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Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship


About the Program

Program Overview

Location: Online

App Deadline: Aug. 1, Dec. 15

Pre-Requisites: GRE NOT required

Time: 18 months - 30 credit hours

AACSB accredited

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MILE Student studying at home in their own time.


Whether you aspire to build or grow your own business, or lead change within an organization, WCU’s Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship (MEILE) program can help you to minimize risk and maximize ROI in your pursuit of innovation. Our program offers two concentrations: Entrepreneurship, for those launching or growing an entrepreneurial firm, and Innovation Leadership, for those wanting to focus on innovation within an existing organization via intrapreneurship. All students in our program join a collaborative and resourceful community of support dedicated to helping them successfully operate and grow their enterprise.

Fully online and accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the international accrediting agency for business schools, our program offers the flexibility you need to enhance your entrepreneurial experience on your time, while balancing your career and personal life.

If you have a creative idea and would like to confidentially speak to one of our faculty members to see how your concept and your career could benefit from our program, we would be delighted to speak with you!

Virtual Open House

Wednesday, August 7: 5-6:30pm

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

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Entrepreneurship Concentration

Many enrolled students actually launch their start-up while in our program. Benefitting from a professional network and the mentorship of our experienced faculty of successful entrepreneurs, our students explore possible markets, examine product/service feasibility, identify funding opportunities, and learn to build an effective team. This concentration is designed to help students build the tools, assets, experience and network they'll need to lead an entrepreneurial venture.

Innovation Leadership Concentration

Today’s organizations are faced with a rapidly changing environment, creating both challenges and opportunities to evolve and prosper. The Innovation Leadership Concentration addresses the emerging practice of Intrapreneurship, broadly defined as the application of entrepreneurial capabilities to the development of new ventures within an existing firm. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to serve as innovation leaders and change agents.

Students completing the Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship degree will learn how to:

  • Be innovative and creative thinkers who will recognize entrepreneurial opportunities and recognize when entrepreneurial opportunities can be created
  • Create and establish successful entrepreneurial ventures
  • Lead entrepreneurial ventures
  • Develop and maintain an ethical culture within an entrepreneurial venture
  • Communicate effectively with the internal constituencies of an entrepreneurial venture, including officers, managers, employees, and agents
  • Communicate effectively with the external constituencies of an entrepreneurial venture, including customers, investors, lenders, suppliers, and regulatory agencies
  • Build and grow successful entrepreneurial ventures
  • Maintain and harvest entrepreneurial ventures successfully

Taught completely online, our program allows students to continue working while pursuing their degree. Students typically complete 6 credits of coursework per semester for a total of 30 credits at the completion of the program.  Students can complete the program in five semesters, starting enrollment with fall or spring semester. The Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program requires 30 semester hours.  This includes a 21 hour core and a 9 hour concentration. 

The Core consists of:

Entrepreneurial Innovation (ENT 601)
Examination of invention, enhancement, originality, divergent thinking, and innovation in research, development, enhancement, and strategy in businesses and organizations.

Entrepreneurial Creation (ENT 610)
Examination of the resources, demand, industry and competitive forces, and strategies required for successful entrepreneurial activities.

Entrepreneurial Feasibility Analysis (ENT 640)
Financial forecasting to include pro forma cash flow development, and the design and development of reporting systems.

Advanced Entrepreneurial Finance (ENT 650)
Financial statements analysis, performance and sensitivity analysis and sources and types of debt and equity funding.

Planning a New Venture (ENT 655)
Culmination of three semesters of work leading to the creation of a business plan that is capable of supporting substantial financial investment.

Entrepreneurial Strategy I (ENT 660)
Strategic leadership, deliberate strategy, environment scanning, competitive assessment, entrepreneurial vision and communication.

Entrepreneurial Strategy II (ENT 670)
Strategic leadership, deliberate strategy, environmental scanning, competitive assessment, entrepreneurial vision and communication.

The Entrepreneurship Concentration focuses on launching or growing an entrepreneurial firm.

Entrepreneurial Planning (ENT 600)
Tools for venture creation and management including marketing, accounting, risk management, human resources, legal issues, and intellectual capital.

