Submission Date


Document Type



Business & Economics


Heather O'Neill

Committee Member

Eric Gaus

Committee Member

Louise Woodstock

Department Chair

Andrew Economopoulos

Project Description

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than half of all start-ups in the US fail before their fifth year in operation (BLS, 2010). As a result, since the mid-1980s, colleges and universities nationwide have continued to increase opportunities and funding to improve entrepreneurial education. Yet, little is known about how the choices students make during their time in college, like major choice, impact personality traits that are beneficial to entrepreneurship. Specifically, these traits are grit and risk aversion. The theoretically successful entrepreneurs are able to be committed to goals and remain motivated despite setbacks. Simultaneously they must maintain comfort in a culture of uncertainty associated with self-employment. This study employs data from a survey taken by 504 of the 1650 Ursinus College students, in varying disciplines, to understand that major choice is able to positively impact a student’s level of grit while it does not impact risk aversion