Why a Master of Science degree in Business Analytics?

In the increasingly competitive marketplace, organizations need business leaders who can make decisions informed by disparate sources of data. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data analyst’s job category is expected to be one of the fastest-growing career fields and demand will continue to outpace available talent.

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2018 in the US alone, there will be a shortage of 140,000-190,000 people with analytical expertise, and a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts with the expertise to make decisions based on the analysis of big data.

The Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the Orfalea College of Business offers its students an incredible opportunity to gain the knowledge, tools, and decision-making skills to solve businesses’ most pressing problems while advancing their professional careers in the exciting and fast-growing field of data analytics.


Watch our Webinar

Learn more about our program and how industry informed its development in a webinar featuring a conversation with Rich Clayton, VP Business Analytics, Oracle; Joshua Knox, Engineering Program Manager, Google; Scott Dawson, Dean, Orfalea College of Business and Sanjiv Jaggia, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Orfalea College of Business.

About the Program

The M.S. in Business Analytics is a comprehensive, 10-month interdisciplinary business degree program that encompasses economics, finance, accounting, marketing, and information systems. The program offers a holistic approach to data analytics, combining qualitative reasoning with quantitative tools to identify key business problems and translate data analytics into decisions that improve business performance. Students will acquire broad training in all aspects of business analytics with a particular emphasis on industry projects, statistical modeling, and communication.

Working on collaborative industry projects, students will engage with real-world problems while gaining valuable experience working for a client in a team. Equipped with the ability to harness the power of data in a business setting, graduates will be tapped for exciting leadership opportunities at the forefront of business. Graduates will also be able to serve as a critical link among senior management, data scientists, and clients.


Take all of the following:

Course Number Course Title Units
GSB 510 Data Visualization and Communication in Business 4
GSE 518 Essential Statistics for Econometrics 4
GSE 520 Advanced Econometrics I 4
GSE 524 Computational Methods in Economics 4
GSB 520 Data Management for Business Analytics 4
GSB 530 Data Analytics and Mining for Business 4
GSB 503 Collaborative Industry Projects 8
- Core Subtotal 32

Approved Electives Select 13 units from the following:

Course Number Course Title Units
GSE 522 Advanced Econometrics II (prerequisite: GSE 520) 4
GSB 516 Strategic Marketing Analytics (prerequisite: GSE 518) 4
GSB 573 Marketing Research (prerequisite: GSE 518) 4
GSE 544 Evidence-Based Decision Analysis (prerequisite: GSE 520) 4
GSB 550 Bayesian Econometrics (prerequisite: GSE 520) 4
GSB 501 Individual Research (Approval from Associate Dean) 1-4
GSB 570 Selected Advanced Topics (Approval from Associate Dean) 1-4
- Electives Subtotal 13

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate coursework.
  3. GPA of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units.
  4. Competitive GMAT or GRE score (valid for five years).
  5. Statement of purpose.
  6. Two letters of recommendation.
  7. Completion of at least two college-level courses in statistics.
  8. Completion of at least one college-level course in calculus.
  9. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is required for international applicants. The requirement is waived if the applicant received a degree in the United States. For English language proficiency requirements, please go to Cal Poly Admissions.

In addition to the above prerequisites, students are expected to have a working knowledge of linear algebra. For students who don’t meet this requirement, we will require the successful completion of our short workshop in linear algebra prior to the start of the program. Please note students admitted to the program will have qualifications better than the minimum outlined above.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)

See 13 more programs offered by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo »

Last updated November 20, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
10 months
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Start Date
Sep 2020
End Date
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Sep 2020

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Scott Cooper - Orfalea College of Business

Master of Science in Business Analytics