Master's in Business Analytics

What is a Business Analytics Degree?

The term 'business analytics' refers to the methodical investigation of organizational data in order to evaluate a company's year-to-year performance and enact measures that optimize daily operations. Analytics is concentrated in data, statistics, and predictive modeling. Many graduates who leave school with a master's degree in business analytics go on to become management analysts; the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects this profession will grow by 14% between 2014 and 2024, resulting in more than 103,000 new positions. Other potential career paths include marketing analysts, information security analysts, and project managers.

Employment Growth for Management Analysts, 2014-2024
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
758,000 861,400

What Are the Best Campus Master’s in Business Analytics Programs?

Best Online Business Analytics Master's Degrees
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Georgia Institute of Technology

Score 7.24 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 13452
Part-time cost per credit hour 561

Georgia Tech outpaces hundreds of other research institutions throughout the country by offering more than 25,000 students 130 majors and minors both on-campus and online. Its business school offers a 36-credit MS in analytics -- business analytics track program that develops students' ability to decipher and harness big data, use mathematical models, and effectively execute an analytics project. The school offers three specialized degree tracks, including one in business analytics.

The program requires a 15-credit core with studies in operations research, data and visual analytics, statistics, and a six-credit applied analytics capstone. The program can be completed full-time or part-time in one or two years, respectively. The business analytics track covers data analytics, simulation, and business process analysis and design. The capstone includes either teamwork on an analytics project at a company or participation in an internship. The business analytics degree is delivered asynchronously, but synchronous hours may be scheduled for virtual office hours and project meetings.

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Texas A & M University-College Station

Score 6.93 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 5598
Part-time cost per credit hour 241

Texas A&M offers distance education courses in several disciplines to both graduate students and working professionals. Its 36-credit MS in analytics is an online program administered by the Mays Business School. The two-year, part-time program is open to professionals with strong quantitative skills usually earned during a bachelor's degree in math, science, business, or engineering.

Areas of study include regression analysis, advanced programming using SAS, applied analytics using SAS Enterprise Miner, and financial accounting. A statistics practicum spread over three semesters focuses on developing skillsets in data privacy and security, project management, communications and presentations, and teamwork. The business analytics degree requires that students practice problem-solving within their real work environments. Each student works with an advisory committee to complete an analytics project directed by the committee chair.

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University of Pennsylvania

Score 6.76 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 31068
Part-time cost per credit hour 1525

Penn’s long-term commitment to expand access to working professionals across disciplines includes online programming from the prestigious Wharton School of Business. The business analytics MBA major is a 20-month program that compliments an MBA focus area like finance, accounting, marketing, and operations. MBA core coursework includes studies in quality and productivity, innovation, decision models and uncertainty, and math modelling. Students who choose the business analytics degree also study how to collect and manage datasets, use data for predictive purposes, and deploy data in decision-making.

Learners take courses in areas like modern data mining, decision support systems, models for market strategy, statistical computing with R, and applied probability models in marketing. Students in this analytics MBA program can earn an additional MS concurrently in fields like engineering, computer science, or mechanical engineering. Wharton also offers campus recruiting services for students to secure summer or permanent positions.

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Boston University

Score 6.67 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 47422
Part-time cost per credit hour 623

Many of BU’s 33,000 students study online through asynchronous learning and interactive media. Its 40-credit MS in applied business analytics offers both online and hybrid programs that provide professional learners with the knowledge and skills needed for data-driven decision-making.

Four core courses are required in the business analytics degree: business analytics, financial concepts, operations management, and quantitative and qualitative decision-making. Four specialization courses are also required, including studies in enterprise risk analysis and web analytics for business. Students who hold a graduate certificate in applied business analytics may waive these courses. The program offers a dual degree option for students hoping to apply eight credits to earn simultaneous degrees in more than one discipline. Some dual degree options that combine with the business analytics degree include computer information systems, actuarial science, or computer science.

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Stevens Institute of Technology

Score 6.64 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 32200
Part-time cost per credit hour 1450

Stevens offers access to 17 master's programs entirely online in high-demand fields like data analytics. The New Jersey college delivers its MS in business intelligence and analytics through the school WebCampus online platform. The degree, enables students to use big data to inform fact-based decision-making. Students pursue the degree full-time or part-time and build on skills learned at the undergraduate level in fields like engineering, computer science, and math.

