Master’s of Professional Studies: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Leadership

Whether you are looking to start your own company, drive social change through innovation, or incorporate innovative practices into your current workplace, UMBC’s Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership is the ideal program to get you where you want to be. Designed for working professionals in both small and large organizations, the program equips students with entrepreneurial thinking skills that prepare them to become drivers of change in both the workplace and in their communities.

Consisting of six required core courses, including a unique 2-part capstone course, three electives and two courses in specialized pathways, the program provides a comprehensive foundation in innovative thinking that will prepare students to drive change in their organizations.

Required Core Courses (15 Credits)

ENTR 601: Entrepreneurial Mindset

This course provides participants with the tools necessary for applying entrepreneurial thinking in their work and life. In this course, participants learn concepts for handling the ambiguity inherent in every business plan. The course focuses on increasing a participant’s aptitude for adapting to unexpected circumstances as well as their openness to pursuing untried solutions and innovating within their field.

ENTR 602: Leadership and Communication

Students learn effective management and communication skills through case study-analysis, reading, class discussion and role-playing. The course covers topics such as effective listening, setting expectations, delegation, coaching, performance, evaluations, conflict management, negotiation with senior management and managing with integrity.

ENTR 603: Legal and Ethical Issues in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership

Organizations have a myriad of responsibilities driven by legal requirements and ethical responsibilities/principles. This course focuses on the legal issues faced by entrepreneurial organizations and how they are often intertwined with the organization’s ethical responsibilities. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

ENTR 604: Entrepreneurial Finance & Planning

This course focuses on finance, planning and start-up considerations that every entrepreneur must face. It is designed for students who have a deep interest in understandings the inner-workings of a start-up entity and an entrepreneurial venture. The purpose of the course is to teach what is needed to properly plan, finance and maintain a healthily entrepreneurial venture. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study. A working knowledge of basic accounting terms and financial statements.

ENTR 614: Capstone I

This course is the first of a two part capstone of the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership Masters of Professional Studies. The course is taken at the completion of the four required courses. The combination of the two part capstone takes a feasible concept and develops each element to create an integrated plan. These courses leverage all the MPS coursework. Capstone 1 focuses on concept development, industry and market analysis, marketing and sales plan, financial plan, and the business model. This course allows the student to develop their initial thinking in each of the aforementioned elements. 

Prerequisite: Completion of all other courses in the program.

ENTR 615: Capstone II

This course is the second of a two part capstone of the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership Masters of Professional Studies. The course is taken at the completion of all other required courses. The combination of the two part capstone takes a feasible concept and develops each element to create an integrated plan. The capstone courses leverage all the MPS coursework. Capstone 1 focuses on concept development, industry and market analysis, marketing and sales plan, financial plan, and the business model. In addition, this course includes the development of management, operations, and launch plans. This course takes the students initial concept and brings it to reality. All the draft plans from Capstone 1 are integrated into a final business plan. The business plan is pitched at the Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition or to another appropriate audience.

Prerequisite: Completion of all other courses in the program.

Elective Courses (9 Credits)

ENTR 605: Learning Organizations

This course covers design thinking as an approach to consider issues and resolve problems more broadly than is typically applied to business and social issues. This course instructs participants in methods for creating an organizational culture of resilience. The course covers the research-derived four pillars of the resilient organization and methods for creating them. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

ENTR 606: Diffusion of Innovations

This course looks at how to successfully harness, promote and diffuse innovation and an innovation mindset across all levels of an organization. This requires a switch in the organization’s culture to accommodate a free flow of new ideas. An organization’s change agents can facilitate the diffusion of this innovation mindset by consistently engaging with others, encouraging their sharing of new ideas and thinking, and challenging them by fostering an environment of friction. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

ENTR 607: Technology Commercialization

This course is designed to give the participants an introduction to the process for starting a technology-based company, including 1) identifying candidate technologies with commercial potential; 2) forming a company to develop a product or service based on that technology, and 3) taking the initial steps in taking the product or service to market. An experiential model for learning will be employed for instruction in which the participants will form teams, select a technology, identify products/services derived from that technology, and develop a plan for commercialization of the product/service. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

ENTR 690: Special Topics in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Leadership

The special topics courses will cover emerging or specialized Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Leadership topics on an as-need basis.

ENMG 654: Leading Teams and Organizations

Students analyze leadership case studies across a wide range of industries and environments to identify effective leadership principles that may be applied in their own organizations. Students learn how to influence people throughout their organization, lead effective teams, create an inclusive workplace, use the Six Sigma process, implement and manage change and develop a leadership style.

Prerequisite: ENMG 652: Management, Leadership and Communication

Pathway Courses (6 Credits)

Students can choose between three pathways: Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and Socialpreneurship. The pathways allow students to take classes specific to their interests. Each pathway consists of two courses.

Entrepreneurship

Courses in entrepreneurship deliver a foundation in innovation with an emphasis on design thinking, sales, and marketing. Design thinking skills are becoming increasingly sought after by employers, while demand for Marketing Managers in the region grew 95% from 2011 – 2015.

ENTR 608: Design Thinking

This course addresses the fundamental principles of design thinking, and solving for difficult entrepreneurship and business problems facing early and growth-stage companies. A regional entrepreneurial company will serve as a source of problems for student teams who will take on the role of advisors. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

ENTR 609: Sales and Marketing

This course will introduce the basics of selling and how entrepreneurial techniques can make a difference in the success of an idea or inspire growth in a company. The class will focus on the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and review the relationship of customer need identification and the reasons that make people buy. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

Intrapreneurship

This pathway is ideal for working professionals who seek to gain skills relevant to their current employment. Intrapreneurship equips students with the skills needed to incorporate entrepreneurial practices within an existing business or organization.

ENTR 610: Intrapreneurship

This course identifies how participants can ultimately encourage and enhance a team’s synergy, causing it to become more than the sum of its parts, by showing commitment to both teammate and team goals and by jointly solving problems. It also provides a transformational learning opportunity for leveraging their leadership efficacy by cultivating self-awareness, successful communication skills, positive team interactions, and creating a growth mindset. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

ENTR 611: Project Management Approaches

This course provides participants with the requisite knowledge to explore how agile concepts can be employed to enhance project performance. Participants will learn the roots of the agile movement, key concepts, definitions, roles, and various tools and techniques. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

Socialpreneurship

Courses in socialpreneurship apply innovative entrepreneurial practices to the development of solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. This pathway is applicable to students working in the fields of social change.

ENTR 612: Creative Problem Solving & Social Entrepreneurship

This course explores approaches to solve a specific socialpreneurship problem that is too ambiguous, complex, or messy to be addressed directly through traditional strategies. It seeks to increase the participants’ understanding of innovation and creative problem solving, and to enhance the ability to promote these skills in others. Students will work with a local, socially motivated entrepreneur and their organization to develop solution sets to a real-world complex problem. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

ENTR 613: Marketing and Fundraising

In this course, participants explore the foundations of target marketing and learn the best practices for harnessing the power of modern marketing tools and data. Participants also learn how to evaluate the capacity of their organization’s fundraising infrastructure, as well as implement fundraising development and diversification strategies. 

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the program or at least the second semester of graduate study.

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