G Computer Sci

Emphasis in Entrepreneurship

America excels at entrepreneurship and USF in particular has a top entrepreneurial business school. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked the USF Entrepreneurship MBA Program among the TOP TIER University Entrepreneurship Programs in 2004. According to Forbes & Princeton Review 2004, USF is ranked among the Top 25 of "America's Most Entrepreneurial Campuses".

"I wish there had been an entrepreneurship emphasis like USF's when I was in computer science graduate school; my career has been a combination of just that: technology and management. I hope USF's MS students, particularly those taking the emphasis in entrepreneurship, will consider Adobe upon graduation."
Dr. Charles M. Geschke 
co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Adobe Systems

USF is just a short distance from the technology start-ups and giants of Silicon Valley, and in the heart of the cutting-edge digital economy of San Francisco. Silicon Valley continues to provide high-salaried, challenging jobs. A survey of practicing engineers by EETimes magazine found that two of the most important factors in securing the best salary were to "work for a Silicon Valley employer" and "earn an M.S. or Ph.D." USF offers this unique combination. MSCS students have taken jobs at top companies such as Apple, BEA, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle, among others.

In partnership with the Entrepreneurship MBA program, the Computer Science department offers an emphasis in entrepreneurship for the MS Computer Science  and MS Web Science degrees. Students enrolled in the entrepreneurship emphasis take a standard MSCS or MSWS degree, but take their electives in the top tier Entrepreneurship Program from the business school alongside MBA students:

MBA661 Entrepreneurial Management (1st Spring semester)
MBA662 Global Product Development (2nd Fall semester)
MBA664 Creativity and Innovation (2nd Spring semester)

MSCS students take 7 (4 unit) computer science courses and 3 (3 unit) MBA courses for a total of 28+9=37 units versus the 9 course (36 unit) pure MS computer science.  MSWS students normally take 7 courses, one of which is an elective.  For this emphasis, MSWS students must take 6 courses plus the 3 MBA courses.

Students will also be offered the chance to participate in the Silicon Valley Immersion program.  This program allows students to experience Silicon Valley's unique entrepreneurial environment by offering a dynamic curriculum that combines academic content with real world lessons from the industry's key businesses.

In addition, students are required to prepare a business plan and prototype during the masters project course and enter the USF International Business Plan Competition, one of the world's premier competitions.

The entrepreneurship emphasis goes beyond a traditional graduate technology degree to teach students what to build not just how and, further, teaches students how to form a company around their ideas. Students network with business students, venture capitalists, and other entrepreneurs from the nearby Silicon Valley during their education, thus, connecting with current and future leaders. 

Note: The entrepreneurship emphasis is only open to exceptional students and requires a 3.3 GPA.

The following charts illustrate how the entrepreneurship courses are integrated into a typical path taken by MSCS and MSWS students (students have several options in the core CS classes).


Sample MSCS with an Emphasis in Entrepreneurship course sequence

Year Fall Spring
I CS601
II CS673

CS601: OO Software Development
CS662: AI Programming
CS621: Network Programming
CS673: Algorithms
CS690: Master's Project
CS615: Architecture
CS625: Parallel and Distributed Computing

MSWS with an Emphasis in Entrepreneurship course sequence

Year  Fall Spring
I CS662
II CS690
CS621: Network Programming
CS662: AI Programming
CS682: Distributed Software Development
CS680: Web Systems and Algorithms
CS690: Master's Project