Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

MS-Business Analytics Program

A Master of Science degree in operations research and applied statistics

The MS - Business Analytics is a Master of Science degree combining operations research and applied statistics, using applied mathematics and computer applications, in a business environment; the program was formerly known as MS - Quantitative Analysis (MSQA). The subject of this unique program has helped our students get rewarding professional jobs and excel in all corners of the business world. The program is housed in the Department of Operations, Business Analytics, and Information Systems (OBAIS) in the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. We are not newcomers to this area -- the OBAIS Department has been offering this degree since the late 1970s and its popularity has flourished in recent years.

The MS - Business Analytics program has been officially designated as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program; see the STEM Education Coalition.  In addition, the program is included in "Big Data Analytics Masters Degrees: 20 Top Programs" by Information Week (January 8, 2013).

Depending upon background, full-time students can complete the program in as little as nine months (two semesters), though 12 months is more common; see a snapshot of the program for both full- and part-time students, which also contains the current year's tentative schedule of course offerings (on the second page).  Part-time students are welcome and accommodated by evening and late-afternoon class times.  Some financial aid is available, in the form of scholarships and assistantships, and is awarded on a competitive basis.  Placement is excellent, with relevant, interesting, and challenging positions as analysts in many functions, including supply-chain management, manufacturing, operations, health-care analysis, marketing research, financial risk analysis, information technology, and consulting, among others.  Some students continue into PhD programs, either in OBAIS or elsewhere.

A solid grounding in all of the fundamentals, plus flexibility, are the hallmarks of the program. Students who finish the degree are prepared with:

  • Mathematics program prerequisite courses in calculus (three semesters, through multivariate calculus), linear algebra or matrix methods, and a fundamental knowledge of computing and programming.  All of these mathematics prerequisites must be completed before starting the program.
  • Basic Business Knowledge program prerequisite or corequisite courses in any four of operations management, information systems, finance, accounting, marketing, economics, or management.  Students will be waived from as much as possible in this list, and any remaining courses needed can be completed during the program.
  • Program core courses in Optimization, Simulation Modeling, Probability Modeling, and Statistical Methods.
  • Four to seven elective courses (depending on credit hours) -- quantitative, technically-oriented courses from a wide variety of areas such as optimization analysis, simulation analysis, decision analysis, statistical modeling, data mining, statistical computing, data visualization, VBA programming, forecasting and time series, multivariate methods, case studies, operations management, supply-chain management, finance, marketing, computer science, statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology, mathematics, engineering, and others both inside and outside the Department and College.
  • Having researched, written, and presented a program Research Project.

Companies and organizations that have hired our graduates include (in alphabetical order):

A&P (Montvale, New Jersey)
Absolute Return Strategies (Cincinnati)
Alliance Data (Columbus) (Seattle)
American Greetings (Cleveland)
American Modern Insurance Group (Cincinnati)
Bank One (Columbus)
Best Buy (Minneapolis)
Booz Allen Hamilton (Washington, DC)
Burke Marketing Research (Cincinnati)
CareSource (Dayton)
Charles Schwab Investments (San Francisco)
Chase Manhattan Bank (New York)
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati Insurance Companies (Cincinnati)
Cincinnati Public Schools
Cintas (Cincinnati)
Citgo Petroleum (Houston)
CitiBank (New York)
Cognizant Technology Solutions (Teaneck, New Jersey)
comScore (Washington, DC)
Convergys (Cincinnati)
Credit First National Association (Cleveland)
CrowdStar (San Francisco)
CSX Railways (Jacksonville, Florida)
Cummins Inc. (Columbus, Indiana)
CUNA Mutual Insurance Group (Madison, Wisconsin)
DaVita (Tacoma, Washington)
d.e. Foxx & Associates (Cincinnati)
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Washington, DC)
DHL International, Ltd. (Cincinnati)
Direct Capital Corporation (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
Direct Options (Cincinnati)
Discover Financial Services of Morgan Stanley (Chicago)
Dish Network (Denver)
Duke Energy (Cincinnati)
dunnhumbyUSA (Cincinnati)
eBay, Inc. (San Jose, California)
Elder Research (Washington, DC)
Emery Oleochemicals (Cincinnati)
Epsilon Data Management (Cincinnati)
Equistar Chemicals (Cincinnati)
Ernst & Young (New York)
Ethicon Endo-Surgery (Cincinnati)
Fair Isaac Corporation (San Francisco)
Federal Home Loan Bank (Seattle; Pittsburgh; Cincinnati)
FedEx (Memphis)
Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati)
FirstGroup America (Cincinnati)
Firstar Bank and USBank (Cincinnati)
Ford Motor Company (Detroit)
Fortress Investment Group (New York)
Frontier Airlines (Denver)
Frontline Systems (Incline Village, Nevada)
Fulcrum Analytics Inc. (Fairfield, Connecticut)
GE Capital (Chicago; Cincinnati)
General Electric Aircraft Engines (Cincinnati)
Great American Financial Resources (Cincinnati)
Hewlett-Packard (Bangalore)
Household Credit Service (Las Vegas)
HSBC Bank Group (Chicago; Buffalo; Portland; Chengdu)

