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LSBE Lowers MBA Program Tuition, Adds Major Scholarships

The MBA program at UMD's Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) recently announced a dramatic reduction of about 25% in its tuition at both of its programs in Duluth and Rochester. The new per-credit tuition amount is $900 in Duluth and $1000 in Rochester, with the program requiring 32 credits. The lower MBA tuition rates begin fall 2015.

Mike Johnston, who is on track to graduate from the MBA program in 2017, thinks that’s wonderful. “I’m thrilled about it. My employer only reimburses so much a year and it can start hitting your personal checkbook. I’m really happy the tuition is going down,” he said.

The School also announced that its graduate students may now apply for one of two newly instituted Dennis Maki Graduate Tuition Fellowships; each of which amounts to $6,000 per year with the possibility of renewal for a second year. The scholarship is a tuition fellowship; the funds can only be used to pay for tuition, not books or other items.

Mike has received merit scholarships in the past and is working on his Dennis Maki Fellowship application. Applications for that fellowship and other MBA Tuition Fellowships are due by Wed., July 15, 2015. For more information, visit

A Valuable Program
Mike has seen the MBA program have a direct impact on his job. “The classes have helped me to think more out-of-the-box. I recently solved a problem at work in a way I never would have before.” A cost analyst for the Sandpiper project at Enbridge, Mike is responsible for month-end reporting. “It would take forever and a day to download the information from Oracle, put it in Excel, and generate a report. We’d talked about generating a mac report but no one knew how to do it. I started reading up on it and when I took the MBA Innovations class, I started looking at the problem from different angles,” Mike said. He was able to construct a mac report, and now, instead of taking almost a whole day to run, “It takes about ten seconds. I can just do it with a click of a button.”

A Significant Reduction
“Tuition reductions at a major public university are virtually unheard of these days,” said Rajiv Vaidyanathan, LSBE’s professor of marketing and director of the MBA program. “I don’t think such a large cut in tuition has ever occurred in the history of the University of Minnesota. This was the only program which announced a cut in tuition. Being able to offer such a large reduction in tuition for a high-quality AACSB-accredited MBA program is an astounding real boon for the region and the State.”

While higher education costs are escalating elsewhere, UMD considered this an opportunity to make attaining an advanced degree more accessible to more people. “We wanted to ensure that high-quality business education was available to top quality candidates in Duluth and the surrounding area. With many employers limiting their tuition reimbursement, we felt that cutting MBA tuition by a meaningful amount would have a positive impact on individuals’ willingness to invest in themselves to boost their business skills.”

“There are many people who could qualify academically for our MBA program who just couldn’t afford the cost,” said Rajiv. “We want the highly skilled, highly motivated individuals with work experience who have always wanted to get their MBA to consider it now.”

To learn more visit

Read the Star Tribune article "Getting an MBA at UMD just got a lot cheaper."

The Labovitz School is accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International, a prestigious distinction that has been awarded to less than 5% of business schools. The School’s MBA, offered in-person in Rochester and Duluth, is the only AACSB-accredited graduate program offered in those regions. Our program is geared towards working adults, giving the opportunity to graduate in as little as two years through an array of Friday night and Saturday morning classes offered every other week in Rochester and evening classes in Duluth.

Written by Gina Chiodi Grensing and Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, July 2015.

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