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Technology Entrepreneurship

Emily Cox Pahnke, Associate Professor of Management, on the Technology Entrepreneurship specialization in the UW Foster School of Business PhD Program

General information

The establishment of Technology Entrepreneurship (TE) addresses the critical areas of research and education in technology development, commercialization and licensing, and the new-venture creation process. The program brings together faculty involved in entrepreneurship teaching and research to guide students in this program. Through a combination of teaching methods, and curricular structure this program hopes to produce the next generation of entrepreneurship faculty focused on high technology ventures.

It is strongly recommended that students pursuing the TE specialization have a strong grounding in either strategy or organizational behavior tracks offered by the Management department.

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Admission requirements

Doctoral study is full-time and year-round. Students are admitted in Autumn Quarter only. Most candidates will require four to five years to complete the program. In ranking applicants, we give primary consideration to student background, academic potential, and aspiration. Each applicant is evaluated in terms of the following:

  • Academic accomplishments to date, as evidenced by graduate and undergraduate grades and courses taken
  • Institutions attended
  • Scholarships, awards, and honors earned
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores, or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Relevant nonacademic experience
  • Academic and other references
  • Statement of academic objectives

In addition, it will be helpful but not required that students have an undergraduate degree (BS or BA) in science or technology (engineering fields) or have a minimum of three years’ work experience in a high-tech or related firm. A background as an entrepreneur or experience with startups is not a requirement for entering the program.

To enroll, the student must complete the Business School’s Ph.D. application, and prepare a formal written statement, outlining his or her interests and preparation for the program. To stay in the TE program, the applicant must remain in good standing and maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.2.

Recommended preparation prior to entry

Students entering the PhD Program should be comfortable with the basic concepts of calculus and statistics before they arrive on campus. It is strongly recommended that students carefully review this material during the summer before entering the program.

Technology Entrepreneurship information and support

With the guidance of a TE doctoral area adviser, students take formal coursework and participate in doctoral seminars, independent study, and research. A faculty Supervisory Committee chosen by the student early in the program will assist each student in constructing a course of study that fits that individual’s background and interests.

Students in addition to TE requirements need to complete the requirements for the Research Methods minor. Throughout the program, doctoral students receive support and training to hone their skills as researchers, teachers, and course developers.

For more information about the Technology Entrepreneurship specialization, please contact Prof. Emily Cox Pahnke by email (

Typical course schedule
Requirements for TE Minor
Other TE requirements
TE Faculty