The curriculum includes the study of data warehousing and business intelligence, database systems, process optimization and analytics, and financial decision-making. A concentration in data science provides learners with the option to take courses from the math, computer science, or financial engineering departments. A capstone project partners industry mentors with students to work on data-driven, business solutions.

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Texas A & M University-Commerce

Score 6.23 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 3630
Part-time cost per credit hour 202

Graduate students seeking to pursue a degree at A&M-Commerce have several distance-learning options. Data scientists who receive the 30 to 42-credit, fully-online MS in business analytics master the collection, analysis, optimization, and use of big data. Students can apply to the two-year program without a business background. The curriculum core in the business analytics online degree includes studies in statistical methods, market research, applied decision modelling, database warehousing, and advanced analytics.

The program offers electives in areas like mobile business, global network design, and internet marketing. Becoming a management or market research analyst, logistician, or computer systems analyst constitute some of the careers available to graduates. Applications to one of the top schools for a master's in business analytics requires a bachelor's degree, college transcripts, and a GRE score.

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New York University

Score 6.15 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 38592
Part-time cost per credit hour 1608

Many of NYU's 50,000 students enjoy fully-online, hybrid, or low-residency virtual learning options. Learners pursuing careers in data science often opt for the one-year MS in business analytics. This hybrid program caters to experienced professionals hoping to harness data analytics that improve the operational efficiency, strategic management, and financial performance of an organization.

The part-time program requires students to complete five modules by attending classes on-campus for one or two weeks for each module, as well as supplemental coursework online. Classes in the master's in business analytics include studies in statistics using R, digital marketing analytics, data science for business analytics, decision models, and data mining in R. The strategic capstone places learners in teams to master the use of predictive models and the application of optimization techniques. Note that onsite sessions rotate between the New York campus and two international locations.

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Babson College

Score 5.89 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 61145
Part-time cost per credit hour 1604

A global leader in business education, Babson fosters entrepreneurial thinking that leads to communities engaged with problem solving. Among the college's specialized master's programs is the 30-credit MS in business analytics. This hybrid business analytics online degree has students participate in face-to-face and online sessions. The curriculum's 18-credit core has four areas of study: analytics and entrepreneurial thinking and acting, data exploration and analytics, information technology, and marketing analytics.The degree can be completed in just 18 months and is only offered on a part-time basis.

Students may use up to 12 credits to study electives like health economics, economic and financial forecasting, building social networks, decision-making, and supply chain management. Students participate in a consulting project at a local company that puts theory into real-world business practice. Students must present their findings to senior management.

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Northeastern University

Score 5.78 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 21801
Part-time cost per credit hour 1363

Northeastern offers several degrees both on-campus and online through its nine colleges and schools. The business school blends world-class academics with real-world industry experts to create the best learning environment possible. Students complete the 30-credit MS in business analytics in 18 months to two years. Courses of study include data mining, statistical and quantitative analysis, multivariate testing, and predictive modeling.

Course topics in the program include business analytics methods, data analysis, information design and management, and information visualization. A three-course marketing track incorporates the study of customer analysis, marketing research methods, and analytics modeling for marketing. A capstone project requires students to apply concepts and methods learned in the program on a project that matches their career goals. Graduate students at Northeastern have access to job boards, career planning, and networking opportunities.

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University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Score 5.71 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 15844
Part-time cost per credit hour 1320

UMN offers programs in fields like computer science, finance, and business in fully online and blended formats that accommodate adult learners. The Carlson School of Management offers a part-time, online 45-credit MS in business analytics for working professionals. The program prepares data scientists to leverage big data that helps today's businesses find optimal solutions. Students generally complete the program in two years.

Students complete six to nine credits each semester in several areas of study, including programming and application development, math for business analytics, and modelling and heuristics for decision-making. A capstone provides learners with the opportunity to apply what they have learned to an analytics challenge. Applicants to the business analytics degree must demonstrate an aptitude for rigorous academic study, mathematics and programming, and business fundamentals. Students are admitted only in the fall.

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Villanova University

Score 5.69 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 17119
Part-time cost per credit hour 901

A Roman Catholic institution located in Pennsylvania, Villanova offers online programs spread across all of its six colleges. The School of Business administers a 36-credit MS in analytics that explores the latest analytics technologies, practices, and applications deployed in business. One of the top programs on the business analytics rankings list, students take courses exclusively online in a part-time format.

