Dual MSF-MSBA Degree Admissions

Who Should Apply?

The Dual MSF-MSBA Degree Program is a rigorous, fast-paced graduate program for analytical thinkers with an interest in finance. Qualified applicants should demonstrate a capacity for intense academic study, a propensity for mathematics and computer programming, and a basic understanding of business fundamentals. Prior knowledge of and experience in finance is not required, but can strengthen an application.

Application Requirements

Applicants must complete and submit an online application for the Dual MSF-MSBA Degree 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 the appropriate entry term and intended program:
    • "Summer 2024" for "Entry Term" and "Dual Degree - Masters of Science in Finance & Masters of Science in Business Analytics"
  • 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 gradappinfo@umn.edu. Please add this email to your contact list or safe list so that important updates are not caught in your spam filter.


Start an MSF-MSBA Application

Completion of Statistics Course

Completion of at least one-semester college-level statistics course from an accredited institution of higher learning 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.

NOTE: MOOCs (e.g., from Coursera, edX, Udemy, or similar) do not satisfy this requirement. The course must be offered directly from an accredited college or university, with a final grade appearing on an official academic transcript.


Completion of a Calculus Course

Completion of at least one college-level calculus course is required, at the level of Calculus I or higher. Short Calculus, Pre-Calculus, or Survey of Calculus courses do not meet this prerequisite. 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 either a final grade or official, verifiable certificate of completion.

This requirement can be satisfied in one of two ways:

  • Academic coursework, with course title and final grade appearing on an academic transcript from an accredited university or college (Upload a course description or syllabus on the "Carlson Masters Programs requirements" page of the application).


  • Completion of one of the MSBA faculty-approved online certificate options listed below (Upload your official, verifiable certificate of completion on the "Carlson Masters Programs Requirements" page of the application).
Certificate TitleCoursesPlatformDurationEstimated Commitment
Mathematics for Machine Learning Specialization (Imperial College London)3Coursera57 hours4 hours/week (4 months)
Introduction to Calculus (University of Sydney)1Coursera59 hours9-14 hours/week (5 weeks)

These are the only online certificate courses that may be used to satisfy the calculus prerequisite.


Demonstrated Computer Programming Competency

Demonstrated competency in computer programming is required. The following programming languages satisfy the requirement: Python, C, C++, C#, VB (not VBA), or Java. Competency is required in only one of these languages. Competency may be demonstrated one of three ways:

  1. Academic Coursework - University class on transcript showing formal education in and successful completion of programming coursework as an undergraduate or graduate. Upload a course description or syllabus which includes the name of the programming language learned. This course must appear on your transcript (uploaded in the Educational Background section of this application.) Do not re-upload your transcript on the "Carlson Masters Programs requirements" page of the application; this upload must be a course description or syllabus indicating the language learned in your programming class.
  2. Professional Experience - Resume indicating specific projects, assignments, or responsibilities with clear details of how computer programming was utilized in a professional, full-time work capacity. Simply listing the programming language you know is not sufficient. You must have bullet points indicating which programming language you use and how you use the programming language to complete your professional work. 
  3. Completion of Online Coursework* - Certificate(s) of completion for an online course (or a course sequence) in computer programming (preferably Python) with a duration of no less than 20 hours*. The course (or course sequence) must cover basic programming concepts and techniques including but not limited to: conditional statements, loops, functions, input/output, file handling, foundational data types and structures such as strings, lists, and dictionaries. Please upload a verifiable certificate of completion on the "Carlson Masters Programs requirements" page of the application. If the certificate title does not include the programming language used, please include a course description or syllabus with the upload indicating programming language taught.

Applicants who have not yet satisfied the computer programming requirement should not submit an application to the program until they can demonstrate competency in one of the three ways listed above.

If you have not completed academic coursework in or professional experience using one of our accepted programming languages, the online course you select to meet our prerequisite should cover basic programming concepts and techniques. The course(s) must cover the following topics at minimum:

  • conditional ("if") statements
  • loops
  • functions
  • input/output
  • file handling
  • foundational data types and structures (e.g., strings, lists, dictionaries)

While our basic requirements for the online course option are 20 hours minimum of instruction and an official, verifiable certificate of completion, we strongly recommend taking additional steps to become more comfortable with object oriented programming before applying. Consider taking a full specialization track or professional certification online, consisting of a variety of programming courses in your chosen language (we recommend Python). Strongly consider also applying what you learn in your online studies to your work, internship, or personal projects, and add these new experiences to your resume.

