Master of Science in Business Analytics

Mission Statement

The Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program is dedicated to developing students who can demonstrate a proven ability to utilize data to create value- added solutions for important business challenges. Graduates from this degree program are able to apply critical thinking skills to solve complex business problems; classify data sets and select the appropriate analytical tool; generalize the necessary theoretical, mathematical, and statistical concepts to ensure data is properly analyzed; acquire data from a diverse population of computer storage systems, execute in a team environment; and communicate complex analytical results to business managers.

MSBA Program Overview

The Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) degree is a 30-hour program and modeled after a cohort style, with students starting together each fall, spring, and summer. The MSBA program is comprised of 10 courses, with all courses being offered in an entirely online format. MSBA students will take a maximum of six (6) credit hours per semester. MSBA courses are available for students admitted to the MSBA program only. Other LMU students may attend a MSBA course with permission from the program director.

Expected outcomes of the MSBA include:

  • MSBA1 Apply critical thinking skills to solve complex business problems
  • MSBA2 Classify data sets and select the appropriate analytical tool
  • MSBA3 Generalize the necessary theoretical, mathematical, and statistical concepts to ensure data is properly analyzed
  • MSBA4 Acquire data from a diverse population of computer storage systems
  • MSBA5 Execute in a team environment
  • MSBA6 Effectively communicate complex analytical results to business managers

MSBA Admission Requirements & Procedures

Applicants must submit the online application for admission, a personal statement, the $50 application fee, a current resume, official transcripts showing the completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.75 GPA, official transcripts of all other undergraduate and graduate course work from accredited institutions, and two (2) recommendation letters from professionals in the field who are familiar with their work and ability and can, therefore, evaluate potential for success in the graduate program.

International students must have a minimum score of 70 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a six (6) on the IELTS exam. In cases where a foreign student is otherwise qualified for admission to the program, but his/her TOEFL score indicates the need for additional English language instruction, he/she might be admitted conditionally to the program pending satisfactory completion of the necessary courses.

If an applicant, domestic or international, has completed their bachelor’s degree in a country other than the United States, the applicant is required to submit a degree evaluation report from a reputable credentialing service (WES – World Education Services, that demonstrates degree and course equivalency. The official report for each degree evaluation report must be submitted directly from the credentialing service and provided to the School of Business; Graduate Department; 421 Park 40 North Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37923.

The admission decision is based on an evaluation of all application materials submitted by the individual. The following are criteria utilized in the decision process:

  1. MSBA Application
  2. Previous work experience
  3. Undergraduate GPA
  4. Graduate GPA
  5. Course work in business, calculus, & linear algebra
  6. Two (2) recommendation letters
  7. Personal statement

MSBA Handbook

Upon admission, MSBA students will be provided with the School of Business Master of Science in Business Analytics Handbook. This handbook outlines policies and procedures pertaining to the MSBA program. Students are required to thoroughly read the handbook and sign the Lincoln Memorial University School of Business: Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) Consent Form. Students will not be allowed to register if the consent form has not been signed and submitted to the appropriate personnel.

Maximum Program Completion

Students who enter the MSBA graduate program must complete their studies for their graduate degree within five
(5) years after initial registration. An extension may be requested of the Program Director for personal or professional reasons.

MSBA Graduation Requirements

No student will be allowed to participate in Commencement exercises until all degree requirements have been met.

The following requirements must be met for earning an MSBA degree:

  1. Completion of 30 semester credit hours of approved MSBA courses in the part-time or full- time MSBA program.
  2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B)
  3. The receipt of no more than two course grades of ‘C’ or below.
  4. Completion of all outcomes assessment testing and activities
  5. The completion of the MSBA degree within five (5) years
  6. Payment of all fees

Final Evaluation for the MSBA Program

As part of the outcomes assessment procedures, students are required to complete the following items prior to graduation:

  • An exit interview
  • All graduating student surveys

Degrees and Certificates


MBA-540: Business Analytics for Decision Making

Credits 3

This course provides an overview of analytical methods commonly used within business environments. The focus is on the applied use of analytical methods to make better business decisions and improve customer and shareholder value. The course provides fundamental concepts and tools needed to understand the emerging role of business analytics, and applies basic methods in descriptive, inferential, predictive, and prescriptive analytics to provide insights into business problems and decisions. Foundational statistical and data analysis methods used to enhance business decision-making are examined. This course also examines the use of spreadsheets for data manipulation, descriptive visualization and summarization, statistical analyses, and decision modeling.

