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At the Carlson School of Management, our specializations offer an exciting avenue for students to hone their expertise in specific career sectors. From theory to practical strategy, you'll immerse yourself in fundamental business knowledge, spanning all management functions and diverse industries. With over 70 elective courses across six specializations, you have the power to tailor your MBA to suit your unique aspirations.

MBA Specialization Options

Please note specializations are optional to pursue and will not appear on academic transcripts or diplomas.

Sustainable Environmental, Social, and Governance Management

The SESG Management specialization prepares students to tackle climate, environmental, and social justice challenges through a multidisciplinary curriculum emphasizing sustainability science, organizational change, and entrepreneurship.


Finance Specializations

A finance specialization equips students with essential knowledge for careers in corporate finance, investment banking, risk management, and more, enhancing decision-making skills across various business functions, making it suitable for roles in general management, consulting, and entrepreneurship.

Management Specializations

A management emphasis provides students with essential skills to analyze competition, lead with advantage, foster entrepreneurship, manage innovation and diversity, and navigate organizational dynamics amid globalization and technological change, with faculty actively sharing cutting-edge knowledge through courses.

Customize Your Program

Chart your course to success with a personalized educational journey that sets you apart in the competitive business world. You have the flexibility to create a specialization beyond the ones listed above that will meet your unique academic and career goals. Please note that MBA students are not eligible to complete official minors.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Specializations are optional to pursue and are not required for graduation from the MBA Program. There is not a process to declare a specialization. Instead, students interested in pursuing a specialization will follow course recommendations provided by Carlson School's academic departments.

Generally, specializations require students to complete a track of 12-13 credits of courses within a specified subject area. Course recommendations for each specialization are outlined on the documents posted on the Specialization webpage.

Historically, roughly 50% of MBA students will pursue a specialization and 50% of students will not.

A great place to begin is to schedule an academic advising appointment with an MBA academic advisor to discuss academic interests and program goals. During that meeting, an advisor will help you assess if pursuing a specialization may be in line with your objectives. Meeting with a career coach in the Carlson Business Career Center may also be beneficial to learn more about career implications. Networking with MBA alumni, work colleagues, mentors, and faculty can also help students decide if a particular specialization may be a good fit.

No. All degree verification checks are completed by the central University Registrar in One Stop Student Services. Carlson School MBA Program specializations are not displayed on student transcripts nor are they verifiable by the University. The only information that is verifiable by the University is the degree plan (Master of Business Administration). With this, One Stop Student Services will not be able to verify specialization information.

Question on specializations?

If you have questions about specializations, please contact us at mbaandms@umn.edu.