Barton School adding master’s program in business analytics


The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University has added a Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) to its wealth of degree options for graduate students.

The new MSBA was developed as an interdisciplinary program with resources and faculty from the Barton School as well as the College of Engineering and the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to address the growing needs of industry. Admission to this STEM-designated program is now open. 

“Technological advances are generating a massive amount of data in every field of business including operations, supply chain, marketing and finance,” said Dr. Sue Abdinnour, MSBA program director at the Barton School. “Analytics help turn big data into actionable insights that impact business strategy and decision making. The focus of this program is to train future business leaders on state-of-the-art analytics tools and techniques.”

The demand for business analytics in the marketplace has been steadily on the rise over the last decade and continues to climb. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, similar roles in this field are projected to grow by an average of 18%  by 2029 with salaries that more than double the national median. Previously, the Barton School met these demands with minors, certifications and even an MBA concentration. The MSBA takes Wichita State and the Barton School’s commitment to the next level.

“The Barton School is home to some of the best and biggest opportunities in Kansas,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, dean of the Barton School of Business. “This is the latest example. Our new MSBA program isn’t just preparing our students for the future, it’s giving them the tools to shape it.”

Classes officially begin in fall 2021. The 30-credit degree will offer two tracks:

  • Management Track, which focuses on developing capabilities to lead analytics initiatives.
  • Data Science Track, which aims to instill deep proficiency of innovative tools and techniques.

Both tracks will provide a foundation of business principles with courses in management information systems, finance, economics, computer sciences, mathematics, statistics and more. The capstone class for the program will have students work on a real-world project with a company or organization and apply their learning.

“There is huge demand locally, given Wichita’s size as a metropolitan area and the large presence of industry, health and other relevant areas,” Abdinnour explained. “There is also demand for this degree internationally. I expect our program to have a mix of local and international professionals already working in the analytics area from all types of disciplines. This mix will enrich the classroom experience for all.”

In addition to a separate master’s program, the MSBA will also be offered as an accelerated program to select undergraduate business students. This “4+1 program” will allow students to complete some courses in the program for undergraduate and graduate credit. Upon completion of their bachelor’s degree, these students will be able to finish their MSBA in just one year.

“We’re very excited about the efforts of Dr. Abdinnour and the Barton School to make this program a reality,” said Dr. Richard Muma, Wichita State University interim president. “Our university and community will greatly benefit from the students who earn this degree.”

For more information about this program and to learn how to apply, please visit

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