Credits and costs
As a Penn State Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT) Graduate, You Can:
- understand how companies innovate and apply design thinking
- launch new business ventures by applying the principles of an entrepreneurial mindset
- establish corporate cultures, practices, and processes to support innovation
- track and capitalize on business and technology trends for competitive advantage
- lead, influence, and work effectively on product development teams
- possess marketable skills in ideation, critical thinking, problem-solving, benchmarking, and assessment
Experience a Unique and Flexible Online Curriculum
Learn when it's right for you thanks to flexible, asynchronous online courses. Meet your deadlines by doing work individually, and with project teams, when it’s most convenient for you. You can also attend optional synchronous online sessions for real-time engagement and learning. All course lectures and discussions are recorded so you can access them at any time.
Set Your Own Pace
Take one or two classes per semester based on what your life will allow. Need a semester off? No problem. Need to speed up or slow down your education? You can do that with the CIENT online master’s program.
Start When You’re Ready
There are three intakes per year, so you can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer, according to your own schedule and needs.
Looking to earn your degree as quickly as possible?
If you take two courses per semester, it's possible to complete this degree in just two years.
Looking to fit your degree around a busy life?
Alternately, you can take your time and complete courses at your own pace. Many students take just one course per semester.
Stand Out from Others by Customizing Your Education
Develop tightly focused, career-ready skills tailored to your personal strengths and unique goals. The CIENT online master’s program allows you to customize your learning by choosing from more than 12 concentrations. Few top-tier online programs offer this level of flexibility. Each concentration gives you three courses to dive deeper into a focus area.
View our courses to learn more about each concentration.
Meet Business Professionals Who Share Your Interests and Passions
Come together with students who are like-minded and excited about innovation, entrepreneurship, and business development. This degree provides access to mature students who are experienced business professionals intent on expanding their skills for leading innovation and launching new ventures. You will have many opportunities to work in teams and collaborate on projects with the potential to initiate and transform business.
Focus on Projects that Are Relevant and Meaningful to You
The capstone course for this degree focuses on entrepreneurial business planning and strategy execution. This capstone experience allows students to integrate, synthesize, and apply what they have learned while working on a project of individual interest.
Students may choose to write a real-world business plan, develop a business case for pursuing a new product or business venture, or assess how to align a company’s business strategy to future trends in the marketplace. A sampling of final project topics may inspire you:
- procurement process enhancement business case
- business plan for a unique wellness center
- strategic alignment of an insurance company to promote innovation
- enhancing front-end innovation to enhance corporate safety
- next-generation quality assurance practices
- using innovation to detect chemical threats
- business plan for a unique management consulting firm
- innovations in digital entertainment streaming
- transitioning to loan banking-as-a-service
- business plan for launching executive training in corporate innovation
- creation of a business innovation platform utilizing artificial intelligence
Study with a Trusted Leader in Online Education
Penn State has more than 100 years of experience in distance education and more than two decades of experience in online education. Our online learning environment offers you the same quality education our resident students experience in a face-to-face setting.
Benefit from Partnering with Smeal College of Business
You'll benefit from the Penn State Smeal College of Business' commitment to being your partner in lifelong learning. Smeal offers programs, support, and resources for every career stage and life circumstance that will prepare you not only for your next great opportunity but also for the one after that. You'll receive:
- personal advising
- access to global immersion trips
- specialized career coaching upon graduation
- additional networking opportunities
- exclusive access to a virtual hub for those interested in venture creation
Global Immersion Program Opportunity
Students will have the opportunity to participate in an optional Global Immersion trip. For one week, you will join fellow Penn Staters from the Smeal College of Business to visit a pivotal global business region in order to develop a critical awareness of international business practices and diverse cultures.
Information for Military and Veterans
Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.
The 33-credit Master's in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT) is a highly customizable interdisciplinary program that allows you to earn graduate certificates while pursuing your master’s degree online.
As a Penn State World Campus student, you can schedule courses in order to complete the program at your own pace. Your courses are primarily asynchronous — meaning you are not required to attend online classes at a specific time. Most courses, however, will include a voluntary synchronous component to allow you the opportunity to interact with professors and peers virtually weekly or bi-weekly.
Your education will blend self-study with peer-to-peer interaction over an online learning network. You'll complete weekly assignments, readings, discussions, and occasional group work, as well as exams and other activities designed to enhance your learning outcomes, all at times that are most convenient for you.
The program is structured into four distinct areas:
- Required courses
- Final capstone course
- Primary concentration
- Secondary concentration
At least 18 credits must be at the 500 or 800 level, with at least 6 at the 500 level. Depending on course availability, you can complete the program in as little as five semesters of study, or spread out the courses to suit your personal responsibilities and work commitments.
