About the MSBA Search Tool Data

How were these universities identified?

The first set of 29 universities came from the 2019 Qs Business Masters Rankings: Business Analytics. We looked at schools that were ranked in the top 50 worldwide, and then selected those that were in the United States.

Because many degrees are new and not eligible to be ranked by QS, or had not yet participated in the ranking, we also expanded to the 50 universities from U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 National University Rankings.  We then looked specifically at each of these universities to see if they offered programs in analytics or quantitative management. While there was some crossover in the two lists, we added another 21 universities bringing the total data set to 50.

How was the data collected?

We identified six key factors for choosing an MSBA program:

  • Average GMAT score
  • Length of practicum project
  • Geographic location
  • City type
  • Tuition
  • Class size

The data was confirmed from university websites in January-February 2019. There is a wide variation of data that schools share on their websites, and how often the schools update their profile. While the data was collected from the websites in early 2019, there were instances where the only information available was for entering classes of 2017 or older, or not listed. We recommend checking directly with schools’ admissions teams for potentially updated data.

Average GMAT score

At each school, we searched for “class profile” on the school website. Only GMAT averages scores were entered into the database. There was a wide range of test score reporting – some reported mid-80s, others reported only GRE quantitative scores or percentiles.  If a GMAT average was not listed, we left the field blank.

Practicum length

The practicum length was obtained from the program’s curriculum. The capstone projects and practicum projects were considered as valid data IF it noted opportunity to engage with corporate clients.

Geographic location

The location of a school was tagged “North-East”, “West”, “Midwest” and “South” based on the classification at ResearchGate.

City type

City type is based on information provided on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website: May 2018 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Definitions.


Tuition was obtained from the schools’ websites in January-February 2019. In some instances, tuition was stated for classes that had entered more than one year ago, so candidates should check each school specifically for the more information.

Is this a ranking tool?

No. We started with two media rankings in which schools submitted their data. We used that information to create a baseline dataset. Our MSBA Search Tool is meant to help prospective students find the best fit based on their preferences across six high-interest fields. 

We used both information from the 2019 QS Business Analytics rankings and U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 National University rankings as well as information from program websites. 

If you have further questions, you can contact:

  • If you are a prospective student or a representative from a fellow university: Amy Russell, Executive Director, MSBA
  • If you are from a media entity: Tim Akin, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications

How can I update our schools’ information?

  • If you are a school administrator with updated information, please send that information to Amy Russell, UC Davis MSBA Executive Director. Please also include a link with updated public information on your school’s website.