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Carlson School of Management – University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota’s Curtis L. Carlson School of Management is located in central Minneapolis, along the Mississippi River on the state’s east side. It was founded in 1919, and the following year, the university became the 18th school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Carlson offers a two-year, full-time MBA program, as well as dual degree, part-time, executive, remote-campus, and industry options. The school’s hallmarks include its experiential learning curriculum, global business education and enterprises, and strong extracurricular professional and social networks.

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Carlson School of Management employs approximately 183 faculty members, 102 of whom are either tenured or in tenure-track positions. These faculty members teach in seven academic areas, with expertise in fields including supply chain management and operations, strategic management and entrepreneurship, accounting, finance, marketing, and information and decisions sciences. Carlson’s full-time MBA faculty is comprised of renowned scholars as well as seasoned business leaders who serve as educators, corporate advisers, and researchers who apply their knowledge in real-world business solutions.


The Carlson School full-time MBA program concentrates its academic experience on global and experiential learning. The program requires 65 credits across two academic years. Students’ education begins before the first fall semester with online “pre-launch” webinars, survey, career assessment, and accounting pre-work. Subsequently, orientation in late August prepares students to dive into the new semester’s 20 credits of core classes, which span marketing, operations, and financial management; data analysis; accounting; economics; and leadership foundations. Six more core credits are completed over the spring semester, including business ethics, leadership classes, and more. Students also begin taking electives in the spring semester.

Year two includes focus on global business, a leadership practicum, and venture enterprises. Specifically, the Carlson School Enterprise Programs enables MBA students to collaborate with Fortune 500 business managers to identify and resolve challenges. In essence, the program lets students operate as a professional consultancy firm serving multiple clients—all while applying their classroom knowledge and high-level strategy.

Full-time MBA students are required to complete “international experience” coursework. Traveling in cohorts, Carlson students spend two weeks abroad in January with faculty, learning about the global marketplace and different business practices, philosophies, and cultures. Additional global enrichment programs are based as electives at Carlson, but also allow students to visit local and multi-national firms around the world.

Other MBA Degree Options

Beyond the standard full-time MBA, Carlson offers a full-time dual-degree option that pairs an MBA with fields like applied economics, healthcare administration, or public policy. The school offers a standard part-time MBA and part-time distance MBA (available online), as well as executive MBA programs in Minneapolis, Vienna, and southern China. The school’s Industry MBA is a distinct one-year program primarily offered online, and caters to current or past congressional staffers.


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Medical Industry
  • Supply Chain
  • Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Integrative Leadership
  • International Business

Degree Offerings

Full-Time MBA

Dual Degrees

Part-Time MBA

Distance MBA

Executive MBA



Industry MBA

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Clubs, Conferences and Competitions

Carlson students have diverse opportunities to get involved with their school community. There are more than 20 clubs and organizations that invite students to expand their social, professional, cultural, and athletic pursuits. Some of the business-related extracurricular groups explore specific industries including energy, medical, supply chain and operations, and business technology—all of which serve to delve deeper into a niche understanding, employment opportunities, and networking.

Cultural and affinity groups further enrich Carlson students’ on- and off-campus experiences. Groups like the Carlson 4 Community, MBA Craft Beverage Association, MBA Women International, Military Veterans club, Compass LGBTQ group, and Sports Business Club serve as social outlets with educational opportunities.

Carlson also maintains relationships with partner organizations beyond the university, each one with national and global ties. One of them is the Forté Foundation, a consortium of corporations and business schools that help educate and connect talented women with business-leadership roles. Management Leadership for Tomorrow is another organizational partner with Carlson, providing career development guidance for African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans to help recruit the next generation of leaders in corporate, non-profit, and entrepreneurial arenas.

Campus Spaces

The Carlson School of Management is located by the Mississippi River in central Minneapolis. Its main five-story building is on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank Campus and houses more than 30 classrooms, three dozen meeting rooms, a lecture hall, a large auditorium, and a dining center on the basement level. The nearby Hanson Hall is also home to additional business school offices.

The university campus is situated between vibrant urban neighborhoods, and is just a 10-minute drive from the city’s famous Walker Art Center and professional sports arenas. Carlson is in an ideal metropolitan area for MBA studies, with 17 Fortune-500 companies headquartered in the dynamic twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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Career Services

The Carlson School’s Graduate Business Career Center (GBCC) offers a variety of resources for MBA students, from internship placements to post-graduate employment. On campus, the center hosts 20 to 30 workshops per year to help prepare students in their job searches, and it connects them with professional career coaches who help candidates craft their employment strategy, and manage interviews and job offer negotiations. The GBCC also coordinates year-round events to connect hiring managers with MBA candidates, including company information sessions, on-campus recruiting fairs, the career exploration conference, and MBA corporate reception.