Learners take 11 foundation and core courses that are delivered using both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Students following the established degree plan complete the program in 24 months. Areas of study include programming in R, business intelligence, data mining, multivariate data analysis, and optimization and simulation. Students also complete an application-based practicum to meet capstone project requirements. Applicants are not required to take the GRE or GMAT, but the school recommends that students with a non-technical background or a GPA of less than a 3.0 take it.

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Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Score 5.65 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 7884
Part-time cost per credit hour 438

Learners can access one of SMUMN's 58 program majors either on-campus at the school’s three campuses or in its online programs. Its 36-credit MS in business intelligence and data analytics explores the use of big data in solving business concerns like competitive advantage, supply-chain savings, and pricing strategies. Students receive an iPad and take the year-long intensive program in classes delivered asynchronously.

Coursework in the business analytics online degree includes studies in economics and marketing, R programming language, data analysis and business modelling, data visualizations, and business support systems. The school's capstone project emphasises hands-on learning in which students complete a project in concert with either a company or a supervisor within the department. Online students at SMUMN are provided academic support, career counseling, and advisers.

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Notre Dame of Maryland University

Score 5.57 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 10345
Part-time cost per credit hour 575

NDMU inspires students to become high performers and agents of social change. Students access the school's transformative educational model through its online programs. Students who receive an MS in analytics take courses in math, business/economics, and specialized courses in data analytics like data design and management, data visualization, and data mining and warehousing. The program is delivered fully online and focuses on management technologies, qualitative processes, and change risk management.

The learning experience in the master's in business analytics involves collaboration with peers, access to tutoring services, personal success coaches, and a 24/7 help desk. Upon completion, graduates are prepared for positions in fields like data science and research. NDMU also has strong relationships with regional businesses who accept recent graduates into their ranks. Students are not required to take the GRE or GMAT, but they must submit undergraduate school transcripts.

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Pepperdine University

Score 5.47 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 30200
Part-time cost per credit hour 1510

Pepperdine University offers learners access to an educational curriculum steeped in hands-on learning experiences and enriched with the school's Christian values. Pepperdine offers a 36-credit MS in applied analytics program delivered in classrooms with a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The curriculum in the business analytics online degree includes the study of business analytics and intelligence, optimization modeling, big data management, and simulation modelling.

A choice of electives gives students the option to specialize in finance, economics, or marketing. In addition to the core requirements, learners must participate in an applied analytics internship with company executives to get real-world business experience. Students apply what they have learned in the classroom and work alongside executive mentors to produce actual business solutions. Admission into the analytics program requires school transcripts and GRE or GMAT scores.

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University of St Francis

Score 5.47 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 13140
Part-time cost per credit hour 730

USF is one of the largest eLearning providers in Illinois. Each semester, about 1,500 students register to take online courses at USF. The school boasts a practical curriculum, faculty expertise in each field, and flexibility to accommodate the needs of working adults. The school offers a 36-credit MBA with a concentration in business analytics as an online program that students complete in 12 to 18 months.

Courses in the MBA core include economics, finance, and accounting. Students also take 12 credits in competency areas such as international business, strategic business management, operations management, and IT. The 12-credit specialization in business analytics focuses on business forecasting and econometrics, enterprise resource computing, business intelligence and analytics, and data mining. Students accepted into the program begin work on their concentration immediately.

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University of Alabama in Huntsville

Score 5.45 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 9548
Part-time cost per credit hour 547

UAH's hands-on curriculum prepares students to become leaders. The institution offers 21 flexible online programs in various fields, including a 30-credit MS in management science -- business analytics. Students complete the program in one year with full-time study in either a fully online or hybrid format. The program sits high on business analytics rankings by developing professionals versed in mining and analyzing data, conducting experiments, and deploying solutions to address business problems.

The curriculum covers topics like advanced analytics, decision modelling, modelling and simulation, quantitative methods, data management and data mining, games and networks, and operations management. A capstone course partners students with local organizations and executives to develop business solutions using analytic models and big data. A thesis option is available in place of a capstone, and students can transfer up to 12 graduate credits into the MS-MSBA.

