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Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management

The Carlson School of Management is ranked 24th among the best B-schools in the U.S. by Poets&Quants.

34. University of Minnesota

Carlson School of Management

321 Nineteenth Avenue South

Carlson School of Management, Suite 1-110

Minneapolis, MN 55455

Admissions: 612-625-5555



Apply Online:

Admission Deadlines for Class of 2014:

Round One: 12/1/11

Round Two: 2/1/12 (Final deadline for international applicants)

Round Three: 4/1/12

The Carlson program combines case study teaching and experiential learning projects in a small, family-like program. It boasts a strong reputation largely with local headquartered companies and the regional offices of larger enterprises. Carlson is one of the first business schools to offer experiential learning as a standard part of its full-time MBA Program. Carlson offers four Enterprise programs—Brands, Consulting, Ventures, and Funds—that give MBA students opportunities to address challenges from actual client businesses.

Students start by taking coordinated core courses that provide a foundation in essential managerial disciplines. Simultaneously, they begin to customize their education to fit their own career paths. Everyone is expected to complete the degree in two years with a total of 64 credits.

Latest Up-to-Date MBA Rankings:

Poets&Quants (2011): 34

BusinessWeek (2010): 28

Forbes (2011): 28

U.S. News & World Report (2011): 21

Financial Times (2011): Not Ranked

The Economist (2011):  65 (Global) & 38 (U.S.)

Rankings Analysis:

In 2011, the Carlson School lost its dean who left for the University of Michigan’s Ross School. The result: Carlson suffered a fairly significant fall in the PoetsandQuants ranking of the country’s best MBA programs. The school fell 10 places to 34th from 25th in 2010. Dean transitions can often be tough on schools because the programs tend to momentarily lose focus on some metrics measured by the organizations that rank business schools. At least, that seems to be the story at Carlson.

The school lost ground in three major MBA ranking in 2011. Carlson, which had been ranked 75th globally by The Financial Times in 2010, fell off the FT’s list of the best MBA programs in 2011. It also fell behind in the latest rankings by Forbes and The Economist, in both cases dropping two places to a rank of 28 and a rank of 65, respectively. U.S. News managed to be a bit kinder to the school, giving it a three-place boost to rank 21st in 2011, up from 24th in 2010.

The school will face an interesting test in 2012 when BusinessWeek surveys its latest crop of graduates along with the companies that recruit at Carlson. When BW last did this in 2010, the school earned a respectable ranking of 28th, up from a blanket second-tier listing in 2008. In its graduate opinion survey, BW picked up some critical noise, largely from international students who were less than satisfied with the career services office. As one graduate explained: “From the perspective of an international student expecting to have career opportunities with important companies in the Twin Cities Area, it becomes frustrating that most of the companies have strict sponsorship policies. This is the case for Target, 3M, General Mills, now even Medtronic. It wouldn’t be a problem for students like me, willing to eventually return to our countries. However these companies don’t hire F-1 Visa holders even for internships or short-term assignments which is part of the Practical Training block of the MBA.”

MBA Program Consideration Set:

Stretch Schools: Emory, IndianaUSC

Match Schools:  GeorgetownNotre Dame, Washington UniversityRiceVanderbiltTexas A&M, Wisconsin, Michigan State

Safe Schools: University of Washington, Brigham Young, Southern Methodist, Rochester, Maryland

Tuition & Fees: $68,953 (resident)

Tuition & Fees: $93,449 (non-resident)

Median GMAT: 700

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 640-750

Average GPA: 3.43

Acceptance Rate: 30%

Full-Time Enrollment: 170

International: 27%

Female: 30%


African American:

Asian American: 8%

Hispanic or Latino American:

Mean Age: 28

Median Base Salary: $90,000

Median Signing Bonus: $15,000

Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers at Graduation: 68%

Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers Three Months Later: 91%

Estimate of Total Pay over a 20-Year Career*: $2,169,156 (only 36 other U.S. business schools had higher career pay totals)

Notes: MBA Program Consideration Set: If you believe you’re a close match to this school–based on your GMAT and GPA scores,  your age and work experience, you should look at these other competitive full-time MBA programs as well. We list them by stretch, match and safety. These options are presented on the basis of brand image and ranking status.

* Payscale study for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.