2017 Program Dates: July 22 - 29

Every summer, the Carlson School invites high-achieving, diverse high school sophomores and juniors to engage in a unique and exciting opportunity at the University of Minnesota. GopherBusiness is a week-long business challenge program in which students immerse themselves in case study competitions, business simulations, and corporate and non-profit site visits all while spending a week at the University of Minnesota. Students will be mentored and taught by world-renowned Carlson School faculty and will engage with Twin Cities business leaders.

Program Benefits

GopherBusiness participants will:

  • Engage with Carlson School faculty and learn business fundamentals.
  • Solve a real organizational challenge for a local non-profit organization.
  • Visit prominent Twin Cities companies and meet business leaders.
  • Live in a residence hall on the bustling University of Minnesota campus.
  • Meet Carlson School faculty, staff, alumni, and current students.
  • Make lifelong friends and have a ton of fun!
Sample Schedule

The GopherBusiness program varies from year to year but this is a sample schedule of how classes and activities are typically arranged. Students are required to stay on campus for the entire week-long program and are not allowed to leave for any reason. This schedule is subject to change.

Summer Program Sample Schedule
Selection Criteria

GopherBusiness is for high school sophomores and juniors from diverse backgrounds who are interested in exploring the world of business. This program is designed for talented students who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Identify with a racial or ethnic group that is underrepresented in higher education such as African American, First Nations/Native American, Hispanic/Latin, Asian Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asian (e.g. Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Vietnamese), or new immigrant populations.
  • Are the first in their family to attend college. This means neither parent has received a four-year college degree or higher. Students are still considered first-generation if their parents took some college courses but did not complete a degree or they have a sibling who is in college/graduated from college.
  • Are low-income (e.g. qualify for the Free or Reduced Lunch program) or have encountered other barriers to educational opportunities.

The Carlson School will admit approximately 50 students to be a part of this highly selective program. Strong candidates have a minimum 3.5-grade point average, taken rigorous or advanced coursework with an emphasis in math and science, and demonstrated leadership and involvement.


The 2017 submission deadline has passed. All applicants will be notified of their admission status by May 1, 2017.

If selected for the program, students must be available to participate in the entire program. It is an overnight, residential program and students are not allowed to leave campus for any reason. The 2017 program dates are July 22 - 29.


Thanks to support from generous corporate partners, there is no cost for students to attend the program. Not only is GopherBusiness absolutely free for participants, but they also receive a small stipend for successfully completing the program. Participants who complete the program gain access to a special scholarship at the Carlson School of Management if admitted to the college.

Program Sponsors

GopherBusiness is made possible by generous support from our community partners:

Founding Sponsor:

Travelers Logo

Additional Support Provided By:



For additional information about the program, contact gopherbiz@umn.edu.

  • FEATURED VIDEO: The GopherBusiness Experience

    Past participants share their experience and why this is not your typical business camp.