Application Requirements

Applicants must complete and submit an online application for the MS in Finance program. The system allows applicants to save their work and return to it at any time. Supporting materials and the application fee are submitted through the online application system.

  • An account and password are required to start the online application.
  • Select "Summer 2021" for "Entry Term" and "Finance - MS" for "Selected Program."
  • Read the instructions below carefully before completing your application.
  • When you have provided everything required to submit your application, the application will allow you to submit. The application is not complete until the recommendations are submitted and we have received your official test scores. Applications must be complete before the deadline for which you would like to be considered.
  • You will receive application update emails from Please add this email to your contact list or safe list so that updates are not caught in your spam filter.

Apply Now to the MS in Finance Program

Completion of Calculus Course

Completion of at least one-semester college level calculus course at the level of Short Calculus or higher is required for admission consideration. Upload a course description or syllabus in the first upload on the  "Carlson MS Programs requirements" page of the application for the course that satisfies this requirement.

Applicants who have not yet completed a calculus course should not submit an application to the program until they have completed the course and received a final grade.

Completion of Statistics Course

Completion of at least one-semester college level statistics course is required at the time of application. If the course on your academic transcript does not include the word "statistics" in the course name, please upload a course description or syllabus on the  "Carlson MS Programs requirements" page of the application for the course that satisfies this requirement.

Applicants who have not yet completed a statistics course should not submit an application to the program until they have completed the course and received a final grade.

Applicant Statement

For consideration for admission, please submit a personal statement (750 words, approximately 2 pages max) answering the following three questions:

  1. Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why are you choosing to pursue an MS in Finance at this time, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so?
  2. Why are you interested in pursuing an MS at the Carlson School of Management?
  3. What do you feel makes you a strong candidate for the program? How will you contribute to the Program overall?

To be considered for admission, the MS in Finance program requires a first university degree that is an equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor's degree. Students with a 3-year degree from India do not satisfy this minimum requirement and must complete an additional year of post-baccalaureate study before submitting an application to the program. If a student is unsure whether their degree is an equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree they should email their transcripts and proof of degree to the Office of Graduate Admissions for review. Their email is

Unofficial transcripts can be submitted through the online application. 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. Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. If you have previously enrolled at any University of Minnesota campus, you can obtain electronic copies of your transcripts from OneStop student services. International applicants or students with transcripts from a foreign institution should review these details about transcripts. 

If admitted, you must submit official transcripts or academic records prior to your enrollment at the University of Minnesota. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions Office from the institution. An official, certified (signature and seal) English translation must accompany non-English transcripts. The University of Minnesota reserves the right to require the submission of official transcripts or credentials any time during the admission review process.

English language translation services in the Twin Cities.

The GMAT or GRE General Test is required for admission to the MS in Finance program and should be less than five years old at the time of application. The unofficial test scores should be entered directly into the online application. Official test scores should be received before the deadline for which you would like to be considered.

Take a sample GMAT test

For GMAT, arrange for the testing service to send an official score report to code D2N-VJ-05, Carlson Master of Science in Finance. Results arrive 2-3 weeks after the test. For GRE, arrange for the testing service to send an official score report using institution code 6874, U of MN graduate school. Results take up to 8 weeks to arrive.

*WAIVER Eligibility for an Academic Test (GMAT/GRE) 

(updated for Summer 2021 admission)

Applicants to the MS in Finance program at the Carlson School of Management are required to supply GMAT/GRE scores are part of their application. Under certain circumstances, an applicant may petition to waive the GMAT/GRE requirement before submitting an application to the program. Specifically, waiver of the GMAT/GRE exam may be considered for the following:

  • Domestic Applicants (citizens or legal permanent residents of the U.S.)


  • International Applicants with a degree awarded by a U.S. undergraduate institution by the time of enrollment in the MS Finance program

Who satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Proof of completion of university-level courses in statistics and calculus
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent)

Waivers are based on cumulative GPA, grade trends and type of coursework completed, including successful completion of calculus and statistics, as well as rank/quality of academic institution. Waivers are never guaranteed and they are evaluated on a case by case basis. The decision to grant a GMAT/GRE waiver rests with the Carlson School's MS in Finance program.

To apply for the waiver, please use the button below to create an application for the program. Once the application is created, go to the Admissions Test Score Information section and select "Request a Waiver" from the dropdown menu. From there, upload or complete the required fields for waiver consideration.

Apply for a test waiver in the MSF Application here

Please follow and fully complete the instructions listed above to be considered for a GMAT/GRE waiver.  Please note completion of this request is not a guarantee for a waiver. This waiver request should be submitted and reviewed per the policy instructions before application submission.

Your request will be reviewed by the MSF Admissions Team.  The admission representative will follow up with you within 1-2 weeks from the time you've submitted complete request. 

Please direct all questions about the MSF Academic Test Waiver to

Prepare a current resume that includes a detailed education and employment history in no more than 4 pages.

Resume guidelines

  • List both employer and official position held.
  • Specify both month and year for dates of employment in each role.
  • Detail job responsibilities and accomplishments in approximately 3-5 bullet points.

For additional guidance, check out the video tutorial our Graduate Business Career Center (GBCC) put together and corresponding template to help simplify the process.

Upload your completed resume in the online application where prompted for Resume or CV.

We require two recommendations for application to the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program. These recommendations can be from any combination of professional and academic recommenders, though we suggest that at least one recommendation come from a supervisor if you have professional experience. 

Please note that you do not need to solicit letters of recommendation from your recommenders. We partner with GMAC for the Common Letter of Recommendation, so you simply need to provide contact information for your recommenders and the form will be automatically routed to them via email for completion. The form does include an optional section to attach a letter of recommendation if your recommender chooses to add that component.

We recommend getting started on your application early so you can enter the recommender contact information right away before continuing to work on your application. Both recommenders must complete the aforementioned GMAC form before your submitted application is considered complete. This means all recommendations must be received before the deadline for which you would like to be considered. 

International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. Please note that the exam date should be within two years of graduate program start dateFor details regarding this requirement please visit the Office of Graduate Admission's website:

For any questions regarding English language proficiency please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at  

Typically competitive candidates have average scores within the following ranges:

90-105 internet-based TOEFL

65 or higher PTE          

Note: We do not offer an option for the English language ability to be assessed upon arrival on campus.

The application fee is $75 (non-refundable) for U.S. citizens; and $95 for international applications and U.S. residents with foreign credentials. Your application fee will be waived if you have served in the US Armed Forces for any length of time prior to submitting an application.

  • 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 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.

Admission interviews are by invitation only. Not all applicants will be interviewed. Interviews may be conducted on campus or via Skype. The interview is approximately 30 minutes in length and aimed at better understanding a candidate’s academic and professional background. You should treat the interview as you would a job interview. Appropriate attire is business professional.

Contact Master of Science in Finance