While a 20-hour online certificate course will meet our basic prerequisite, additional study and applied practice will:

  • Boost your application
  • Better prepare you for our programming-heavy curriculum
  • Impress hiring managers in your post-program job search


Listed below are some MSBA faculty-suggested online certificate options that will each meet our basic programming prerequisite. You are not limited to the options on this table to meet the basic requirement; rather, this list is meant to be a guide for those who are not sure where to start.

Certificate TitleCoursesPlatformDurationEstimated Commitment
Learn to Program: The Fundamentals (University of Toronto)1Coursera25 hours2-6 hours/week (7 weeks)
Introduction to Scripting in Python Specialization (Rice University) - Courses #1, #2, & #33Coursera28 hours2-4 hours/week (12 weeks)
Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate (Google) - Courses #1 & #22Coursera55 hours2-6 hours/week (13 weeks)
Python for Everybody Specialization (University of Michigan) - Courses #1 & #22Coursera38 hours2-4 hours/week (14 weeks)

To be considered for admission to the program, please submit essay responses to the questions detailed below (approximately 2 pages maximum). You may copy/paste each prompt into your document and answer each separately. The admissions committee will review both the content of your responses and your ability to communicate clearly in writing:

  • Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why are you choosing to pursue an MSF and an MSBA at this time in your career, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so? (approximately 275 words) 
  • Why are you interested in pursuing these degrees at the Carlson School of Management? (approximately 200 words)
  • An aptitude for technical and quantitative work is necessary for success in the Business Analytics program. Please provide a specific example(s) from your past academic project, internship, or professional experience where you used a technical/quantitative tool or method to solve a problem. Please provide details describing the problem/situation, the actions you took, the specific tools, programming languages, and methods you used, and the results of your actions. (approximately 275 words)

To be considered for admission, MSF/MSBA programs require a first university degree that is 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 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 gsquest@umn.edu.

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. For more information regarding transcripts/academic credentials you need to apply please review these details

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 at any time during the admission review process.

English language translation services in the Twin Cities

GMAT or GRE General Test scores are now optional for admission to the MSF-MSBA Dual Degree program for domestic or international applicants who meet the following requirement:

  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale (or overall B grade equivalent on another scale)

In the online application, in the "Carlson Masters Programs Requirements" section, you will indicate whether or not you meet this GPA requirement.

If the grades on your undergraduate academic transcripts do not meet our minimum requirement (3.0 or B grade), you must submit official GMAT or GRE General Test scores with your application in order to be considered for admission.

If you indicate in your application that you meet our GPA requirement, but the cumulative grades on your undergraduate academic transcripts show otherwise, your admissions decision may be severely delayed, and we will still require official GMAT or GRE General Test scores before moving forward with your admissions consideration.

While submission of GMAT or GRE scores is optional for those with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, strong scores can still boost an application. It is strongly recommended for applicants with academic weaknesses (e.g., lower grades in quantitative or technical/programming classes) to submit scores. The admissions committee does not prefer one test over the other, and we do not have minimum required scores; however we recommend a Quantitative section score in the 80th percentile or above on either test.

NOTE:  Applicants interested in pursuing a career in investment banking or consulting should plan to take the GMAT specifically, as many major firms consider these scores when assessing job candidates.

If you do decide to submit test scores, they must 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 the 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 the GRE, arrange for the testing service to send an official score report using institution code 6874, U of MN graduate school. Results may take up to 8 weeks to arrive.

NOTE: Full-time work experience is not required, but preferred. We recommend having at least some related internship(s) involving analyzing data, using technical software, and/or applying computer programming languages (e.g., Python, R, SQL, C, C++, C#, VB, or Java), in addition to having related academic or extracurricular experiences.

Prepare a current resume that includes a detailed education and employment history in no more than 3 pages.

Resume guidelines:

  • List both employer(s) and official position(s) held.
  • Specify both month and year for dates of employment in each role.
  • Detail job responsibilities and accomplishments in approximately 3-5 bullet points.
  • Include details of any programming languages, technical software, and/or analytical methods used in each.
  • You may include a separate section for academic projects with significant quantitative and/or technical components.

