Best Minnesota MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an Minnesota MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in Minnesota


Minnesota has one of the highest levels of education in the country, with over 93% of residents graduating high school and over 36% holding an undergraduate degree or higher: the 10th highest education level in the U.S. This means your MBA will stand out when you apply for professional employment because it will show you’ve gone the extra mile to master your field.

U.S. News and World Report says that the majority of master’s in business administration (MBA) students are already employed, and most are in their mid 20s to mid 30s when they enroll in MBA programs. That means you’re probably already juggling work, family, and more and may be investigating the pros and cons of online schools and your options other than attending on a college campus; the following should help you decide.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


Minnesota is home base to two of the biggest healthcare corporations in the country, and healthcare and social services account for about 430,700 jobs in the state. Chances are, your current employment is associated with this industry in some way and earning even a general MBA will give you the flexibility to advance your current career or access to a better position.

According to the University of Minnesota, over 75% of part-time MBA students who are professionals receive assistance from their current employers, so you may be able to have some, or possibly all, of your degree program paid for by your employer if you reach out to them for organizational support. They do this because they want real leaders in their company. If your company has no policy about financial aid for MBAs, you might want to run it up the ladder and see if it’s something they’re considering.

Minnesota is home to some of the best schools in the country, and your MBA will be considered an asset whether you stay in the state or move elsewhere. When a prospective employer sees your degree information on a job application it will immediately place you on the short list for hiring because it shows you have the knowledge and skills to be the best in your field.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Although many MBA students attend classes on campus, over a quarter study for their credits completely online wherever that format is offered.

Here’s a breakdown in terms of academic attendance for both grad students and undergrads:

Typical MBA Concentrations


Whether or not you seek admission to a business school should not just be based on the easiest place to get into. You’ll also want to think about what you want to do with your degree when you get it. If you know you want to work in a specific field, you can look for concentrations that focus their academics and content on that field specifically. Some specializations you can expect to find in MBA programs include international business, strategic planning, business analytics, human resources, info technology, media management, project management, and more. Below are just some of the concentrations available in this state.

  • Sustainability
    Companies are becoming more and more interested in being environmentally responsible and energy efficient in their day-to-day operations. They do this by introducing and maintaining climate change protocols and environmental regulations into the corporate structure that will protect the surrounding community.
  • Information Systems
    Businesses need to integrate IT with main accounting and financial processes while creating efficient business processes. This is especially needed in the medical industry in the coming months and years as they move to online records and advanced security protocols.
  • Healthcare Administration
    This concentration covers all the operational aspects of healthcare management, including high level administrative and staff management positions. It also teaches the operational and business aspects of healthcare including insurance companies, long-term care facilities, and pharmaceutical corporations.
  • Supply Chain
    This concentration covers management of production lines, from raw materials to finished goods, and delivery to the consumer. You may be responsible for deciding how these supply lines are designed and the entire process is overseen by an SCO manager in every production company.
  • Finance
    Every company needs someone with complete knowledge of financial markets and corporate finance including portfolio management, security analysis, risk management, and investment banking. An MBA in Finance also creates the opportunity to enter Chief Financial Officer (CFO) positions in corporate settings.
  • Management
    Organizations need quality leadership in diverse business settings to manage the workforce, navigate the inner politics of an organization, and implement action plans to develop new business opportunities.

Accreditation in Minnesota


One of the most important keys when choosing an MBA program is to verify your school of choice is accredited. Accreditation is used to signify whether the school has consistently met educational standards in their courses and the quality of their faculty. Typically, regional accreditation is awarded to schools that are more research focused and national accreditation is given to more career-oriented schools. In Minnesota the regional accrediting agency is the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and national accreditation comes through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which focuses on distance learning programs. Accreditation is vital because it applies directly to the school’s use of federal financial aid, as well as acceptance by most employers. Alumni from these schools can expect better job offers and higher salaries.

The gold standard in business school accreditation is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). While not absolutely necessary, this would give you excellent credentials when you start applying for new positions.

Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates


Healthcare systems account for two of the top five employers in Minnesota and also a large percentage of affiliated businesses, such as hospitals, insurance companies, and health education positions. Minnesota is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic as well as the Destination Medical Center (DMC), a 20-year $5.6 billion economic development that is projected to employ an additional 35-45,000 persons upon completion.

While Health services and education account for the highest sector of employment in Minnesota, they are followed closely by government and manufacturing. Here’s a look at the top five employers in the state:

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Mayo Clinic Health Care Rochester 41,620
State of Minnesota Government St. Paul 41,200
U.S. Federal Government Government Minneapolis 31,900
Allina Health Systems Health Care Minneapolis 27,635
University of Minnesota Education Minneapolis 26,436

Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Minnesota


Earning your MBA can literally be worth thousands of dollars. Often, positions in upper management are only open to those with an MBA. Within the degree there can be wide wage ranges according to concentration, experience, and industry. For example, the average salary for an MBA in Operations Management is $58,900 and a Senior Product Manager earns an average of $110,880. Some executive and sales positions may also have additional income from bonuses and other perks, making their overall income much higher than their specific earnings.

