Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School Announce New Master’s Degree in Business Analytics

Dec 05 2017 | By Joanne Hvala | Photo credit: Jeffrey Schifman

Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School have announced a new full-time Master of Science in Business Analytics degree, with a three-semester curriculum designed for those who want to focus on learning the modeling techniques and data science tools that help businesses use data to make better decisions. A key element of the new degree program is a capstone project that provides an intense consulting engagement with clients and their real-world business problems using relevant data sets over the entire course of the three-semester study.

“The role of analytics has grown increasingly critical for most sectors of the economy,” said Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Columbia Engineering. “Our partnership with Columbia Business School combines our strength in data science, optimization, stochastic modeling, and analytics with their strength in data-driven decision-making for business and marketing to create a rigorous new Master’s degree program.“

About Columbia Engineering

Columbia Engineering, based in New York City, is one of the top engineering schools in the U.S. and one of the oldest in the nation. Also known as The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School expands knowledge and advances technology through the pioneering research of its more than 200 faculty, while educating undergraduate and graduate students in a collaborative environment to become leaders informed by a firm foundation in engineering. The School’s faculty are at the center of the University’s cross-disciplinary research, contributing to the Data Science Institute, Earth Institute, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Columbia Nano Initiative. Guided by its strategic vision, “Columbia Engineering for Humanity,” the School aims to translate ideas into innovations that foster a sustainable, healthy, secure, connected, and creative humanity.

About Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School is the only world-class, Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets with real-time exposure to the pulse of global business. Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the School’s transformative curriculum bridges academic theory with unparalleled exposure to real-world business practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in any business environment. The thought leadership of the School’s faculty and staff members, combined with the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and position in the center of global business, means that the School’s efforts have an immediate, measurable impact on the forces shaping business every day. To learn more about Columbia Business School’s position at the very center of business, please visit

The new MS in Business Analytics, developed in part by IEOR chair Garud Iyengar (left), equips graduates with a deep understanding of data analytics and its practical applications.

Jointly developed by faculty at both Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School, the MS in Business Analytics equips graduates for careers as analysts and associates in consulting firms, and business analysts and data scientists in the fields of financial and professional services, technology, advertising and media, and other professions where a deep understanding and practical application of data analytics are required.

“By tapping into the vibrant and diverse business ecosystem that can only be found in New York, Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering are uniquely situated to offer this new Master’s degree,” said Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School. “We see this as a must-do program for any future business person who wants to have a leg up in using data to make informed business decisions.”

Garud Iyengar, professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in Columbia Engineering; Costis Maglaras, professor and chair of Columbia Business School’s Decisions, Risk & Operations Division; and Kamel Jedidi, professor and chair of its Marketing Division, developed the curriculum and will teach in the program, along with other Columbia professors and industry practitioners.

One distinguishing feature of the MS in Business Analytics is the capstone project. From their first semester, students in the program work on consulting projects with companies using their own data.  “By working on real-world consulting projects, with real-world data, students will use the modeling techniques and data science tools to provide pragmatic solutions to the practical problems that businesses are facing today,” said Maglaras.

“Ever-increasing amounts of data have transformed marketing into a data-driven field,” added Jedidi. “Marketing and advertising have evolved rapidly and are continuing to change, which makes a foundation in business analytics even more critical in these professions.

Another key element of the MS in Business Analytics is access to career placement services. As a first step, students complete a required Professional Development and Leadership course and have access to dedicated career services.

“The MS in Business Analytics combines classroom instruction by distinguished Columbia professors with the experience of working on real-world problems via the capstone project course,” said Iyengar. “We expect this program to have 100 percent placement of its graduates as do our very successful MS in Management Science and Engineering and MS in Financial Engineering programs.”

Applications are now being accepted for the first cohort, which will start in September 2018. Students have the option of taking a summer semester and completing the Master’s degree in one year, or can choose to take three non-contiguous semesters (fall, spring, fall).

For more information about the MS in Business Analytics, please visit

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