Dual MSF-MSBA Degree FAQ
Information included on this page:
MSF-MSBA General Questions
The MSF-MSBA program is a good fit for applicants with prior knowledge and proven application of data analytics and computer programming, and who desire a rigorously technical curriculum and a heavily analytics-focused career in finance.
Our most competitive applicants will have internship or work experience in which they applied quantitative skills and used computer programming and/or technical software to handle data. The resume and technical personal essay should show particular detail in these areas (methods and tools/languages used, project details, etc.).
Prior knowledge of and experience in finance is not required, but can strengthen an application.
The dual MSF-MSBA degree program begins in early July with the MSF program curriculum, followed by the MSBA program curriculum beginning the following June. The full program is 2 years long. Click here to view a sample schedule.
Orientation is normally held the first week of July, and is required for all incoming students. All applicants to the program must have completed their undergraduate studies prior to the start of orientation.
Both the MSF and MSBA programs are STEM-designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. STEM-designated programs are those selected by the U.S. Customs & Immigration Services as providing an in-depth curriculum in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Students graduating from a STEM-designated program have an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT), totaling 36 months beyond graduation. Please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website for up to date information about OPT.
International dual-degree students are eligible for CPT during the MSF Spring B semester of the program, during which they may pursue a part-time internship, if desired. View our Sample Schedule for further details.
Tuition for our specialty masters programs is charged per credit, and typically differs by program and residency status. For this dual-degree program, MSF course credits are charged at the MSF tuition rate, and MSBA course credits are charged at the MSBA tuition rate.
If a student takes advantage of the full 21 available shared credits across the Dual MSF-MSBA Degree program, they will take 27 MSF credits and 36 MSBA credits total. The credit numbers may vary, depending on whether the student decides to take any of the waived (shared) course credits in addition.
For example, for the 2021-22 academic year, calculate ($1,450 x 27 MSF credits) + ($1,450 x 36 MSBA credits). Note that tuition rates are subject to change from year to year.
Below are tuition cost estimates for 2021-2022.
|Resident Cost||Non-Resident Cost|
MSF - Total tuition cost for 27 credits
MSBA - Total tuition cost for 36 credits
The total tuition cost for the MSF-MSBA Dual Degree program
NOTE: All applicants to our programs are considered automatically for our merit-based scholarships, with no extra steps required. See the Scholarships question below for further information.
All applicants to the MSF, MSBA, and MSF-MSBA dual degree program are considered automatically for our merit-based scholarships, without any extra steps needed to apply. These are partial (maximum $18,000 for MSF + maximum $20,000 for MSBA) and highly competitive, particularly for our international students. These scholarships are awarded based on strength of each piece of the application, although particularly the quantitative, technical, and work/internship related pieces. For more information, visit the MSF Scholarships and MSBA Scholarships webpages.
Admitted dual-degree applicants are eligible for both MSF and MSBA scholarship money. Award amounts, if received, are announced at the time of final admissions decision after full admissions committee review and interview.
Because the dual-degree program begins with the MSF program, only current MSF students are eligible to apply to add the MSBA program and benefit from credit sharing across programs. Current MSBA students are welcome to apply separately for the MSF program, although credit sharing is not possible; any MSF course credits waived for MSBA students will need to be made up for with elective credits.
MSF students will be introduced to the MSF-MSBA dual degree option during the first (summer) semester. Interested students will need to meet with their academic advisor and career coach prior to applying to add the MSBA degree. There is a special form for current MSF students to apply to add the MSBA degree to their studies, so a full application is not required. Note that students joining the dual degree program through this avenue will not be able to take advantage of the full 21 shared credits across programs (depending on how early you decide to apply). Please ask your academic advisor for more details, if interested.
MSF-MSBA Curriculum Questions
The main benefits to joining the Dual MSF-MSBA Degree program directly are the full 21 shared credits across programs. Tuition is charged per credit, so students save both money and time on those overlapping courses. If students take advantage of the full 21 shared credits between programs, they will take 63 credits during the dual-degree program. For information on tuition, either see the tuition question above in this FAQ, or visit the MSF Tuition and MSBA Tuition webpages.
