Business Analytics Curriculum

Build Essential Analytics Knowledge in One Year

In the full-time MSBA, you’ll complete 45 credits in three semesters. You'll study fundamental topics such as statistics, programming, and data engineering, as well as advanced techniques for data visualization, predictive analytics, machine learning, causal experimentation, and more.


The Carlson MSBA program is recognized by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security as a STEM-designated program.

Students begin the program in September and graduate the following August, ready to take their new knowledge and skills into the workforce. (Note: Exact dates vary by year; new students are required to attend orientation.)


OrientationFall TermSpring TermSummer TermGraduation
SummerSeptember to DecemberJanuary to MayJune to AugustAugust


What you'll learn

In the MSBA program, you'll take 14.5-15.5 credits of full-time coursework each semester. The program’s cohort model means you’ll start the program simultaneously with all other current students and move through the classes together.

The field of analytics is broad, and that means lots of choices. You can focus on functional areas such as analytics for marketing, HR, or supply chain management. Or you can specialize in a particular kind of analytics work, such as data visualization, testing, experimentation, Big Data, or predictive modeling. And because data has become essential to all kinds of businesses, you can work in almost any industry that interests you.

Please note: The MSBA curriculum is currently undergoing a regularly scheduled review by our faculty. While there will be many similarities, there could be differences from the courses you see below. The changes should be finalized in December 2023, and the courses will be updated on this page.

Business & Technical Fundamentals

Your first semester focuses on fundamentals like statistics, programming, and the use of analytics in today’s business environment. You’ll get to know your classmates throughout the fall as you learn to use tools like Python and R to tackle analytics problems.

  • Business Essentials
  • Introduction to Statistics for Data Scientists
  • Programming for Data Science
  • Introduction to Business Analytics in R
  • Data Management, Databases, and Data Warehousing
  • Building and Managing Teams

Core Analytics Classes

Because it begins in January, it may be a while before your final semester feels like spring. In the meantime, you’ll keep busy with courses in exploratory analytics and data visualization, predictive analytics, and Big Data.

  • Exploratory Data Analytics and Visualization
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Causal Inference via Econometrics and Experimentation
  • Building and Managing Teams
  • Ethics and Data Privacy

Advanced Analytics & Experiential Learning

In your final semester, you'll finish the program with advanced topics like optimization, as well as electives. You’ll also join the Carlson Analytics Lab, where you’ll work as part of a team of students on a 14-week long experiential learning project for a real client.

  • Advanced Issues in Business Analytics
  • Optimization and Simulation for Decision Making
  • Consultative Problem-Solving & Agile Management for Analytics Projects
  • Building and Managing Teams
  • Business Analytics Experiential Learning
  • Electives

Master of Business Analytics Curriculum & Faculty

The MSBA faculty and curriculum prepare students to succeed in business analytics careers after graduation and beyond.

Industry Advisory Boards

Analytics professionals from leading organizations make up two advisory boards for the school's graduate programs in business analytics and the Information and Decision Sciences (IDSC) department. Working in collaboration with faculty, advisory board members bring industry perspective to ongoing program strategy and development. 

MSBA students have opportunities to meet and engage with board members at various department events. 

  • Adnan Awow, Sr. Director Data Science, Target
  • Colleen Chrisco, Managing Director of Analytics & Player Data Services, Bungie
  • Bonnie Holub, Associate Partner, Business Consulting, Infosys
  • Chelsea Ihle, Sr. Director of Data & Analytics, Slalom Consulting
  • Chris Manrodt, Head of Data Transformation, Philips
  • Jennifer DeGennaro, Sr. Manager Data Science, Best Buy
  • Prasoon Sharma, Partner, McKinsey Digital
  • William Stentz, Senior Manager, Data and Analytics, Esri
  • John Tong, Global Head of Analytics & Data Science, Skillz
  • Erik Tonsfeldt, Project Leader, BCG
  • Veronika Torarp, Partner, PwC
  • Jack Vishneski, Principal Analytics Consultant, Cargill
  • Jim Willenbring, Consultant & Board President
  • Pat Bajari, Chief Economist and VP, Amazon
  • Deb Bauman, CIO, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
  • Teddy Bekele, CIO, Land O Lakes
  • Doug Bond, Managing Director, Slalom
  • Rajeev Duggirala, Sr. Vice President, Ameriprise
  • Erik Erickson, CDO, Hennepin County
  • Prashant Gandhi, Chief Business Officer, Melio  
  • Justin Kershaw, Corporate VP & CIO, Cargill
  • Dan Johnson, Consultant
  • Tammylynne Jonas, CIO, Francesca's
  • Mike Martiny, COO, HRA-IQ
  • Janette Smrcka, VP of Information Technology, SoFi Stadium & Hollywood Park

Explore analytics coursework

Contact MS Business Analytics