Entrepreneurial Growth (ENT 630)
Developing the materials to institute and expand a successful entrepreneurial venture.

Entrepreneurial Marketing (ENT 645)
Methods of creating and delivering a marketing plan using media and online approaches. Course requires the development of marketing plan, market analysis, collateral material, and online promotions.

The Innovation Leadership Concentration focuses on identifying, driving, and leveraging innovation for internal opportunities, typically within an existing organization.

Design Thinking (ENT 615)
Creating an organizational structure and culture that supports a design thinking-based process for innovation.

Intrapreneurship: Innovation within Organizations (ENT 635)
This course addresses the emerging practice of Intrapreneurship, broadly defined as the application of entrepreneurial capabilities to the development of new ventures within an existing firm.  Individuals who may be involved in such endeavors must typically be capable of serving as innovation leaders and change agents.

Building Innovative Organizations (ENT 637)
How leaders and organizations create and implement leadership, culture, and structures that support continuous innovation; understanding the organizational framework, tools, models, and leadership practices needed to support innovation as an organizational strategy; anticipating internal and external changes that may impact the organization.

Looking for more information about WCU's MEILE Program? Click the link below to gain access to the online brochure.

Graduate School Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship program are diverse. To support the diverse applicant pool, prospective students are strongly encouraged to present their best possible case for admission. You will be among peers who are passionate about innovating and leading from within organizations, or by creating and growing new entrepreneurial ventures. Accordingly, students must submit required items, and should submit any, or all, of the preferred/optional items as may be necessary to build their case for acceptance.

Required Items:

  • Transcript showing an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited US institution of higher learning
  • Resume
  • An essay addressing your rationale for entering the program, how you will meet the challenges of graduate-level academic study, your passion for persisting throughout the program until graduation, your leadership, innovation, and/or entrepreneurial experience, and your goals and aspirations after earning the degree.

Preferred Items:

  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Documentation of Leadership/Innovation/Entrepreneurial Achievements
  • Awards

Additional Optional Items:

  • Interview with the program director or another faculty member*

*If deemed necessary to support an applicant's case beyond other materials submitted.

Application Deadline:

December 15 - Spring
August 1 - Fall

Course Offerings: Entirely online

Although tuition and fees tend to change from year to year, in-state students are expected to be able to finish the program for less than $10,000. Out-of-state and international students can expect to finish the program for less than $30,000. There are special rates for those who are out of state and using military benefits.

Distance Tuition Rates

WCU has limited scholarship options for graduate students. University scholarship applications are due via an online portal by August 1. The university offers a payment plan through an external vendor, and students can apply for federal loans through For assistance with the FAFSA application, students can contact the Financial Aid Office at 828.227.7290. 

"This program can help anyone out there, it doesn't have to be just about someone owning their own business but rather more about being innovative in any aspect of your career."

"ENT 601 expanded my view of entrepreneurial creativity and innovation. It showed me the importance of keeping pace with the ever-changing business world and exposed me to many resources that I can use in my business ventures moving forward"

"Thank you for exposing me to this world! It has given me an even deeper appreciation for the creators our there, and entrepreneurs everywhere."

"I learned so much more about the process of innovation based on learning about the theories, history and how this information ties into the future. I learned to focus more on the future as a strategy to analye what's to come."

"I find it very exciting that I can work on real life projects and not just hypothetical ones. With limited time in each day, knowing that what I am working on for school assignments also crosses over into real life, is a real blessing to me."

The mission of the Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship degree program is to inculcate entrepreneurial vision and the wherewithal to succeed in our graduates. The first part of our mission requires that we develop in our graduates the ability to identify entrepreneurial opporunities that already exist: these may represent unsolved problems, unmet wants and needs, and untapped/under-served markets. Of equal importance is the requirement to develop the skills to implement change: the invention, development, and exploitation of entirely new ideas, products, and services; and the creation of new industries, infrastructures, and ways of doing business. Our mission encompasses all types of entrepreneurial ventures: not-for-profit and government organizations as well as for-profit business ventures.



Janice Black

Assistant Professor


Bethany Davidson

Assistant Professor


Robert Lahm



Lane Perry

Assistant Professor



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