liberal Arts Venture Development 13
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Black Freedom Struggles Keystone/General Education Course
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
Race, Gender, and Employment Keystone/General Education Course
African American Women's History Keystone/General Education Course
Rhetoric and Civic Life I Keystone/General Education Course
Persuasion and Propaganda Keystone/General Education Course
Landmark Speeches on Democracy and Dissent Keystone/General Education Course
Persuasion Keystone/General Education Course
Foundations: Civic and Community Engagement Keystone/General Education Course
Rhetoric and Law Keystone/General Education Course
The Rhetorics of War and Peace Keystone/General Education Course
Communicating Care Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Disability Studies in the Humanities Keystone/General Education Course
Inequality: Economics, Philosophy, Literature Keystone/General Education Course
Exploring Work and Employment Keystone/General Education Course
Employment Relationship: Law and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
American Public Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Rights in America Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Sociology Keystone/General Education Course
Social Problems Keystone/General Education Course
Criminology Keystone/General Education Course
Population and Policy Issues Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Living in a Diverse World Keystone/General Education Course
Global Feminisms Keystone/General Education Course

LA 202 and LA 424 should be taken in sequence.

Food and Bio-innovation Cluster

Required Courses
Select up to 6 credits of the following 200-300 level courses in the College of Agricultural Sciences:6
Interpersonal Skills for Tomorrow's Leaders Keystone/General Education Course
Leadership Development for Small Groups
Introduction to Agricultural Business Management
Food Product Marketing
Strategic Decision Making in Agribusiness
Agribusiness in the Global Economy
Animal Science
Swine Production and Management
Sheep and Goat Production and Management
Beef Cattle Production and Management
Dairy Cattle Production and Management
Poultry Production and Management
Value Determination of Meat Animals
Horse Production and Management
Animal Enterprise Analysis
Dairy Problem Solving
Communication Skills for BE and ABSM Students Keystone/General Education Course
Leadership and Ethics for BE and ABSM Students Keystone/General Education Course
Community, Local Knowledge, and Democracy
Basic Principles and Calculations in Environmental Analysis
Introductory Food Science
Improving Food Quality
Forest Management Practices
Landscape Contracting Design/Build Principles
Select at least 3 credits of the following 400 level courses in the College of Agricultural Sciences:3
Foundations of Sustainable Business
Agricultural and Biorenewable Systems Analysis and Management
Foundations in Leadership Development
Farm Planning and Financial Management
Financial Decision Making for Agribusiness
Food Product Innovation Management
AgTech Entrepreneurship
Retail Horticulture Business Management
Managing the Food System
Advanced Dairy Herd Management
Advanced Beef Cattle Production
Dairy Farm Management Systems
Bioproduct Marketing and Sales
Power, Conflict, and Community Decision Making
International Community and Economic Development
Principles of Community Economic Development
Legal Aspects of Resource Management
Resource Systems Analysis
Case Studies in Ecosystem Management
Managing Food Quality
Unit Operations in Food Processing
Arguing about Food
Food Innovation and Product Design
International Food Production
Forest and Conservation Economics
Issues in Landscape Contracting
Flower Crop Production and Management
Retail Horticulture Business Management
Case Studies in Turfgrass Management

Hospitality Management Cluster

Required Courses
HM 484Hospitality Entrepreneurship and Innovation3
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Franchising in the Hospitality Industry
The Sustainable Fork: Food Systems Decisions for Away-From-Home Eating
Hospitality Corporate Finance
Hospitality Real Estate
Advanced Meeting and Event Management
Hospitality Asset Management

New Media Cluster

Required Courses
COMM 271Principles of Journalism3
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Entrepreneurial Journalism
Telecommunications Promotion and Sales
Digital Magazine Production
Feature Writing
Wireless Communications Industry
Emerging Telecommunications Technologies
Internet Law and Policy
Entrepreneurship in the Information Age

New Ventures Cluster

Required Courses
Select 6-7 credits from the following category: 16-7
Legal Environment of Business
and Social and Ethical Environment of Business
Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business
Legal Environment of Business
Business Law I: Introduction to Contracts, Liability Issues, and Intellectual Property
Small Business Management
Negotiation Skills for Business Professionals
Social Entrepreneurship
Invention Commercialization
Managing an Entrepreneurial Start-Up Company
Managing an Entrepreneurial Start-up
Business, Ethics, and Society
Business, Ethics, and Society
Creativity and Innovation
Select 3 credits from the following category: 13
Invention Commercialization
Managing an Entrepreneurial Start-Up Company
Managing an Entrepreneurial Start-up
Business, Ethics, and Society
Business, Ethics, and Society
Creativity and Innovation

Courses cannot double count in these categories.

Product innovation Cluster

Required Courses
ENGR 407Technology-Based Entrepreneurship3
ENGR 411Entrepreneurship Business Basics3
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Design Thinking and Making
Prototyping to Launch
Leadership Principles
Launching Innovation: Ideas to Opportunities

Social Entrepreneurship Cluster

Required courses to be taken in the following order:
ENGR 451Social Entrepreneurship3
EDSGN 452Projects in Humanitarian Engineering2
EDSGN 453Design for Developing Communities1
EDSGN 454Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Field Experience0.5
ENGR 455Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Reflection and Research Dissemination3

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Arts Entrepreneurship Cluster

Jonathan Gangi
Assistant Professor of Music and Arts Entrepreneurship
College of Arts and Architecture
104G Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802

Bio-Tech Cluster

Beatrice Sirakaya
Assistant Teaching Professor
201 South Frear Laboratory
University Park, PA 16802

Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cluster

Betsy Campbell
Associate Teaching Professor and Undergraduate Studies Entrepreneurship Academic Program Coordinator
College of Information Sciences and Technology
E114 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Entrepreneurship as Advocacy Cluster

Chris Spielvogel
Associate Teaching Professor
College of the Liberal Arts
227A Sparks Building
University Park, PA 16802

Food and Bio-Innovation Cluster

Mark Gagnon
Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar
College of Agricultural Sciences
208A Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802

Hospitality Management Cluster

William Kidd
School of Hospitality Management, College of Health and Human Development
228 Mateer Building
University Park, PA 16802

New Media Cluster

David Norloff
Assistant Teaching Professor
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
313 Willard Building
University Park, PA 16802

New Ventures Cluster

Jamey Darnell
Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship
417 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802

Social Entrepreneurship Cluster

John Gershenson  
Director of Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship
School of Engineering Design and Innovation, College of Engineering
213 Hammond Building
University Park, PA 16802

Technology Based Entrepreneurship Cluster

Ted Graef
Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship
School of Engineering Design and Innovation
213 Hammond Building
University Park, PA 16802


Peter Hornberger
Lecturer, Management & Entrepreneurship
Rydal Executive Plaza, 309
Abington, PA 19001


Ashu Kumar
Instructor in Information Sciences and Technology
100 University Drive
Monaca, PA 15061


Sadan Kulturel-Konak
Program Coordinator, Professor
Gaige 329
Reading, PA 19610


Linda Hajec
Assistant Teaching Professor of Accounting
281G Burke
Erie, PA 16563

Mont Alto

Michael A. Doncheski
Director of Academic Affairs
212 Conklin Hall
Mont Alto, PA 17237


University Park

Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
209H Barron Innovation Hub
University Park, PA 16802



1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001


100 University Drive
Monaca, PA 15061


Gaige Building
Reading, PA 19610



281 Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center
5101 Jordan Road
Erie, PA 16563


Mont Alto

Mont Alto, PA 17237