Hua Yue Environmental Technology (Shanghai)
Humana (Louisville)
i2 Technologies (Dallas)
IBM (New York)
INC Research (Cincinnati)
Information Resources, Inc. (Chicago; Cincinnati)
Integral Analytics (Cincinnati)
Javelin Marketing Group (Dallas)
JPMorgan Chase Retail Financial Services (Columbus)
Kalvin Business Solutions (Cincinnati)
Kendle International, Inc. (Cincinnati)
Kiva Systems (Boston)
Kroger (Cincinnati)
Landrum and Brown Airport Consultants (Cincinnati)
LDS Consulting (Cincinnati)
LeanCor Logistics (Cincinnati)
Lenscrafters (Cincinnati)
LexisNexis (Dayton)
Limited Brands (Columbus)
Manulife Financial (Toronto)
Marvell Technologies (San Jose, California)
McKinsey & Company (New York)
Mead Corporation (Dayton)
Medpace (Cincinnati)
Merck Institute (Washington, DC)
Metron Aviation (Washington, DC)
Morgan Stanley (New York)
MuSigma (Seattle; Bangalore; Bridgewater, New Jersey)
Nationwide Insurance (Columbus)
NDC Health Information Services (Phoenix)
Nielsen BASES (Cincinnati)
Nielsen Marketing Analytics (Chicago)
Orchestro (Washington, DC)
PayPal (San Jose, California)
Praxair, Inc. (Buffalo) (St. Louis)
Procter and Gamble (Cincinnati)
QinetiQ North America (Dallas)
RCI, Inc. (Parsippany, New Jersey)
R-Systems Inc. (Sacramento, California)
Sallie Mae (Cincinnati)
SAP (Atlanta)
Sogeti USA (Cincinnati)
SpaceX (Los Angeles)
State Farm Insurance (Bloomington, Illinois)
Sullivan Direct (Cincinnati)
The Advisory Board (Washington, DC)
The Ipsos Group (Cincinnati)
ThinkVine (Cincinnati)
TMK IPSCO (Cincinnati)
Travelers Insurance (Hartford)
Unifund (Cincinnati)
Union Pacific Railroad (St. Louis)
University of Cincinnati
University of Phoenix Apollo Group Inc. (Phoenix)
US Airways Decision Support (Phoenix)
U.S. Bank (Minneapolis)
Wal-Mart Supply Chain (Bentonville, Arkansas)
Walt Disney Company (Orlando)
Xtek (Cincinnati)
Yahoo! Inc. (Sunnyvale, California)

Our students and graduates have expressed great satisfaction with the program.  In an ongoing survey launched in late 2010 of current students and graduates going back to 1980, out of 106 respondents, to the statement "The MS - Business Analytics degree is valuable to my career," 66% said "strongly agree" and 28% said "agree" (94% total).  And to the statement "Overall, the MS - Business Analytics program was a valuable experience," 72% said "strongly agree" and 25% said "agree" (97% total).

Some unsolicited comments from graduates:

