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Carnegie Tepper Launches New MS in Business Analytics

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In response to workforce demand for employees with more analytical skills and business knowledge, the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University has launched a new online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) degree. The goal of its distinctive curriculum is to help fill the 2.7 million job openings for data professionals by 2020.

According to the program’s website, “[The MSBA degree] occupies a singular space on the spectrum between an MBA and a data science degree.” It joins similar degrees at other top schools including the Master of Science in Business Analytics at USC Marshall and the Master of Business Analytics program at MIT Sloan.

“We wanted to enter the ring with a program that fully reflects the Tepper School’s reputation as a leader in the development and use of analytical tools for business application and draws on the breadth and depth of our research faculty,” Willem-Jan van Hoeve, an associate professor of operations research and the faculty head of the MSBA degree, said in a press release. “Having operated at the intersection of business and technology for so long, we are well-positioned to offer a premier online MS in business analytics.”

Tepper is well known for both its management science and online education programs. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school’s part-time online MBA second in its list of Best Online MBA Programs. And, according to the Tepper website, the school pioneered the discipline of management science.

About the MSBA Degree

The new MSBA degree is an 18-month, online program aimed at early-career professionals. It’s designed to prepare students for careers as business intelligence analysts, operations research analysts, market research analysts, or statisticians across a range of industries. In 2015, the top industries that hired professionals with data expertise were professional, scientific, and technical services; information technologies, manufacturing, finance, insurance, and retail.

In addition to learning programming languages such as Python and statistical computing packages like R, students in the new degree program will also gain advanced business knowledge and problem-solving expertise. The MSBA curriculum is divided into four areas:

  • Methodology, which includes machine learning and optimization;
  • Software Engineering, which covers such topics as data visualization and large-scale data management;
  • Corporate Communication, which covers strategies and best practices for communicating with non-technical stakeholders, and
  • Business Knowledge, which includes marketing, operations, accounting, and finance.

To graduate, students must complete 108 units total of foundation, core, and elective MSBA courses.

Program Structure

The MSBA degree program was designed to offer flexibility while also letting students enjoy the classroom experience and develop relationships with fellow classmates. Each student will complete eight to 10 terms called “minis.” These terms are equivalent to a half-semester each, with the first two lasting six weeks and the remainder lasting seven.

The program begins with two foundation courses and a capstone project that spans two minis. Upon completion of these initial courses, students will take two courses per mini with the same cohort of students. Each course typically requires about 65 hours of work total, about eight hours a week: five hours of video, reading, and prep, and three hours of working on assignments.

The cohort structure was implemented to help students continue working while still enjoying the classroom experience. Students will be divided into smaller groups to allow them to develop meaningful relationships while collaborating and working together as virtual teams.

Online Environment

The bulk of the program will be delivered online. Courses are instructor-led and include synchronous weekly live discussion sessions. These sessions typically occur in the evening and last 75 minutes. Students are expected to prepare for each course discussion and be ready to fully engage.

There’s also asynchronous online coursework, which includes viewing videos and slide presentations, working on projects and case studies, reading textbooks, and participating in discussion boards. Students can complete these activities on their own schedules, provided that they meet deadline for assignments.

On-Campus Study

Though the majority of the degree can be competed online, there are four on-campus components. Each experience takes place over a weekend at the Carnegie Mellon main campus in Pittsburgh.

  • Beginning of Mini 3: At the start of the third mini, students will meet on campus for “BaseCamp” where they will receive a high-level overview of the MSBA program intended to set the stage for communication and collaboration throughout the remainder of the program.
  • Beginning of Mini 7: This on-campus experience helps students become more immersed in the experiential learning and networking experience.
  • Beginning of Mini 9: During this on-campus experience, students will participate in onsite presentations and workshops.
  • End of Mini 10: During this final on-campus session, students present their capstone projects as the culmination of the MSBA program.

To Apply

Applications are currently being accepted for the MSBA program, which will start on August 27, 2018. The final deadline for fall 2018 entry is April 16, 2018.

To apply, students must complete an online application form, submit official GMAT or GRE scores, provide unofficial transcripts, submit a current resume, respond to an essay prompt (potential prompts found here), provide two letters of recommendation, and complete a 30-minute interview via web conferencing software.  

To learn more about the new Master of Science in Business Analytics program, visit the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business website.

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.