M.S. in Business Analytics Admission FAQs

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How is the Master of Science in Business Analytics program different from an MBA with an emphasis in Analytics?

The Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program provides deeper and more technically focused coursework in a program that, overall, has a more quantitative concentration than the MBA. As a focused, one-year program, the MSBA may be an excellent choice for students with clear career goals in analytics and data-driven areas of business decision making.

The MSBA does not provide the broader perspective on management and leadership that the MBA offers: no courses in management or leadership are included in the MSBA.

How is the Master of Science in Business Analytics program different from Masters programs in Data Science or Data Engineering?

The Rady MSBA program focuses on data-driven business decision-making, analytic project management, and presenting analytic information in a business environment. These emphases on business intelligence, data-driven insights, and business analytics project management are distinguishing features of the Rady MSBA program.

How does Rady’s MSBA program differ from other MSBA programs?

Rady’s MSBA program was developed by Rady faculty specifically to meet the need of businesses for qualified business analysts. The curriculum combines technically sophisticated tools and technologies with applied, real world business case studies. The program culminates in an applied Capstone project in which MSBA students collaborate with a client company to solve a business problem. Students will gain not only a robust technical skillset, but also the ability to determine the best approach and tools for any analytic project.

If I already have an MBA, will the Master of Science in Business Analytics program provide additional learning or career options?

If your MBA program was not heavily quantitative or did not include coursework focused on analytics and data-driven business decision-making, the MSBA may provide education that will assist in your career in analytics.

Can the program be extended by 6 months or a year?

The MSBA program is designed as a full-time, one-year program, and we expect students to complete the degree in that time period unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Can I choose a minor or specialization?

The MSBA curriculum does not provide the opportunity for a minor or require students to choose a specialization. Students are encouraged to choose electives based on their areas of interest.

Is it possible to complete a dual Master of Science in Business Analytics & MBA at Rady?

No, the MSBA program curriculum does not allow for a dual degree at this time.

Am I allowed to transfer credit from another relevant graduate program towards Rady’s program?

The Rady MSBA program does not accept transfer credit from other graduate programs.

Are there opportunities to take classes in other departments at UC San Diego?

Students demonstrating academic success within the Rady MSBA program may be eligible to enroll in classes in other departments at UC San Diego, depending on class availability and department permission.

Can I start the program in the winter/spring?

Rady’s MSBA program is offered as a summer (August) start only.


I will complete my bachelor's degree in the spring and will not have any professional work experience. Will you consider my application for admission to the Master of Science in Business Analytics?

Work experience is not required for the MSBA program, but is preferred. If you do not have work experience, we will want to understand why you believe now is the right time for you to pursue the MSBA degree, and we will expect to see excellent academic records, relevant undergraduate internships, extracurricular activities, clear career goals, etc.

Do I need a business background to apply to the program?

Business coursework is not required for the MSBA program, however this is a program focused on making business decisions and applicants should have a keen interest in data analytics specifically in terms to making strategic business decisions.

I have some quantitative or computing background, but not in all the areas listed. Can I apply to and be successful in the program?

The MSBA curriculum emphasizes both the quantitative foundations for data driven decision-making and business savviness for drawing insights and project management. Many applicants will be stronger in one of these areas than the other. Applicants with strength in one area can be successful in admissions and then will develop additional skills in the program.

What are the minimum GMAT or GRE scores for the Rady Master of Science in Business Analytics program?

There is no minimum requirement; however, we will be looking particularly at the strength of your performance in the quantitative sections. Strong scores may serve to balance lower undergraduate academic performance and are good predictors of how well students will do in the required core classes. GMAT or GRE scores in one sitting are evaluated, not averaged from multiple sittings.

I'm a college senior. Am I eligible to apply to the Master of Science in Business Analytics program?

The Rady School welcomes applications from undergraduates who have excelled academically and personally and who can articulate their reasons for continuing directly to the MSBA program. Undergraduate majors in mathematics, economics, computer science, or engineering disciplines are particularly relevant, but these are by no means the only majors we consider.

Does the Rady School accept students with advanced degrees?

The Rady School welcomes applications from individuals who have already completed advanced study in science, engineering, technology, or other quantitative disciplines.

Because I do not have previous experience in Business Analytics, would I need to complete additional courses and gain relevant experience prior to applying?

Coursework in subjects such as calculus, econometrics, numerical analysis, and advanced statistics and probability will prepare you for the MSBA program. It is also beneficial to have experience with programming (Examples: R, SQL, Python, C/C++) and experience with statistical applications (Examples: SAS, STATA). Experience with R is preferred, but applicants with proficiency is another programming language will be considered..

How does the STEM certification make this degree different from other graduate business programs?

The STEM certification allows international students on an F-1 visa the opportunity to extend their post-graduation time in the U.S. beyond the regular one-year OPT. Eligible F-1 students with STEM degrees who finish their program of study and participate in an initial period of regular OPT (up to 12 months) have the option to apply for STEM OPT extension. The STEM OPT extension provides an additional 24-month period of temporary training in the U.S. This allows international students the opportunities to gain additional work experience in the U.S. in their field of study.

The Application

Will the application be reviewed before or after the program deadline?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so once the Rady Admissions staff confirm all the pieces of the application, the MSBA Admissions Committee will begin reviewing the application.

Will I be interviewed as part of the application process?

Interviews are a required part of the MSBA application process. Interviews are by invitation only. For candidates outside Southern California, a Skype interview can be arranged.

Is there a word limit on Statement of Purpose?

The Statement of Purpose should be no longer than 500 words, double-spaced, 12-point font.

Costs, Fees and Financing

Are fellowships available? Are students are eligible for jobs as tutors or assistants to pay for their education?

A limited amount of merit-based fellowship funding is available for exceptional candidates who have been offered admission. Students who receive an offer of admission should request a Fellowship Application from the Rady Graduate Programs Admissions Office with 15 days of the admissions offer. This program does not regularly offer TA, RA, or GA positions, although opportunities vary depending on faculty needs.

How are fees for the Master of Science in Business Analytics program broken down across the four quarters?

Please refer to the MSBA estimated 2015-16 budget for details regarding fees and other costs.

Housing, Careers, Etc.

What resources are available to help students obtain internships and jobs?

MSBA students receive career support from Graduate Career Connections. Through personal coaching, an array of programs and resources and a commitment to creating access to opportunities, Career Connections enhances your potential for success. Graduate Career Connections begins working with MSBA students during the summer prior to the start of the program in order to ensure students are prepared for the internship and job search success.

Are Master of Science in Business Analytics students eligible for internships?

MSBA students are encouraged to pursue internships or full-time employment after completion of the program. The program is not built specifically to accommodate internships in conjunction with academic class, however some students may be able to complete internships during their final term, while also completing the Capstone Project. Matriculated students interested in an internship during the program should speak with Student Services and the Graduate Career Center during their program.