Business Intelligence & Analytics

What Are the Best Masters Programs in Business Analytics?

What Are the Best Masters Programs in Business Analytics?
The most in-demand and highest-paying jobs in big data and business analytics often require candidates to hold a master's degree. Image from Unsplash
Christa Terry profile
Christa Terry October 22, 2019

We've compiled a guide to the best Master of Science in Business Analytics programs in 2019—highlighting each degree type, tuition, core courses, elective course options, and features.

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The business world increasingly runs on analytics, and there’s a growing demand for analytics professionals. That’s good news for job seekers—especially those with advanced degrees–because the most in-demand and highest paying jobs in big data and business analytics often require candidates to hold a master’s degree or higher.

If you have an aptitude for numbers and a knack for spotting trends, pursuing a master’s degree in analytics is one way to take your career in business to the next level. This degree, which you can earn as a full-time, on-campus student or online, will give you the skills and knowledge you need to leverage data to solve a wide range of problems. Data scientists, business intelligence analysts, data analysts, and other analysts use business intelligence to do things like:

  • Optimize supply chains
  • Determine optimal pricing schemes for goods and services
  • Predict how customers will respond to new products
  • Spot fraudulent transactions
  • Reduce production costs
  • Identify the most valuable types of customers

You don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in business administration or computer science to pursue this degree. Students in business analytics master’s degree programs hold bachelor’s degrees in:

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Statistics
  • Economics

If you’ve been working as an analyst or in big data, your work experience may matter more to admissions officers than your bachelor’s degree focus.

There is no standard curriculum for MSBA programs. Some include significant general business content while others are focused solely on analytics. Some teach students programming—very valuable for aspiring data scientists—while others only teach students to use existing analytics software.

The educational commitment required to earn a Master of Science in Business Analytics will also vary from school to school. There are MS in business analytics programs that can be completed in as little as 10 months, but some take two years or more to complete.

Always make sure that a program’s coursework aligns with your professional goals before applying, and read master’s degree program admission and graduation requirements very carefully.

What are the top schools for a master of science in business analytics?

For each of the MS in business analytics programs below, we’ve included the most relevant information you should consider when choosing between schools:

  • Degree type
  • Program format
  • Tuition
  • Graduation requirements
  • Core courses
  • Elective courses
  • Features

Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business__

  • Degree: Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Format: On-campus or online
  • Tuition and fees: $33,608 for residents; $53,288 for non-residents; $55,488 for international students; $40,235 for online students
  • Graduation requirements: 30 credit hours completed over 16 months online or nine months on campus
  • Core courses Introduction to Enterprise Analytics; Business Analytics Strategy; Data Mining (I and II); Introduction to Applied Analytics; Statistics for Managers; Data-Driven Quality Management; Analytical Decision Modeling (I and II); Decision Models for Supply Chain Management; Marketing Analytics; Analytical Decision Making Tools
  • Electives: Elective MSBA courses aren’t listed online
  • Features: Students of the online master’s degree program have access to the same courses and faculty as those in the full-time W. P. Carey MS-BA program; active career services team; faculty include a Nobel Laureate and National Academy of Sciences members; a STEM-designated degree program; small class sizes

Boston University Metropolitan College__

  • Degree: Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
  • Format: Online or on-campus, full-time or part-time
  • Tuition: $905 per credit for part-time students; $27,360 per semester for full-time students
  • Graduation requirements: 40 credit hours (10 courses) that can be completed in 18 to 24 months
  • Core courses: Business Analytics Foundations; Operations Management: Business Process Fundamentals; Financial Concepts; Quantitative and Qualitative Decision-Making;
  • Specialization courses: Enterprise Risk Analytics; Marketing Analytics; Web Analytics for Business; Data Mining for Business Analytics
  • Electives: Students choose two elective courses with assistance from the Administrative Sciences department coordinator
  • Features: Metropolitan College’s online master’s degrees were ranked eleventh among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs by US News & World Report; students learn from expert faculty from MET’s Department of Administrative Sciences; dual degree options available in actuarial science, CIS, computer science, and telecommunication

Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business__

  • Degree: Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Format: Online, with some three mandatory weekend on-campus experiences
  • Tuition: $64,900
  • Graduation requirements: 108 units of core and elective MSBA courses over 18 months with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Core courses: Introduction to Probability and Statistics; Programming in R & Python; Business Fundamentals; Statistical Foundations of Business Analytics; Machine Learning; Data Exploration and Visualization; Business Communication; Modern Data Management; Optimization for Prescriptive Analytics
  • Electives: Mining Unstructured Data; Data Analytics in Finance; Operations and Supply Chain Analytics; Analytical Marketing; Exploring Causality in Depth; People Analytics
  • Features: Faculty includes global experts in data analytics; students can enter the program with little or no background in business or analytics; three mandatroy on-campus events are held on weekends to accommodate working adults; students complete some coursework on their own schedules; access to the Tepper School’s Accelerate Leadership Center; ranked second in information systems by US News and World Report; business school has received top twenty rankings from Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times; Forbes, and US News & World Report

