What Is Carlson School of Management?

The Carlson School of Management is the business school of the University of Minnesota. Founded in 1919 and located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the school offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Carlson School of Management is known for its emphasis on hands-on and international work experiences. In keeping with that philosophy, the school’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) cohorts are required to undertake a 15-month experiential learning program in which they work directly with local companies to overcome real business problems.

Key Takeaways

  • Carlson School of Management is a business school located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • It is known for its emphasis on practical work experience and problem-solving.
  • The school’s MBA program is commonly rated among the 40 best programs in the United States, having been rated as the country’s 32nd-best MBA program by Forbes in 2019. 

How Carlson School of Management Works

Previously known as the University of Minnesota School of Business, Carlson School of Management received its current name in 1986 following a $25 million donation by the entrepreneur and philanthropist, Curtis L. Carlson.

Today, the school is home to over 4,500 students, of which roughly 1,600 are enrolled in various graduate programs. They are met by a full-time faculty of nearly 110 members, including 35 dedicated full-time instructional faculty members.

The school’s undergraduate curriculum is focused on the traditional b-school subjects, such as accounting, finance, risk management, and marketing. At the graduate level, the Carlson School of Management offers a broad selection of MBA programs which students can select based on their time availability and their preferred place of study. In addition to their full-time MBA program, this includes a part-time option, an online option; and three Executive MBA programs available in Minneapolis, China, and Vienna, respectively.

Real World Example of Carlson School of Management

In 2021, The Economist rated the Carlson School of Management’s full-time MBA program as the 11th-best program in the United States, with Forbes placing it 32nd in 2019 and US News placing it 28th for 2021.   Full-time enrollment typically numbers about 200 students, which represents about a 40% acceptance rate.

With annual tuition of roughly $52,000 for non-residents—or approximately $40,000 for Minnesota residents —Carlson School of Management MBA grads saw an average starting salary of $116,995 in 2020, an increase of 3% from 2019. Of these, 90% had received their job offers within three months of graduation.

Upon graduation, Carlson School of Management grads join an alumni network over 55,000 strong. This includes many notable members, including John G. Stumpf, former CEO of Wells Fargo (WFC); Richard Cyert, President of Carnegie Mellon University; and Duane Burnham, CEO of Abbott Laboratories (ABT).