MBA-635: Marketing & Sales Analytics

Credits 3

This course explores the use of data, statistics, and technology for the purpose of driving marketing decision-making and problem-solving. Students will examine the processes involved with tracking, measuring, and analyzing data within the marketing and sales context to improve pricing, product development, segmentation, targeting, advertising, sales, customer relationship management, and client lifetime value.

MSBA-514: Statistical Methods for Business Analytics

Credits 3

This course focuses on the fundamentals of statistical thinking and statistical problem-solving. Topics include using current statistical software to analyze data sets, interpreting the outputs, and applying the information in the data for decision-making.

MSBA-516: Business Intelligence & Communication with Data

Credits 3

This course applies business intelligence technologies to the vast amount of data in business systems for more effective and efficient decision-making. Topics include data acquisition, visualization, reporting with dashboards, scorecards, graphical methodologies, and developing reports.

MSBA-520: Programming Methods for Business Analytics

Credits 3

This course applies analytical programming methods and logic to business data sets to support analytics for gaining business insights. The course’s aim is to develop a foundation for using programming methods as tools for accessing data from external sources, preparing data sets for analysis, managing and transforming data sets, and working with variables, logical operators, and functions to be able to perform fundamental descriptive and inferential statistical methods.  This course uses fundamental programming language concepts to import, organize, analyze, and report findings. Topics include analytical programming, control structures, operators, functions, structures, and plotting.  The current programming language used in this course is the R programming language with a brief introduction to Python.

MSBA-521: Data Acquisition & Management for Business Analytics

Credits 3

This course examines alternative approaches to decision modeling and statistical analyses for business applications. Topics include the role of business analytics to gain value from data, data acquisition, interpretation of data, foundational elements of database management, and managing big data in an organizational setting. In this course, structured query language (SQL) is used to express decision making and analytical needs, explore datasets, sort, and process information from raw data to generate analytical results for key business insights. The course also discusses the impact of big data on organizational data-based systems and processes.

MSBA-522: Data Mining Methods for Business Analytics

Credits 3

This is an introductory course on data mining within a business context.  This course introduces the basic concepts, principles, and methods of data mining, and focuses on applications of data mining for problem solving and business decision-making. An overview of the core ideas and steps in the data mining process is presented. The principles and techniques associated with key areas of data mining are covered, including pattern discovery, prediction, classification, cluster analysis, and time series analysis.  The implementation of techniques will be through the application of an analytical programming language.

MSBA-620: Accounting & Financial Analytics

Credits 3

This course is dedicated to the application of quantitative analytical tools to leverage the value of financial and accounting data for improved decision making and financial risk mitigation within the organization.  In this course, an analytical approach is used to critically question financial and auditing data, to transform and manipulate data to investigate issues and questions, and to effectively interpret and summarize results for stakeholders. Issues specific to accounting and financial data sets are explored using spreadsheet-based and statistical programming techniques.

MSBA-624: Process, Operations, & Supply Chain Analytics

Credits 3

This course is dedicated to the application of quantitative analytical tools related to the design, management, and improvement of business systems and processes.  The aim of this course is to apply approaches and methods to improve effectiveness and efficiency of essential business and supply chain processes, including demand and capacity planning, facility location, inventory planning, production control, and quality improvement.  Analytical methods and analysis techniques to support the design and improvement of the key business processes that add value through improved performance are covered. Key issues related to the design and management of operational processes and supply chains are analyzed using both deterministic and statistical quantitative methods such as linear programming, forecasting, simulation, and statistical process control methods. 

MSBA-640: Decision Analysis, Modeling, & Experimentation

Credits 3

This course is designed to introduce business students to the use of quantitative tools and methods for structured decision making and more effective problem solving.  This course is dually focused on business problem formulation and quantitative decision analysis tools and methods. The course provides an overview of problem-solving tools and techniques and develops skills necessary to formulate, evaluate, and communicate solutions based on evidence and data.  Secondly, it presents core methods and techniques for data-driven decision analysis. Students will apply predictive, prescriptive, and experimental analytical methods and techniques to improve managerial decisions. During this course, students will learn to develop and implement a data acquisition and analysis plan appropriate to the problem(s).