Career Statistics

Within 90 days of graduation, 97% of the Class of 2016 had received job offers with a mean salary of $108,720, and a mean signing bonus of $22,101.

Carlson graduates of the Class of 2016 found employment in a variety of industries. In terms of industry, Carlson strayed from the trend of consulting and finance leading the pack, as the highest percentage (17%) began working in healthcare. Sixteen percent joined consulting and manufacturing apiece. Consumer packaged goods was also relatively popular, as 13% entered the field. Eleven percent moved into technology while 10% chose financial services. In terms of function, 30% of graduates took positions in marketing/sales; 20% in consulting; 18% in finance/accounting; and 13% in general management. Some of the companies that recruited Carlson School students include Target, LinkedIn, Pepsi, Deloitte, Google, and General Mills.

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Class Profile

104 students decided to become a part of the Carlson School of Management Class of 2018. The majority of them, 54%, were from Minnesota, while 21% were from other states, and 15% were international. About 20% of Carlson’s Class of 2018 pursued degrees in social science during their undergraduate studies, while 18% studied business and commerce, and 16% studied math or science. The remaining quarter of the class focused on economics and humanities. Upon matriculation at Carlson, students averaged nearly 29 years in age with almost five years of full-time work experience. The average GMAT score of incoming students was 690, along with a GPA of 3.47.

Application Procedures

Applicants are invited to apply in one of three admissions rounds, on the first days of November, December and February; plus one additional deadline for U.S. applicants only on April 1 (though the school will accept applications after the final deadline on a space-available basis). Candidates should complete Carlson’s online application, which requires submitting a résumé, three personal references, a personal statement, and unofficial college and graduate transcripts. Applicants also must report their GMAT or GRE test results, and, when applicable, TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores. Interviews are required for admission, upon invitation from the Admissions Office. A $75 application fee is required, though the fee is waived for active-duty military and recent veterans.

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Carlson’s 2016-2017 tuition over 12 months is $37,100 for in-state residents, which includes Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba, and Wisconsin resident, and $47,500 for out-of-state and international students. There is an additional annual international student fee of $318.  With additional fees such as health insurance, student services fee, and books, however, the estimated annual cost of full-time MBA attendance for nine months is $44,363.46 for in-state; $54,763.46 for out-of-state; and $55,081.46 for international students. One year’s living expenses (excluding transportation) in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul is approximately $14,000. Carlson also recommends an “international experience” that would amount to additional costs. The school requires a non-refundable $1,500 tuition deposit to confirm MBA-program enrollment, and can be paid in two installments. Additionally, international students are required to prove their ability to pay for their tuition and personal expenses prior to enrollment.

Full-time MBA applicants are automatically considered for scholarships for which they are eligible, and the school awards several merit-based fellowships. Applicants also should consider external scholarships based on their demographic categories and personal experience, such as military specialization. All MBA students are able to apply for financial aid, including federal loans and work study. International students may seek loans through various programs, though the University of Minnesota does not offer co-signed, non-U.S. loans.


  • In-state tuition and fees (includes Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba, and Wisconsin residents): $37,100
  • Out-of-state/international tuition and fees: $47,500
  • International student fee: $318

Other Expenses:

  • Estimated Room and Board: $14,000/year
  • Books: $3,000/year
  • Student Services Fee: $864.36/year
  • Collegiate & Technology Fee: $1,160
  • Health Insurance: $1,998/year
  • MBA Association dues, one-time fee is $407
  • Other fees (Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, stadium, transportation, & Capital Enhancement fees): $241.10
  • Global Experience (excluded from tuition): cost varies
  • Total
    Residents    $58,770.46
    Non-residents    $69,1700.46
    International    $69,488.46

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Class Size104
% Female32%
Mean GMAT690
Mean GPA3.47

Essay Topic Analysis

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Carlson School of Management
321 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-625-0027 or 877-625-6468
Fax: 612-626-9129
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @CarlsonNews

MBA LiveWire for Minnesota / Carlson

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
December 14, 2017 12:19am
Accepted via phone.
GMAT: 680. Midwest.
December 13, 2017 5:28pm
Accepted via phone.
GMAT: 710.
November 13, 2017 10:26pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.38. GMAT: 710. Maryland.
March 23, 2017 11:45am
Rejected via email.
GPA: 3.6. GMAT: 319. India.
February 20, 2017 12:12pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 7.3/10. GMAT: 710. India.