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What can I expect as a Gies entrepreneurship student?

Gies students majoring in Strategic Business Development & Entrepreneurship are leaders, decision makers, and insightful thinkers who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. Here those qualities will be supported and encouraged through a curriculum that trains you in the skills you need to develop and manage new businesses, either as independent startups or new business units within existing companies. With a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Business Development & Entrepreneurship through the Department of Business Administration, you will be prepared for a career as an innovator with an existing organization, a manager in a creativity-driven field, or a developer of new business ventures.

Career Opportunities

Entrepreneurship requires vision, and Gies students are encouraged to be bold as they consider career paths in business development, consulting, private equity, product management, venture capital, and more. Some students may even start their own business while pursuing this major.

A reputation for entrepreneurial excellence

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been named one of the top 5 producers of unicorns—privately held startup companies valued at more than $1 billion—and the #13 producer of serial entrepreneurs by PitchBook, which tracks public and private equity markets.

Startup success starts here

When you study entrepreneurship at Gies, you are at the forefront of innovation. Our College and our university have built a culture of entrepreneurial success and support, which starts in the classroom, grows through programs like our iVenture Accelerator and Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and comes to fruition through the campus Research Park, a leading technology hub that cultivates startups and accelerates corporate innovation. At Gies, you have a working laboratory in entrepreneurship.

Support for business creation

The Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers Gies students opportunities to engage in real-world experiences, learn best practices, and receive advice and mentorship that nurtures entrepreneurial talent. In addition, the College’s proximity to and collaboration with the university’s Research Park provides students with the chance to engage with today’s innovators and experience the support of an entrepreneurial community committed to turning ideas into products.


Typical Plan of Study

The typical plan of study includes business core courses, major core courses, and the required number of major electives. The major electives sample is not a comprehensive list. Students work directly with a Gies academic advisor to determine appropriate coursework, scheduling, and number of credit hours needed to fulfill degree requirements.

Business Core Courses
Sample Strategic Business Development and Entrepreneurship Major Courses
Sample Major Electives
iVenture Fair

Entrepreneurship accelerated

Our entrepreneurship students have an opportunity to partner with the iVenture Accelerator program, which supports the most promising student-led startups on campus with funding, resources, and coaching.


Gies News and Events

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Bertram helping build a bridge for the next generation

Jim Bertram joined Gies as an instructor of finance this fall after spending 32 years in investment banking, working for major firms like Salomon Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Banc of America Securities, and William Blair. He will be teaching Investment Banking (FIN 463) this fall and succeeding Rob Metzger as the director of the Investment Banking Academy in January.

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Torelli: From civil engineer to Gies department head

Carlos Torelli will apply his engineering mindset and marketing expertise to his new role as head of the Department of Business Administration at Gies. “We have a responsibility to give back in academia at a certain point in our careers. I returned to Gies because I knew they would value my skills and my background and give me the opportunity to make an impact."