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Frequently Asked Questions


What are some unique features of the program?

  • A key feature of the program is the integration of corporate sponsored projects that allow students to gain real world experience. This occurs every semester of the program that a student is enrolled. This hands on approach ensures our students have the skills necessary to be successful in this growing field of work. Students take classes with leading Michigan State faculty in business, computer science and mathematics from the Broad College of Business, College of Engineering and College of Natural Science.

How long will it take to complete my degree requirements? Can I complete the program in one year?

  • The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year. Classes start in January and end in December the same year.

How does MSU’s MS in business analytics program rank against similar programs?

Where is the program located?

  • The program is located in the Business College Complex on Michigan State University’s campus in East Lansing, Michigan.

Can the program be taken part-time or online?

  • The program is only available on-campus full-time. There are no options for part-time or online courses for our master’s degree program.

What does the program of study consist of?

  • The curriculum includes courses in business strategy, data mining, applied statistics, project management, marketing technologies, communications and ethics taught by leading MSU faculty. Please click here for a listing of course descriptions.

While I am in the program, will I have access to hands-on training?

  • The program has a project-driven approach which gives students opportunities to gain exposure to real world scenarios. Experiential learning allows students to be introduced to companies, work in teams, and solve business problems using analytical techniques.  SAS and IBM SPSS software trainers also visit our program multiple times a year for onsite student training.

How technical is the MS in business analytics program?

  • The program is structured to have several hands-on learning experiences. Accordingly, it is good to have knowledge about word processing, spreadsheets, networking, and data base management. Students should also be familiar with using programming languages and statistical analysis software.

Is the program STEM certified?

  • The MS in business analytics program is officially designated as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degree program. The STEM certification provides international students in our program to work in the United States for an additional 24 months under OPT, beyond the standard 12, for a total of 36 months.


What was the average GMAT score for the admitted class?

  • The overall average for the class of 2018 is 668.

What was the average TOEFL score for the admitted class of 2018?

  • The average TOEFL score for admitted international students was 100.  There is no minimum, but the higher the score you receive, the better your chances are of a acceptance.

What is the average age of the class?

  • Average age is 26.

What is the average GPA of admitted students?

  • Overall GPA for admitted students was 3.45

How many students do you admit into the program?

  • We target a class of 30-35 per year.


What is the full-time placement rate after graduation?

  • For the class of 2013, 100% of our student received employment offers.  For the class of 2014, 95% have accepted employment. For the class of 2015 at graduation, 100% have accepted a job offer that were seeking employment. For the class of 2016, 100% are employed that were actively seeking employment. For the Class of 2017 graduates, 100% are employed that were actively seeking employment.

What is the average salary for recently placed graduates of the program?

  • The average annual base salary for the class of 2013 was $75,000 USD.  For our class of 2014, it is $80,888. For the class of 2015 at graduation, the average salary was $90,020 and $88,000 at 3 months post  graduation. For the class of 2016, the average salary was $85,200.

What employers recruit from the program?

  • Students have received offers from companies such as Nike, Gongos, Ducker, Chrysler, GM, PGA Tour, GM, Dominos, Capital One, EY, Cognizant Technologies, Deloitte, Fanuc and more.  Typical job titles include Business Intelligence Developer, Data Analyst, Solutions Architect and Consultant.

Does the program offer any assistance to help with full-time placement?

  • The program provides each student with a career services advisor to help them in their search for employment. Students receive personalized resume reviews, practice interviews, negotiation advice etc.  The program also provides networking opportunities, workshops and career fairs to help students develop relationships with employers.  Specifically, we have a spring analytics fair focused on internships and a fall analytics fair focused on full time job opportunities.  Please see the event page for additional details.


How much does the program cost?

Are there any scholarships or graduate assistant positions available?

  • We provide conference and certification scholarships to assist student in attending industry events and certifications up to $1,500. This is paid out after the event or certification has taken place.  In addition, the summer internship experience provides students to earn a significant amount to support their educational expenses.  This amount is determined by the internship offer a student receives.

Are internship/co-op opportunities available?

  • Yes, internships are a required component of our program in the summer. The average pay was $25 an hour for 2017 summer interns. For the Class of 2018 100% secured an internship for the summer.

Are there part-time jobs available on campus?

  • There are opportunities available for on-campus employment. Often during the school year, our office will receive requests for resumes from other MSU departments. Often, students will continue to work remotely for their summer internship companies for about 10hrs a week in the fall.


What are the admission requirements for this program?

