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Called the “North Star State,” Minnesota is known as the home of 10,000 lakes, the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul), and the Mall of America. The state has a flourishing and diverse economy with 18 Fortune 500 companies choosing it for their headquarters. These companies, along with smaller businesses across Minnesota, provide growth opportunities for business leaders.
The state has a lower-than-average cost of living, high median income for workers, and low poverty rate compared to national baselines. As a result, Minnesota is a welcoming state for entrepreneurs and new business owners.
If you’re ready to accelerate your business career, an MBA can help you reach your goals. Many of Minnesota’s 82 institutions of higher learning offer graduate degrees in business. Find out more about which schools provide online, on-site, and hybrid programs with a wide variety of concentrations and add-on options. Explore this guide to learn more about MBA programs in Minnesota.
|Climate||Average Annual Temperature: 41.2 F
Annual Precipitation: 27.3 inches
|Number of Higher Learning Institutions||82|
|Per Capita Income||41,204|
|Fortune 500 Companies||18|
Featured Online MBA Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
3 Business Schools in Minnesota
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota‘s Carlson School of Management is a public institution, located in Minneapolis. In the fall of 2021, the school’s full-time MBA program received 464 applications and accepted 173 new students. One year’s tuition stands at $43,680 for state residents and $55,920 for non-residents.
Carlson School of Management
The Carlson School of Management opened in 1919 with fewer than 100 successful applicants. Today, it educates more than 5,000 students and employs 104 tenured and tenure-track faculty members. The school offers five MBA programs in addition to four global MBAs for professionals working internationally. Students can also pursue an MBA alongside one of eight other degrees such as an MD or JD.
Courses cover topics such as accounting, human resources, integrative leadership, and international business. Full-time enrollees can participate in an enterprise program where they take on real-world projects for Fortune 500 companies. Part-time, online, and executive options make the program more accessible.
Carlson’s MBA Specializations
Entrepreneurship and Innovation | Corporate Finance and Investment Banking | Food and Agribusiness | Information Systems | Management | Marketing | Medical Industry Leadership | Supply Chain and Operations
Applying to U of M
Applicants to the full-time MBA program should submit transcripts and copies of GRE or GMAT scores that are no more than five years old. Other MBA programs’ requirements may vary, so prospective students should contact the school.
University of St. Thomas
Educating students from within its Catholic tradition, the University of St. Thomas‘ Opus College of Business serves 3,200 graduate and undergraduate students. Its part-time, flex MBA costs $1,356 per credit.
Opus College of Business
The Opus College of Business offers a part-time online MBA, an executive MBA, and an MBA in healthcare. Courses include both a business core and electives.
Opus College’s part-time MBA program requires 2-7 years and either a study-travel experience or an international business course. The healthcare MBA takes 21 months to earn and includes 4-5 three-day residencies on campus per year. The executive MBA takes 21 months to earn. Learners meet once a month on campus and participate in a weeklong study abroad experience.
Students can add on a graduate certificate in business analytics, global business, or another one of the school’s 11 options. Enrolling students usually have 7-15 years of experience.
Opus’ MBA Specializations
Applying to UST
The part-time MBA requires at least two years of experience and an undergraduate degree in any field. UST recommends five years of healthcare-related experience for prospective students in the healthcare MBA program.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Founded in 1912, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is affiliated with the De La Salle Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic body. Its general MBA costs about $19,695, and its specialized MBAs run approximately $22,725.
Saint Mary’s School of Business and Technology
Saint Mary’s School of Business and Technology offers an accelerated online MBA, an on-campus general MBA, and four specialized MBA programs.
The general MBA requires 39 credits, which students can complete in 2.5 years. Adding a specialization tacks on another six credits. The accelerated MBA, however, takes only one year and is just 30-36 credits.
Courses include managerial economics, corporate finance, and managerial ethics and issues. The program concludes with a strategic management capstone in which students integrate their academic knowledge to complete a live case experience for a sponsoring organization. Students can also pursue one or more graduate certificates in seven related areas.
School of Business and Technology’s MBA Specializations
Finance | Healthcare Administration | Human Resource Management | Project Management
Applying to Saint Mary’s
Saint Mary’s accepts applications from prospective students with various academic and professional backgrounds. The school does not require the GRE or the GMAT for admission.
Why Go to College for an MBA in Minnesota?
Earning an MBA in Minnesota can provide abundant job opportunities, strong support for education, proximity to corporate headquarters, and an excellent environment for personal and professional growth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Minneapolis-St. Paul typically maintains an employment rate above 97% with many people working in professional, business, and financial services. The region boasts a long history of growth and a powerful entrepreneurial culture. Minnesota is home to many large corporations, including Best Buy, 3M, and Target.
Business students can pursue graduate degrees at 56 four-year public or private colleges and universities of various sizes across the state. Many schools also offer online programs, making them easy to access for professionals serving in rural locations.
Minnesota students can receive scholarships to help cover the cost of MBA tuition. Many of the state’s colleges offer aid to members of the military, AmeriCorps volunteers, or students with exemplary leadership or academic achievements.