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Indiana University-Bloomington

Score 5.42 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 8442
Part-time cost per credit hour 352

IU-Bloomington offers 100 degree and certificate programs, including business curriculums through its virtual platform. Among these programs is a flexible 30-credit MS in business analytics that allows students to graduate in just 15 months or to extend their time in school to five years.

One of the top programs on the business analytics ranking list, the degree covers operations management, data warehousing and visualization, quantitative analysis, and business econometrics. Graduates prepare for careers as executives who are able to identify invaluable statistical information in datasets, use analytic modeling in decision-making, and deploy models to solve business problems. Notably, those pursuing a business analyst degree may concurrently enroll in an MBA program, earning both degrees quickly. Admission requires a minimum GPA of 3.3, a strong GRE or GMAT score, and at least two years of relevant work experience.

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University of Connecticut

Score 5.41 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 13026
Part-time cost per credit hour 724

UCONN's eCampus delivers fully online and hybrid graduate programs in several disciplines. The 37-credit MS in business analytics and project management hybrid program combines on-campus classes taken at either Hartford or Stamford with online sessions. Students complete the program full-time in three semesters or part-time on a flexible timeframe. The curriculum divides time between coursework in business analytics and project management.

UCONN provides courses in predictive modelling, data mining and business intelligence, business process modeling and data management, project leadership and communications, project risk and cost management, and technical communications. Students choose electives from an equally qualitative list, including data science using Python and ethical and legal issues in project management.

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University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Score 5.39 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 4873
Part-time cost per credit hour 609

Learners seeking to become leaders in IT can develop their skills as data scientists by receiving UNCG's MS in information technology and management with a concentration in business analytics. The school offers a business analytics online degree that explores IT and management practices and data science. The fully online program covers accounting, operations management, data management, systems analysis and design, and information systems management.

UNCG offers three courses in its business analytics concentration: web programming, models and methods in business analytics, and the use of business analytics for competitive advantage. The program offers both a thesis and a non-thesis option and gives flexibility to students to determine their program length. The non-thesis, capstone option requires that learners develop business analytic solutions that are both economically and technically feasible in the real world.

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National University

Score 5.34 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 10962
Part-time cost per credit hour 623

Established to expand learning opportunities to a diverse student population, NU offers online learning that accommodates the needs of working professionals. The school administers nearly 70 fully-online programs, including more than 30 graduate degrees. Among them is the MS in business analytics. This program is comprised of 13 courses designed to prepare data scientists to analyze and use data found in sales, marketing, finances, and supply chain areas to make sound business decisions.

The business analytics degree curriculum includes studies in analytic models and data systems, data management for analytics, data mining techniques, categorical data methods, and prediction in marketing. The program requires students to complete two capstone projects. Upon completion of the degree, graduates will have competencies in developing data files and statistical models for use in decision making, developing business data models to achieve organization's' targets, and designing analytical models to forecast prices.

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Creighton University

Score 5.30 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 15052
Part-time cost per credit hour 800

Creighton serves approximately 7,500 students, many of whom take online courses from the school's professional and graduate program. The 33-credit MS in business intelligence and analytics is delivered asynchronously and prepares data scientists to manage and deploy big data that helps businesses and organizations reach their goals. The curriculum covers core areas like data visual analysis and visualization; database management systems; and business, ethics, and society.

Students choose electives based on their areas of interest in courses like finance, accounting, the economy, or investment management. Distance learners can take advantage of the dual degree option: combining the MBA program with the BIA -- earning both degrees in less time. Admission into one of the top schools for a master's in business analytics requires a bachelor's degree and GMAT score, though exemptions may be made for the latter.

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Arizona State University-Tempe

Score 5.25 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 10610
Part-time cost per credit hour 758

ASU Online is the largest virtual college in the country with 150 online programs and over 30,000 students. The school's notables include multiple start dates throughout the year and comprehensive support services for online learners. Its business school offers a 30- to 33-credit MS in business analytics that lasts for 16 months. Students with quantitative backgrounds and existing business skills bolster their experience by learning to harness data that helps their businesses make smart, market-driven decisions.

The required curriculum includes studies in enterprise analytics, data mining, data-driven quality management, and analytical decision modeling. An applied project gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their competencies in data analytics, communication, and leadership. Students may earn the MBA concurrently with the business analytics degree. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and GMAT or GRE test scores.