Can the admissions committee tell me my chances of getting in before I apply?

  • We admit students based on the entire contents of their application, thus we cannot review or assess your chances until your application is complete.  The admissions committee will only review a candidates application if all required documents are received.

How much work experience do I need have to qualify for admission?

  • There is no work experience minimum. We like to target a range of ages to meet the personalized needs of the companies we work with. Some employers prefer students directly from undergrad all the way to 10+ years of work experience. Our average age ranges from 26-27 years of age.

Do I need to take the GRE or the GMAT? Can these tests be waived?

  • Candidates can chose to take either the GRE or the GMAT. Waivers are only granted for Michigan State University graduates with a gpa over 3.25 for the GMAT/GRE. The MS in business analytics GMAT code is QHO-5P-59.  The GRE code is 1465.

What is the minimum GRE/GMAT score required to be admitted?

  • While we do not have a minimum GMAT/GRE score, our average score of admitted students is 620. GMAT/GRE scores alone does not guarantee or deny admission to the program as we review applications on a holistic basis.

Does the program require a technology-related or business undergraduate degree?

  • The program does not require a specific undergraduate degree. However, students from business, statistics, computer programming, actuarial science, economics, etc. are often great fits for the program.  If you lack experience in a specific area, offers several free training classes in R, Python etc.  Gaining additional training will ensure you have the base level skills required to be successful in the classroom.

Are there prerequisites courses required for admission?

  • As part of the program, students must show proof of exposure to statistics and object based computer software programming.

I am a undergraduate student at MSU, what can I do now to prepare myself for the program?

  • Overall, from the application perspective, we look for exposure to all three pillars of our program:  Business, Computer Programming and Statistics.  If you find you are light in one of these areas, we would recommend that you take courses in the gap areas to help you become a better-rounded applicant.
  • There are several great resources at MSU to help you prepare for a MS in Business Analytics.
    • Take a introductory style course such as: ITM481, CMSE201, CMSE 202, CSE231, CSE232 and PLS 392. All of these would provide some conceptual background and technical skill development.
    • Pursue a minor/major in one of the following: Computational Math aka CMSE(, Information Technology, Computer Science, Statistics, or Social Science Analytics ( etc.
    • Join the MSU Data Science Club! This club provides access to elite speakers, training workshops and weekly collaborative meetups.


What do I need to know about the TOEFL / IELTS test?

  • English competency test scores are required with the following scores: TOEFL: Approximately 250 on computer version and approximately 100 on the Internet-Based Test; 7 on the IELTS.  English competency test takers should use the Michigan State University code 1465.
  • A bachelor’s degree earned at MSU, the majority of credits earned while on campus and English language competency scores are included (even if old) for the candidate’s admission into the bachelor’s program

As an international student, what resources do I have on campus?

I have a three-year undergraduate degree. Can I apply for the program directly, or do I need to complete another year of schooling first?

  • The program requires that applicants complete a four-year undergraduate degree. Students with a three-year degree will need to complete an additional year via a Master’s degree to be considered.


What is the application deadline?

  • The program has four rounds a year.  Your application must be complete by the deadline in order to be considered.
    Round 1:  April 1st with admit notifications by the end of the month
    Round 2:  July 1st with admit notifications by the end of the month
    Round 3:  Aug. 1st with admit notifications by the end of the month
    Round 4:  Oct. 1st with admit  notifications by the end of the month
    (All applicants not admitted at that time will be waitlisted and official declines will be sent Nov. 1st)

What if my application is late by a few days after the deadline? What if my test scores will not arrive until after the deadline has passed?

  • All documents must be received by Oct. 1st.  We can’t guarantee a place in our class if your documents are submitted after this date. Once we admit 30-35 students, we will then close the application process. Thus, completing your application early is highly recommended.

Where do I send my documents (transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and test scores)?

  • Documents and unofficial test scores can be loaded onto our online application system. Official Test scores must be sent to the program office. The GMAT code is QHO-5P-59.  The GRE code is 1465. English competency test takers should use code 1465.  International students: Please be sure to send ATTESTED copies of your transcripts.

How can I check my application status?

  • The program will contact you once a decision is made on your application.  Declines are sent typically in mid-December.  We will only review your application once it is complete.  You can log onto the application system to verify your documents are in place.

What happens after my application is complete?

  • The admissions team will review completed applications. Based on the strength of the candidate, the admissions team would schedule an interview as the next step. Interviews are conducted in-person on the campus or over Skype and by invite only.


I have questions about the program in general, who should I contact?

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