Every summer, the Carlson School invites highly driven and exceptional high school sophomores and juniors to engage in a unique and exciting opportunity at the University of Minnesota. GopherBusiness is a week-long business challenge program in which students will immerse themselves in case study competitions, business simulations, and corporate and non-profit site visits all while spending a week at the University of Minnesota. Students will be mentored and taught by world renowned Carlson School faculty and will engage with Twin Cities business leaders.

Not only is GopherBusiness absolutely free for students, but they also receive a small stipend for successfully completing the program. Once students graduate from the GopherBusiness program, they will be offered a scholarship to the Carlson School of Management if admitted to the college.

Program Benefits

GopherBusiness participants will:

  • Engage with Carlson School faculty and learn business fundamentals.
  • Connect with a non-profit in the Twin Cities and help solve a real organizational challenge.
  • Visit prominent Twin Cities companies and meet corporate executives.
  • Live on the thriving University of Minnesota campus for a week.
  • Meet Carlson School faculty, staff, alumni, and current students.
  • Make lifelong friends and have a ton of fun!

Selection Criteria

Each year, we select approximately 45 students to be a part of the GopherBusiness program. It's a highly selective program. GopherBusiness applicants should be:

  • Current high school sophomores or juniors.
  • Interested in business, non-profit or organizational leadership.
  • From a diverse background; a future first-generation college student; from an economically disadvantaged background; students with disabilities; or students of LGBT and related identities.

Ideal program candidates have a minimum 3.4 cumulative grade point average, strong math and science coursework, and demonstrated leadership and involvement.

Dates & Deadlines

Program Dates: July 16 - 23, 2016

Application Deadline: April 1, 2016
Admitted students will be notified by May 1, 2016.

If you have additional questions regarding the program, please contact gopherbiz@umn.edu.


The application deadline for GopherBusiness 2016 has passed. Check back in early 2017 for information about next year's program.


GopherBusiness is made possible by generous support from our community partners.

Founding Sponsor:


Gold Sponsor:


Maroon Sponsor:

General Mills

Non-Profit Partner:

Wilderness Inquiry