I intend to pursue a masters in business analytics in the United States. However, since this is a highly quantitative program, I doubt I will stand a chance to be admitted given that my undergraduate degree is in accountancy.

What are the options available for me to obtain the requisite quantitative knowledge? I think the Quantitative Studies for Finance program offered by Columbia University would be suitable but it is quite pricey.

Are there similar programs in other universities or alternative modes of study that can give me sufficient quantitative background to apply for grad school?

2 Answers 2


I don't think a Quantitative Finance program would be ideal preparation, given your undergraduate degree in Accounting. It's overkill, meaning you'd spend a lot of time (and money) to learn things that you won't need or apply to Business Analytics and NC State.

Instead, you could assemble the necessary knowledge and skills though a series of undergraduate courses, and even some on-line MOOC courses. The basics: single and multivariate calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics (based on calculus), a basic programming course (one of Python, Java, etc.), a mathematical programming course (MatLab, Mathematica, R, or Python + NumPy + SciKit). To this base you could optionally add one of the following: Data Science MOOC, a Decision Science MOOC, a Business Process Management or Total Quality Management MOOC, or even a Data Visualization MOOC. These MOOC courses will give you some knowledge of how the basic knowledge is applied to business analytic problems.

  • I did think of going the MOOC route. But the NC State and other university require courses taken for credit. So, that rules out MOOC courses, doesn't it?
    – inez
    May 25, 2015 at 13:32
  • @inez Not necessarily. You have all the credits you need from your undergraduate degree. Everything I am suggesting could be taken for non-credit, or credit -- what ever is available. What you can show through your application is that you got additional training to bolster your quantitative skills. These should also reflect in a higher Math GRE score, too. (Not that Math GRE covers any of these topics.) May 25, 2015 at 19:02

It really depends what kind of analytics masters program you're looking at.

For quantitative finance, you'll need a solid background of probability theory. It'll also be essential that you know the basics: i.e., calculus (single and multivariable), linear algebra and a decent amount of measure theory.

Good luck!

  • thanks for your feedback. I would like to do a masters in business analytics like the one offered by North Carolina State's Institute for Advanced Analytics. What kind of programs can I enrol myself in to gain the necessary college credits?
    – inez
    May 25, 2015 at 7:04

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