Foster MSBA’s 50/50 Curriculum is a Standout Feature

MSBA student group graphic.

The Foster Master of Science in Business Analytics program has had nothing shy of a fruitful first two years. Originally established in June 2019 to meet the growing demand for business professionals with data analytics capabilities, the program has since exceeded expectations.

A Top-Ranked Program

In the QS 2021 Masters in Business Analytics Rankings, Foster MSBA ranked at #11 in the world, and at #5 in the U.S. amongst other leading institutions. The criterion that helped Foster MSBA standout includes the thought leadership of its faculty, the value for money of the program, and its alumni outcomes.

Additionally, two MSBA faculty members were recognized in 2020 as Scholars of the Marketing Institute. This prestigious acclaim was given to Oliver Rutz and Hema Yoganarasimham. Rutz is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Foster, a Marion B. Ingersoll Professor, and the founding faculty director of the Foster MSBA Program. Yoganarasimhan is an Associate Professor of Marketing, a Micahel G. Foster Faculty Fellow, and holds adjunct positions in the Computer Science and Engineering Department and the Department of Economics. Yoganarasimhan has also, been named the director of the newly established Foster Customer Analytics Center which aims to build relationships between businesses, researchers, and students in the fields of machine learning and marketing analytics.

Unparalleled Curriculum

Perhaps the invisible driver of highly satisfied alumni and leading faculty research is the intentional balanced design of the Foster MSBA curriculum. True to its goal in bridging the gap between big data and business, Foster MSBA boasts a curriculum that is approximately 50% business skills through courses like Financing and Accounting (BUS AN 500), Leadership and Professional Development (BUS AN 502), and Negotiations (BUS AN 501). Likewise, the program offers about a 50% curriculum focus on the technical side of business analytics through courses such as Programming Essentials (BUS AN 511), Data Management & SQL (BUS AN 512), and Machine Learning Methods & A.I. (BUS AN 517).

Furthermore, business and technical concepts are blended together in this award-winning curriculum through courses in Customer Analytics (BUS AN 513), Analytics for Firm Decisions (BUS AN 514), and Operations Research Data Analytics (BUS AN 516). Lastly, students are given the opportunity to be real-world business analysts through an industry-sponsored capstone project in the Business Analytics Practicum course (BUS AN 599) to culminate their MSBA degrees.

The curriculum is delivered in a lockstep manner with a small cohort design that allows classmates and faculty to foster life-long relationships with each other. The beauty of Foster MSBA’s 50/50 curriculum does not go unnoticed by its students or faculty members and it’s not something its competitor programs can also claim.

Student & Alumni Testimonials


“The blend of business as well as technology courses is what attracted me to UW Foster MSBA along with the reputation of the school and its professors.”


Isha Matle, MSBA Class of 2020


“The moment I learned of the Foster MSBA program, I felt like it was a great mix of my background. My bachelor’s degree was in Information Engineering, but I had been working in marketing since I graduated.”


Luna Jiang, MSBA Class of 2020


“The thing about Foster’s MSBA program is that it’s STEM-designated which is unique, and hard to find. It also has the blend of hard skills and conceptual knowledge that I was looking for in a master’s program.”


Caleb Aguiar, MSBA Class of 2021



“I knew I wanted a program that was in-between data science and business, that’s why I chose Foster MSBA.”


Josh Brooks, MSBA Class of 2021


“After receiving my undergraduate degree in economics, I knew I wanted to build upon both the business and technical facets of my potential, and after doing some research, I found that the Foster MSBA program fulfilled both.”

Wil Engstrom, MSBA Class of 2021

“For business analytics programs, I think this [Foster MBA] is the best one not only, because of the location of the school, but also because of the curriculum. While I was searching, I found that too many programs either overemphasized the business or technical aspects of business analytics but found that the Foster’s MSBA program had curriculum with an ideal 50/50 balance.”

Linjie Fu, MSBA Class of 2021


Faculty Testimonials


The Master of Science in Business analytics cohort is not an MBA cohort— our students are somewhere between business students and data scientists. They bridge those two domains very wonderfully.”


Russell Walker, Associate Professor of Marketing at Foster

“Our program is roughly 50/50 in terms of business management and hard data science skills versus many other programs that have a greater emphasis on the data science part. We know from talking to employers that if you can’t use data storytelling to communicate the benefit of your analysis correctly if you don’t understand the business environment and what questions to ask, often the analyses you’re spending time on aren’t really aiding your organization.”

Oliver Rutz, Associate Professor of Marketing and Marion B. Ingersoll Professor at Foster, and MSBA Faculty Director


Apply today to Foster MSBA and earn the degree of the future!

Related Reading:

QS World University Rankings Puts Foster MSBA at # 11 in the World, # 5 in the U.S.

MSBA Faculty Recognized as Marketing Science Institute Scholars


Written by Maryam Noor
MSBA Writer & Content Strategist
[email protected]

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