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12 Months, 30 Credits

The Saunders Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovative Ventures at RIT focuses on the entrepreneurial and innovation process, by which inventions or creative new ideas are brought to market.

Innovation and entrepreneurship skills are not just for starting new companies. Existing businesses are also recognizing the increasing importance of these enterprising skills as they are critical in remaining competitive in today’s ever-changing, global marketplace. Either to bring new products from conceptualization to market or identifying and implementing new processes and procedures, graduates of the program will have a unique combination of technical and business expertise relevant to large incumbent firms or new start-up ventures.

Curriculum for current and past students

Current students and alumni – please visit the Office of the Registrar for a History of Course Catalogs to view and download official degree requirements pertaining to the academic year you began your degree.


Entrepreneurship and innovative ventures, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Organizational Behavior and Leadership
This course examines why people behave as they do in organizations and what managers can do to improve organizational performance by influencing people's behavior. Students will learn a number of frameworks for diagnosing and dealing with managerial challenges dynamics at the individual, group and organizational level. Topics include leadership, motivation, team building, conflict, organizational change, cultures, decision making and ethical leadership.
Marketing Concepts and Commercialization
An introduction to contemporary principles and practices of marketing. The course is structured around the process of marketing planning leading to the development of successful marketing strategies, including the commercialization of products and services in domestic and international environments. Focus is on environmental scanning techniques, setting and evaluating measurable objectives, innovating and controlling the interrelated components of product/service offering, planning and executing the marketing mix (channels of distribution, price, and promotion), and enhancing customer relationships through the delivery of customer value.
Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation
This course studies the process of creating new ventures with an emphasis on understanding the role of the entrepreneur in identifying opportunities, seeking capital and other resources, and managing the formation and growth of a new venture.
Legal and Accounting Issues for New Ventures
An introduction to basic legal and accounting issues that managers and developers of new business ventures must understand at the outset. Topics include financial statements prepared using both the cash basis and GAAP, differences among basic legal forms of business organization and related income tax issues, budgeting and cash flow management, and product costing. The focus is on understanding the legal and accounting components of the business plan.
Financing New Ventures
A focus on financial issues affecting an entrepreneur. The course emphasizes, identifies and follows the wealth creation cycle. The wealth creation cycle begins with an idea for a good, product or service, progresses to an initial company startup, passes through successive stages of growth, considers alternative approaches to resource financing, and ends with harvesting the wealth created through an initial public offering, merger or sale. Identification and valuation of business opportunities, how and from whom entrepreneurs raise funds, how financial contracts are structured to both manage risk and align incentives, and alternative approaches by which entrepreneurs identify exit strategies are reviewed.
Applied Venture Creation*
This project-oriented course enables students to gain multi-disciplinary experience in entrepreneurship, venture creation, or product/service commercialization through a number of alternative venues. Student teams gain applied and practical knowledge by participating in an actual entrepreneurial or commercialization project. These projects include: advancing/maturing a student-originated business concept, developing commercialization plans in partnership with various RIT college product/service development projects, or creating commercial business plans for RIT-generated intellectual property. Students meet with supervising faculty on a weekly basis. *Note: Instructor permission required. Contingent on project and team mix. See a Saunders College graduate adviser for details
Choose two of the following courses:
Project Management
A study in the principles of project management and the application of various tools and techniques for project planning and control. This course focuses on the leadership role of the project manager, and the roles and responsibilities of the team members. Considerable emphasis is placed on statements of work and work breakdown structures. The course uses a combination of lecture/discussion, group exercises, and case studies.
Management of Innovation in Products and Services
This course addresses the management of innovation, sustainable technology, and the importance of technology-based innovation for the growth of the global products and services industries. The course integrates three major themes: (1) leading-edge concepts in innovation, (2) the role of technology in creating global competitive advance in both product-based and services-based industries, and (3) the responsibility of businesses related to sustainability. The importance of digital technology as an enabler of innovative services is covered throughout the course. (completion of four graduate business courses)
Product and Brand Management
An essential element of corporate success is the management of products and brands. Firms in both consumer and commercial industries often manage their marketing strategies and tactics through the activities of their product and brand managers. This course will examine the role of product and brand managers in the development and execution of strategies that deliver value to targeted customers and grow the business. The role of product and brand managers will be examined through all phases of the firm's product and brand life cycle. The course emphasizes the decisions that firms expect product and brand managers to make to achieve market share and financial objectives.
Commercialization and Marketing of New Products
This course emphasizes the marketing and product strategy-related activities required to create, develop, and launch successful new products. Topics covered include identifying the market opportunity for new products, defining the product strategy, understanding customer requirements, developing and updating the product business plan, marketing's role in the firm's product development process, developing the marketing plan for launching new products, and managing the product life cycle. The course emphasizes best practices in marketing-related activities required for successful new product commercialization.
Graduate Electives†
Total Semester Credit Hours

† Graduate electives taken at RIT may be in courses outside the Saunders College.