GSSE Coursework and Admissions
How long is the GSSE program?
GSSE is three semesters long starting in the fall semester (late August) and the
program concludes in December of the following year. GSSE students are enrolled
in three back-to-back semesters, and complete a 10-week summer practicum. Students
need to be financially prepared for not having any time off during the program outside
of the typical university holiday and breaks. Holidays and breaks can
What financial assistance is available?
Many GSSE students receive some form of assistance, ranging from 25% to 100% of
tuition and other costs. These include assistance for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers,
IDDS Participants, as well as merit and need based discretionary scholarships and
graduate assistantships. Once you have been accepted into the program, we will inform
you of the different programs that you may apply for.
What if I don’t have a business background?
A business background is not required to apply to GSSE. GSSE students know that
business principles will allow them to carry out their life’s mission more effectively. We
have designed the program so that all students gain a strong foundation of business
skills. Classes are geared towards integrating various levels of skills and
experience. Upon admission you will be provided with recommendations for areas of
study prior to the start of the GSSE program in order for all students to be on
a level playing field with familiarity of terminology and concepts.
Why do I need to take classes like accounting?
I’m lousy at math and if I were to own a business, I would just hire an accountant.
The GSSE is an accredited Master of Business Administration degree, and as
such must maintain the highest standards of graduate business education. While it
is impossible for any business owner to excel at all areas of running a business,
successful entrepreneurs do understand all aspects of business.
How many hours should I expect to study
outside of the classroom?
Although it varies widely, many students report working 25-40 hours per week on
GSSE studies or activities outside of class.
Can I take an elective course?
The GSSE curriculum is established for all students and consists of a full-load
of courses each semester. Some students do choose to take an additional course or
audit one that is in a special area of interest, however most students find the
GSSE curriculum to be demanding by itself. The GSSE curriculum can be found
I am very interested in the GSSE program
but am just graduating from undergrad. How can I gain more experience that will
There is no correct career path for an incoming GSSE student nor is there
just one profile of a good match for a GSSE applicant. However, we recommend that
students have at least two years of international, entrepreneurial and/or social
venture experience in some form. Knowledge of a second (or third) language
is also valued.
Is it realistic to hold a job while being
a GSSE student?
GSSE faculty and staff have determined that it is realistic to spend a maximum
of 15 hours a week working on something outside of our program. That may be 15 hours
of work, or an extra elective or some other extra-curricular activity. Anything
more than this will interfere with the demands of the program. Students have worked
both on and off campus to earn an income. In addition to studying, students meet
frequently with their project teams to plan and execute their project objectives.
Many of the classes require small group projects, as well, not just independent
study. It is also expected that students will participate in events sponsored by
GSSE or CSU including lectures, conferences, business plan competitions and field
trips. Some of these events may be out of town or even out of the state.
Is there an orientation for incoming students?
The GSSE Program schedules a one-day orientation the week before classes start.
Please plan to arrive to campus in time to attend this important event. During orientation
you will meet your classmates, professors and learn more about the expectations
for the GSSE Program. If you are new to Fort Collins and Colorado State University,
we recommend also attending the Colorado State University Graduate School orientation.
This event is posted at the following
What is student life like at CSU? Where
do you recommend that I live? Will I need a car?
These types of questions are addressed on the
CSU Prospective Students page
Does Colorado State and
the GSSE Program cover the expenses for the projects and summer field work?
Our default expectation is that students will cover the expenses for the projects
and summer field work. Venture teams are responsible for raising their own funds,
consistent with the idea that entrepreneurs must learn to raise funds. The program
sometimes can support student shortfalls, but this is on an ‘as available’ basis.
How have the project teams raised funds?
There are multiple ways for a team to raise funds and each team will develop their
own fundraising plan.
Teams can consider if they are eligible to apply for business plan competitions
or student team grants.
Teams can also plan their own fundraising events or develop a campaign to solicit
donations from their personal and professional network.
How much should I expect that the summer
field work will cost?
The range of costs for project teams is between $4,000 - $7,500/student.
The cost will vary depending on factors such as travel cost to location, whether
multiple locations are necessary, visa fees, immunizations, cost of living, transportation
costs (bus, trains, etc.) and field work supplies. These costs can add up quickly.
Do not forget to factor personal living expenses that you are responsible for covering
back home while you are traveling. Student loans are a potential source of assistance
for these living expenses.
How long is the summer semester of field
work? How long should I plan to be working in the field?
The summer semester is 6-10 weeks long and GSSE students plan their field
work to occur during this timeframe. The field work may include work in the U.S.,
and it is expected that the field work will provide the necessary experience to
achieve your project objectives.
I have an idea for a project. Can I work
on it by myself as a team of one person?
GSSE requires that student teams are comprised of at least three students.
GSSE emphasizes the value of teamwork and provides support in assisting project
teams to work together effectively to accomplish their objectives.
Is it required that the summer field work
take place in a different country?
No. Summer field work can take place in the U.S. Many GSSE students choose to work
in developing countries, however the program recognizes that there are sustainable
enterprise opportunities here in the U.S.
Graduating from GSSE
Is a written thesis required
in order to complete the GSSE program?
No, in order to graduate a thesis is not required.
How does GSSE support students in their
job search for meaningful work?
The College of Business Career Center exists precisely for this purpose. Check out
out where our alumni are working, as well as the resources the Career Center provides
to our students and graduates.
Also, during your time with the GSSE program, you will meet many experienced professionals
who are enthusiastic about GSSE goals and objectives and are willing to contribute
How does GSSE support students who will
continue their project or enterprise after graduation?
We have created an incubator called NEVA (the
New Economy Venture Accelerator)
expressly for this purpose. Through NEVA,
GSSE faculty and local successful entrepreneurs are available to student teams after
graduation. In addition, during your time with the GSSE program you will meet many
experienced professionals who are enthusiastic about GSSE projects and more than
willing to contribute their time and expertise.