This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Program goal

The Master of 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 goals

Students will be able to examine a situation/problem to determine a relevant data-driven analysis to provide valuable information for decision-makers and apply advanced analytical and quantitative skills to production and operations decisions. Students will be able to communicate analysis information and recommended decisions in a clear, ethical and transparent manner.

Student learning outcomes

Master of Decision Analytics core outcomes

  1. Database structures and query: Students will have an understanding of basic database structures, be able to query databases and organize data for analysis. 
  2. Quantitative skills: Students will be able to identify appropriate data analysis approaches to address real-world problems. They will be able to perform the analysis using commercial software. 
  3. Problem formulation: Students will have the knowledge, skills and practice to take nonquantitative and perhaps ill-formed problems and issues and determine ways objective analysis can bring organization and insight to them. They will be able to determine data requirements and query available databases. 
  4. Analytics applications: Students will experience various applications of analytics in real situations. 
  5. Technical communications and teamwork: Students will be able to communicate analytical analysis and results effectively to nonquantitative audiences, and will develop skills in organizing, interacting and analyzing real problems as members of a team. 

Production and operations analytics concentration-specific outcome

  1. Production and operations analytic skills: Students will be able to analyze data to improve the performance of production and operations processes.

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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

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

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.D.A. Fall Jul 1
Spring Nov 1
Summer Mar 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must submit an up-to-date resume.

International applicants may be required to submit an approved English proficiency score and/or course-by-course international transcript evaluation.

All applicants may opt to submit a GMAT or GRE score for consideration. Additional information can be found on the Graduate Studies in Business webpage.

Degree requirements

The decision analytics degree provides students with knowledge of quantitative skills and experience in analyzing problems and using data for decision-making in a business environment. The concentration in production and operations analytics prepares students to analyze and interpret production and operations data with the goal of improving forecasting, demand planning and quality management. 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. Students must also be proficient at an intermediate level with a spreadsheet. These prerequisites can be met after admission to the program.
  2. At the time of application, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts will be reviewed to determine if the following prerequisite courses and/or foundation course may be waived. A waiver may be awarded when a student demonstrates equivalent knowledge, such as completing the required undergraduate equivalent course to the satisfaction of the admission committee.

Prerequisite undergraduate and/or foundation courses

Prerequisite and/or foundation courses may be waived for students who present satisfactory equivalent preparation at either the undergraduate or graduate level. This determination is made by the faculty adviser at the time of admission.

Course Title Hours
Prerequisite undergraduate courses
SCMA 212Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business3
or MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
SCMA 301Business Statistics I3
Foundation course
SCMA 524Statistical Fundamentals for Business Management3

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Required core courses
INFO 601Database Management3
INFO 645Prescriptive Analytics3
INFO 648Business Data Analytics3
SCMA 632Statistical Analysis and Modeling3
SCMA 642Decision and Risk Analytics3
Concentration courses
SCMA 669Developing and Implementing Forecasting Methods for Business3
SCMA 675Operations Management3
SCMA 677Quality Management and Six Sigma3
Approved electives
Select six credits from the following:6
Fundamentals of Accounting
Managerial Accounting Concepts
Accounting Research
Accounting Analytics
Introduction to Econometrics
Mathematical Economics
Econometric Time-series Analysis
Panel and Nonlinear Methods in Econometrics
Financial Concepts of Management
Financial Analytics
Financial Modeling and Analysis
Foundations in Real Estate
Cases in Financial Management
Financial Intermediation and Analysis of Fixed-income Securities
Financial Management
Risk Management
Real Estate Development
Cases in Real Estate
Real Estate Valuation
Investments and Security Analysis
Real Estate Finance and Investments
Big Data Analytics with Cloud Platforms
Text Analytics
Securing Cloud Infrastructure
Security Policy Formulation and Implementation
Securing the Internet of Things
Information Systems for Business Intelligence
Business Policy and Strategy
Corporate Entrepreneurship
Marketing Management
Digital Marketing
Social Media Research
Marketing Analytics
Brand Strategy
Global Supply Chain Management
SAP ERP and Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Innovation
Strategic Logistics Management
Total Hours30

The minimum number of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 30.  

Austen Gouldman
(804) 828-4622

Additional contact
Graduate Studies in Business
(804) 828-4622

Program website: