Innovation and Entrepreneurship Specialization

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship specialization delivers an experiential curriculum that develops student's understanding of the fundamentals of creating and running a successful enterprise. In addition to the classroom experience, the Mason School's Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center will guide you through the business start-up process, fostering the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to be successful.

11 credit hours required for specialization

First Year: Spring Semester
BUAD 6951 - Intro to Innovation and Entrepreneurship (required)

2 Credits


This course exposes students to fundamental innovation and entrepreneurship concepts and provides a first year entry point into the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Specialization. Students will learn about the mindsets and tools associated with innovation and entrepreneurship and will be prepared to hit the ground running in subsequent, project-based Innovation & Entrepreneurship Specialization courses. Through an assessment and various in-class activities, students will have the opportunity to better understand the presence of the mindsets associated with innovation and entrepreneurship in themselves and how to further develop those mindsets. Finally, the course covers the origins, relationships, and application of tools such as Design Thinking and Lean Startup which are used in a variety of innovative and entrepreneurial settings.

Second Year: Fall Semester
BUAD 6851 - Design Thinking (required)

3 Credits



Design Thinking is a systematic, iterative, human-centered approach to solving tough, real-world problems that are often ill-defined and stubbornly immune to traditional problem solving approaches. Design Thinking is a methodology for generating innovative solutions that are at the intersection of people's needs, technological feasibility, and business viability. This course provides a hands-on introduction to Design Thinking methodologies and mindsets and encourages students to immediately put them into practice. 

Second Year: Spring Semester
BUAD 6861 - Entrepreneurial Ventures (required)

3 Credits


This hands-on course provides real world, experiential learning about how scalable startups are built. The focus of this course is not how to write a business plan. Rather, it is designed to be more of a practical course, essentially a startup lab. You will work in teams learning how to turn a great idea into a great company. In fact, you won't just learn about doing it, you'll really do it.


BUAD 6891 - Entrepreneurship Launchpad (requires BUAD 6861)

3 Credits


This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply problem solving, analytical and communication skills and introduce them to the complexities of working in a team to solve a current business problem.


BUAD 6881 - Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures

3 Credits


Covers the essential principles of the risks and rewards associated with Private Equity and Venture Capital. Financial analysis of a business and risk/return characteristics, business valuation methods, and the financing sources are covered to better understand the required returns to risk investors. Other topics include: fundraising, early stage, middle stage, and ultimately late stage investments; buyouts and exit strategies; the structuring of the "deal"; the creation of term sheets, negotiation strategies, and human capital and resources.