Miller School continues its climb in national entrepreneurship rankings

The Miller School of Entrepreneurship in East Carolina University’s College of Business is firmly entrenched in Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship list.

Gage Palmer pitches his business he calls Palmquatics during the first round of the 2023-24 Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, an annual competition sponsored by the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

For five years in a row, the Miller School has been on the list, and this year, it moved from No. 40 to No. 37, making it the only ranked North Carolina school. According to Miller School leaders, the climb in the ranking indicates the school’s approach to being a national model for student success and transformational programs.

“I’m extremely proud that ECU and the Miller School were once again named to the Princeton Review’s Top 50 list, rising to 37 on the list,” said Fielding Miller ’84, chairman and CEO, CAPTRUST. “Recognition on this prestigious list for five consecutive years is a testament to the dedication and commitment of Mike Harris and his team.”

When I tell the College of Business’ story, the Miller School is a perfect example that I can show where we’re raising the bar to serve our students and the entrepreneurial community,” said Mike Harris, interim dean, College of Business. “This track record of success reflects the hard work of the Miller School team, the university, students and our supporters who continue to see a strong return on their investment.”

Since its inception seven years ago, the Miller School has prided itself on developing programs for inside and outside the classroom.

  • The entrepreneurship degree has become a popular degree for tomorrow’s leaders to seek out. The number of students pursuing the degree has grown by almost 300% over the past five years.
  • The Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge just kicked off its seventh year. More than $700,000 in cash and in-kind services have been awarded over the past six years.
  • More than 10,000 visitors used the Isley Innovation Hub during its first year, bringing students together from all over campus to express and bring to life their entrepreneurial ideas.
  • The Miller School, with ECU’s Office of Research, Economic Development and Engagement, has led RISE29, a program where students are matched with businesses and communities to help drive economic growth in eastern North Carolina. Almost 200 students have worked with 74 small businesses to improve or expand business operations, build sustainability plans and explore new ideas. These consulting projects have led to the creation of 118 jobs and 25 business starts since the program’s inception in 2019.

“I believe our continued climb in the rankings is attributable to the Miller School’s focus on its students and its dedication to providing real-world examples and practice in the classroom,” said Chip Galusha, acting director, Miller School of Entrepreneurship. “In the Miller School, you don’t just learn about these topics. You live them and practice them with real businesses in our region. You can’t beat real experience.”

The Miller School continues to look for ways to elevate its value in the entrepreneurial ecosystem it’s helping to build on campus and in the community. Leaders say the Miller School will continue to look at the possibility of adding graduate-level curriculum, expanding the community-based programming coming out of the Crisp Small Business Resource Center, and continuing to connect and engage with emerging student and faculty entrepreneurs via the Isley Innovation Hub.

About the list

According to, the Top 50 Best Undergraduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2024 survey considered hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe, evaluating them on a multitude of factors—including their programming, their available mentors and their graduates’ success rates in the business world.