For additional guidance, watch a video tutorial from our Graduate Business Career Center (GBCC), and view the corresponding template

Upload your completed resume in the online application where prompted for your Resume or CV.


We require two recommendations for the dual degree application. 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. 

International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. Proof of English language proficiency is measured according to the categories detailed below. You are not exempt if you have lived in an English-speaking country for several years, but have not completed any prior education in English.


  • Applicants providing an exam score must have an exam date within two years of the graduate program start date. Exams exceeding two years will not be accepted.
  • We do not offer an option for the English language ability to be assessed upon arrival on campus.

For additional details regarding this requirement, please visit the Office of Graduate Admission's website or contact them at gsquest@umn.edu.

Test scores are not required for applicants that have completed post-secondary coursework in:  

  • 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

To qualify for exemption, the coursework: 

  • Consists of least 16 semester credits or 24 quarter credits,
  • Does not include ESL coursework, and
  • Was completed within the past 2 years, and
  • You were living in one of the countries listed above while completing all of the credits.

Please note that the exam date should be within two years of the graduate program start date. 

Graduate School Minimum Requirements

  • Total Score: 79
  • Writing Subscore: 21
  • Reading Subscore: 19

Please note that these scores are the minimum University requirements. No exceptions can be made.

Typically competitive candidates have average scores of 90-105 on the internet-based TOEFL.

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities does not consider MyBest Scores: Sum of Highest Section Scores of the TOEFL iBT Score Report to meet the minimum total score requirement for admission. Applicants should self-report their highest Total Score from the one test date in the Application for Admission. Applicants should also submit the official TOEFL iBT scores via ETS.



TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

Please note that the exam date should be within two years of the graduate program start date. 

Minimum Scores for Admission

  • Total Score: 6.5
  • Writing Subscore: 6.5
  • Reading Subscore: 6.5

Please note that these scores are the minimum University requirements. No exceptions can be made.

Please note that the exam date should be within two years of the graduate program start date. 

Minimum Scores for Admission

  • Total Score: 59
  • Writing Subscore: 59
  • Reading Subscore: 59

Please note that these scores are the minimum University requirements. No exceptions can be made.

Typically competitive candidates have a total score of 65 or higher.


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

MSF-MSBA Dual Degree Minimum Requirements

  • Overall Score: 120 or above
  • Subscore for Literacy section: 120 or above

Your exam date should be within two years of the program's start date.

NOTE: We do not offer an option for the English language ability to be assessed upon arrival on campus.

We're now accepting the Cambridge C1 Advanced and we're following grad admissions standards for scores:

Minimum Scores for Admission

  • Total Score: 180
  • Writing Subscore: 180
  • Reading Subscore: 180

For additional information, please review the Graduate School's breakdown on English Proficiency Exams.

The application fee is $75 (non-refundable) for U.S. citizens; and $95 for international applications and U.S. residents with foreign credentials. Your application fee will be automatically waived if you have served in the US Armed Forces for any length of time prior to submitting an application. We are unable to offer application fee waivers to any other applicants.

  • 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 Zoom. The interview is approximately 30-45 minutes in length with a member of our admissions committee. The goal is to gain a better understanding a candidate’s academic, professional background, and reasons for applying to our program. You should treat the interview as you would a job interview. Appropriate attire is business professional.

Application Deadlines

Apply early and give yourself the best chance to join the Carlson School's MS in Finance program.

Application Deadlines

  • November 1
    Decision notification: December 6
  • January 3
    Decision notification: February 10
  • February 1
    Decision notification: March 15
  • March 15
    Decision notification: April 14
  • April 15
    Decision notification: May 16

IMPORTANT: MS in Finance Program Orientation is required for all incoming students. Orientation for Summer 2024 will be held in early July 2024 (exact dates TBD).



Dual MSF-MSBA Degree students complete three semesters of the MSF program and three semesters of the MSBA program. Below are tuition cost estimates for 2023-2024.

DescriptionResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Per Credit$1,085$1,545
MSF - Total tuition cost for 27 credits$29,295$41,715
MSBA - Total tuition cost for 36 credits$39,060$55,620
The total tuition cost for the MSF-MSBA Dual Degree program$68,355$97,335

Visit the MSF and MSBA websites for more information regarding student fees, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities for each program. 

Want to learn more?

If you have questions about our programs, please contact:
MSF: msf@umn.edu
MSBA: msba@umn.edu