MS in Business Analytics & Information Systems

Overview

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The Master of Science in Business Analytics & Information Systems prepares students for growing needs in industry for expertise in business analytics, data science, data engineering, and information technology across a wide range of sectors including technology, banking, healthcare, consulting, energy, retail, entertainment, telecom, and many others. Our graduates secure internships and jobs in companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Tesla, Samsung, McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Cap Gemini, Booz & Company, Deloitte, Citi, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, SAS Institute, Amgen, Verizon, Disney, Paypal, TechData, Raymond James Financial, Quicken Loans, Publix, and Spectrum Brands. Starting salaries of our graduates are typically in the $100,000-125,000 range, with higher salaries for jobs on the West Coast.

We offer a strong industry-relevant curriculum emphasizing technology skills such as business analytics, machine/deep learning, SQL and NoSQL databases, agile methods, coding and scripting, networks and security, cloud computing, and big data. An advisory board consisting of senior business leaders and information systems executives works closely with the department to ensure that the program stays relevant and maintains high standards. Classes in the program are taught by a world-class faculty with PhD degrees from Harvard Business School, Princeton University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, University of Texas at Austin, Purdue University, University of Michigan, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University, Georgia Tech, University of Arizona, and many others. Students have the option of working in full-time or part-time internships and customized independent study opportunities with professors as part of the program.

The program also offers a suite of extra-curricular activities to complement our curriculum and to help our students improve their technology skills, internship and job placement potential, and career success. These activities include free technology bootcamps, certification programs, resume workshops, LinkedIn workshops, interview workshops, career fairs, and many others. Outstanding students will also have the opportunity to participate in practice center projects (mentored internships managed by the department) and get employment opportunities as teaching assistants or graduate research assistants throughout USF campus. 

ADMISSIONS

Admission to our program is extremely competitive. For the 2022 academic year, we received over 3,000 applications and admitted only 300 students. Although we admit students in Fall and Spring semesters, most or all of our seats are often filled in the Fall semester. We evaluate applications on a rolling basis and close the process when our student intake capacity is reached. Hence, interested international applicants are advised to apply early for the Fall semester because there is no guarantee that there will be seats available in Spring. Spring applicants may request that they be considered for Fall admission if no seats are available for Spring.

For the Fall semester, the deadline for application is February 1 for international students and July 1 for domestic students. For international applicants, we try to make our final admission decisions by April to give them sufficient time to get visa appointments at their local U.S. consulate or embassy. For the Spring semester, our application deadline is August 1 for international students and November 1 for domestic students. Note that we may not admit any student for Spring if we reach our annual student intake capacity in Fall. 

Our admission decisions are based on a “portfolio criteria” that includes the following components. Please note that incomplete applications (e.g., missing GRE scores, unless explicitly waived by us) will NOT be processed, until they are completed:

  •  Fully completed application, including payment of application fee
    • We do not entertain requests for application fee waivers.
  • A four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
    • We prefer applicants with technology majors such as computer science, engineering, etc., though we may also consider non-technology majors if they have demonstrated solid technology skills or have technology-focused work experience.
    • Applicants with a 3-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution must also meet the following requirements: (1) Minimum GMAT score of 650 or a minimum GRE score of 321 (combined verbal and quantitative), with a minimum of 25th percentile in the verbal portion of the test, and (2) if the 3-year bachelor’s degree is less than 120 hours from Non-Bologna Accord Institutions, a transcript evaluation from a NACES member is required to confirm equivalency.
  • GMAT or GRE scores
    • We strongly encourage in-center GRE/GMAT tests and discourage at-home or online tests.
    • The GRE/GMAT requirement may be waived for applicants with 3 years or more of relevant full-time work experience in information technology, information systems, or business analytics in the United States. Working in a foreign country for a U.S. client will NOT qualify for this waiver.
    • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in information technology, information systems, or business analytics from USF or equivalent U.S. universities with a GPA of 3.5 or higher may also request a waiver of the GRE/GMAT exam.
    • Applicants requesting such waivers should provide appropriate documentation justifying such waivers based on the above criteria. Waiver requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
    • International applicants are NOT eligible for GRE/GMAT waiver irrespective of length of work experience.
  • Relevant work experience in information technology, information services, business analytics, or related sectors.
    • This is a very important component of our admissions criteria. We will consider students with extensive industry experience, even if they have less than desired GMAT or GRE scores.
  • Two letters of recommendations.
  • A completed information form that we will send out upon receipt of your application.