Core Courses (12 credits)
Upon request, a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be awarded to students who complete ENTR 502, ENTR 810, ENTR 820, and MBADM 531 and submit a graduate certificate application.
Capstone Experience (3 credits)
Primary Concentration (9 credits)
Students in the CIENT program have the flexibility to choose a concentration in either business management foundations or engineering innovation foundations.
Business Management Foundation (select 9 credits)
Elective courses for those who aspire to a more business-facing role.
Engineering Innovation Foundations (9 credits)
Elective courses for those who aspire to a more technical leadership role.
Secondary Concentration (9 credits)
The secondary concentration allows you to drill down into a specialty area to consider how the principles of corporate innovation may be applied. To ensure student success, some secondary concentrations have prerequisite course and/or work experience requirements in order to gain entrance. These requirements have been established to ensure students have the necessary foundational knowledge prior to entering the concentration. Please refer to the concentration selections below for further details.
Completion of a secondary concentration may lead to an additional graduate certificate. Some graduate certificates will require you to take an extra course outside of the 33 credits needed for the master's degree.
Accounting Foundations (select 9 credits)
If MBADM 811 is completed in the primary concentration, ACCTG 812, 813, and 814 must be completed for the secondary concentration.
Business Analytics (9 credits)
Because key concepts build from one course to the next, please plan to start with BAN 830, follow with 840, and finish with 550. Prerequisite includes previous work experience and/or academic background with statistics. Please contact the program for further information at [email protected].
Diversity and Inclusion as Strategy (9 credits)
Three (3) credits must come from MGMT 845. Students can choose how to fulfill the remaining six (6) credits with the courses in this section.
Supply Chain Management (select 9 credits)
Three (3) credits must come from SCM 800. Students can choose how to fulfill the remaining six (6) credits with the courses in this section.
Elective courses and/or concentrations may change or be added to address evolving trends in the industry, current student feedback, and/or fluctuations in demand. For the most updated list of approved electives, please contact our program office directly at [email protected].
Optional Global Immersion Experience
This learning experience is designed to enhance your ability to communicate cross-culturally, adapt to evolving business environments, and manage some of the key risks and benefits of operating on a global scale. The Global Immersion trip may include visits to corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities, as well as meetings with executives and government officials to learn about international business from those experiencing it firsthand in the country you are visiting.
The Global Immersion trip and corresponding course(s) will be offered each spring. Please note that course work is required both before and after the trip. Online students may pursue the Global Immersion experience/courses in one of two ways:
- Option 1: Take BA 836 for 1 credit in a spring semester. The 1-credit course will include the trip and associated pre/post-work. BA 836 would be an additional credit on top of the 33 required to graduate.
- Option 2: Take BA 836 for 1 credit AND BA 835 for 2 credits during spring semester. Together, the 3 credits will involve more extensive course work in this subject area and will include the trip. The 3 combined credits for BA 835 and 836 may replace one 3-credit program elective course with approval. Please contact the program office with any questions.
We aim to have enough students across programs to allow students to choose from 3–4 locations each spring. Past trips for the full-time and executive students have included Johannesburg, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Prague, Czech Republic; and Santiago, Chile. The trip choices will be made by the program faculty directors based on global business climate and corporate and alumni relationships that will allow for the most fruitful experience. Please contact the program office for more details, including fee structure, upcoming dates, and locations. Please note that students pay course tuition as well as an additional trip fee to participate in the Global Immersion experience.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||Cost|
|11 or fewer||$1,017 per credit|
|12 or more||$12,203 per semester|
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||Cost|
|11 or fewer||$1,027 per credit|
|12 or more||$12,325 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, should be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Summer Deadline: Apply by April 15 to start May 13
- Fall Deadline: Apply by July 20 to start August 26
- Spring Deadline: Apply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025
Space is limited and you are encouraged to apply early. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all seats are filled.
If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Applicants likewise should have completed about three years of post-undergraduate, professional work experience. Managerial or team leadership experience is preferred, but not required. Less experienced candidates will be considered at the discretion of the program director.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. Applicants who are in the military qualify for an application fee waiver. Contact us to request the military fee waiver code. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GRE/GMAT scores are not required and will not be accepted.
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Vita or Résumé — A listing of your professional experience and education
Statement of Purpose — A 2–3 page essay articulating career and educational goals
Additional Information — May be requested by the program
Start Your Application
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.
- Choose "Degree Admission" as the enrollment type
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
- Choose "Master of Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT)" as the degree
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.
Review the general technical requirements for this program.
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.
