In its annual list of “Best Entrepreneurial Business Schools,” SUCCESS Magazine ranked the University of St. Thomas as the nation’s fifth best.

The magazine ranked 50 schools from the more than 250 entrepreneurship programs in the country. “To make the list shows superior innovation and accomplishment by these schools,” said the magazine’s president and publisher, Victoria Conte.

Schools were ranked on a number of criteria, including caliber of students, faculty, curriculum, outreach to the community, innovative programs, tracking of graduates to identify future entrepreneurial activity and reputation among fellow schools.

The list of top schools appears in the SUCCESS Magazine’s February-March issue, currently available on newsstands. The top ten are: Babson College, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, University of St. Thomas, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Indiana University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Southern California and San Diego State University.

“The University of St. Thomas has a remarkable history of educating entrepreneurs who start businesses or renew existing organizations through innovation and transformation,” said Nancy Carter, Ph.D., who holds the Richard M. Schulze Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at St. Thomas’ Graduate School of Business and directs the university’s master of business administration Venture Management Program.

“As our current students and recent alumni are in the launch stage with their new businesses, many of our early graduates are beginning the harvest stage. This range of activity gives our program an energy and robustness that contributes directly to the economic development of the community,” Carter said. “This is the fifth top-25 program award we’ve received from SUCCESS Magazine and our highest yet. The most recent award is further testimony of our service to students and alumni.”

St. Thomas’ entrepreneurship programs have received numerous awards for excellence, including the National Model MBA Entrepreneurship Program and the National Model Bachelor’s Entrepreneurship Program from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. St. Thomas is one of only two universities in the country to achieve this distinction at the MBA and undergraduate levels.

The International Franchise Association, at its annual convention yesterday in Las Vegas, presente its Free Enterprise award to another St. Thomas entrepreneurship program, its Institute for Franchise Management. St. Thomas is one of two U.S. universities to receive the award, the other is the University of Texas at El Paso.