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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - February 2022
Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation turbocharges Purdue degree

By Mary Jane Chew

Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation turbocharges Purdue degree

Since 2005, Purdue undergraduate students have been able to enhance their learning and add highly valued professional skills to their degree thanks to the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program.

“We enroll approximately 2,000 students with incredibly diverse backgrounds into our program every year, and we always try to make room for more,” said Nathalie Duval-Couetil, director of the program. “Students in every academic major can build valuable skills that will prepare them for the contemporary workplace and economy.”

Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program is an interdisciplinary academic credential similar to a minor. In the program, undergraduate students complete five experiential courses, some of which may overlap with requirements in their major.

“Students learn to identify and create new venture opportunities while developing professional and personal competencies that can be applied to launching startups or being entrepreneurial within established organizations,” said Duval-Couetil.

The program’s hallmark features also include:

  • Flexibility – involving students from all majors due to a modular format that aligns with most academic programs;
  • A strong emphasis on diversity – demonstrated by a gender and leadership course offered by the program since 2008;
  • Unique “track” and experiential options tailored to meet different student and career interests; and
  • One of the longest-running Entrepreneurship Living and Learning Communities – started in 2004.

Duval-Couetil adds that during the program, students have access to workshops on professional development and to guest speakers who can share real-world experience and advice.

"Guest speakers add value to our courses through sharing their experiences with students," she said. “Many accomplished entrepreneurs take time out of their busy schedules to enhance the teaching and learning that occurs in the program. During the pandemic, many of our instructors continued this practice online, which allowed students to engage with experts from all over the world.”  

The program is open to all undergraduates enrolled at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Upon completion, students receive an official certificate, which is noted on their academic transcript.

Purdue’s highly-regarded program was recently named a Top 50 Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Program by Princeton Review and Entrepreneurship Magazine.

Read more about the program here.