  • "Challenging business problems we faced on a daily basis in the (MS - Business Analytics) program make everyday business problems trivial. I always preach that the best employee would be somebody with a math or physics degree coupled with communication skills and business knowledge. I think the MS - Business Analytics program at UC is the closest program to this that I have ever seen."
  • "The great thing about the MS - Business Analytics program at UC is that it differentiates you -- it develops an analytical thinking style and provides you with the background to tackle any problem or project by viewing it as a quantifiable situation and thus solvable.  An MS - Business Analytics student is equipped with a toolbox to solve any problem in any field.  I myself, just since starting at UC, have worked for or been scouted by companies in military research, software development, marketing, logistics, transportation, copper mining, database design, polymer production, and, of all things, a cheese manufacturer.  My classmates have gone on in finance, sales, construction, auto manufacturing, sports analysis, and one with a corporate jet company."
  • "In an economy where Ivy League MBAs are struggling to find jobs, I will continue to recommend this program to my colleagues and friends.  After spending a couple of years in industry I feel like the MS - Business Analytics is one of the most undervalued programs in this field.  One thing unique about the program is that it gives a well-rounded exposure to statistics, operations research, and simulation, which helps a lot in real life."
  • "The MS - Business Analytics is a very unique program.  The blend of mathematical orientation and business perspective of the program gave me an edge over people from similar backgrounds.  The courses have exposed me to a variety of topics, and through electives I got a chance to concentrate on what I was interested in.  The diverse group of students brought different perspectives to the table.  Whenever possible, use of the latest software was incorporated into the courses, which helped me learn necessary skills to excel in my job.  Joining the MS - Business Analytics program was the best decision.  I will recommend this program to anyone without a second thought."
  • "The MS - Business Analytics program is THE best program one can opt for.  The program is a blend of statistics, simulation, operations research, and also business skills, which gives more options for a career path.  With this degree, looking for a job was a piece of cake!  It was a great education, with excellent teaching in a very good university.  Overall my MS - Business Analytics from UC is an important asset for my career.  I would highly recommend this program to everyone."
  • "I am happy to let you know that I am moving to a Senior Analyst position with my current employer.  I could not be more grateful for the training that I received from the MS - Business Analytics program.  The MS - Business Analytics is a great program that sets us way up in the job market with unparalleled knowledge and experience that every industry craves for.  The exclusive skill set that I achieved through the MS - Business Analytics put me in a position where I had multiple job offers from within and outside the organization.  And I am absolutely happy that I made the right decision to join MS - Business Analytics."
  • "I had my first appraisal in January and was rated Top Performer by management, so they have decided to promote me and I will be the project manager for the new graphic solutions business team.  Thanks a lot to you and to the MS - Business Analytics faculty.  If my skills are praised today the reason is the MS - Business Analytics faculty and the curriculum of the program."
  • "My company offered the position of director of finance to me, and I accepted.  I am now leading the finance and accounting departments at my company.  This is a great thrill for me, and (based on the fact that I started as an intern three years ago) I attribute this solely to the education I have received in the MS - Business Analytics program."
  • "Thank you very much for forwarding the open position emails from various employers.  My search for more rewarding employment began over a year ago but had been to no avail.  Two weeks ago I ended up receiving four job offers; two of them were through your forwards and one of which I have accepted.  I know you forward the emails as a courtesy/service to both students and employers, and that you're not necessarily vouching for us (the students) or the companies in doing so.  However, it was tremendously helpful and I doubt I would have found these opportunities without it."
  • "It is unusual to move from a junior analyst to a senior analyst in only 18 months, but I am glad to let you know that I just did it.  The business knowledge and quantitative skills I obtained from my education in the MS - Business Analytics program have not only helped me solve real problems in industry, but also differentiated me from other candidates in the job market.  Joining the UC MS - Business Analytics program was the best investment in my life, and now I am being rewarded."
  • "I will complete eight years with my company this March!  The company has been really good to me all along.  I've had the opportunity to work with multiple brands, multiple functions, and in multiple capacities.  I got the responsibility of our statistical modeling group for the past year.  I am very pleased to let you know that I am still using everything I learned from the program."
  • "It was certainly a life-changing experience, and I would not be where I am today without the program and your guidance."
  • "I would like to thank all of you for a truly fantastic program. This has been an invaluable experience and I gained practical knowledge and skills that will enhance my future work in both academia and the business world."
  • "I have enjoyed the program tremendously. It's quite well designed and I've found nearly everything quite relevant in practice and extremely interesting."
  • "I love the fact that everything you learn can be applied in the real world."
  • "The well-tailored coursework and the opportunity to work with real-life problems across various industries helped me broaden my knowledge across the retail, pharma, technology, and finance sectors. I recommend the program for the variety of modeling techniques it has to offer."
  • "The program was by far my most useful academic experience. I feel that I truly learned to apply theoretical ideas to real world problems and gained exposure to many software packages that are utilized by businesses. The faculty were extremely knowledgeable and helpful throughout the program and I will be singing their praises wherever I go in life. I was able to land a full time job, even before I graduated, in one of the toughest job markets in decades."
  • "Each class taught has an instructor teaching who is an expert in that field."
  • "Thank you for all the work you do inside the classroom to ensure that students receive the highest quality instruction and hands-on experiences. I also want to recognize the time spent outside the classroom cultivating external relationships and elevating the reputation of the program (publishing, speaking, consulting, taking leadership roles with academic and industry groups, refereeing journals, etc.). These efforts not only help connect students with potential employers, but the association with a strong UC MS - Business Analytics brand also makes them more competitive candidates. However, once a candidate is in the door, the time spent with excellent professors is what keeps them there. Thank you for being excellent professors and thank you for the investment you made in my future and that of my classmates.

The following five learning outcomes for the MS - Business Analytics program have been identified:

  1. Understand and apply quantitative modeling techniques, including probability, statistics, optimization, and simulation, to the solution of business problems.
  2. Achieve additional depth in one or more of the above techniques.
  3. Design cross-functional solutions for business problems, using standard and advanced business analytics technologies and software.
  4. Develop skill in modeling and quantifying in unstructured or new environments.
  5. Communicate findings effectively both orally and in writing.

So please explore the links on the upper left to learn all about our program, including Academics, Admissions, and Tuition & Aid.  Feel free to contact us with any questions -- 

David Kelton
Professor and Academic Director of MS - Business Analytics Program
525 Carl H. Lindner Hall