Carlson adds new MBA admissions program for honors undergrads

The goal is to get students from other majors and colleges to seek their MBA.

Jill Jensen

In an attempt to attract more Master of Business Administration students from majors outside the Carlson School of Management, the University of Minnesota will offer seniors in the University Honors Program  a chance for selective admission.

The Carlson School launched MBA in Two this semester. The program allows students graduating with Latin honors to apply to the program during their senior year and receive a decision before entering the workforce.

Admitted students must spend two to three years working before pursuing a full-time MBA. They would also receive career counseling during that time.

The real goal of the MBA in Two program is to get students from other majors and colleges to apply. Art Hill, associate dean for MBA programs at the Carlson School said heâÄôd be disappointed if the program didnâÄôt secure honors students from other colleges.

âÄúThatâÄôs one of the beauties of the MBA program is you get people from all walks of life,âÄù he said. âÄúThey want to become leaders in their organization, whatever that is.âÄù

For honors students like sophomore Tristan Rowley,  who is considering an MBA, this program could be a deciding factor.

Although Rowley hasnâÄôt decided what he wants to do after graduation, he said this program is a cool option that would affect his decision of whether or not to seek an MBA.

Hill said only admitting honors students is an experiment that could later be opened up to all students.

âÄúWeâÄôre hoping to get some really high-potential people into the program,âÄù he said.

Hill said itâÄôs beneficial for students because they can develop relationships and receive mentoring support earlier.

Gordon Duke, an associate professor who teaches in the MBA program at the Carlson School, said he actually discourages students from pursuing an undergraduate degree in business before an MBA because itâÄôs âÄúnot consistent with the origins of the degree.âÄù

âÄúThe MBA âĦ was intended to take undergraduates who had majored in something other than business and give them business skills on top of their first degree,âÄù he said.

Students in the MBA in Two program are required to spend two to three years in the workforce in order to understand their classes, Hill said.

âÄúOnce youâÄôve had some work experience, it makes a whole lot more sense,âÄù he said.

Caitlin Kruse, an accounting and finance senior, said itâÄôs common knowledge that gaining work experience before getting an MBA is preferred.

âÄúI need some hands-on experience before I can take full advantage of the MBA program,âÄù Kruse said.

She said while a high school diploma used to be the norm for most students, a bachelorâÄôs degree is now more common. It requires students to seek higher degrees, she said.

âÄúIf you want to stick out, you probably have to do the MBA or Ph.D. program,âÄù she said.

Hill said the Carlson School is offering generous scholarships to âÄúsweeten the potâÄù for potential applicants.

There will be an information session from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday in Room 2-260R of the Carlson School for interested students.