Admissions Requirements

Carlson School of Management’s graduate certificates offer learners an excellent opportunity to gain expertise in specific areas to advance their careers. Learners must apply and be accepted into each graduate certificate area of study to be eligible to receive a certificate and may apply the credits earned through these programs toward a graduate degree at the Carlson School. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or a comparable degree from an officially recognized college or university outside of the U.S.

Application Dates

RoundSubmission Deadlines
Spring (January) Start
Round 1October 15
Round 2November 15
Round 3December 15
Summer (June) Start
Round 1February 15
Round 2March 15
Round 3April 15
Fall (September) Start
Round 1May 15
Round 2June 15
Round 3July 15

*Please note the Business Analytics Certificate only has a Fall start.

Application Checklist

Use the information provided below to help guide you through the applications process.

Complete the application online.

Under Program Selection tab, please select 'University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Campus'

Filter by college/school to 'Carlson School of Management'

Under Carlson School of Management Programs select 'Postbaccalaureate Certificate' desired

Unofficial transcripts can be submitted through the online application or emailed to for attachment to your application file. Candidates will need to submit a transcript from each college or university where a candidate completed coursework. All transcripts must be received before the application is marked as complete and will be reviewed by the admission committee.

A Minimum of 2 recommendations is required.

Use the online application to provide the names of two professional references; one must be your current supervisor. Your recommendation providers will receive an email from "" The subject line will include your name and the words "Recommendation for the University of Minnesota"   Please ask your providers to include this email address in their contact lists and to double check spam/junk mail folders if they don't receive the message. Recommendation providers can submit their recommendations anytime, both before AND after you submit your application. 

We require two complete recommendations to consider this section complete, but you can list up to six professional recommendations. All completed professional recommendations will be reviewed by the admission committee. 

Personal Statement: This section of the application helps the admissions committee get to know you better as an individual, and allows the committee to evaluate the extent to which your skills, interests, values, and career goals are well suited for the program. Please write a personal statement using no more than 500 words (1 page), that addresses the following questions:

  • Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. 
  • Why are you choosing to pursue a certificate at this time in your career, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so?
  • Why are you interested in pursuing a certificate at the Carlson School of Management?
  • What do you feel makes you a strong candidate for the program? 

Use this essay to share information that is not presented elsewhere in the application. Your statement should be limited to no more than 250 words (1 page).

The application fee is $75 (non-refundable) for U.S. citizens, international applications, and U.S. residents with foreign credentials. Your application fee will be waived if you have been on active duty in the U.S. military within three years of submitting your application.

Submit a current resume that includes job responsibilities and accomplishments. Resume can include part-time work, internships, graduate assistants, or co-ops as necessary.

Proof of English Language Proficiency is required of all applicants and must be demonstrated in one of the following ways. 

  • Completed at least the last 2 years of a bachelor's degree or 1 year of graduate school (full-time) in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Anglophone Africa, or the English-speaking Caribbean and will provide official transcripts
  • Completed education solely in English in a country where English is not the official language and will provide documented proof (ex: India) 
  • Will provide the official results of an English language test taken within the last two years
  • The following tests are all accepted:


Certificates are not able to offer student visas to candidates who live outside the United States.  If you are living in the United States on another type of visa, you are eligible to take in-person courses.  For candidates unable to attend classes in-person, we encourage you to explore our certificates that can be completed virtually or a degree program that can grant a student visa.

International Student Applicant Information

Graduate Certificate to Part-Time and Online MBA

Certificate Learners that have previously completed a Carlson Business Administration Graduate (Postbaccalaureate) Certificate can transfer the 12-13 credits completed in the certificate into the Part-Time or Online MBA program to continue with the MBA curriculum.

Carlson Certificate credits cannot be transferred to the Full-Time or Executive MBA programs.

Certificate learners will complete the Carlson Degree Application for Certificate Earners Form, creating a program application.

Please connect with Carlson staff to determine when to apply for degree transfer at


Application Requirements

We want to admit a diverse, intellectually curious, and interesting group of students who will contribute to and benefit from the Carlson MBA Program. The personal statement helps the admissions committee get to know you better as an individual, and allows the committee to evaluate the extent to which your skills, interests, values, and career goals are well suited for the program. Your personal statement should be no more than 1200 words (3 pages), that address the following questions: 

  • Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA at this time in your career? What are you hoping to accomplish by doing so? Briefly describe your short-term (upon graduation from the program) and long-term (5-10 years after the program) career goals. Please be as specific as possible with roles, companies and/or industries. 
  • What excites you about being part of the Carlson School MBA program? Do you have a specialization that you are currently interested in and why? 
  • Carlson MBA programs are looking for diverse voices and experiences to add to classroom discussions. Can you tell us about how you have participated in and/or advocated for building more inclusive communities in your career?
  • Candidates will verify their academic credentials from their certificate application 
  • Candidates will be required to upload a transcript of their University of Minnesota certificate coursework 
  • If a candidate has taken any additional coursework since their certificate application, additional transcripts will be required
  • Candidates will be asked to verify their employment information is still valid from their certificate application or update as needed 
  • Candidates will also need to provide an updated resume
  • Candidates can be waived the admissions test score requirement if they receive a final certificate GPA above 3.2. 
  • Candidates below the 3.2 GPA requirement will be asked to take a GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment, or another test assessment option. 
  • If the certificate is still in progress at the time of application, the test waiver decision will be based on the in-progress GPA. The admission committee will verify the candidate’s final certificate GPA to determine that they have still met the waiver criteria or the candidate will be asked to take the GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment, or another test assessment option.

All applicants are invited to submit an essay to be considered for one of the 50% or 15% merit-based scholarships offered to admitted candidates entering the Part-Time MBA program. Scholarships will be awarded on merit to a limited number of admitted candidates who demonstrate the potential to be exemplary contributors to the Carlson School community and possess outstanding academic and professional achievements. Selected students will be notified of their award at the time of admission. 

This scholarship essay is not required for admission to the program, but is required to be considered for the scholarship. The essay also must be submitted within the application itself, as no late or alternative submission methods will be accepted. 

The scholarship is non-transferable to other Carlson School degrees, is not "stackable" with other scholarships or discounts, and may only be applied toward the Part-Time or Online MBA programs. 

The Scholarship Essay prompt should address the following in no less than 300 words (1 page): 

  • Can you tell us about a time you advocated for a more inclusive or more welcoming community, either professionally or personally? How do you plan to carry what you have learned from this experience forward and positively impact the Carlson School?

Carlson Corporate Discount applicants may also submit an essay to consider the available scholarships, but no "stacking" of scholarship awards and corporate discounts is allowed.

Additionally, Corporate Discount candidates must also submit 2 letters of recommendation, along with the scholarship essay, in order to fulfill the requirements for scholarship consideration.

Candidates will expect to hear their admission decisions in about two weeks. If you have any additional questions about the status of your application, please contact us a or

Contact Graduate Certificates