Here’s a look at the average income for each education level in Minnesota:

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


  • Earnings with Associates - $54,378
  • Earnings with Bachelors - $62,647
  • Earnings with MBA - $83,820

Careers for Minnesota MBA Grads


  • Corporate Executive
    Executives are in charge of an entire organization or a major section within a large corporation, such as finances or operations. They make key decisions and often oversee entire businesses.
  • Health Services Administrator
    Also known as healthcare managers, administrators are typically in charge of a hospital, long-term care facility, large clinic, or insurance company and oversee the delivery of various medical services.
  • Administrative Services Manager
    These managers oversee departments within an organization and set goals for specific areas and teams to improve operations and meet regulatory standards on a consistent basis.
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
    Computer and information system managers are in charge of the IT systems within a company and may also be charged with completing security upgrades, projecting future expansions and upgrades, and overseeing repairs so the system runs smoothly throughout the organization.
  • Finance Director
    Directors of finance analyze data and oversee the budget of an organization to ensure it is meeting profit margins and reducing costs effectively. They also analyze financial statements and reports and convert them into informative material that can easily be absorbed by those not in the financial sector.
  • Marketing and Advertising Manager
    In charge of public relations, advertising, and marketing within an organization, the marketing manager ensures the corporate growth meets or exceeds projections and may be involved in budgeting, hiring, and other aspects of the business.

Best MBA Programs in Minnesota


There are many MBA college options for you to choose from in Minnesota and our list of the best MBA degrees can help you narrow down your search. We have ranked the best Master of Business Administration programs in Minnesota.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Location
Minneapolis, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$19,881
Retention %
93%
Graduation %
83%
Avg. Grad Salary
$74,343
University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Location
Minneapolis, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Health Care
Tuition
$23,851
Retention %
87%
Graduation %
76%
Avg. Grad Salary
$73,120
Capella University Location
Minneapolis, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Project Management
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resource Management
Tuition
$15,483
Retention %
40%
Graduation %
0%
Avg. Grad Salary
$70,163
Walden University Location
Minneapolis, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Communications
  • Corporate Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
Tuition
$12,882
Retention %
28%
Graduation %
33%
Avg. Grad Salary
$74,626
Concordia University-Saint Paul Location
Saint Paul, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Healthcare Management
Tuition
$8,550
Retention %
64%
Graduation %
51%
Avg. Grad Salary
$68,409
Grand Valley State University Location
Allendale, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$17,739
Retention %
85%
Graduation %
67%
Avg. Grad Salary
$59,404
Saint Cloud State University Location
St. Cloud, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$8,128
Retention %
67%
Graduation %
48%
Avg. Grad Salary
$69,507
Bethel University (Minnesota) Location
St. Paul, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Global Management
  • Management
Tuition
$11,700
Retention %
83%
Graduation %
73%
Avg. Grad Salary
$66,937
Saint Johns University Location
Collegeville, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Educational Leadership
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Finance
  • Financial Technology
  • Healthcare Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Interdisciplinary Business
  • International Business
  • Marketing Management
  • Real Estate
  • Risk and Financial Advisory
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Strategic Management
  • Sustainability
  • Taxation
Tuition
$17,674
Retention %
85%
Graduation %
75%
Avg. Grad Salary
$73,781
Minnesota State University-Mankato Location
Mankato, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$8,804
Retention %
77%
Graduation %
50%
Avg. Grad Salary
$66,986
Augsburg University Location
Minneapolis, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Business analytics
Tuition
$12,889
Retention %
72%
Graduation %
57%
Avg. Grad Salary
$72,196
St. Mary's University of Minnesota Location
Winona, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Economics and Finance
  • Management and Strategy
Tuition
$9,180
Retention %
84%
Graduation %
64%
Avg. Grad Salary
$68,160
Ferris State University Location
Big Rapids , MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Project Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Planning Systems
  • Internet MBA
  • Performance Metrics
  • Network Management & Design
  • Integrated Capstone Project
  • Professional Skills Development
  • Design Communication Management
  • Digital Forensics And Incident Response
  • Design And Innovation Process Management
  • Legal & Ethical Issues In Business
  • Organizational Leadership & Corporate Citizenship
  • Customer And Market Systems Analysis
  • Sustainable Development For Organizations
  • Organizational Resource Systems
  • Project Risk & Quality Management
  • Financial & Accounting Systems & Analysis
  • Quality Improvement Principles & Practices
Tuition
$7,608
Retention %
76%
Graduation %
47%
Avg. Grad Salary
$65,720
College of St. Scholastica Location
Duluth, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Leadership and Change
  • Rural Healthcare
Tuition
$13,986
Retention %
81%
Graduation %
69%
Avg. Grad Salary
$69,119
Hamline University Location
St Paul, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Finance
  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Marketing
Tuition
$9,596
Retention %
78%
Graduation %
70%
Avg. Grad Salary
$61,186
Metropolitan State University Location
Minneapolis, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Project Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Finance
Tuition
$8,082
Retention %
77%
Graduation %
34%
Avg. Grad Salary
$64,822
University of Minnesota-Duluth Location
Duluth, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$17,580
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
62%
Avg. Grad Salary
$65,694
Winona State University Location
Winona, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$7,488
Retention %
77%
Graduation %
59%
Avg. Grad Salary
$60,748
Minnesota State University-Moorhead Location
Moorhead, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Healthcare Management
Tuition
$8,550
Retention %
76%
Graduation %
53%
Avg. Grad Salary
$60,672
Bemidji State University Location
Bemidji, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$7,779
Retention %
72%
Graduation %
48%
Avg. Grad Salary
$63,574
St Catherine University Location
Saint Paul, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$15,948
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
58%
Avg. Grad Salary
$65,413
Southwest Minnesota State University Location
Marshall, MN
MBA Concentrations
  • Leadership concentration
  • Marketing concentration
Tuition
$7,374
Retention %
67%
Graduation %
50%
Avg. Grad Salary
$60,413
North Central University Location
Minneapolis, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$9,450
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
51%
Avg. Grad Salary
$61,386
University of Northwestern-St Paul Location
St. Paul, MN
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$8,982
Retention %
82%
Graduation %
68%
Avg. Grad Salary
$59,134
Full Ranking Report

