Program description

The mission of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) program is to enable students to further pursue their passion through innovative and entrepreneurial ventures in courses and co-curricular activities. It is important to note that we use the word “innovative” in a particular sense, referring to creative, original thinking that leads to new ideas, products, or services that create value for society. Similarly, we use “entrepreneurial” in a specific way, referring to taking initiative and creating positive change in the world. Our use of the word “venture” includes both for-profit businesses and non-profit enterprises, and includes any initiative to deliver a product or service in a sustainable way, including those conducted within an existing organization.  Broadly speaking, “business” refers to the various aspects of managing the people and resources of an organization to meet the goals of the organization within a market framework. 

The I & E program offers two different academic programs for students:  1) The major in Business and Entrepreneurship (BUEN) prepares students for thoughtful leadership of and engagement with for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and start-up environments [NOTE:  see BUEN major section for details];

2) The Interdisciplinary Area in Innovation & Entrepreneurship is taken in conjunction with a disciplinary major and allows the students to augment their core with the skills, methods, and a mind-set that promotes innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.

Innovation, entrepreneurship, and business fit naturally into a liberal education. The cultivation of innovative, entrepreneurial thought and action requires one to approach problems from multiple perspectives, to think creatively beyond the status quo, to create and deliver coherent, persuasive arguments. An understanding of the role, possibilities, and limitations of business in our society further requires study and consideration from multiple perspectives.  These are essential skills that a liberal education aims to impart to its recipients. The I&E program is one place among many where Lawrence’s curriculum attempts to develop the ability to create what did not exist before. I&E courses attempt to enhance the ability to generate new ideas or processes and through its BUEN major, to enable students to understand and practice the concepts of management and sustainability.  Graduates who embrace innovative and entrepreneurial attitudes and methods will be better equipped to create fulfilling lives for themselves—lives that extend beyond their liberal arts experience in college.


Required for the interdisciplinary area in innovation and entrepreneurship

  1. Three core courses:
    1. I-E 100: In Pursuit of Innovation
    2. I-E 110: Financial Literacy
    3. I-E 300: Entrepreneurial Ventures
  2. At least one elective from:
    • MUEP 280: The Entrepreneurial Musician
    • GOVT 248: Social Entrepreneurship
    • ECON 223:  Quantitative Decision-Making
    • ECON 405: Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • I-E 212: Corporate Finance
    • Other courses in which aspects of innovation or entrepreneurship are central
  3. A second course from 2. above, or an additional course that is directly relevant to innovation and entrepreneurship. At this time these include:
    • ART 245: Interarts: New Media Projects
    • ART 320: Intermediate Printmaking or Art 520: Advanced Printmaking
    • ART 600: Studio Art Senior Seminar
    • ECON 400:  Industrial Organization
    • ECON 430: Economic Growth & Poverty Traps
    • PHYS 340: Optics
    • RLST 245: Apple, Google, Facebook
    • A course in social science research methods
  4. Practicum: A 3-unit course or internship such as Rabbit Gallery, KidsGive, Music for All, Start-up Theatre, Internship in Studio Art (ART 395, 595, or 695), or others, including the option of a 400-level (or higher) IS to continue a project started in a course.