Accreditation for Minnesota Schools
Attending an accredited institution gives you access to financial aid options while in school and ensures your degree will be taken seriously after graduation. Colleges and universities can hold institutional accreditation, programmatic accreditation, or both. Institutional accreditors put their stamp of approval on an entire institution. In Minnesota, the primary institutional accreditor is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Business program accreditors review and accredit business schools or degree programs. These accreditors include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Either of these agencies’ endorsements indicates that a business program meets rigorous standards.
Paying for Your MBA Degree
An MBA can be a costly degree, but fortunately, you can access resources to help you cover the cost of tuition and other educational expenses. While federally subsidized loans do not support graduate studies, many other forms of federal aid do. If you are a member of the military or a veteran, you could access funds through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
You can also access scholarships, private grants, fellowships, employer reimbursements, or student loans to help fund your education. Individual schools, local civic clubs, employers, and financial institutions all offer scholarships. Check out the links below to dive deeper into your financial aid options.
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition
Publicly funded colleges usually offer lower tuition rates to in-state residents. Under the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement, qualifying Wisconsin residents may attend Minnesota schools at in-state prices.
As a member of the Midwest Student Exchange Program, Minnesota agrees that its cooperating state-supported schools will charge no more than 150% of resident tuition to residents of other member states. Some schools may provide more tuition breaks to residents of neighboring states. Check with your school of choice if you think this option could apply to you.
Cost of Living in Minnesota
Not only will you pay tuition, but while you’re earning your degree, you’ll also need to cover living expenses. Fortunately, Minnesota’s cost of living can help keep those expenses affordable.
World Population Review evaluates each state’s cost of living and compares it against a national baseline score of 100. Using this metric, Minnesota earns a 94.1, placing it just above Ohio and below New Mexico in cost of living
Careers for MBA Graduates in Minnesota
Minnesota is known both for its natural beauty and cold weather. The state also maintains a strong business sector, giving MBA graduates opportunities to turn their education into a career. Pennington, Scott, Traverse, Rock, and Lake of the Woods counties lead the state’s growth.
Diverse industries drive Minnesota’s economic expansion, including manufacturing, life sciences, agriculture, retail, and technology. Healthcare employs more people than any other industry in Minnesota, followed by business and professional services. Manufacturing, the third-largest industry in Minnesota, accounts for 11% of the state’s employment.
Rochester, Minnesota, is home to the Mayo Clinic, a major healthcare employer. The state also houses the corporate headquarters of several major companies, including UnitedHealth Group and General Mills.
Many industries employ management professionals, making an MBA a versatile degree for business leaders. The sections below detail popular MBA careers in Minnesota.
Popular MBA Careers in Minnesota
Sometimes called management consultants, management analysts review organizational operations and advise managers on how to improve efficiency and profitability. These professionals usually work for a management consulting firm and travel to their client’s sites. Often, management analyst jobs require certification and several years of work experience in addition to a master’s degree.
Job Outlook in Minnesota (2020-2030): 11.1%
General and Operations Managers
General and operations managers coordinate multiple departments within a single organization. They may oversee human resources, purchasing, administration, or a variety of operational functions. Corporations across nearly all industries need general and operations managers, and these professionals can lead either small or large teams.
Job Outlook in Minnesota (2020-2030): 6.9%
Accountants and Auditors
Accountants prepare financial records, and auditors review those records for accuracy. These professionals help ensure that companies comply with relevant laws and regulations as well as minimize financial risks and improve revenues. Accountants and auditors may work in corporate finance departments or for outsourced accounting firms.
Job Outlook in Minnesota (2020-2030): 4.4%
|Career||Minnesota Employment||Minnesota Average Annual Salary (2022)||National Average Annual Salary (2022)|
|Accountants and Auditors||28,730||$83,450||$86,740|
|Administrative Services Managers||5,580||$136,210||$115,640|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||160||$136,060||$147,050|
|Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists||1,580||$85,650||$75,920|
|General and Operations Managers||73,910||$107,370||$122,860|
|Project Management Specialists||16,710||$95,440||$101,610|
|Public Relations Managers||1,060||$133,580||$150,030|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents||8,560||$95,680||$100,740|
|Training and Development Managers||710||$124,080||$132,100|
Questions About Best Business Schools in Minnesota
Is the University of Minnesota a good business school?
Many consider the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management among the best business schools in the state. According to the school’s annual report, 95% of its full-time MBA graduates held jobs within 90 days of graduation.
Is it expensive to get an MBA in Minnesota?
The cost of an MBA depends entirely on the school offering the program. Even then, prices can vary depending on whether you elect a part-time or full-time course of study and whether you plan to study online or on campus.
What is the hardest MBA program to get into in Minnesota?
Minnesota is home to several universities with selective MBA programs. The hardest program to get into depends on your qualifications and the school’s admissions criteria. That said, the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota admitted just 173 of 464 applicants in the fall of 2021.
How do I qualify for in-state tuition in Minnesota?
To qualify for in-state tuition, you must have resided in Minnesota for at least one calendar year prior to enrolling in a higher education program. Your residence must not be for the sole purpose of attending a university or college.