Graduate Certificate: Essentials of Entrepreneurship

For college graduates (no GMAT required), Essentials of Entrepreneurship is a 15-credit certificate program providing skills to start new companies, establish ventures within existing organizations, or engage in social entrepreneurship. You can develop managerial and technical skills, a base of corporate contacts, and the expertise and confidence to succeed with new ventures.

This certificate program was created for

  • Entrepreneurs - starting new businesses
  • Intrapreneurs - starting new ventures within existing organizations
  • Social Entrepreneurs - starting ventures that benefit the community

Participants gain state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in our technologically-advanced learning center. Small classes offer students individualized attention through intellectually-stimulating learning experiences in interactive classes. Penn State Great Valley’s management faculty have established international reputations as scholars, consultants, practitioners, and researchers. They combine top academic credentials with a firm grasp of real-world issues, helping students sharpen a variety of business skills critical to career success.

This certificate is perfect to update your knowledge, skills, and abilities and for people considering an MBA.

Spring 2012 registration begins Monday, October 31.
To access the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 graduate course schedule, 
click here. 

Ready to register?  Quick link to eLion. 

Area Course Name and Description Schedule Schedule
Required (9 credits)
MGMT 501 Behavioral Science in Business Fall 2011  Spring 2012  
ACCTG 512 Financial Accounting:Theory and Reporting Problems Fall 2011  Spring 2012 
BUSAD 511 New Ventures Fall 2011  Spring 2012  
Electives - Choose 2
(6 credits)
Management-Related New Venture Electives
ACCTG 524 Managerial Accounting Fall 2011  Spring 2012  
B LAW 445 Business and Public Law N/A N/A
B A 517 Communication Skills for Management Fall 2011  Spring 2012  
BUSAD 497/597  Special Topics in New Ventures Fall 2011  N/A
BUSAD 501 Statistical Analysis for Managerial Decision Making Fall 2011  Spring 2012 
BUSAD 523 Prices and Markets Fall 2011  Spring 2012 
BUSAD 537 Management Information Systems Fall 2011  Spring 2012  
BUSAD 575 High Tech Venture Development N/A N/A
MKTG 497/597  Special Topics Fall 2011  N/A
Technical/Engineering-Related New Venture Electives
IN SC 431 IT Architectures N/A Spring 2012  
IN SC 535 Economic Aspects of IT N/A N/A
SWENG 505 Software Project Management or N/A N/A
SYSEN 505 Technical Project Management Fall 2011  N/A
SYSEN 555 Invention and Creative Design N/A  N/A
SYSEN 597 Engineering Law or N/A N/A
IN SC 531 IT Law N/A N/A

How to Apply

Applicants should submit the following to Penn State Great Valley's Admissions Office, 30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355:

  1. Online nondegree application (Learn more about how to apply.)  Please indicate Non-degree graduate in the Major pull-down menu.  Intended Major = Essentials of Entrepreneurship.  Degree = None.
  2. Non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card online or by check or money order payable to The Pennsylvania State University. more 
  3. Two official transcripts from undergraduate institution more 
  4. A current résumé more 
  5. Statement of intent or career objective more 
  6. One evaluation/recommendation more 

This certificate program lets you begin graduate course work on a short-term basis without committing to a full master’s degree, and then build on your skills and knowledge at a later date with an MBA. 

If you complete the certificate and decide to pursue an MBA at Penn State Great Valley, you may formally apply to the program by submitting the following:

  1. Online degree application (Learn more about how to apply.)
  2. Non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card online or by check or money order payable to The Pennsylvania State University. more 
  3. An additional evaluation/recommendation 
  4. GMAT or GRE score more.  Applicants holding a doctoral degree (Ph.D., M.D., J.D.) are not required to submit standardized test scores.

If accepted into the MBA program, up to 15 credits in the certificate may be applied to the degree.  Essentials of Entrepreneurship certificate courses may directly apply to the MBA with an option in New Ventures and Entrepreneurial Studies.  Some certificate courses may apply to other options in the MBA program.  Please contact the Management Division with any questions at 610-648-3248.

About Penn State Great Valley

Located just off Route 202 in the Great Valley Corporate Center, Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies is designed exclusively for busy adults. We have been offering graduate education in southeastern Pennsylvania for forty years.

To learn more about the MBA program, click here.

Helpful Information

Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Transcripts

The Admissions Committee will review an applicant's undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Individuals with a combined junior/senior grade-point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale and appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. An applicant's area of concentration and the balance of communication and analytical courses are also considered. Periodically, exceptions to the minimum grade-point average may be made for individuals with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.



A current résumé gives the committee information about an applicant's relevant work experience. Penn State Great Valley generally considers candidates with a minimum of three to five or more years of professional experience. An applicant's leadership skills, aptitude for a management career, and general knowledge of the business environment are also reviewed.


Statement of Intent

A one-page statement of intent should outline personal career goals and reasons for applying to the program. This statement should be specific and include information about short- and long-term goals and how enrolling in the program may help achieve them. The statement of intent also offers applicants the opportunity to demonstrate writing and communication skills, specify examples of leadership, and provide pertinent information to help the committee select candidates who can benefit from and contribute to the program.


Confidential Evaluations

Two current evaluation recommendations provide a more complete personal understanding of an applicant's technical and leadership abilities. The recommendation should specifically address current employment or recent academic experience, as well as an applicant's potential to successfully complete the program. Evaluations should cite examples of speaking, writing, quantitative, and analytical abilities, as well as how an individual interacts in a group setting.



The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used by approximately 1,300 graduate management programs around the world, helps assess the qualifications of applicants by measuring the general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills associated with success in the first year of study.

To register and prepare for the test, read the GMAT Bulletin. When evaluating GMAT scores, the admissions committee looks for a balance between verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing strengths. Typically, applicants with a minimum score of 500 will be considered for admission. Tests taken within five years of application will be considered. Test scores are to be supplied by the Educational Testing Service and sent directly to Penn State Great Valley (Code 2723).

A GMAT preparation course is offered by Penn State Great Valley's Continuing Professional Education Department.

The Graduate Record Admission Test (GRE) measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study.  The GRE gauges undergraduate achievement in eight specific fields of study and is often required for admisson into a master's degree program.  To register and prepare for the test, visit