MTSU Ranked 17th In Nation


Middle Tennessee State University is ranked among the nation’s top 50 schools for its support of aspiring entrepreneurs, according to a new report released by LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance.

MTSU is ranked No. 17 in the “Top Colleges for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Report” by, which crafted its rankings by looking at more than 100 colleges offering entrepreneurship courses and programs to undergraduates.

Joined by Belmont University (No. 30) as the only Tennessee universities on the list, MTSU also outranked schools such as Penn State, Duke, USC, Ohio State and Johns Hopkins.

The determine the rankings, colleges were assigned an overall score based on the number of entrepreneurship courses offered, average tuition and fees, and entrepreneurship resources available at the institutions. The complete ranking can be found at

“This recognition is additional evidence of the excellent regional and national reputation that the Jones College continues to build,” said David Urban, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU. “Through the hard work of faculty, staff and students, Jones College programs are rightfully being recognized as among the very best, anywhere. Prospective students who want a world-class business education need look no farther than MTSU.”

The website noted MTSU’s 13 entrepreneurship course offerings, its entrepreneurship internship program, as well as its ongoing annual Business Plan Competition and support by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is headquartered at MTSU.

Urban praised the work of entrepreneurship faculty, including Bill McDowell, Pat Geho, Ralph Williams, John Mullane, Josh Aaron and Kristen Shanine.

“We have invested a great deal of time and effort into developing our entrepreneurial program, and I believe that this ranking will help us as we strive to grow the reach and impact of the entrepreneurial culture on campus and in the community,” said McDowell, who holds the Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship.

Launched by McDowell in 2014, the Business Plan Competition allows aspiring entrepreneurs from across the university as well as alumni to develop formal business plans and receive coaching on how to bring their innovative ideas to market. The competition contains a screening round, followed by a trade show/elevator pitch round, and ending with a final presentation round where top winners earn cash prizes to put toward their startups.

“Entrepreneurs are vital to the success of our country. They have the capability to alter the way we live and work. It is clear that Middle Tennessee State University has created an environment for future entrepreneurs to flourish,” said Nate Matherson, co-founder and CEO of

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