Program accreditation
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Note: Contact the Graduate Studies in Business office at or (804) 828-4622 for admission information about this program.

Program goal

The Master of Science in Business with a concentration in decision analytics provides students with knowledge of the statistical, mathematical and scientific skills and experience necessary to utilize advanced methods of data analysis for business decision-making.

Student learning outcomes

  1. After examining a situation/problem, students will be able to develop appropriate hypotheses along with a method for testing them and be able to draw logical conclusions and make reasonable decisions based on available information.
  2. Students will be able to apply quantitative procedures to obtain solutions for real-world problems.
  3. Students will be able to appropriately address the target audience, use proper organization, create clear graphical displays and express ideas with clarity and grammatical correctness.
  4. Students will be able to show a clear understanding of the ethical nature of the issue and recommend appropriate action.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Business policies and procedures for graduate master’s degree students are available on the school’s website at

Note: Contact the Graduate Studies in Business office at or (804) 828-4622 for admission information into this program.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.S. Fall Jul 1 GMAT or GRE
Spring Nov 1
Summer Mar 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants to the master’s program in business must submit an up-to-date resume.

Note: Contact the Graduate Studies in Business office at or (804) 828-4622 for admission information into this program.

Degree requirements

The concentration in decision analytics provides students with knowledge of quantitative skills and experience in analyzing problems and using data for decision-making in a business environment. Depending upon individual student interests and adviser approval, the required nucleus is supplemented with relevant elective courses from within the School of Business or from outside departments.

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements:

  1. All students must have completed a course in calculus prior to attempting graduate business courses. This prerequisite can be met after admission to the program.
  2. Students must complete up to four classes (zero to 12 credit hours) of foundation course work. At the time of application, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts will be reviewed to determine if the following courses may be waived. Waiver of a foundation course may be awarded when a student demonstrates equivalent knowledge, such as completing the required undergraduate equivalent course with minimum grade of C.

Curriculum requirements

SCMA 212Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business3
or SCMA 500 Quantitative Foundation for Decision-making
Foundation courses
SCMA 524Statistical Fundamentals for Business Management3
Select three of the following:9
Fundamentals of Accounting
Concepts in Economics
Financial Concepts of Management
Database Systems
Management Theory and Practice
Concepts and Issues in Marketing
Fundamentals of the Legal Environment of Business
Required core courses
INFO 664Information Systems for Business Intelligence3
SCMA 632Statistical Analysis and Modeling3
SCMA 645Management Science3
Additional requirements
Select three of the following:9
Analysis and Design of Database Systems
Data Mining
Applied Multivariate Methods
Analytics for Organizational Decision-making
Developing and Implementing Forecasting Methods for Business
Quality Management and Six Sigma
Approved electives
Select four of the following:12
Managerial Accounting Concepts
Introduction to Econometrics
Managerial Economics
Real Estate Investment Analysis
Investments and Security Analysis
Data Re-engineering
Data Warehousing
Business Policy and Strategy
Guided Study in Management
Marketing Research
Stochastic Simulation
Machine Learning Algorithms
Decision and Risk Analysis
Operations Management
Total Hours45

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 45 (30 if prerequisite and all foundation courses are waived)

Graduate program director
Colleen Androvich Davis
Senior director, master’s programs
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Additional contact
Jana P. McQuaid
Associate dean, master’s programs
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Program website: