Required coursework can be completed in as few as 9 additional credits.

Entrepreneurial mindsets have driven many of the greatest innovations of the modern world. In this program, you'll hone skills essential to launch a start-up or expand your impact within an existing business. Here, you'll develop your knack for pushing the boundaries of the expected, for innovating in the face of barriers, and for compelling others to collaborate toward your vision for the future. Your entrepreneurial mindset and business management skills will set you apart in the eyes of employers and investors who will identify your competitive potential.

Strive for new heights in entrepreneurship and innovation with a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Duquesne University. These flexible entrepreneurship courses equip you to expand your business management skills, connect with creative minds, and launch new projects or start-ups-all while maintaining a schedule that works for you.

Launch new ventures and bring innovative thinking to existing firms with a Certificate in Entrepreneurship




Required Credit Hours


From Our Students

Natalie Merlina

"Through the Entrepreneurship Certificate curriculum, I have been able to apply advanced skills and techniques to my small business. Thanks to the professors’ and staff’s guidance and insight, I’m equipped with tools that will help me lead my team and business to success."

Natalie Merlina Professional MBA & Entrepreneurship Certificate, Fall 2023

Course Descriptions

3 credit hours

Opportunity recognition and exploitation are an important component of the entrepreneurial process. In this course, students will learn the basics of opportunity recognition and exploitation, including applying design thinking in identifying pertinent stakeholders, overcoming likely market and legal roadblocks and building the entrepreneurial team. Students will develop a feasibility analysis for a new start-up venture or a corporate venture within their existing organization. As part of the feasibility analysis, students will learn how to conduct a “voice of the customer” analysis to properly vet their idea. Lastly, students can “road test” their feasibility analysis by participating in the Pittsburgh Start-up Weekend and/or Duquesne University New Venture Challenge (DNVC). Hybrid Course. Offered fall only.

3 credit hours

Pre or co-requisite: ENTR-601 Ideation Adventure. Substitutes for MGMT-513 Managing People for Sustained Competitive Advantage (1.5 cr.) in the MBA curriculum.

New ventures require the application of managerial discipline across all functions. In this course, students will learn how to integrate all business functions – marketing, finance, operations, human resources, information systems, accounting, etc. – into a start-up or corporate new venture. As part of the learning process, students will transform their feasibility analysis to a working business plan by conducting industry and market research, identifying and then engaging initial stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, etc. To facilitate this process students will apply critical tools such as a business model canvas (BMC), minimal viable product (MVP), etc. Pre-Requisite: ENTR 601 for level GR with minimum grade of C (may be taken concurrently). Online. Offered fall only.

3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ENTR-601 Ideation Adventure. Substitutes for BLAW-529 Business Legal Environment (1.5 cr.) in the MBA curriculum.

Students will evaluate legal entity choices (partnership, corporation, or LLC), capital structure (debt/equity), tax elections (e.g., S corporation), and co-owner protections. Legal options related to intellectual property (IP) protection (e.g., copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secret law) as well as key IP protection forms (e.g., non-disclosure, invention assignment, and employee confidentiality agreements) will be reviewed. Students will learn about early-stage funding and how to engage investors, including understanding initial stakeholders and applying relevant legal terminology (e.g., preferred stock provisions, liquidation preferences, dividends, voting rights, ratchets, and waivers of director conflict of interest). Finally, this course will review legal and regulatory matters (e.g., complying with SEC filings), as well as the basics of contract law. Pre-Requisite: ENTR 601 for level GR with minimum grade of C. Hybrid Course, Online. Offered spring only.
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ENTR-601 Ideation Adventure. Substitutes for MKTG-535 Marketing Management (3 cr.) in the MBA curriculum. 

Start-ups, as well as larger firms, face a variety of marketing and sales challenges when commercializing new products or services. This course focuses on marketing fundamentals, market research, and sales force planning and execution in an entrepreneurial environment. Developing a marketing plan and identifying initial customers is another major milestone, both in new ventures and existing firms launching new products or services. In this course, students learn how to translate business plans into actionable sales and marketing strategies and tactics. They also learn the first steps to take to initially engage customers, which could include piloting, prototyping and/or co-developing a product/service. Students will also learn how to develop pro forma financial projections that include marketing and sales analyses. Pre-Requisite: ENTR 601 for level GR with minimum grade of C. Hybrid Course. Offered spring only.
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: ENTR-602 The Entrepreneurial Manager; ENTR-603 Entrepreneurship, Venture Financing & the Law; ENTR-604 Sales and Marketing for the Entrepreneurial Firm.

This project-based signature course gives students the tools to develop and present actionable business plans. Students will be put into teams based on their interests and goals, then work online and use video conferencing technology to create a business plan for either a new start-up or for the launch of a new product/service within an existing firm. At the end of the semester, students come to campus for a live “pitch experience.” Each team submits a written business plan and makes a live presentation to a panel of judges followed by Q&A. Students will be given guidance about how to organize their presentations and have a copy of the judges’ rubrics for evaluation. In essence, this parallels the process found in the Duquesne New Venture Challenge (DNVC) business plan competition. Pre-Requisite: ENTR 602 for level GR with minimum grade of C and ENTR 603 for level GR with minimum grade of C and ENTR 604 for level GR with minimum grade of C. Hybrid Course, Online. Offered summer only.

Although the Professional MBA can be completed 100% online, the Entrepreneurship Certificate is a hybrid program with on-campus requirements.

Already completed the associated MBA courses? You can still pursue the Certificate in Entrepreneurship for a total of 15 credits.