How does UVA’s M.S. in Business Analytics differ from UVA's M.S. in Data Science?

Our program:

  • Is designed for working professionals so that students can continue to earn while they learn.
  • Develops a curated portfolio of skills, including advanced analytics, an enterprise-wide perspective on business, AI, machine learning, executive communication, design thinking, project and team management, and consulting skills.
  • Provides an integrated and balanced view of business and analytics and explores how analytics decisions and business decisions impact each other.
  • Includes highly integrated coursework team-taught by faculty from two top-ranked UVA business schools.
  • Utilizes a project-centric approach, requiring students to apply what they’re learning to a practical business challenge in each module.
  • Welcomes all majors and doesn’t require a technical or STEM background, common to other business analytics programs.
  • Offers immediate and lifelong access to the alumni networks at both the Darden School of Business and the McIntire School of Commerce, as well as the greater University of Virginia network.

The M.S. in Data Science Program:

  • Requires some math and computer science coursework prior to the start of the program
  • Is an interdisciplinary program focused on the science, analysis and communication of data
  • Prepares students for jobs such as data engineer, data analyst, and data scientist

I don’t have any background in data or business analytics. Is this program for me?

Yes, it is. The UVA M.S. in Business Analytics Program does not assume any previous analytics knowledge. As long as you have good problem-solving skills, are not afraid to work with data, and have an interest in business, then the program will provide you with the necessary ingredients for a successful career in business analytics.

I am already working in analytics. Is this program for me?

Yes, the program provides new skills and advantages. Many individuals working in analytics have deep knowledge in one aspect of the field. The UVA M.S. in Business Analytics provides an opportunity to fill in the gaps in your technical knowledge while also helping you to better understand the business impact of your work. Each module focuses on increasing your technical understanding, the business application, how to more effectively communicate value to your internal or external clients, and the strategic implications of your work.

My company will reimburse me only for courses with a grade. With the program curriculum divided into modules, how will that work?

Each module contains a series of traditional courses (course number, credit hours) that correlate to the topic. Grades are given by course for the purpose of reimbursement. 

I am an international student, and need an F-1 visa. Am I eligible for UVA’s M.S. in Business Analytics Program?

The M.S. in Business Analytics is a non-residential program. I-20 forms (student visas) cannot be provided for study.

Will my degree be from Darden or McIntire?

The degree is from the University of Virginia. The transcript will show the McIntire School of Commerce as the school of record with a notation that it is delivered in partnership with Darden. Graduates of the program will be welcomed by the alumni networks at both the Darden School of Business and the McIntire School of Commerce, as well the greater University of Virginia network.

What is the typical class size?

The maximum class size for the program is 60 students.

How much of the program will be faculty-led versus self-paced?

Roughly 65% of the program will be composed of faculty-led class sessions, with the remaining 35% of the program composed of projects, teamwork, and self-paced materials.

How much time will be required outside of class sessions?

Students will spend an average of 12-15 hours each week preparing for case discussions, participating in online classes, reviewing distance-learning material/videos, and meeting with classmates on project assignments. 

How many days will I need to be onsite for class?

Students are required to be onsite for 24 class days (10 trips)—8 in Charlottesville, Va., and 16 in Arlington, Va.

  • 1 two-day orientation residency in Arlington in August
  • 2 four-day residencies in Charlottesville (Thursday-Sunday)
  • 7 two-day residencies in Arlington (Saturday-Sunday)

What are the hours for onsite classes?

Saturdays: Classes begin at 8 or 8:30 a.m. and end at 4 or 4:30 p.m.

Sundays: Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.

What are the accommodations for the onsite residencies? 

During the two four-day residencies in Charlottesville, students will lodge at the Inn at Darden, an executive residence located on the Grounds of the Darden School of Business. Program fees cover this lodging cost.

During the two-day residencies in Arlington, students will be responsible for their own accommodations.

What jobs does the M.S. in Business Analytics prepare me for?

Upon completing the M.S. in Business Analytics Program, candidates will be well-prepared for a variety analytics roles, be they embedded within an organization’s product, marketing, strategy, finance, or sales team, or external consultants, tasked with delivering on an outsourced need. Employers are recognizing the value of candidates who possess strong analytics skills as well as broad business perspectives.

Examples of positions and career opportunities for business analytics professionals include, but are not limited to:

  • Big data analytics specialist
  • Business analytics consultant
  • Business analytics manager
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Marketing analytics lead/manager
  • Sales analytics lead/manager
  • Strategy and operations lead/manager
  • Web analytics lead/manager

Specific titles and roles differ from company to company and industry to industry, and depend largely on the role that analytics and data play within the organization. 

Who teaches the classes?

Seasoned business and analytics faculty from both the Darden School of Business and the McIntire School of Commerce teach all of the courses. In addition, industry experts and corporate sponsors will be invited to speak and share their experiences with the class.

Are student teams assigned, or may I pick my teammates? Are students assigned to one team for the duration of the program?

Project teams are formed for each module, giving students ample opportunity to network across industries and functional areas of expertise and take advantage of the wide variety of perspectives within the class. 

Will career services support be offered for the MSBA Program?

Yes! The Darden Career Development Center and McIntire Commerce Career Services are partnering to deliver a program that caters to the individual student based on his or her career goals and needs. We provide resources to help you educate yourself and connect with companies, and also include individual support. One-to-one student support includes resume and cover letter reviews, interview preparation, networking, career coaching, workshops, and more.