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Golden Gate University-San Francisco

Score 5.22 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 16830
Part-time cost per credit hour 935

GGU’s rigorous academics are taught by faculty with real-world experience in their respective fields. Online degrees include the 39-credit MS in business analytics, a program that explores statistical and analytic theory and the processes and techniques data scientists use to help business organizations. Areas of study include performance management and metrics, database theory and data management tools, business intelligence and decision support, tools for business analytics, and managing business frameworks.

In the business analytics degree, students complete a capstone project that combines hand-on learning with the theory they acquire in the classroom. Students may choose to work on a project for their employers using quantitative analysis and statistical modeling to find solutions. Students in the program come from a variety of professional and educational backgrounds. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree and quantitative and business experience.

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Bellevue University

Score 5.20 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 9450
Part-time cost per credit hour 525

Bellevue's growing virtual college enrolls thousands who benefit from 75 online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Aspiring data analysts enroll in the MS in business analytics to learn how to implement business analytics that produce positive business outcomes. Curriculum in the business analytics degree includes a business core in management, financial reporting, and marketing and new media strategy.

The program also includes courses in information systems like business system programming, system development, IT infrastructure, and emerging technologies. Four courses comprise the data analytics core: SAS programming, enterprise data and information management, advanced business analytics, and data mining. Benefits of online study at Bellevue include tutorials, small class sizes, personalized learning, access to tools and library resources, and 24/7 tech support. Graduates will be prepared for mid-level to advanced-level careers as business analysts, project managers, or data scientists.

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University of Iowa

Score 5.14 Icon - Plus/Minus
Average Tuition 8396
Part-time cost per credit hour 549

Students earn a virtual degree from the University of Iowa virtually in one of 40 online programs. The business school offers a 30-credit MS in business analytics comprised of 10 courses that absorb students in the real-world application of analytics. Curriculum includes studies in data management and visual analytics, advanced analytics, data programming in R, and data science. Elective topics include financial analytics, digital marketing strategies and analytics, and applied optimization.

Learners gain experience solving real-world business problems by working on one of the larger projects required of the business analytics degree. Graduates use data analytics to diagnose problems and deploy solutions that result in desirable outcomes. The school's MBA and the business analytics master's can be earned concurrently. The GRE is not required for admission.

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How We Ranked the Schools

To determine the best business analytics programs, we looked at common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. The rankings analyzed two major components: affordability (50%) and academics (50%). This includes graduate enrollment, retention rate, loan default rate, in-state graduate tuition, and average 10 year earnings. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities though a survey to the National Center for Education Statistics.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master’s Degree in Business Analytics?

At the college level, students pursuing degrees in business analytics will learn the various analytical procedures for different areas of business, such as marketing, finance, pricing, supply chain, and transportation. The coursework also prepares them to use statistical data in predictive modeling, manage analytical projects, and drive improvements for their employers. Some schools offer dedicated master's degrees in business analytics (or similar fields, such as data science), while others allow students to earn an analytics specialization as part of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Most business analytics master's programs culminate in a capstone project, which typically takes the form of either an individual research project or a team presentation.

Concentrations Offered For Master’s Degrees in Business Analytics

Business Analytics Certificate Curriculum Skills
Skill Description Careers this skill pays for
Business Intelligence Business intelligence refers to the comprehensive set of tools, technologies, and systems used to analyze data and predict business outcomes. A business intelligence specialization will usually include multiple courses in Big Data, as well as studies in decision-making, corporate strategy, predictive modeling, and best-practices for creating large-scale databases.
  • Management Consultant
  • Management Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
Information Security Analytics Information security is a specialized area of data analysis that manages threats to sensitive organizational data. These threats may take the form of data thieves and other criminal entities, as well as network outages, data leaks, and other technical issues.
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Emergency Management Specialist
Computer Systems A specialization in computer systems (or information systems) will provide a comprehensive overview of the various tools, software programs, platforms, databases, and networks used in today's corporate sector. Courses will enable students to utilize these various systems, manage IT projects, and design and implement new systems based on organizational needs.
  • IT Manager
  • Information Systems Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Network Architect
Budget Analysis Budget analysis refers to the niche area of business dedicated to financial organization. These analytics are used to craft financial reports for companies, and generate budget proposals that allocate spending to different areas of the organization. Budget analysis also involves the evaluation of financial records to ensure the company is compliant with all applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards.
  • Budget Analysts
  • Financial Analysts
  • Financial Advisors
  • Accountants and Auditors

What’s The Difference Between an MS in Business Analytics and an MBA in Business Analytics?

