Undergrad classroom

Curriculum

You’re coming to college to study business, so why not start right away? 

At the Carlson School, that’s exactly what you’ll do with classes on leadership, business analysis, problem solving, social responsibility & sustainability, and designing your life & career during your first year.

In your second year you’ll build a foundation of business knowledge through our Impact Core coursework. This includes classes across all areas of business, a course on race, power & justice in business, and the Impact Lab Project where students partner with real organizations to make an impact.

After Impact Core, you’ll dive deep into your major—a choice of 10 majors and 13 minors—broaden horizons through the international experience, and continue to hone your communication and analytical skills. 

All of our curriculum centers on developing future leaders that use business as a force for good.


Take a deeper dive into the Carlson School curriculum that will go into effect for first-year students starting in Fall 2022 and transfer students starting in Fall 2023:

 

The 3 Pillars

 

People & Planet

Courses that prepare students to Lead with Purpose

Foundations & Impact

Courses that equip students with Business Fundamentals for Lasting Impact

Data & Decisions

Courses that build skills for Solving Complex Problems

Signature Experiences

International Experience
Developing culturally aware leaders through an immersive global experience

Impact Core 
Building core business knowledge in a yearlong community for lasting impact
Impact Lab
Making an impact by solving real problems for nonprofits, social enterprises & corporations
Year 1
  • Leading Self & Teams (2cr)
  • Design Your Life (1cr)
  • Design Your Career (1cr)
  • Business Ethics, Social Responsibility & Sustainability (3cr) (could also be taken in Year 2)
  • Business Economics (4cr)
  • Financial Reporting (4cr)
  • Business Statistics in R (4cr)
  • Modeling Business Scenarios in Excel (2cr)
  • Problem Solving Lab (2cr)
  • Data-Driven Business Decisions (3cr) (could also be taken in Year 2)
Year 2
  • Race, Power & Justice in Business (also part of Impact Core) 
Impact Core (12cr per semester): 
  • Information Systems & Digital Transformation
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Sustainable Supply Chain & Operations
  • Finance Fundamentals
  • Strategic Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Managerial Accounting
Impact Lab Project (2cr)
Years 3 & 4 International Experience
  • Coursework in your major (22-26 credits)
  • University of Minnesota Liberal Education and electives, which can be started in Year 1
  • Business Analytics (3cr)
  • Business Communication (3cr)

 

Once admitted to the Carlson School you have your choice of 10 majors and best of all, there are no additional requirements to get into your major. If you can't choose just one you can explore double majors and minors, including over 140 options offered at the University of Minnesota. You will declare your major in your sophomore year and spend junior and senior year focusing on your upper-division major coursework.

To earn a degree at the University of Minnesota you must complete Liberal Education requirements, which complement your major curriculum and help you learn new ways of thinking. These courses are designed to be integrated throughout your undergraduate experience.

The International Experience is a signature part of the Carlson School curriculum. Preparing you to be business leaders in an increasingly competitive international economy. It signals our commitment to your personal development in this area, leverages our existing strengths in international scholarship and programming, and provides a specific and important differentiating characteristic for the Carlson Undergraduate Program. There are hundreds of short-term and semester-length programs at the University of Minnesota to choose from. Both the Carlson Global Institute and Learning Abroad Center offer programs around the globe that fulfill the requirement.

1. Can identify, define, and solve problems 

Evaluate and competently apply common language, frameworks and tools used by businesses and organizations to identify, define, and solve ambiguous problems.

2. Mastered a body of knowledge and mode of inquiry 

Ability to integrate, synthesize and apply knowledge and skills gained in business education to real-world contexts.

3. Can communicate effectively

Develop and deliver effective oral and written communications for business audiences.

4. Acquired skills for effective citizenship and lifelong learning 

Understands the contribution individual integrity makes to organizational social responsibility and demonstrates integrity in actions. Can effectively evaluate self and is prepared for continuous personal and professional growth.

If you’ve taken college-level courses such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), College in the Schools (CIS) or other courses you can be awarded for your achievements. There is no limit on the number of credits you can transfer into the University of Minnesota. To explore how your courses will transfer, use the following resource: Transfer Credit, Test Awards, Liberal Education Requirements

Please note: If you enrolled in the Undergraduate Program at the Carlson School of Management as a first-year student before Fall 2022 or entered Carlson as a transfer student before Fall 2023, your curriculum path is slightly different:

  • ECON 1101 Principles of Microeconomics* (4 credits)
  • ECON 1102 Principles of Macroeconomics* (4 credits)
  • MATH 1142 Short Calculus* or MATH 1271, Calculus I* (4 credits)
  • MGMT 1001 Contemporary Management* (3 credits)
    Students who enter the program as a Junior transfer student will take MGMT 3001 instead of MGMT 1001.
  • MGMT 1005 Corporate Responsibility & Ethics* (3 credits)
  • BA 1001 Analyzing Business Problems using Excel (1 credit)
  • BA 2021 Career Skills (formerly BA 3000) (1 credit)
  • WRIT 1301 or 1401 Freshman Writing, or equivalent* (4 credits)
  • PSY 1001 Introduction to Psychology* (4 credits)
  • Liberal Education Requirements

Students must complete all designated courses (*) with a C- or better.

Fall semester

  • SCO 2550 Business Statistics: Data Sources, Presentation, and Analysis* (4 credits)
    Statistics may be an option for some students in their first year
  • ACCT 2050 Introduction to Financial Accounting* (4 credits)
  • Liberal Education Requirements
  • Additional core course such as IDSC 3001 or HRIR 3021

Spring semester

  • Immersion Core
    • MKTG 3001 Principles of Marketing* (3 credits)
    • FINA 3001 Finance Fundamentals* (3 credits)
    • SCO 3001 Supply Chain and Operations* (3 credits)
    • MGMT 3004 Business Strategy* (3 credits)
  • Additional course of student's choice (optional)

Students must complete all designated courses (*) with a C- or better.

To help you gain a well-rounded perspective you will take additional key business coursework throughout your undergraduate degree including:

  • MGMT 3033W Business Communication* (3 credits)
  • HRIR 3021 Human Resource Management and Strategy* (3 credits)
  • ACCT 3001 Introduction to Management Accounting* (3 credits)
  • IDSC 3001 Introduction to Information Technology in Business* (3 credits)
    Students planning to major in Management Information Systems should complete this class during their sophomore year.

​​​Students must complete all designated courses (*) with a C- or better.