Earn an Additional Credential
Earn an Additional Credential
Show mastery of specific subjects before your degree is complete. Thanks to shared courses across programs, students can complete a graduate certificate or second master’s degree concurrently in less time than if they pursue them separately.
To learn more about the Master's in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT), please contact:
Penn State Smeal College of Business
Professional Graduate Programs Office
Email: [email protected]
For general questions about the application process, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
DegreePh.D., Business Administration, Penn State
DegreeMaster of Organizational Behavior, Brigham Young University
DegreeB.S., Brigham Young University
Dr. Shawn Clark is director of the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a clinical professor of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Smeal College of Business. He teaches courses in corporate innovation, entrepreneurship, business planning, strategic management, enterprise modeling, project management, and business transformation consulting. His research focuses on business architecture modeling, corporate innovation, global prescience, enterprise transparency, and the strategic alignment of business and information technology.
Raghu GarudDegreePh. D., Strategic Management and Organization, University of Minnesota
Raghu Garud is the Farrell Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a professor of management and organization at Penn State. His research explores the emergence and adoption of novelty. Raghu was recognized by the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management as its distinguished scholar for 2020. In addition to many journal articles, Raghu has co-edited or co-authored several books.
He has served on the faculty at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Raghu also has been a Fellow of the Sydney Sussex College, the University of Cambridge, a visiting scholar at VU Amsterdam, the Copenhagen Business School, the University of Bologna, the University of St. Gallen, The Indian School of Business, and the Singapore Management University.
DegreeDBA, Business Administration, Georgia State University
DegreeM.A., International Business (International Relations), Webster University
DegreeB.A., Economics, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Jeanette Miller is associate director of the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship and an assistant clinical professor of entrepreneurship in the Smeal College of Business. She teaches courses in new venture creation, entrepreneurship, and managing startups. Her research focuses on social impact, student entrepreneurship, and measurement of impact investing on startups.
Penn State Smeal Advantage
More options, greater flexibility and a commitment to lifelong learning
The desire for knowledge and professional growth spans a lifetime. That is why the Penn State Smeal College of Business offers a portfolio of professional graduate programs for all stages of your career. In partnership with Penn State World Campus, Smeal makes it easy to customize a learning plan to your unique career aspirations and busy schedule. Penn State Smeal offers you a lifetime of learning with more concentrations and one of the most integrated, flexible offerings of online and residential programs in the United States.
An entire team dedicated to your success
Personal advising — Our experts will explain the many options that Penn State Smeal offers and will help you refine your career strategy and craft the educational experience best suited to your interests. It all starts with a simple, but critical question: “What are your goals?”
Career coaching* — Our Alumni Career Services team will support you across all career stages with professional advancement opportunities and coaching to help you stay focused on achieving your goals.
Delivering the best of online and in-person learning for a rich educational experience
We understand that today’s professional learners want meaningful discussion and interaction with faculty and classmates along with the technologies and flexible approaches of contemporary online learning. By aligning the best of both worlds, we bring richness, depth, and diversity to the overall educational experience.
Courses designed to engage and motivate the professional student
Creative Teams consisting of a lead faculty member, a Teaching Support Specialist (TSS), and an Instructional Designer use advanced analytics to develop and deliver contemporary graduate courses that promote application and engagement. We strive to innovate in ways that others don’t.
A real-world perspective
- Industry professionals inside the virtual classroom — Many of Penn State Smeal’s courses feature industry professionals who have been in the trenches and work hard to make an impact every day. These individuals, most of whom hold a Smeal graduate degree, partner with our renowned faculty to provide a rich academic context with real-world application.
- Global immersion* — This unique, optional experience will enhance your ability to communicate cross-culturally, adapt to evolving business environments, and manage the risks and benefits of operating on a global scale. Any student pursing a full degree from Smeal may participate in this optional, faculty-led experience for elective credit. Previous destinations have included Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Prague, Czech Republic; Santiago, Chile; and Zagreb, Croatia.
One of the largest and most influential networks in the country
At Penn State, you are part of a worldwide community of instructors, learners, and more than 750,000 alumni who support one another and make a meaningful impact.
More than 90,000 Smeal alumni benefit from connections around the globe as well as networking events, podcasts, webinars, a powerful LinkedIn community, and opportunities for volunteerism.
Impact Smeal Day — This day provides alumni and professional graduate students with the opportunity to come to campus and interact with current students, network with other alumni, gain professional insights, and hear about college initiatives. The day is designed so that you can sign up for the sessions that work for your schedule.
* Services are available only to students and alumni of Penn State Smeal’s degree programs and online degrees led by Smeal and delivered through the World Campus. Students and alumni of online graduate certificates are not eligible to receive these benefits unless they are also enrolled in a degree program.