Although they share a name, there are some key differences between the 'MBA in Business Analytics' and the Master of Science in Business Analytics pathways.

  • MBA in Business Analytics: This is considered an MBA specialization. As such, the curriculum will include a handful of courses dedicated to topics like analytics and data science, database administration, and predictive modeling. The rest of the program will consist of courses in other areas of business administration, such as management, business law, finance and accounting, marketing and sales, human resources, and supply chain logistics. This pathway will be a suitable option for students who aspire to become corporate leaders with an analytics specialty, as well as IT managers.
  • M.S. in Business Intelligence: The Master of Science (M.S.) in Business Analytics will be primarily dedicated to topics in analytics and data science, such as data mining, workflow analysis, and analytics concentrated in marketing, supply chain, finance, and other niche business fields. The curriculum often includes labs and other types of hands-on training. Because the coursework generally does not include studies in management and corporate leadership, graduates with an M.S. in Business Analytics are often considered for non-supervisory roles at companies and organizations; with a master's degree, they may advance to leadership positions after gaining some experience in this field.

What is Required to Get into a Master’s in Business Analytics Program?

The requirements for admission into a master's in business analytics degree program will depend on the institution, so it's important for students to carefully research the policies of each prospective school. Typical requirements include the following:

Application and Application Fee: Applications are standard for virtually all colleges and universities, but the requested information will vary. Expect to provide personal contact details and financial information, as well as a brief academic/professional history and responses to essay prompts (see below). The application fee will also vary; most range from $30 to $60 per application.
Essay/Personal Statement: Some applications will ask applicants to describe their reasons for choosing that particular school, or provide an outline of their career goals. Others will feature an essay prompt, and request the applicant to craft a response. Most applications feature a total of two to five essay and/or personal statement assignments.
Resume/CV: A resume should outline the applicant's employment history. A detailed summary of the applicant's last three to four positions should be included, as well as any notable achievements in these roles. A CV or cover letter is used to introduce the resume; applicants should always provide a CV/cover letter unless specifically instructed not to do so.
Interview: Many graduate programs require applicants to participate in a phone or in-person interview with a faculty member or school official. Like a job interview, it's important for candidates to research their program beforehand and come to the interview armed with questions about specific aspects of the school and degree pathway. Rehearse answers to a few standard interview questions, and try to be and relaxed and engaging as possible.
Standardized Tests: Many grad school programs require students to submit GRE scores, and select MBA programs may ask for GMAT scores instead. For more details on these exams, please scroll to the next section.

Is The GMAT or GRE Required to get Into a Master’s in Business Analytics Program?

Graduate students seeking a master's in business analytics should expect to sit for at least one standardized exam in order to be considered for admission into their program. In most cases, this exam will be either the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the GRE consists of four sections. The first two ― Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning (math) ― are scored out of a range of 130 to 170 points. The third section features two essays, an 'issue task' and an 'argument task'; this entire section is scored out of 0 to 6 points. The fourth 'Experimental' section consists of verbal and/or math questions that are designed to be used in future exams, and will not count toward the exam-taker's score. However, the Experimental section is not labeled, and exam-takers will not be able to differentiate this section from the others. For this reason, GRE candidates are encouraged to treat all sections as if they count toward the final score. The GRE takes roughly three and a half hours to complete; the exam cost is $195, and scores are valid for five years. The GRE is available as a standard paper or computer-adaptive exam; paper exams are widely available, but the computer-adaptive options may be limited to designated testing centers. Exam-takers can register online, over the phone, or by mail. A full list of possible test dates is available online.

The GRE is available as a standard paper or computer-adaptive exam; paper exams are widely available, but the computer-adaptive options may be limited to designated testing centers.

Administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT features four sections: a 30-minute Analytical Writing section; a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning (data analysis) section; a 75-minute Quantitative (math) section, and a 75-minute Verbal section. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are scored on a 0-60 and 0-51 point range, respectively; only these two sections will count toward the overall score of 200 to 800 points, which is derived incrementally. Analytical Writing is scored out of 0 to 6 points, and Integrated Reasoning is scored out of 1 to 8 points; both of these sections will be scored separately. Students must sign up for GMAT exams at designated testing centers. They are allowed to take the exam no more than once every 16 days. Exam-takers will provide a list of schools where their GMAT scores should be sent; upon completing the exam, they will be able to view their score and choose to cancel it or have it sent to the schools on their list. The GRE takes roughly three and a half hours to complete; the exam cost is $250, and scores are valid for five years.

Traditionally, the GRE has been used to screen graduate school applicants, while the GMAT is used to evaluate business school applicants. However, a growing number of business schools have begun to faze out the GMAT requirement and request GRE scores instead. Additionally, some colleges and universities do not require a standardized test score of any kind. Students should always defer to requirements of schools where they plan to send applications. In some cases, it may be wise to sit for both exams.

Paying for a Master’s in Business Analytics Degree

The cost of business analytics degree programs vary by institution, but even the cheapest options represent a significant financial investment for students. This next section will look at some of the expected costs of a business analytics master's program, as well as some options for applying for and receiving financial aid support.

How Much Does a Master’s in Business Analytics Cost?

Average Graduate Tuition and Fees
Private Nonprofit Public For-Profit
$25,171 $10,979 $14,265

Public universities tend to be the cheapest option because they are funded through the federal government.

As indicated in the table above, the cost of earning a master's in business analytics will depend on whether the student attends a private, public, of for-profit institution. Public universities tend to be the cheapest option because they are funded through the federal government. They offer larger campuses, but class sizes are generally larger and the student-to-faculty ratio is more extreme. Private colleges, on the other hand, are primarily funded through student tuition payments and private donations. As a result, they are usually the most expensive option; their campuses are smaller, but classes are more inclusive and the student-to-faculty ratios are smaller. For-profit colleges are essentially degree-granting institutions that function as businesses with the primary goal of earning positive returns for major stakeholders. They are typically more expensive than public universities, and cheaper than private colleges.

Other factors may impact how much students pay in tuition, such as state residency and financial aid. Students must also cover additional costs, such as administrative fees, textbooks, and course materials, as well as living accommodations, meals, transportation, and parking.

Financial Aid

To mitigate the high cost of earning a master's degree, many grad students turn to federal financial aid. Determining their eligibility for certain types of aid ― as well as calculating how much they will be qualified to receive ― can be a tricky process. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be a helpful tool during this process. By completing and submitting this application, students will receive detailed information about how much aid they will receive based on their personal and family income, academic achievements, and other criteria. A printable copy of this form. is available online. Most institutions require students to re-submit a FAFSA for each academic year they are enrolled.

Although undergraduate students represent the largest pool of federal financial aid recipients, there are several federal aid opportunities open to grad students as well. Master's degree students seeking federal loans have two options.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans. are available to graduate students without demonstrating financial need; the recipient's school will determine how much money they can borrow based on their enrollment level and other financial aid they have received; the current maximum amount for these loans is $20,500 per year. Recipients will be required to pay interest immediately; those who do not make payments while they are in school will see their interest accrued and added to the principal amount of their loan. The fixed interest for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 6%. Grad students do not qualify for Direct Subsidized Loans.

Alternatively, Direct PLUS Loans. are available to grad students who do not have an 'adverse credit history' and are completing a degree or certificate program. In addition to submitting a FAFSA, many schools require candidates to request a Direct PLUS Loan at Like Direct Unsubsidized Loans, the recipient's school will determine how much money they can borrow based on attendance and other financial aid resources. Students will not need to begin repaying their Direct PLUS Loan until six months after graduating or leaving their master's program; the fixed interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is 7%.

Additionally, grad students may apply for grants and/or scholarships to cover costs related to their master's in business analytics program. Federal grants and scholarships are not available to graduate students, but plenty of opportunities are offered through private companies, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and other sources. Many scholarships and grants are exclusively available to students in certain academic areas of study; business analytics master's-seekers are encouraged to apply to awards that prioritize business studies.