Another benefit of joining the dual degree program directly is an earlier, more targeted approach to your career coaching with your Carlson Business Career Center (CBCC) coach. They will better be able to help you build your career plan sooner and help you attend the workshops, networking events, and other career activities that will be the best use of your time. If you plan to pursue an internship during the program, they will also be able to help you land that position sooner.
Experiential learning with real client companies is woven throughout our curriculum. Classes teaching quantitative and technical skills include live case examples for students to apply the skills and tools they are learning in a realistic context. The MSBA portion of the program also includes multiple live case competitions with companies across industries. Students also complete a semester-long experiential learning project with a partner company with the Carlson Analytics Lab, taking place during spring semester of the second year, and unfolding over 14 weeks. Working in teams of four to six, students work directly with their partner companies to derive business value from data analytics. Advised by faculty and staff members, students run their own projects from start to finish, assessing needs and devising project-specific approaches to the work. Students finish their MS in Business Analytics degree with real work experience, making them very attractive to potential employers. Watch student videos about the Carlson Analytics Lab and learn more about past projects with Sun Country Airlines and the Mall of America.
While internships are not built directly into our curriculum, the 14-week experiential learning capstone project is real client work, and is very similar to an actual internship. Our Carlson Business Career Center (CBCC) helps students include these projects on their resumes, and to discuss them with future potential employers (e.g., in job interviews). Please view the question above for more information on experiential learning.
Dual MSF-MSBA Degree students also have the option to pursue an outside internship, with assistance from the CBCC, during the MSF Spring B semester term. International dual-degree students are eligible for CPT during that term. Visit our MSF-MSBA Sample Schedule for details.
The MSF curriculum teaches students to use and gives opportunities to apply the following languages, tools, and databases:
- Python programming language
- Excel VBA
- Others, depending on the professors teaching the courses each year
For actual curriculum course descriptions, please visit our MSF Academics webpage.
The MSBA curriculum includes significant use of the following:
- Variety of other technical tools and software, depending on the professors teaching the courses (e.g., SQL, PowerBI, Tableau, Excel VBA, and more)
For curriculum course descriptions, please visit our MSBA Academics webpage.
MSF-MSBA Career Questions
This is ultimately up to each individual student. Graduates of our MSF-MSBA program will be fully equipped with the quantitative, computational, technical skills and finance industry knowledge to pursue intensive, front-line analytics jobs in any industry, particularly finance. Depending on their particular backgrounds and interests, students may decide to pursue the financial analyst route within financial services, a more analytics-based role within financial services, or a financial role in another industry entirely.
Our excellent Carlson Business Career Center (CBCC) coaches and business development staff are highly dedicated to getting students their dream job (see below question for more details).
Our Carlson Business Career Center (CBCC) offers intensive, comprehensive services to help each student plan for and land a job that is the best fit for each individual. Information about the excellent career services available to our students can be found on our website. The MSF Careers page and MSBA Careers page also highlight information about starting salaries, locations, and employers of past graduates.
We have career coaches dedicated specifically to our finance and business analytics programs, although our students have access to all coaches in our CBCC. Students may choose a coach (or coaches) that works best with their particular advising style and preferences.
In any case, each student works individually with their career coach(es) from the start of the program, building a career plan, and getting the guidance and networking connections required to work where they would like to work. Our CBCC's Business Development team helps send out resumes and arrange company visits, guest speakers, and networking events, while our Coaching team helps with interview prep, resume writing, networking, and much more on the individual level.
Alumni of our programs also continue to have access to our career services for life.
While this would best be discussed 1:1 with your career coach during the program, around 1/3 of our students in our full-time programs join directly out of their undergraduate studies and are able to land lucrative jobs with the combination of their internship experience and the intensive, client-facing experiential learning projects built into the program curriculum. More work experience is always better in the eyes of hiring companies, although both our MSF and MSBA program will help you build your resume. In the MSBA program in particular, students have intensive opportunities to work with real clients and their real data sets with live case competitions and a full-semester capstone project solving real business issues.