How to Choose & FAQ's


If you’re ready to take the plunge and start your MBA, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start. Earning your MBA involves a lot more than just taking a few classes, especially if you’re employed, have a family, and are living on your own. Your MBA can take one to two years if you take a full load of classes and, if you choose part-time, it can take four to six years. That means the time you spend choosing the right program can be vital to your success, so set some time aside to investigate carefully before you enroll. Here are some tips you help you get started:

  • Search Schools in Your Area
    Once you choose your MBA concentration do a search of schools in proximity to your school or work. Even if you plan to enroll in online classes only, it’s a good idea to have the school within driving distance just in case you need to use the facilities for meetings or take a class on campus. Some hybrid programs require you to visit campus once or twice a year for lectures or events. Take notes as you research each school and keep them in a file or folder on your computer so you can refer to the information if you need to. If you’re considering more than a few schools, you might want to make a table of pros and cons so you can easily cross reference the information when making your choice.

    Distance isn’t the only factor you should look for. Each person has different life circumstances, so make a list of what is important for your personal success. Look at the classes required for each program within your chosen concentration and make sure they’re what you want to learn. Check to verify the program will accept your undergrad degree, and if you plan to work in a specialized field, such as healthcare, look for elective courses that will mesh well with your long-term plans.

  • Compare Student Graduation and Employment Data
    All schools put their best face forward when it comes to enrolling new students, so make sure you look a little deeper so you know the degree will get you where you want to go. Check the enrollment rates against the graduation rates; if there’s a high dropout rate it may be a warning flag. Look for statistics on post-grad employment and make sure the employment areas are agreeable to your long-term plans.

    Look for successful graduates of the program and send them a quick email asking what they liked best and least about the program. Contact current students and ask if they’re satisfied with the coursework, scheduling, and professors.

    Ask your coworkers for their opinions of the school and MBA program and if they know anyone who you can talk to about the degree. Remember, you’re going to invest a lot of time and money into your education and your questions now can be very valuable in the long run.

  • Estimate the Cost of the Program
    Check out the financial aid and tuition department of your short list of schools. Look for extra fees besides tuition so you have a full picture of the costs. For example, at the University of Minnesota full-time MBA tuition is listed as $38,208 but there are extra costs such as books and service fees that add over $12,000 to that amount. If you plan to live on campus instead of using the online program, you can expect to pay an additional $14,000 per year. You’ll also need to calculate travel expenses and possibly family expenses such as daycare, so there are invisible expenses as well.

    Online tuition is usually computed by semester hour. For example, in 2018 an online MBA program is $1535 per credit hour. Again, there are added expenses such as fees, books and course materials you’ll need to add to get a more accurate estimate of the total cost. While an online program won’t require travel expenses, you’ll have to have the self-discipline and available time to do the coursework, so you may need to use a daycare service in order to have the time needed for your studies.

  • Compare the Classes with your Schedule
    Just because an MBA program and concentration meet your long-term requirements doesn’t mean it’s doable, especially if you’re working full-time. Check the days and times of the classes you’ll need to take and make sure they coincide with your work and life schedule. If they don’t, check with your employer and see if there is an option that will enable you to attend that class or classes around your work schedule.

    Inquire with the school in regard to the class times for future semesters. Ask if the days and time slots are fairly consistent or if they are different every year. While the school won’t be able to guarantee there will be no changes, they can tell you if it’s common or not so you can make tentative plans for the future semesters.

  • Look for Tuition Help Through Businesses or Your Employer
    If you’re currently employed, ask your employer if they cover tuition for employees who are working on their graduate degree. Many companies encourage their workforce to continue their education, so you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement as well as time allowed for classes. If you’re not employed check with local businesses to see if they sponsor graduate students.

    If you have a dream job in mind check with that company and see if they have an education program in effect. They may have a sponsorship plan that pays for part or all your tuition in return for a specific employment agreement during and after your graduate work.

    As you work through the process of choosing and enrolling in your MBA program, remember to take notes and write down your questions. It will not only make the admissions process easier it will give you a useful habit once you begin your studies.

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources


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