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. 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. Interviews are held by invitation only. 

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. 

If English is not your first language, you must take the TOEFL,  IELTS, or PTE Academic exam. We accept scores from any of these exams; it is not necessary to take more than one. Scores must be less than 2 years old when you apply. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Graduate Admissions is offering some additional English proficiency testing options for 2021 only. Additional details are listed below.

You do not need to take an English language test if:

  • You completed your post-secondary coursework in one of the following English speaking countries or regions: United States, Canada (except Quebec), United Kingdom/Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, most current and former British and U.S. territories in the Caribbean/Central and South America. Note: Candidates who completed their undergraduate education in India are required to submit English language testing scores.


  • You have completed 24 quarter credits or 16 semester credits (within the past 2 years) as a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning in the United States or other English-speaking country. The credits must be completed before enrolling in the University of Minnesota.

If you are exempt under one of these categories, simply leave the TOEFL and IELTS sections of the online application blank.



To support applicants unable to take in-person tests during the COVID-19 pandemic, the testing options described below are available (depending on your region) for Summer 2021 admission.

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is available in most countries except mainland China and Iran. The score and test date requirements are the same as those listed for the in-person version of the TOEFL listed below in this section. Admitted applicants will not need additional assessment testing during orientation.

Duolingo English Test (DET)

The Duolingo English Test will be accepted with the score and test date requirements listed below. Please visit the Duolingo preparing for the exam, scheduling the exam, and FAQs sites for more information.

A minimum score of 120 or above is required for the overall score, and a minimum score of 120 or above is required for the literacy section sub-score. No scores below 120 will be considered for admission as our program does not administer additional assessment testing during orientation. Scores must be less than two years old when you apply.


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Typically competitive score is 105 or higher on the internet-based TOEFL. We require a minimum 21 in writing section and a minimum 19 in reading section of the TOEFL score. We must receive an official score report directly from the testing service. Scores should be sent to institution code 6874. If prompted, you can select any department code, department group, school type, division, etc. Regardless of this selection, all scores sent to the institution code 6874 will be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions. 


International Language Testing System (IELTS)

To be considered for admission, we require a minimum overall band score of 7.0, with no section lower than 6.5

IELTS test scores are verified using the Test Report Form (TRF) number. You may upload a scanned copy of your IELTS Test Report Form in your application or email the score report to

Please do not request to have the report sent directly to the University of Minnesota MS Programs office, as we cannot receive mail at this time. Score reports will be accepted via email from applicants or the testing agency. 


Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

To be considered for admission, we require a minimum 65 score. We must receive an official score report from Pearson. When you take the exam, please specify that you wish to have an official score report sent to the Carlson School of Management. Our program code is JP3-5T-48.


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. The application fee will be waived if the applicant has been on active duty in the U.S. military within three years of 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.

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