Germany map

Carlson School Exchange in Germany: University of Cologne

Graduate Global Immersion

Program Dates:

The academic calendar at Cologne will differ from the University of Minnesota and all exchange students are expected to be at their host campus on the first day of orientation and through the last day of final exams.


Fall Semester 2024:

  • Pre-Semester German Course (optional): September 2024 (dates TBD)
  • Welcome Week: October 1-6, 2024
  • Term Dates: October 7, 2024 - January 31, 2025 (exam period until February 28, 2025)
  • Early Leaver Term Dates: October 7 - December 15, 2024 (including exam period, earliest departure mid-December 2024)*


Spring Semester 2025:

  • Pre-Semester German Course (optional): March 2024
  • Welcome Week: April 1-6, 2025
  • Term Dates: April 7 - July 18, 2025 (exam period until August 1, 2025)


*In fall terms, Cologne offers an 'early leaver option', i.e. students may finish any courses taught in English before mid-December. Early Leaver examinations are, however, linked to an increased workload and considerable levels of self-study in order for students to catch up with course contents delivered in the second half of the term.

The priority deadline for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 is February 1st, 2024 at noon. 

Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Students in Cologne
Universitat zu Koln
Students Studying
Classroom in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Students in Cologne
Universitat zu Koln
Students Studying
Classroom in Cologne

Program Details

    What is a business exchange program?

    • Successful exchange students demonstrate a high degree of independence, adaptability, and flexibility because support and services will be different from a US university
    • You are enrolled as an exchange student at a host university and take business courses in English
    • You take courses with students from the host university as well as other exchange students from around the world
    • You attend the host university according to their term dates which differ from the University of Minnesota
    • A small group of Carlson students are selected to study at each partner university per semester and are fully immersed in another country, culture, and education system
    • You will work closely with both Carlson School advisers and advisers from the host university for support pre-departure and during your semester abroad
    • Cologne is a multicultural and dynamic city with more than 1 million inhabitants. It is also an important trade fair and business location. 
    • Cologne is famous for its Gothic cathedral as well as the great variety of churches, theatres, art exhibitions, and many parks, bars, and clubs. 
    • The Faculty of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation in application-oriented research and is regarded as a top German institution in their field. 
    • The Carlson Global Institute strongly encourages students to live in the on-campus housing options as those are affiliated with and vetted by the partner institutions.
    • Students should check the host university website and fact sheet for specific accommodations information including on-campus and off-campus options, application process and deadline, and cost information.
    • The University of Cologne's International Relations Centre Housing will assist students in finding accommodations in private apartments or rooms in residence halls.
    • Arrangements are made prior to arrival in Cologne for the semester.
    • Rooms vary from single flats and shared flats to furnished and unfurnished rooms. 
    • Graduate exchange students take courses in the CEMS MIM Master in Management program.
    • Graduate exchange students must enroll in the minimum number of credits outlined by the host university.  The UMN does not have a minimum course requirement for graduate students on semester exchange.
    • Courses transfer back as S/N on UMN transcripts.
    • A typical course load is usually 5-6 courses per term (30 ECTS). Each course is two classroom hours per week, many with additional hours of tutorials. 
    • Business courses taught in English and German are available to exchange students.
    • A pre-semester Intensive German Language Course is optional for exchange students, as well as German language courses offered throughout the semester.  
    • For information about specific courses available to exchange students please meet with an adviser.
    • Please note that all English-taught courses of the offer for  incomings students now have an 'early leaver' option in fall term. This means guest students can finish their exchange term by 16 December. Students will need to complete additional assignments to receive full credits for all courses.
    • Currently enrolled in a Carlson School graduate program
    • In good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Additional criteria may apply
    • The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
    • All Carlson students are responsible for obtaining a passport before they participate on a study abroad program
    • All students participating on an exchange program will be responsible for obtaining a visa or residence permit if required by their host country.  The Carlson Global Institute will not process visa applications for students participating on exchange programs and are not visa experts.
    • The Carlson Global Institute and the host university will provide resources for visa and residence permit applications if necessary, but students will need to work with the consulate and/or visa processing company directly as well.

    To apply for an exchange program you must first apply through the Carlson Global Institute on the Apply page. You will be charged a $50 application fee for each term that you apply for a program. If you apply for two programs in Fall semester you will be charged $50. If you apply for one program in Fall semester and one in Spring semester you will be charged $100. The priority deadline for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 is February 1, 2024 at noon. Applications for programs that do not fill by the priority deadline will be accepted on a rolling basis until full. Applications will be reviewed and students will be informed of their status within 6 weeks of the priority deadline.  Once accepted into an exchange program, you will also complete an application to the host university.

    Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad. Carlson School graduate students are eligible for Education Abroad Fellowships. Please visit "Financial Aid" and "Fellowships" for more information.

Cost Estimate (Summary)

Expenses are based on a 5 month semester. These estimates will vary based on student preference and exchange rates. All details subject to change based on economic and international factors. Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad programs. Students should also maintain their U.S.-based health insurance plan while abroad. Visa and passport costs are subject to change. Please verify current documentation costs with the Consulate.​ 

Estimated Expenses 2023-24
Carlson School Tuition (charged to UMN student account) UMN Per-credit (varies by credit load and UMN degree program)
Airfare (to and from program site) $1,300
Passport Fee $165
Visa Fee (based on US passport) $90
Books and Materials $200
Housing & Food $5,100
Essential Daily Living Expenses $1,500
Miscellaneous $500
Total estimated expenses $8,855 + tuition costs


Academic term(s)
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
Degree level
Host School
University of Cologne
Carlson Global Institute (CGI)
Program Model
Partner University Business Exchange