Dual-degree students may also pursue a part-time internship in their MSF Spring B semester term of the program. International students are eligible for CPT during that MSF Spring B semester. Please see the MSF-MSBA Sample Schedule for further details.
MSF-MSBA Admissions / Application Questions
Please visit our MSF-MSBA Admissions webpage for a breakdown of application requirements.
- Undergraduate degree equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor's degree (Note: 3-year degrees from India do not meet this prerequisite)
- Completion of a university-level course in Calculus (Calc I level or higher)
- Completion of a full-semester, university-level course in Statistics
- Demonstrated computer programming proficiency in at least one of the following: Python, C, C++, C#, VB (not VBA), Java
The following criteria are not required, but preferred:
- Completion of a full-semester, university-level course in Linear Algebra
- Work experience (includes internships) with applied quantitative skills, technical software, and/or programming languages
- A GMAT or GRE quantitative score in the 80th percentile or higher
We do not have minimum GPA, GMAT, or GRE cut-off scores, however our current averages are as follows: GMAT 700, GRE 322, GPA 3.56.
There are no exemptions to our calculus, statistics, and computer programming requirements.
Applicants who did not complete a statistics course as part of their past undergraduate or graduate education should take a semester-long statistics course at an accredited college or university prior to submitting their application.
- Online courses taken through Coursera or other MOOCs do not satisfy this statistics requirement, even with a certificate of completion
Applicants who did not complete a calculus course as part of their past undergraduate or graduate education should either take a semester-long calculus course at an accredited college or university, OR choose from the list of Carlson faculty-approved online certificate coursework (See Admissions webpage for details)
Short Calculus, Survey of Calculus, or Precalculus courses do not satisfy this requirement.
Programming languages that satisfy our requirement are Python, C, C++, C#, VB (not VBA), and Java. This can be demonstrated one of three ways:
- Academic Coursework - via completion of a full-semester, university-level programming course as an undergraduate or graduate student
- Professional Experience - via significant use of computer programming in your full-time work environment (excludes internships), as detailed on your resume
- Completion of Online Coursework - via a course of at least 20 hours from Coursera, edX, Udemy, or similar, with an official, verifiable certificate of completion (See Admissions webpage for further recommendations)
The calculus, statistics, and computer programming prerequisites must be completed before the time of application.
Full-time work experience is not required for our program, but is preferred. We strongly recommend having at least some related internship(s) involving analyzing data, using technical software, and/or applying computer programming languages (e.g., Python, R, SQL, C, C++, C#, VB, or Java), in addition to having related academic or extracurricular experiences.
Approximately one third of our students join our programs directly after completing their undergraduate studies, for example.
MSF-MSBA Student Life Questions
MSF-MSBA dual degree students have the option to participate in any of the full-time MBA clubs and organizations. A full list can be found on the MBA Clubs & Organizations website. These clubs host events that include anything from industry speakers and site visits, camping, ping-pong tournaments, formal events, and happy hours. There is an annual membership fee as part of opting into these clubs, and they are an excellent way to get to know other Carlson students outside of your immediate program.
Graduate students at the University of Minnesota have a variety of housing options, including on-campus and off-campus accommodations. Most of our students choose to pursue housing off-campus. Visit the Housing & Residential Life website to learn more about on-campus graduate student housing. Please note that on-campus graduate student housing is quite a bit more difficult to acquire than off-campus housing.
We generally do not recommend that students work while enrolled in the MSF or MSBA programs. Student have a rigorous academic schedule on top of intensive career coaching, networking, and client work. However, with 21 shared credits throughout our MSF-MSBA program, students have the opportunity to take on a potential finance internship during the Spring B semester term of the program (international students are eligible for CPT during the program). Please see the MSF-MSBA Sample Schedule for further details.
The MSF, MSBA, and dual-degree MSF-MSBA programs do not offer graduate or teaching assistantships. Because students have a rigorous academic schedule, we do not believe they will have time to commit to these type of assignments.