In addition, all applicants must meet USF’s Admission and English Proficiency requirements. For international applicants, this means TOEFL scores, although we do not consider TOEFL score as part of our admission criteria. 

Admission Process

We get several thousands of applications, which are first reviewed by our Office of Graduate Admissions and then by our MS-BAIS program on a first come, first served basis. The admission decision usually takes 1.5 to 2 months, and visas for international students may take an additional 3 to 4 months, depending on appointment availability at your local consulate. Our admission decisions are first come, first served, and will close whenever we reach our intake capacity for the academic year. Our admissions process is as follows:

1. Examine our application criteria above to determine your suitability for our MS-BAIS program. If you wish to apply, submit your application, complete with GRE/GMAT scores, college transcripts, and other necessary details to USF Office of Graduate Admissions using our online portal.

2. The Graduate Admissions Office will notify you the receipt of your application, assign you a U number, review your application and supporting documentation, and if complete, will refer your application to the MS-BAIS program. This process may take up to one month, depending on their workload.

3. If your application is incomplete (e.g., missing TOEFL score, missing application fee, etc.), it will not be processed beyond this stage. Please check our online portal to see what is missing from your application. You can also contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 813-974-3350 or GradAdmissions@usf.edu (not the MS-BAIS program director) for further help in this regard.

4. If your application is forwarded to the MS-BAIS program, we will notify you by e-mail our receipt of your application and ask you to provide additional supplemental information via an online form. If you did not receive this e-mail, your application is likely still pending at our Graduate Admissions Office; contact them for the status of your application.

5. The MS-BAIS program will review your complete application and notify you the final decision on your application. Expect this process to take another 15-20 days. This is the end of the admissions process, but you still have a long way to go to join our program.

6. International students will now have to provide proof of funds for our Office of International Students to issue you an I-20. This may require a bank statement or a bank loan. Domestic students may skip to Step 8.

7. After receiving your I-20, schedule a visa appointment at your nearest US consulate or embassy. Depending on applicant volume, it may take months to get a visa appointment. If

you don’t get your visa appointment in a timely manner, you may have to defer your joining date to the following semester. Let us know if you choose to defer. If you change your mind and want to join another university, you will have to restart your I-20 process with your new university and get a new visa, which may further delay your arrival to the USA by several more months.

8. Inform us via e-mail when your visa is approved, so that we can register you for classes for your first semester. Your first semester classes are Data Mining (using Python), Analytical Methods in Business (using R), and Advanced Database Management Systems (using Oracle), if you meet program prerequisites. Students not meeting prerequisites will have to take remedial classes first, which may delay their graduation from the program.

9. Plan to arrive to our campus at least one week before the start of the semester. This is the time when we do orientation sessions and conduct free workshops (bootcamps) on R and Python – the two programming languages you must know for your first day of class. If you miss these bootcamps, it will be your responsibility to learn these tools on your own. Our professors don’t teach programming in class; they assume that you attended the bootcamps, are conversant in these tools, and are ready to use them to build statistical models and machine learning models in your first semester. This extra week will also help you find an apartment to stay, which are quite difficult to get at the start of any semester.

10. Upon arrival to the USF, apply for a USF ID card and NetID. NetID is your single sign on (SSO) access for USF computer systems, including our library, Canvas learning management system (which hosts all our class information), Oasis course registration system, Banner grade system, and many others.

