Specialized Master in Business Analytics

Students on steps at Fisher

We are looking for applicants who have a passion for analytics, are determined to succeed, and are willing to be challenged in an intensive program. Fisher's SMB-A graduate program has a diverse range of ages in our incoming class and highlights the ability of the program to help you at any point in your career journey. 

Your application to the SMB-A program should illustrate your academic aptitude, work experience (not required for admission), and your goals after graduation. The committee will thoroughly review essays, resumes, transcripts, and test scores to find candidates for the Fisher Specialized Master in Business Analytics program. It is critical that you present your strengths, involvement in community organizations or professional associations, and give us insight into your personal experiences and goals for the future. Be true to yourself, don’t just tell us what you think we want to hear... show us who you are and who you want to become.


The SMB-A program is test-optional for this autumn. Test optional means we allow you to opt-out of submitting GMAT/GRE test scores to be considered for admission.

 View the SMB-A Application Requirements


Due to the program's online format, the SMB-A program is unable to accept international applications for those with or seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa.

How much is previous statistical/software experience needed?

The SMB-A program welcomes all experience levels and statistical computing knowledge; however, we don't assume any specific background knowledge upon entry into the program. We see a wide range of capabilities when people first enroll. Some have lots of experience in Tableau, SQL, R or other software, while some have never done any of that before. As a primarily R-focused program, with some Python and other software in our courses, our business faculty will instruct you from the base levels to be conversant and capable with them in your day-to-day. It will undoubtedly help if you have experience with software or quantitative methods, but you can pick those methods up as you navigate the program.

As we evaluate whether you are a good fit for Fisher’s SMB-A program, we will consider four main categories:

  • Open/Close Accomplishments to Date

    We have found past performance to be an excellent predictor of future performance.

    To ensure that we recruit students who will help us continue to grow our base of successful alumni, we want you to tell us about your experiences to date and how those experiences have made you a better manager or leader.

    • An understanding of math is an important component of this degree. Ideally, SMB-A candidates would have a calculus class on their academic transcript.
    • Your resume will provide us with a sound overview of your past accomplishments.
    • Experience in fields such as; IT, computer science, or engineering - looking to move out of a technical role and use analytics to move into business management is valued, however, no work experience is required.
    • Be sure to offer concrete examples in your personal statement to demonstrate things like how you plan to utilize the degree to enter into or accelerate your career, how you landed that first job, used analytics within a team project, worked your way through college, or started a family and want to get back into the workforce.
  • Open/Close Leadership Potential

    Fisher is dedicated to developing business leaders who will make a difference, and our SMB-A Admissions Committee is charged with determining your leadership potential.

    • We will look at your past leadership experiences (or potential) and refer to your personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation. Leadership's many facets include integrity, empathy, curiosity, endurance, vision, communication skills, decision-making, and self-awareness.
    • We will look for examples from your life, as well as insights into any leadership experiences, potential, and experience beyond your immediate responsibilities.
  • Open/Close Smarts, Savvy, and Teamwork Abilities

    Joining a group of highly qualified individuals requires that you have strong academic capability, too.

    We will examine your overall academic ability, based on prior university records (GPA, etc.) and the results of the GMAT (optional for autumn 2021), as well as the quality and nature of your work experience. Your success is our goal and we want to ensure that you will be able to excel in our curriculum.

    However, having "smarts" goes beyond analytical abilities and a strong academic record.

    • We are interested in your ability to grasp complex concepts and models, your curiosity, and your passion for learning and expanding your horizons.
    • We are also interested in understanding how you interact with others. Team spirit and competence are critical to succeeding during your studies and in business.
    • Show us that you have the ability to be in touch with your own and others' emotions, that you are an able communicator who recognizes opportunities when they arise through interaction with others, and that you can stimulate the flow of ideas.
  • Open/Close Personal Qualities and Characteristics

    Because Fisher is a close-knit community, your personal qualities and contributions will have an immediate and visible impact on your classmates and the school’s environment.

    • We want to understand the characteristics that have contributed to your accomplishments to date and what experiences have made you the person that you are today.
    • We also want to understand the principles and ethical standards that are part of the intricate mix that makes you "tick" as an individual.
    • There are a number of qualities that we hope our students share, including being driven and hardworking, as well as having high ethical standards and a deep respect for others. However, we are not looking for conformity.
    • We strongly believe that diversity and differences in personality are critical to the dynamic and stimulating exchanges that are characteristic of our community. Be sure to share with the admissions committee what makes you, your background, and your accomplishments unique.
Contact Us

Whether you are in the beginning stages of your program search or you have already decided that one of Fisher's graduate programs is the right fit for you, we encourage you to connect with us.  

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