The Carlson School prides itself in educating diverse populations of students from throughout the globe. Our graduate programs have between 15% and 95% international students, depending on the program. Your organization will have access to a much deeper candidate pool by opening your recruitment process to international students. The information on this page and the guides listed on the right-hand side provide insight into the hiring process and answer some of our most frequently asked questions. 

Why Hire International Candidates

We strongly encourages our recruiting partners to consider hiring international candidates. These applicants have well-rounded global perspectives and experiences that can deliver new ideas to solving your firm’s complex business challenges. Most organizations, even if operations are exclusively located state-side, will be impacted by globalization and international influence. Having diverse talent that understands the intricacies of the global landscape will help your organization grow and thrive in this ever-changing climate.

Diversity of candidates and ideas

  • Bilingual (or more) language skills
  • Remarkable adaptability and perseverance
  • Knowledge of business practices and norms in different countries
  • Experience navigating international/multi-national firms

Hire for an Internship

Most Carlson School international students have an F-1 visa and qualify for summer employment through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) after their first year of graduate studies. Work authorization is issued by the University of Minnesota. A job offer is required for CPT, and the CPT is issued for a specific employer.

Student RoleComplete CPT online workshop and paperwork and submit to University's ISSS office. Student will take internship for credit.
Employer RoleNone. All paperwork is completed and filed by University and student.
Employer CostNone.
TimelineISSS will issue CPT within 7 business days of receiving paperwork.

Hire for a Full-Time Role

Graduate students in the MBA and MA-Human Resources/Industrial receive 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) during which they can work without employer-backed visa sponsorship. STEM-designated programs (MS-Business Analytics, MS-Finance, MS-Supply Chain) receive an additional 24 months, totaling 36 months. At the end of the OPT period, the employee will need visa sponsorship to continue being eligible for U.S. employment. Most companies sponsor the employee on an H-1B visa. 

Student RoleComplete online application with University's ISSS. ISSS processes, approves, and sends back to student. Student mails completed documentation and fee to U.S. Customs & Immigration Services (USCIS) to secure OPT work authorization. USCIS issues Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.
Employer RoleNone. No action is required by the employer. Applying for OPT is student's responsibility, and they may apply for OPT with or without a job offer. 
Cost to EmployerNone. There is no cost to the employer during the OPT period. Typical cost for H-1B visa sponsorship post-OPT is $2,000-7,000.
TimelineISSS processes OPT paperwork within 7 business days. USCIS processes and issues an EAD in 2-4 months. The 12 months (36 for STEM programs) of OPT begins after EAD is issued.

Special Considerations

Our MBA and MA-Human Resources/Industrial Relations programs have 12-month OPT periods. The MS-Business Analytics, MS-Finance, and MS-Supply Chain programs are STEM-designated, which extends the OPT period post-graduation from 12 months to 36 months. This provides more opportunities to attain an H-1B Visa.

The H-1B Visa

The most common visa sponsorship route employers pursue for our graduates is the H-1B visa. The U.S. government allots 85,000 H-1B visas every year, and 20,000 of those are held just for graduates of U.S. Masters degrees and above. Employers file for an H-1B visa on behalf of the employee, and this may be done before graduation or during the OPT period.

The application for H-1B visa sponsorship opens every year on April 1 and we strongly encourage applying on April 1 if possible. The timelines below show the process of applying for an H-1B, the OPT period, and when H-1B visa coverage begins. 

Sample Timelines

H-1B Application Timeline

(MBA and MA-HRIR)

Apply for H-1BApril 1, 2016
GraduationMay 2016
OPT Starts (12 months)June 2016
Apply for H-1BApril 1, 2017
OPT Ends*June 2017
H-1B Visa BeginsOctober 1, 2017

*The H-1B Cap-Gap extension allows those with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in the U.S. until the start of the H-1B on October 1, even if the OPT would have otherwise expired before then.

H-1B Application Timeline

(STEM Programs)

Apply for H-1BApril 1, 2016
GraduationMay 2016
OPT Starts (36 months)June 2016
Apply for H-1B**April 1, 2017
Apply for H-1B**April 1, 2018
Apply for H-1B**April 1, 2019
OPT Ends*June 2019
H-1B Visa BeginsOctober 1, 2019

*The H-1B Cap-Gap extension allows those with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in the U.S. until the start of the H-1B on October 1, even if the OPT would have otherwise expired before then.

**STEM program graduates have four opportunities over the 36-month OPT period to apply for H-1B visa. Eligible Programs: MS-Business Analytics, MS-Finance, MS-Supply Chain.

Learn More

Our guide on the right-hand side of this page dives deeper into different visa options and provides a more comprehensive overview of the process to hire an international student. Please contact our office with any additional questions. We would be happy to discuss your organization's unique recruiting needs.