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Admission to the M.S. in Business Analytics is based on academic and professional background, as well as potential for a successful career in analytics. Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of these criteria and in relation to the current applicant group.  We admit students from all academic backgrounds who have a strong interest in analytics and data science. Full time work experience is not required to apply for this program. Dual enrollment opportunities are available for select MSU students, but require significant early planning–please contact our director, Gayle Nelson, at for more information, as well as consulting with your undergraduate advisor.

Domestic and all MSU undergraduate candidates are admitted on a rolling basis throughout the year for the January start date. International candidates will be reviewed in 5 batches throughout the cycle. Admission to the program is selective. The applicant’s overall record is considered, including the statement of objectives, recommendations, academic transcripts, interview and composite of other documents. Each year we target a maximum class size of 45 students.

The application will open for spring enrollment (January 2021) on March 15, 2020, and will close October 1, 2020. Apply early for the best chance at admission.

OUR APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED FOR DOMESTIC APPLICANTS TO OCTOBER 20TH, 2020! International applicants should still have all materials submitted by Oct 1st due to I20 and visa processing constraints.

All applications must be completed by October 1 in order to be considered for admission to the program for the upcoming spring term. Domestic applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. MSU students graduating in May 2020 who apply by April 1 will have an interview decision no later than April 15, 2020. Most domestic applicants will receive a response to their application (interview, waitlist, or not admitted) within three weeks of a complete and submitted application. Interviewed candidates will have a decision within two weeks post-interview. For international applicants, applications will be reviewed as they are completed and interview decision will go out in four batches: May 1, July 1, August 15, September 15th, and October 2.

  • A completed application includes all materials: resume, personal statement, test scores and recommendations. A submitted application is NOT COMPLETE until all recommendations are in.
  • This is a one-year, fixed-curriculum, cohort-based program that begins in spring (January) and lasts through December (graduation). We do not admit for fall or summer semester start. The program cannot be completed online, hybrid, or over multiple years at this time.
  • The committee cannot assess your chances of getting a program acceptance until your application files are uploaded to the system and you have submitted a application.
  • Limited scholarship funds are available, and will be awarded in November of each year for the January cohort based on both merit and financial need. There is no separate application for these funds. Full tuition scholarships/fellowships/assistantships are not available at this time through our department, but may be available through other areas on campus. Please refer to the MSU Graduate School page for details and possible postings.
  • We encourage those interested in the process to check out the frequently asked questions page.

Admission Criteria

To be considered for admission, applicants are expected to have:

  1. A completed four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized educational institution.
  2. A working knowledge of personal computers, including word processing, spreadsheets, networking, and database management systems.
  3. Exposure to programming languages such as C, C++, Python, Java, and HTML, as well as exposure to statistics and/or using statistical software packages.
  4. Strong scores on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Exam). Michigan State University graduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher may waive this requirement. Other students may request a GRE/GMAT waiver by emailing your resume and unofficial transcript to
  5. A general understanding of and desire to learn about data science/business analytics as a career and field.
  6. This program does NOT require full time work experience to apply.

International Requirements

There are a few additional requirements for international applicants to the M.S. in Business Analytics program:

  • The undergraduate degree must be the equivalent to a four-year degree in the United States. Three-year undergraduate programs must be followed by a master’s degree in order to be eligible.
  • English competency test scores are required, with minimum scores of 250 on the computer version of the TOEFL and 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum of 7 on the IELTS. Waivers will be considered as detailed below for students who completed their undergraduate degree at an institution where the primary method of instruction was in English.
  • In order to obtain the documents needed to file for a student visa (I-20 or DS-2019), students must show adequate proof of financial support. All international students must provide a signed affidavit of support and a bank statement with the name of the account holder in English. The financial amount can be found at our Tuition page. This must be in a checking or savings account, or via official loan paperwork. This is not required until admission.

Application Requirements


You may upload unofficial transcripts to the application portal. Upon admission to the program, please provide one set of official transcripts of all academic work completed in colleges or universities other than MSU. You may send hard copy transcripts prior to admission to expedite admission processing later, but it is not required until admission. Applicants who have attended other colleges and universities must make arrangements with the registrar’s office at each college attended to have the transcripts sent. All transcripts should be sent directly to the program office. When your application is submitted, it will state your official transcripts are “not received” – this is expected and will not delay your review.


M.S. in Business Analytics GMAT code: QHO-5P-59. GRE university code: 1465.

We only require the unofficial score on your application. The application summary will state your scores are not received; your application will still be reviewed with the unofficial scores entered.

GMAT waivers are provided to MSU graduates with a cumulative GPA over 3.25. However, if you have minimal work/internship experience and/or your GPA is close to that mark, you may wish to take the exam, as a strong score can support your application. Students from other institutions may request a waiver by sending their resume/CV and unofficial transcripts to for evaluation.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Please arrange to have recommendations from former faculty members or knowledgeable employers who can support your candidacy for the program. The recommendations should provide evidence of your academic potential and demonstrated abilities as a potential graduate student. You will input their email addresses into the portal, and they will be sent a link to fill out a standard recommendation form. Recommenders may also upload a letter to this form if they wish. Applications are not complete without both recommendations.

Personal Statement

The statement should be no longer than two typed, double-spaced pages. Please address the following: 1) Why are you interested in the M.S. in Business Analytics program? 2) How will your background contribute to your success in the program? 3) Briefly describe your career goals and how the program will assist in attaining your objectives.


Submit a current resume in reverse chronological order of your work (most recent first), education, and other experience. A sample format is available for your reference.

MS Business Analytics Resume Template

For International Students

There are a few additional requirements for international applicants to the M.S. in Business Analytics program:


You may upload unofficial transcripts to the application portal. Upon admission to the program, please request that all colleges or universities attended and examination boards send original or attested copies of all transcripts, diplomas, mark sheets, and certificates directly to the program office in an official, sealed envelope. In addition, where the original documents are not issued in English, also provide an official English translation of each document. While these official documents are not needed to review your application, you may wish to begin the process of having them sent early to expedite later processing if you are admitted.

English Competency Test Scores

University code: 1465.

The official results from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS must be submitted to the M.S. in Business Analytics program office. TOEFL scores may be sent electronically, but IELTS scores must be sent in paper copy in a sealed envelope from the testing service – we do not accept electronic official scores from IELTS.

The English language proficiency test requirement may be waived for students with one or more of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree that is earned 100 percent in the U.S., as long as the candidate’s old English language competency scores are included. The B.A. or B.S. program should be a regular four-year degree for which the majority of the degree is earned in the United States, is not 100 percent online, and is not an “experiential” degree (where credits are given for life experiences).
  • A bachelor’s degree earned at MSU, with the majority of credits earned while on campus and English language competency scores provided (even if old) for the candidate’s admission into the bachelor’s program.
  • A master’s degree earned at an AAU institution on a U.S. campus, with English language competency scores provided (even if old) for the candidate’s admission into the master’s program.