Admissions Requirements

Application Timing

The Online MBA program begins either in the fall (September) or spring (January) semester. Applications are considered based on round deadlines and decision are sent out within a couple weeks of completing your application.

We realize that COVID-19 has affected our applicants in many ways: testing center closures, travel restrictions, visa processing barriers, new family responsibilities and so much more. We want to be sure you know that we are here to make this a personalized process. Do you need more time to complete your application? Are you having difficulty getting test scores or documents? Have your testing plans changed? Let us know - we’re here to help. Just email us at and we’re happy to get you an email response within 24 hours or setup a virtual appointment.   

Application review for Fall

  • Round 1: May 15
  • Round 2: June 15
  • Round 3: July 15

Application review for Spring

  • Round 1 deadline: October 15
  • Round 2 deadline: November 15
  • Round 3 deadline: December 15

Deadlines that occur on a holiday or weekend will be extended through the next business day. Please teach out to if you have questions/concerns on your timeline.

Admission Decision Release

Online MBA applicants will receive their admission decision within 5-7 business days of the admission committee receiving a submitted and completed application. Completed and submitted application requires that all materials have been received by the admissions committee, this includes transcripts, resumes, personal statement, recommendations, and GMAT or GRE test score reports. You will receive communication from the admission committee when your application is been received and marked as complete.

Eligibility Requirements for Applicants

Online MBA program candidates must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or a comparable degree from an officially recognized college or university outside of the U.S. 

Online  program candidates must have completed 2 years of work experience, this can include internships, co-ops, graduate assistantships and other work experiences. Discretion on work experience eligibility will be evaluated by admission committee. If you have questions about your personal profile and eligibility, please reach out to

Admission Checklist

Please note all materials will be required in some form for an Online MBA application. If materials are missing, an application will be marked incomplete and will delay an admission decision. Please check your applicant checklist in the application portal to ensure all materials are received. 

Unofficial transcripts can be submitted through the online application or emailed to for attachment to your application file. Please do not send or request paper copies, as our office is unable to receive mail at this time.

You will need to submit a transcript from each college or university where you have completed coursework before your application will be considered complete and reviewed by the admissions committee. Unofficial transcripts must include your name and the name of the institution (degree planning documents will not be accepted).

Official transcripts will be required if you are admitted to the program.

A GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA) or GRE General Test that is not more than five years old is required for admission to the Online MBA Program.

For GMAT & EA, arrange for the testing service to send an official score report to the Online MBA Program, code D2N-VJ-83. Results normally arrive 2-3 weeks after the test. For GRE, arrange for the testing service to send an official score report to us using institution code 8387. Results may take up to 3-4 weeks to arrive.

Please note we don't have a minimum GMAT or EA or GRE required score, but do have average scores.

Take a sample GMAT test here >

Learn more about the Executive Assessment

Eligibility for an Academic Test (GMAT/GRE) Waiver

Candidates applying for admission to the Carlson Online MBA program may be eligible for a GMAT/GRE waiver if they the following criteria:

  • Must have one of the following:
    • Previous undergraduate degree with 3.2+ cumulative GPA at an accredited institution using a 4.0 scale or better (domestic or international)
      • Demonstrates quantitative ability through coursework (ex: Statistics, Engineering, Accounting, etc)
    • Previous undergraduate degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, etc) field with a 3.0+ cumulative GPA at an accredited institution using a 4.0 scale or better (domestic or international)
  • Must have one of the following additional requirements:
    • 5+ years of full-time work experience post-baccalaureate 
      • Note: internships or co-ops cannot be included. Graduate assistantships and fellowships can be included. 
    • 4+ years of full-time military experience
    • Graduate (masters or doctoral) degree
    • Professional credential of CPA or CFA

Please note that a candidate must meet both areas requirements of the waiver process in order to be granted a waiver. 

Apply for Test Score Waiver in the Online MBA Admission Application

Please follow and fully complete the instruction listed in the form. Please note completion of this request is not a guarantee for a waiver. Please note the waiver is only for the consideration of GMAT/GRE portion of the application and cannot be extended to any other requirements of the application. Candidates are responsible for understanding and meeting all other application requirements. The Academic Test Waiver is also to be complete prior to the submission of your Online MBA application.

Your request will be reviewed by a committee of admission and academic affairs representatives. The committee will inform the applicant of their waiver request by granting or denying the request; the committee may request the completion of an additional quantitative/analytical measurement such as MBA Math or the Executive Assessment.

An admission representative will notify you of a decision by e-mail with 1-2 weeks of receiving a complete waiver application. 