Duke University Fuqua School of Business__

  • Degree: Master of Quantitative Management: Business Analytics
  • Format: On-campus, full-time (10 months)
  • Tuition: $68,200
  • Graduation requirements: 19 courses and a capstone project over five terms
  • Business core courses: Business Fundamentals; Business Communication (I and II); Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration; Navigating Organizations;
  • Subject-specific track courses: Data Analytics: Applied Probability & Statistics; Data Infrastructure; Data Science for Business; Decision Analytics and Modeling; Legal and Ethical Issues of Data Analytics; Data Visualization. Finance: Introductory Finance; Intermediate Finance; Derivatives; Fixed Income Securities; Financial Risk Management. Marketing: Digital Marketing; Marketing Intelligence; Customer Relationship Management; Pricing. Strategy: Empirical Economic Analysis; Operations Analytics; Strategic Management; People Analytics. Forensics: Financial Reporting Foundations; Financial Statement Fraud; Managing Operational and Informational Risks; Fraud Analytics
  • Electives: Students can choose electives related to tracks other than the one they have chosen
  • Features: Fuqua’s Distinguished Speaker Series; experiential learning is a part of the curriculum; STEM-designated program; students can specialize in finance, marketing, forensics, or strategy; access to the Career Management Center; Fuqua will begin offering a 19-month lockstep online Master of Science in Quantitative Management: Business Analytics in September 2020

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Degree: MS in Analytics-Business Analytics track
  • Format: On-campus and online
  • Tuition: $1,230 per credit hour for residents; $1,698 per credit hour for non-residents; $275 per credit hour for the online master’s degree program
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours over one year on campus, two to three years online
  • Core courses: Computing for Data Analytics; Introduction to Analytics Modeling; Data Analytics in Business; Data and Visual Analytics; Operations Research; Statistics; an applied analytics team practicum or internship
  • Track Requirements: Computing for Data Analysis; Introduction to Analytics Modeling; Introduction to Business for Analytics; Data and Visual Analytics; at least three business analytics courses beyond the introductory core, including MGT 6203 Data Analytics in Business; two statistics electives and one operations research elective; Applied Analytics Practicum (could include approved applied analytics internship)
  • Electives: There are more than 50 courses that students can take to fulfill elective slots in their curriculum covering topics like forecasting, regression analysis, data mining, statistical learning, machine learning, computational statistics, simulation, optimization, probabilistic models, data analytics, visualization, databases, web and text mining, algorithms, high performance computing, parallel computing, graph analytics, business intelligence, pricing analytics, revenue management, business process analysis, financial analysis, decision support, privacy and security, and risk analytics
  • Features: Students learn from experts in business intelligence, machine learning, statistics and operations research, and big data; university maintains state-of-the-art computing infrastructure “for massive-scale analytics”; students participate in Georgia Tech’s Big Data Industry Forum; robust job search support; a conference travel budget for each student; flexible, student-led curriculum; online program 100 percent online; free and reduced-price analytics, engineering, and productivity software

Iowa State University Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business__

  • Degree: Master of Business Analytics
  • Format: Hybrid (students meet three times during the program)
  • Tuition: $4,170 per semester online; $1,926 for on-campus summer sessions. Estimated cost of the program is $25,000.
  • Graduation requirements: 30 credit hours over 21 months
  • Core courses: Teams, Projects, and BA Leadership; Business Analytics Foundation; Applied Statistical Modeling; Marketing Analytics with Big Data; Advanced Business Analytics; Business Analytics Capstone Project
  • Electives: Options include: Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining; Data Analytics and Visualization; Applied Time Series (Forecasting); Algorithms for Large Data Sets: Theory and Practice; Applied Modern Multivariate Statistical Learning
  • Features: GRE or GMAT test scores are not required to apply; the school hosts an annual Business Analytics Symposium; cohort-based; faculty drawn from computer science, electrical and computer engineering, statistics, and industrial and manufacturing systems engineering departments; students convene on campus three times: at the outset of program, at the midway point, and at the end of the program.

Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business__

  • Degree: MS in Business Analytics and Risk Management
  • Format: Full-time, on-campus
  • Tuition: $71,600
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credits over 12 months
  • Core courses: Accounting and Financial Reporting; Business Analytics; Business Communication; Business Leadership and Human Values; Corporate Finance; Information Systems; Marketing Management; Operations Management; Statistical Analysis; Advanced Business Analytics; Data Analytics; Simulation and Strategic Options
  • Quantitative electives (must take two): Big Data Machine Learning; Continuous Time Finance; Customer Analytics; Data Science and Business Intelligence; Data Visualization; Pricing and Insuring Risk; and Retail Analytics.
  • General elective courses (must take four): Business Law; Contracting: Incentive Design and Analytics; Corporate Governance; Crisis Management; Cybersecurity; Enterprise Risk Management Frameworks; Financial Crises and Contagion; Global Supply Chain Management; Managing Complex Projects; Managing Financial Risk
  • Features: A STEM-designated program; scholarships, loans, and payment plans available; students use cutting-edge analytic tools and get hands-on experience; access to Washington DC and Baltimore job markets; student body female-male ratio of 3:2; 70 percent of graduates find work in financial services, primarily in the finance and accounting function area

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Business__

  • Degree: Master of Business Analytics
  • Format: Full-time, on-campus
  • Tuition: $87,740
  • Graduation requirements: From MIT’s website: “By the end of the 12-month program, you will have completed anywhere from 111 to 141 units of classwork. MBAn students may take up to 66 units per term, with a maximum of 54 units from MIT Sloan courses.”
  • Core courses: Analytics Edge; Optimization Methods; Machine Learning Under a Modern Optimization Lens; Analytics Lab; From Analytics to Action; Analytics Software Tools in R, Python, SQL and Julia; Analytics Tools; Communicating with Data; Ethics and Data Privacy; Communicating with Data; Analytics Capstone Project
  • Electives: Electives are not required, but students can choose between 27 and 60 elective units from more than 32 possible courses such as: Energy Ventures; New Enterprises; Financial Markets; Power and Negotiation; Product Management; Fundamentals of Programming; Algorithms for Inference; Time Series Analysis; Collaborative Data Science in Medicine
  • Features: Established in conjunction with MIT’s Operations Research Center; a STEM-designated program; 100 percent graduates received full-time offers within six months of graduation; ranked the best institution in the world for business analytics in the QS Business Masters Rankings

Notre Dame of Maryland University

  • Degree: MS in Analytics
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $550 per credit
  • Graduation requirements: 36 credit hours over two years
  • Core courses: Foundations of Analytics; Data Design and Management; Knowledge Tools; Data Visualization; Project Management; Critical Inquiry; Data Security; Data Mining and Warehousing; Applied Statistics; Data and Decision Modeling
  • Electives: Six credits of business and economics courses chosen by the student with a program advisor
  • Features: Program has strong relationships with regional businesses; access to a personal success coach; a strong alumni network; program culminates in an applied research capstone project, presented as a written report and/or oral presentation; 75 percent of graduates apply research projects to future jobs

Oklahoma State University – Main Campus Spears School of Business__

  • Degree: MS in Business Analytics
  • Format: On-campus and online, full-time and part-time
  • Tuition: $405.05 per credit for residents; $1,030.95 for non-residents
  • Graduation requirements: 37 credit hours over four semesters for full-time students; 33 credit hours for online students
  • Core courses: Descriptive Business Analytics; Predictive Business Analytics; Advanced Business Analytics; Business Intelligence Tools & Techniques; Statistics for Data Science; Programming for Data Science & Analytics; Research & Communications
  • Specialization core courses: Marketing: Advanced SAS Programming; Advanced Marketing Research Analytics. Data Science: Advanced R/Python; Data Warehousing. Health Analytics: Survey of Health Care Admin; Descriptive Analytics and Visualization. Cybersecurity: Information Assurance Management; Upper Layers of Telecom Systems
  • Electives: Vary by specialization. Options include: Marketing: Web Analytics and Digital Marketing: Customer Lifetime Value Applications in Marketing. Data Science: Prescriptive Analytics; Scripting. Health Analytics: Data Warehousing. Cybersecurity: Machine Learning; Business Finance; Network Optimization; Bayesian Analysis.
  • Features: The program was developed in partnership with SAS; hands-on application of data analysis; students in this program may also earn certificates in data mining, predictive analytics, and data science; school has strong relationships with major analytics providers such as SAS, Teradata, and IBM; students can specialize in marketing analytics, data science, health analytics, or cybersecurity analytics; students can mix-and-match any approved courses to satisfy elective requirements

University of California – Los Angeles John E. Anderson School of Management__

  • Degree: Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Format: Full-time, on-campus
  • Tuition: $66,709
  • Graduation requirements: 48 units of classwork plus a capstone project completed over 15 months
  • Core courses: Math and Stats for Analytics (Introduction to Machine Learning); R Programming Essentials; SQL and Basic Data Management; Optimization; Business Fundamentals for Analytics; Data Management; Prescriptive Models; Customer Analytics; Competitive Analytics; Industry Seminars; Operations Analytics
  • Electives: Advanced Workshop on Machine Learning; Healthcare Analytics; Entertainment Analytics; Internet Customer Analytics; Fraud Analytics; Data Visualization; Forecasting and Time Series
  • Features: A 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio; students have access to world-renowned leaders in business analytics; seven-month capstone research project matches teams of four students with a high-growth company to produce guidance on data management, model development and construction, and other applications of business analytics; ranked second among MSBA programs by QS World University rankings

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