Colorado State University College of Business

CSU College of Business Early Career MBA Program Structure

CSU’s full-time MBA is called the “Early Career MBA”, named because there is no work experience requirement, which sets it apart from other top programs that typically require a minimum of two years in the professional workforce. The Early Career MBA is a 21-month program with an annual August intake. There are five total semesters including a summer internship, and the program takes place entirely at the Fort Collins campus, with the exception of a few online electives.


The Early Career MBA requires 52 credits in order to graduate. Each student follows the same path and enrolls in the same courses: a 32 or 33-credit first year, almost entirely made up of core courses and an internship, followed by a 20 to 21 credit second year, comprised of more core courses and a selection of electives. No core course waivers are offered. Unlike many other programs, the internship does not necessarily happen in the summer after the first year–rather, students may complete it in the fall, spring, or summer.

In sum, core courses make up 43 of the 52 required credits, leaving only nine credits for electives. While this structure is more rigid than many other top programs, the school’s diverse core offerings as well as hands-on learning opportunities still allow for a unique learning experience.

Class Profile

Due to the unique structure of the Early Career MBA, the average age at intake is only 24, compared to approximately 28 at other more traditional programs that require a minimum number of years in the workforce.

The average GMAT of incoming students is 550, and the average GPA is a 3.25. Women comprise 48 percent of the class, a much higher number than the national average for MBA programs. Furthermore, the class is 49 percent international, creating a well-rounded, diverse student body each year.


The career counselors at the dedicated Career Management Center work with each student one-on-one to cultivate goals and advise on internships and career paths, help with resume and interview preparation, and provide ample opportunity for networking and career events.

The dedicated team within the Career Management Center works to offer comprehensive support in all facets of career searching and personal and professional development. Events include the Job and Internship Expo, company mixers, industry panels, and career-focused workshops designed for students to hone in on marketable skills and strategies. The school also partners with employers directly to help identify the best fits for future employment opportunities. Additionally, the CMC lists several online resources to aid students in their career exploration: Handshake, a database for job postings, event information, and interview opportunities; EPIC, an online tool with learning guides for students to study and incorporate into their job search; Newsletter, a Business School publication to keep students informed on the latest events and offerings; and Listserv, a personalized database for internship and full-time job opportunities.

Tuition & Financial Aid

The 2017-18 estimated tuition for all five semesters of the Early Career MBA is $43,478 for Colorado residents, and $75,098 for non-residents. However, the Early Career MBA is a member of both the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). These programs allow students who are a) members of the WRGP and b) live in a participating WICHE state to pay Colorado resident tuition. The states included in the WICHE are Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. In order to become a member of the WRGP, students must submit a separate application prior to applying to CSU’s College of Business.

The College of Business offers several merit-based scholarships to MBA students, ranging from $2,000 to one-third of base tuition. Students must be admitted to the College of Business before applying for these scholarships.

Additionally, the school offers graduate assistantships that cover 50 percent of base tuition. The assistantships are very competitive, but also offer fully paid health insurance premiums as well as a monthly stipend. The school recommends students apply for an assistantship prior to March 15, as any application received after that date will only be considered on a space-available basis.

Admissions Procedures

A completed application to CSU’s College of Business includes an online application form, official transcripts from all institutions attended, three professional recommendations, an official GMAT score reported from the testing agency, a current résumé, a $60 application fee, and a one-page statement of purpose explaining why a student chose that program and what they he/she hopes to gain from the experience. If an applicant’s undergraduate GPA was below a 3.0, a statement explaining the circumstances of the low academic performance is required.

International students must complete a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE if the official language of the home country is not English.

Although academic performance, test scores, and prior work experience hold significant weight; the school notes that it takes a holistic admissions approach and is often able to look past the inability to meet minimum criteria in any one given area if another area is particularly strong.

Application Deadlines

Applications are considered and accepted on a rolling basis, and the school encourages student to apply as soon as possible once all application materials are gathered.

Early applicants – February 1, 2018
International applicants – May 1, 2018
Domestic applicants – June 1, 2018