Costs

Florida has one of the lowest tuition costs of all states in the United States. Our tuition and fees can be calculated using our online tuition calculator at http://usfweb.usf.edu/graduate-studies/tuition-and-fee-calculator/ (enter ‘Graduate (Business, Engineering)’ in the Program Level drop down menu; the MS-BAIS program is a minimum of 33 credits, not including any outstanding prerequisites).

As of 2022, the out-of-state tuition and fees for a two-year MS-BAIS degree for an international student is approximately $30,000. Students should also include another $15,000-20,000 for two years of living expenses while in the program.

Graduate Assistantships

We have a limited number of graduate (teaching) assistantships, which typically make students eligible for a lower, in-state tuition and pays for their health insurance during their term of assistantship, in addition to providing them a monthly stipend. Assistantship decisions are highly competitive and made on a semester-to-semester basis, based on students’ performance in prior semesters at USF, their work ethic, and their ability to assist us with undergraduate and graduate classes. For example, we will only hire students with a strong background in statistics as teaching assistants for our statistics classes. Assistantships are not available in your first semester at USF, but will be available from the second semester onwards, based on your performance in prior semesters at USF. Note that assistantships are not merit-based or need-based scholarships, they are on-campus jobs, for which you are expected to work for 20 hours/week as assigned by your supervising professor.

Additional on-campus job opportunities are available as graduate assistants in other offices, departments, and centers on the USF campus, for example, at our Dean’s office, the Provost’s office, at USF Library, our INTO program office, USF Morsani Center of Medicine, USF Center for Urban Transportation Research, and other departments on campus. These jobs typically require specific skills such as Power BI, coding, and so forth. These are university-wide positions, and

students are selected based on their fit with job requirements. Our students are often considered favorably for these positions because of their strong technical skills. Only students already enrolled at USF have access to such positions on an internal USF portal. Incoming international students cannot apply for these jobs from their home countries.

Students can also do paid full-time or part-time internships at a US company for a maximum of 12 months as part of the curricular practical training (CPT) option of the program, while fully retaining their 18-month optional practical training (OPT) to secure a job and a work visa upon completion of their MS-BAIS degree. You must complete two semesters of coursework at USF to be eligible for an internship. Our students often get internship positions in prestigious companies like Amazon, BMW, and JP Morgan Chase, and many of these internships often convert into full-time positions upon graduation.

CURRICULUM

The Master of Science in Business Analytics & Information Systems requires 33 hours of coursework, plus any necessary prerequisite courses, and may be taken either full-time or part-time. This includes 15 credit hours of required courses (core courses and capstone) and 18 credit hours of electives. Typically, most courses are 3 credit hours. Full-time students with appropriate prerequisites may be able to complete the major in 3-4 semesters of study. Part-time students will typically need from 2-3 years to complete the degree.

Optionally, students can choose one of three possible concentrations—analytics and business intelligence, Fintech, and information assurance—by choosing a certain set of elective courses recommended for each concentration. The required courses are the same for each concentration. However, a concentration is not necessary to complete your degree.

For details about our required classes, electives, and prerequisites, please refer to our catalog. For more information on our coursework or prerequisite requirements, feel free to contact the program advisor below. 

Global executive Program

This Global Executive Master of Science in Business Analytics & Information Systems program is designed for full-time, working professionals worldwide. This is a fully online program with 100% live instruction that combines information systems and business analytics courses. This program offers a predetermined set of required and elective courses in a lockstep format, without the flexibility or customizability of our regular program. Since students in this executive program are already full-time working professionals, our extracurricular support (bootcamps, internships, job placement, etc.) are not available to students in this program.

CONTACT

Han Reichgelt
Program Advisor, MS in Business Analytics & Information Systems
School of Information Systems and Management
Muma College of Business
Phone: (727) 873-4786
muma-msbais@usf.edu