Entrepreneurial Action Is for Everyone

Entrepreneurship isn’t just for those who want to start a company or invent a product. With education in innovation and entrepreneurship, students become better critical observers. They become more creative, able to generate novel solutions to difficult problems. They become more disciplined, more resourceful, and more likely to take action. They become better able to affect meaningful change. 

We believe every Duke student can benefit from cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset and learning skills to realize their ideas. Duke I&E’s interdisciplinary entrepreneurial programs maximize the value of any Duke education, adding a vital layer of attitudes, skills, and career preparedness to students’ regular course of study.  With our curricular offerings, we work to provide undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with transformative educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom, resources to support their innovations, and a diverse community of teammates and mentors. 

2023 annual report graphic 704 undergraduate students took an I&E listed or cross-listed course in 2022-23
2023 annual report 261 graduate/professional students took an I&E listed or cross-listed course in 2022-23

The Duke I&E Undergraduate Certificate 

2023 annual report infographic 373 undergraduate students enrolled. 73 graduated with the Duke I&E certificate this year

Duke I&E’s Undergraduate Certificate supports students in pursuing a rigorous cross-disciplinary study of innovation and entrepreneurship that complements all majors and career goals. The Certificate pairs theory and practice, equipping students with the mindset and skills to tackle complex problems creatively. This experiential program provides a foundation in innovation, ideation, design, business fundamentals, and more, exposing students to real-world challenges and engagement with practitioners. Students tailor the Certificate to align with their interests and goals, learning to explore complex problems of interest to them and develop innovative solutions. 

In 2023, we worked to meet the ever-increasing appetite for this program, adding new courses and experiential projects ranging from internships, to research positions, to civic engagement initiatives, to entrepreneurial ventures. With 373 students enrolled, this program is the second largest certificate program for undergraduate students at Duke, with demographics that reflect those of the broader undergraduate class. In the graduating class of 2023, 73 students from a wide variety of major programs earned this credential. 

2023 annual report graphics for the undergraduate certificate. Schools – represented as pie graph 73% Trinity 27% Pratt. Genders – represented as pie graph percentages Female 55% Male 45%. Ethnicities – represented as pie graph percentages White 42%, Asian 31%, Black/African American 8%, Hispanic / Latino 13%, Multi-racial 1%, Not Specified 5%
2023 annual report infographics. Majors with Highest Representation     Major   Students   Computer Science   92   Mechanical Engineering   45   Economics   41   Public Policy   28   Biomedical Engineering   22   Electrical & Computer Engineering   22   Psychology   17   Biology   10   Sociology   8   Visual & Media Studies   7   Political Science   7

Majors represented by five or fewer students: Statistical Science, English, Global Health, Neuroscience, Int Comparative Studies, History, Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Science/Policy, Art History, Asian & Mid East Studies, Program II, French Studies, Civil Engineering, Visual Arts, Music, GCS in Literature Program, Evolutionary Anthropology, Theater Studies, Religion, Interdisciplinary Program, and Environmental Sciences

The Duke I&E Graduate & Professional Certificate 

Through Duke I&E’s Graduate & Professional Certificate, aspiring innovators, entrepreneurs, and founders from across Duke’s graduate and professional programs can complement their course of study, support their career goals, expand their networks, and work on impactful ideas. This Certificate, which is open to almost all of Duke’s graduate and professional students, can be completed in one year or over several years. In addition to taking elective courses that best support their interests, students work with peers from across Duke to learn fundamental skills to create a business plan, translate an innovation, and convey complex ideas and concepts engagingly and effectively.  

This year the Duke I&E Graduate & Professional Certificate enrolled a total of 306 students from 67 programs across Duke, 104 of them from PhD programs. Forty-six students graduated with the Certificate. 

306 graduate / professional students enrolled. 46 graduated with the Certificate this year. 67 programs represented. 34% from PhD programs. 71% increase in enrolled students from last year. Genders 54% female, 46% male
Schools – represent as pie graph     School   Percentage   The Graduate School*   47.38%   Fuqua   6.2%   Pratt   25.49%   Sanford   3.92%   Nicholas   3.59%   School of Medicine   12.75%   Law School   .33%. Ethnicities – Represented as pie graph Ethnicity Percentage White 27.45%,  Asian 31.05%, Black/African American 9.48%, Hispanic Latino 6.21%, Multi-racial 0.33%, American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.33%, Not Specified 14.38%, Unknown 10.78%
Top PhD Programs   Biomedical Engineering    Electrical and Computer Engineering   Biochemistry   Molecular Genetics and Microbiology      Top Non-PhD Programs   Master of Engineering Management   Occupational Therapy Doctorate   MENG Biomedical Engineering   MBA   Medicine MD



They are founders, researchers, engineers, artists, innovators, and future titans of industry and influence. While at Duke, they gained the tools they'll need to go out and make an impact—including creativity, resilience, empathy, and foundational business skills.

Hear from some of the 120 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from across Duke who graduated in 2023 with the I&E Certificate.

Reflections from the Class of 2023