Part-Time MBA Academics — Frequently Asked Questions
When are classes held?
The Part-Time MBA program is designed to be flexible for people with
full-time obligations during the day. Classes meet once a week, Monday
through Thursday, from 5:45-9:05 p.m., Saturday mornings, from
8:00-11:20 a.m., and Saturday afternoons, from 12:30-3:50 p.m.
Four-credit classes meet for the full term, 3-credit classes meet
slightly less than a full term, and 2-credit classes meet for a
half-semester during either the A term (first half) or B term (second
How many credits do I need to complete to earn a Carlson MBA through the Part-Time program?
Students control how quickly they move through the curriculum by
tailoring their course load each semester. Some students are able to
graduate in 2 years, though the average student takes about 3-3.5
years. Students are allowed to take up to 7 years to earn a Carlson MBA.
The program is very flexible, allowing students to accelerate or
decelerate their program as needed.
How many credits will I take per semester?
The part-time aspect of the program refers only to the format
(weeknight and Saturday classes). Students may take as many or as few
credits per semester as they feel they can handle. Most students start
by taking two classes to see how that works. They then adjust their
course loads accordingly in future semesters. To stay active in the
program, students must complete at least two credits per calendar year.
However, those who need a year or more off may apply for a leave of
Can I earn a Carlson MBA by taking classes only on Saturdays?
Yes. You may earn your Carlson MBA by taking classes only during the
Saturday morning (8:00-11:20 a.m.) and afternoon (12:30-3:50 p.m.)
sessions. However, not all of our elective courses are consistently
offered on Saturdays, so you would not be able to achieve the degree of
specialization that you could if you also took weeknight classes.
What if I travel for work?
Many Carlson Part-Time MBA students travel for work, and our faculty
are aware of the tensions and difficulties that come with balancing a
busy career and a graduate business education. Our faculty try to be
flexible about students needing to miss occasional sessions due to
professional travel; such situations are resolved in advance on a
case-by-case basis with the professor and student team. In some
courses, it is more of a problem to miss a session than in others.
Additionally, the Part-Time MBA program offers flexibility for
students who travel by providing 2-, 3-, and 4-credit courses that
start and end at different times throughout the semester. Four-credit
classes meet once a week for the full 14 weeks; 3-credit classes meet
for 11 weeks; and 2-credit classes meet during either the first half of
the semester (A-term) or the second half (B-term). So, for example, a
student who knew they needed to travel extensively during the second
half of a semester could take three 2-credit courses during the
A-term-still earning six credits-and no classes during the B-term when
they are traveling.
What courses will I be taking in the program? Can I concentrate in a specific area of study?
The Part-Time MBA curriculum is divided between required core courses
and elective courses. Students are able to choose from nearly 100
elective courses and diverse study abroad options to develop specific
skills sets that meet their individual career goals. Instead of
declaring a concentration or major, students develop an area of
How much time will I need to spend outside of class to complete my work?
The amount of time students spend outside class on readings,
assignments, and team projects depends on the course, but the general
guideline is that you will spend approximately 3-5 hours per class per
Can I transfer from the Part-Time to the Full-Time MBA program?
No. The Carlson Full-Time MBA program is cohorted for the first and
second semester into an integrated core curriculum, meaning that the
same students work in groups across several courses. The Part-Time MBA
program is more flexible. Part-Time MBA students may take a full-time
course load of Part-Time MBA classes (evenings and Saturdays) if they
Are there dual degree programs in the Part-Time Program?
No. All of our dual degree programs are highly structured and have been
designed, and approved by the University Regents, for the Full-Time MBA
Can I enroll in the Part-Time MBA Program if I'm a current student in another U of M program?
We do not permit Part-Time MBA students to be simultaneously registered
in any other U of M program.Â All classes used to fulfill MBA
degree requirements must be completed by registering as an MBA student,
and during any terms that a student is registered through the MBA
Program they cannot also be registered through any other U of M program.