Accreditation for Business Analytics Programs

Accreditation is a critical factor when researching institutions for master's in business analytics programs. The term accreditation refers to an extensive vetting process colleges and universities must undergo in order to be considered legitimate educational providers. The vetting is conducted by accreditation-granting organizations (also known as accreditors), who evaluate each school based on course curricula, faculty experience, campus resources, student outcomes, and tuition costs, among other criteria. The accreditation process can last months ― up to a year, in some cases. Schools must renew their accreditation status every few years. If they fail to do so, or accreditors find the school does not meet their academic criteria, then the school will lose its accreditation status. At this time, its credits will become non-transferrable, and students will not receive federal financial aid for attending them.

Currently, accreditation is divided into three primary categories. The first, regional accreditation, is awarded to schools that provide academic degrees. Six regional accreditors provide this type of accreditation to colleges and universities across the U.S. located in their area of jurisdiction. The second, national accreditation, if typically conferred to technical colleges, vocational schools, and for-profit institutions. A total of 10 accreditors provide national accreditation in the U.S. Most academic experts agree that regional accreditation is superior to national accreditation; the standards for the latter are considered more relaxed than those of the former. The third type of accreditation is known as programmatic accreditation, and is reserved for academic subdivisions at colleges and universities that specialize in one academic field, such as business, nursing, medicine, or law. Programmatic accreditation almost always applies to programs at the graduate level, since these academic subdivisions mostly provide master's and Ph.D. programs. Those researching master's degree in business analytics programs should ensure that all schools on their list have received the proper regional/national and/or programmatic accreditation, and that their status is current.

Two bodies recognize accreditation agencies in United States: the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), which is part of the federal government; and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a non-profit organization. It's important to note that neither the DOE nor the CHEA award accreditation directly; rather, they evaluate the accreditors responsible for doing so. To learn more about all recognized accreditors, please visit the full lists provided by the DOE and the CHEA.


There is no shortage of scholarship and grant opportunities for students in the United States, although opportunities are slightly more limited for those at the graduate level. Some scholarships and grants are non-renewable, meaning they provide a single payout; others are renewable, and will provide money to recipients on an annual or semi-annual basis. Scholarships and grants will also vary in terms of eligibility requirements, award amount, and other details. Four scholarships open to master's in business analytics students are outlined in the boxes below.

Business Analytics Scholarships

Asparagus Club Scholarship $8,000 Icon - Plus/Minus

Who Can Apply This award is open to upper-level undergraduates and grad students pursuing degrees in business or food management. VIEW SCHOLARSHIP

FEREP Icon - Plus/Minus

Who Can Apply This award is open to graduate students who have earned an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Recipients agree to work at a North American Jewish Federation for at least two years after earning their master's degree. VIEW SCHOLARSHIP

Golden Key International Honour Society Graduate Scholar Award $10,000 Icon - Plus/Minus

Who Can Apply This award is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are members of the Golden Key International Honour Society. VIEW SCHOLARSHIP

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Up to $10,000 Icon - Plus/Minus

Who Can Apply This award is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing careers related to fraud examination (including business analytics). VIEW SCHOLARSHIP

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations can be a very valuable resource for entry-level business analytics professionals. These organizations offer a wide range of perks, including reduced rates for certification programs and professional development opportunities, complimentary subscriptions to journals and magazines, invitations to conferences and networking events, and job leads related to the member's career path. Three of the leading professional organizations in business analytics are highlighted below.

  • International Institute of Business Analysis Established in 2003, IIBA has grown to represent more than 28,000 individual members, 220 corporate members, and 110 regional chapters. The institute is home to a four-tiered certification process that culminates in the Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader (CBATL) after 10 years of study and competency-based testing. Professional development opportunities are also available through the organization's webinar series and the IIBA Global Mentoring Program.
  • Digital Analytics Association The DAA abides by a mission to advance the use of data to understand and improve the digital world through professional development and community. Members may seek professional development through the DAA Web Analyst Certification Program, or through dozens of webinars available on the association's website. A comprehensive job-search tool also allows site visitors to browse positions for 13 different professional titles.
  • Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals SCIP is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit that was founded in 1986 to provide advocacy and create networking opportunities for business intelligence professionals. Membership benefits include free webinars and toolkits, opportunities to participate in the SCIP mentoring program, and invitations to peer-to-peer networking events. Individual membership starts at $195; students may obtain three-year membership for $75.