Please direct all questions about the Academic Test Waiver to

Use the online application to provide the names of two professional references; one must be your current supervisor. 

Your recommendation providers will receive an email from ""   The subject line will include your name and the words "Recommendation for the University of Minnesota"   Please ask your providers to include this email address in their contact lists and to double check spam/junk mail folders if they don't receive the message. 

Recommendation providers can submit their recommendations anytime, both before AND after you submit your application.  

We require two complete recommendations to consider this section complete, but you can list up to six professional recommendations. All completed professional recommendations will be reviewed by the admission committee. 

Your personal statement should be no more than 1200 words (3 pages), that address the following questions:  

  • Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA at this time in your career? What are you hoping to accomplish by doing so? Briefly describe your short-term (upon graduation from the program) and long-term (5-10 years after the program) career goals. Please be as specific as possible with roles, companies and/or industries. 
  • What excites you about being part of the Carlson School MBA program? Do you have a specialization that you are currently interested in and why?
  • Carlson MBA programs are looking for diverse voices and experiences to add to classroom discussions. Can you tell us about how you have participated in and/or advocated for building more inclusive communities in your career? 

Use this essay to share information that is not presented elsewhere in the application, for example:

  • Explanation of employment gaps or academic weaknesses
  • Quantitative abilities
  • Choice of recommenders
  • For re-applicants, improvements to your candidacy

Your statement should be limited to no more than 500 words (1 page).

Proof of English Language Proficiency is required of all applicants and must be demonstrated in one of the following ways. 

The following tests are all accepted:

For further details, visit the International Applicants page.

The application fee is $75 (non-refundable) for U.S. citizens, international applications, and U.S. residents with foreign credentials. Your application fee will be waived if you have been on active duty in the U.S. military within three years of submitting your MBA application.

Submit a current resume that includes job responsibilities and accomplishments. Resume can include part-time work, internships, graduate assistants, or co-ops as necessary. 

  • The video essay is a required component of the application that provides candidates with an opportunity to show the admissions committee the authentic you.  Think of this video essay as if you were answering an interview question with a member of our admissions committee. 
  • You will need to use a computer with camera and microphone capabilities. You will also need a strong internet connection for uploading the video. You will have the ability to test your technology before starting the video essay and submit a practice video essay. 
  • You can test your technology and run the practice simulation as many times as you wish to be comfortable with the format and technology.  You will be able to review your practice video essay(s) and your recording(s) will not be saved beyond the testing phase and will never be reviewed.
  • You can also practice responding to impromptu questions offline with a friend or colleague before completing the video essay portion of your application.
  • You will be prompted to click "Ready" once you are prepared to submit an official video essay.  You will be asked one impromptu question from a bank of imaginative or behavioral questions selected by our admissions team. 
  • Two minutes (120 seconds) will be provided to prepare an answer and two minutes (120 seconds) to record an answer. Recording will automatically stop after two minutes.  You are not required to use the full two minutes.  If you have time remaining once complete with your response, click the "Stop Recording" button to end the recording. 
  • You will only be provided one attempt to record your official video essay.

Video Essay Bank of Questions

Describe an academic or extra curricular activity that helped you shape your personality. What did you learn? ​
Describe a situation where you were a team member. How did you decide when to lead and when to follow, and how did the results impact you?
Describe a time when you showed great resilience and tenacity and it paid off. What were the results?
Describe your biggest risk you took at work and what was its outcome?
Explain a situation when you had to change your communication style. What was the outcome and what did you learn?
Give an example of a situation where you had to change your priorities due to an unexpected task and what was the outcome?
How would you describe your current thinking about diversity, and how has your thinking changed over time?
If you had unlimited time, to what would you devote it?
Imagine you were transported to the year 1900. How would you explain a smartphone (or shared network drive such as google drive) to a person from that era?
Talk about an activity or extra curricular experience and how it changed your perspective.
Talk about the time when you made a wrong decision, what was the setback and how did you handle it?
Tell about a setback you experienced, how you dealt with it, and the results.
Tell us about a time when you handled a task on which you had zero information. What were the steps you took to begin with, what were the strategies and what were the end results?
Tell us about a time you encountered an individual who was resistant to change, how did you deal with it and what was the outcome?
What accomplishment are your really proud of and why?
What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it here?
What is the key ingredient for building and maintaining professional relationships? Provide examples.
What is your definition of diversity and how or why do you think diversity is important?
What's the best piece of constructive criticism you've received and how has it influenced your work?
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
Contact - Online MBA