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Where Can I Get a Degree in Big Data?

Big data (also referred to as business analytics) is all the rave nowadays and information is the new currency.  As software gets more sophisticated at aggregating data, the economy is in need of people to interpret and decipher the data aggregated.

However, academia has been slow to roll out degrees that can properly prepare students for a career in big data.  While many math, computers, informatics, and statistics majors will probably end up doing quite well in the big data field, many people agree that it is time to give big data its own program.

If you are looking to get into the field of big data, we have compiled a list of schools that can help (source,

As of right now, all the big data programs require at least a bachelor’s degree to enroll (in either a masters program or an MBA program).  But if you do not have a bachelor’s degree, there are some schools (like the University of Washington) that give out certificates for business analytics.

With that said, if you are looking to complete a degree in business analytics, here are some schools that have the said programs.

Master’s Programs in Data or Business Analytics, Technology Management, or Data-Related Specialty

There are currently 21 masters program that specialize in big data (or business analytics).  Most of these will be in the school of computer and engineering but a few will be housed in the business school.  However, no matter what school the masters program is housed under, they accept the GMAT exam to get in.  Check the specific requirements of each program by clicking on the link.  Most of the degrees in the masters programs will require 1-2 years of study. Some schools do offer part-time programs and some will also allow online program completion. Some of these schools are extremely prestigious will others are less so.

Among the master’s programs that accept the GMAT exam:

  1. Arizona State, W. P. Carey School of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2010)
  2. Drexel University, LeBow College of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2013)
  3. Fordham University, Graduate School of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2012)
  4. George Mason University School of Management Master’s in Technology Management
  5. George Washington University, School of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2013)
  6. Michigan State University, The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, US MS in Business Analytics (2012)
  7. Northwestern University, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, US MS in Analytics (2012)
  8. North Carolina State University, Institute for Advanced Analytics, US MS in Analytics
  9. Queen’s University, School of Business, Canada Master of Management Analytics (2012)
  10. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lally School of Management & Technology Master of Science in Business Analytics (Fall 2013)
  11. UCLA Anderson School of Management Master of Financial Engineering
  12. University of Cincinnati, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2011)
  13. University of Connecticut, School of  Business, US MS in Business Analytics and Project Management (2011)
  14. University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, US MS in Marketing Analytics (2013)
  15. University of Michigan-Dearborn, College of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2012)
  16. University of Rochester, Simon School of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2013)
  17. University of Tennessee, College of Business Administration, US MS in Business Analytics (2010)
  18. University of Texas – Austin, The Red McCombs School of Business, US MS in Business Analytics (2012)
  19. Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Business, US Master of Science in Business with a concentration in Decision Analytics (2014)
  20. York University, Schulich School of Business, Canada MS in Business Analytics (2012)

MBA Programs with Business Analytics Major or Focus

Aside from a masters program with a focus on business analytics/big data, there are also MBA programs that focuses on the big data/business analytics concept.  While they are not as plentiful as the masters program, they do exist.

A sampling of MBA programs that accept the GMAT exam:

  1. Carnegie Mellon, Tepper School of Business, US MBA Business Analytics track
  2. Drexel University, US MBA Business Analytics concentration
  3. Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, US MBA Business Analytics major
  4. Loras College MBA in Business Analytics
  5. New York University Stern School of Business MBA with specialization in Business Analytics
  6. Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick MBA in Marketing Research Insights and Analytics

As you can see, Drexel offers a masters program in business analytics but also offers an MBA program with a business analytics track.  So if you are interested in going to Drexel, look at both programs and see which one is the right fit for you.

MBA Programs with a Technology Management or Other Specialized Data-Related Focus

These are MBA programs that do not specifically have a business analytics track but have a track that closely resembles it.

A sampling of MBA programs that accept the GMAT exam:

  1. Northeastern University, US MBA, High Technology
  2. Open University, UK MBA-Technology Management
  3. Sharda University, India MBA-Technology Management
  4. Simon Frasier University Beedie School of Business, Canada Management of Technology MBA University of
  5. Augsburg, Germany Master of Information-Oriented Business Administration
  6. University of Washington, Foster School of Business, US MBA in Technology Management

Online Masters in Big Data

  1. Full Sail University, Online, Masters in Business Intelligence
  2. Villanova University, Online, Masters of Science in Analytics


So far, there are no schools that carry a bachelor’s degree in business analytics yet.  But if the demand for big data specialists is a bit too much for schools to ignore.  I am guessing that schools will soon open up a big data track for their bachelor degrees and it will probably be in the engineering, math, statistics, informatics, or business departments.

If you do not want to get a masters or an MBA, you can still get into the field of big data.  Big data is a field where your potential and your portfolio can speak volumes for your expertise.  If you can prove yourself to be an expert at interpreting and extrapolating data, you will be able to get into the field.

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