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Apply to the MS Business Analytics Program

Applications are open for Fall 2023.

Admission to the MSBA program is highly competitive and strong quantitative skills are necessary in order to handle the coursework. Decisions are based on the individual’s previous academic accomplishments, work experience, test scores, personal statement, résumé, demonstrated potential for graduate and professional success, and references.

Fall 2023 Application Deadlines

  • Round 1 Deadline - November 15, 2022
  • Round 2 Deadline - January 15, 2023
  • Round 3 Deadline - March 31, 2023*
  • Round 4 Deadline - April 30, 2023 

In general, the admissions committee reviews applications on a rolling basis, however, the committee reserves the right to hold or waitlist an application to consider a candidate’s competitiveness within a larger applicant pool.

*Final deadline for international applicants requiring a visa.

Application Materials

It’s simple to apply online for the MS Business Analytics program. To speed up the process, here’s what you’ll need:

Application Steps: All Candidates

1. Begin the Graduate College application: All of the steps below must be completed online through this Graduate College application. Be sure to select Business Analytics from the ‘Program’ drop down under the section labeled ‘Proposed Program of Study.

2. Upload your unofficial transcripts: The unofficial transcripts must include applicant's name, institution name, and a transcript legend, grade scale, or grade criteria. If you are an international candidate, you need to also include a copy of your certificate of degree or provisional certificate of degree, if this is offered by your institution. If an offer of admission is made, the official transcript(s) are required to be submitted upon arrival to campus. If you've not yet completed your undergraduate degree at the time of application, we will review your application based on the in-progress unofficial transcripts you have uploaded.

3. Submit your GMAT or GRE score (optional): The GMAT or GRE is not required for the application, however, submitting the score does give us better insight of your potential ability in the program and can strengthen your application. The admission committee reserves the right to request GRE/GMAT reports if we are unable to make the admission decisions based on what you have submitted. Unofficial scores can be loaded into your application, but your official GMAT scores must be sent directly to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Institution Code – 1836. 

4. Upload your résumé: Your professional résumé should include personal information (name, address, telephone number and email address), educational background, work experience (start and end dates for each position and a brief description of responsibilities), internship experience, educational training, professional associations, and leadership experiences. Please limit your résumé to one page only.

5. Upload your academic statement of purpose: Your academic statement of purpose should specifically answer the following questions. Please limit your personal statement to 500 words or less.

  • Why have you chosen the MS in Business Analytics to further your education, and why do you feel it is a good fit for you given your prior education and experience? Please include your career aspirations upon graduation.
  • In your own assessment, what is your level of expertise with analytics? What software/language have you used for analytics and what is your level of expertise in each? If appropriate, state examples of how you have used analytics tools at work in class projects or work experience.

    6. Upload your optional essay: If you feel you need to explain an area of your application or if you have something you would like to share that was not addressed elsewhere in the application, you may upload an optional essay. Please note that no preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Also, use this place to upload a copy of any certificates or course information you have completed which can support your quantitative and/or technical skills. This information will further support your candidacy in this program.

    7. Gies Scholarship application essay: Gies College of Business offers a limited number of merit, need and diversity-based scholarships covering partial tuition for qualified students. All students who plan on enrolling for Fall terms are eligible to apply. Recipients will be selected based on need, academic standing, and essay submissions. To apply, indicate your interest in the application under the “Financial Aid” header by selecting “Yes” and then “Continue”. You can then upload your essay with your application.

    Please upload a brief (500 words or less) essay outlining one or more of the following topics:

    • Your need for financial assistance in order to pursue the program. 
    • How you have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity and/or inclusion via personal mentorship or community involvement.
    • Highlight your outstanding credentials including academic and/or leadership achievements, professional accomplishments and/or impact within your community that make you stand out as a candidate for merit scholarship.

    Essay submissions must be received with the application for full consideration for the scholarship.

    8. Video Questions (optional, but highly recommended): There is a video component in the application which will present two randomly assigned questions for you to briefly answer, and allow you to speak directly to the admissions committee via a recorded response. This video component is not required, however, submitting a video will strengthen your application and expedite the review process.

    9. Choose your references: Please choose three references from academic and/or professional sources. Providing at least one academic reference from a full-time, associate, or assistant professor is strongly recommended. Professional references should come from your supervisors and/or mentors who are able to speak to your abilities and skills. Once you enter their information into the online application, they will be notified to submit a letter of reference on your behalf. All letters of reference should be signed and dated by the recommender. It is preferred for the letter to be on an institution or company letterhead.  

    10. Pay your application fee: The nonrefundable application fee for domestic candidates is $70 and $90 for international students. Applications received without payment of this fee cannot be processed. The application fee cannot be refunded.

    Application Requirements: International Candidates Only

    1. Check admission eligibility: All international candidates should check the Illinois Graduate College Admissions Requirements for a Country to ensure your education meets eligibility requirements for admission. Please note that a three-year degree from India alone is not accepted as a comparable bachelor’s degree. These candidates will also need a post-graduate diploma or significant work experience to be considered for admission.

    2. Send us your English proficiency scores: If you are a non-native English speaker, you’ll need to upload your unofficial TOEFL or IELTS scores directly to your application. For IELTS scores, you should upload a copy of your official score card. TOEFL scores of 103 or greater or IELTS scores of 7.5 or greater are required for full-status admission. Also, due to COVID-19, we are able to accept Duolingo scores through August 1, 2023. Review the Graduate College’s English proficiency requirements for more details on full-status versus limited-status admission. Request your official TOEFL scores be sent electronically to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Institution Code – 1836).

    Some countries do qualify for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver if English is the primary language. A list of these countries is available at this website.

    3. Upload Program Essay 1: Your Program Essay 1 should specifically answer the following question. Please limit your essay to 250 words or less.

    • For international students seeking employment in the United States, realizing that the US job market is extremely competitive and challenging, if unable to secure employment in the US, what are your alternative plan(s)?

    4. Provide proof of funding and Declaration and Certification of Finances Form: In order for your visa eligibility document to be issued, we will need appropriate funding documents uploaded directly into your online application. This is not required for application review, but will be needed if you are offered admission.  International students are required to show proof of funding for living expenses in addition to all tuition and fees.

    5. Upload a copy of your passport: In order for your visa eligibility documents to be issued, we will need a copy of your passport information and photo, including dependents, if applicable. You can upload these directly into your online application. This is not required for application review, but will be needed if you are offered admission.

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