Practicum Team

Benchmark Studies

Each year the MSA is benchmarked against leading MBA programs with comparably-sized enrollment on two-dozen metrics using publicly available data. Why MBA programs? Because too few analytics and data science programs publicly disclose student demographics and outcomes with the thoroughness and consistency needed to accurately benchmark. Also, the variation in cohort enrollment size and program formats make comparisons difficult.

MBA programs have a long history of reporting student demographics and outcomes as a part of the annual ranking process conducted by organizations such as U.S. News. The data are reported under clear and consistent guidelines that make a fair benchmark possible. The Institute follows these guidelines in reporting results for the MSA program. Other analytics and data science programs are encouraged to do the same.

The MSA benchmark study is updated each year (in June) with the latest data from U.S. News. The schools used in the study may change from year to year based on the changes in the annual ranking or program cohort sizes.

Selected for comparison are the top-5 highest-ranked MBA programs with similar cohort sizes to the MSA program, enrolling between 80 and 120 students:

  • University of Washington–Seattle (UW)
  • Rice University (RICE)
  • Georgia Tech (GT)
  • Arizona State University (ASU)
  • University of Minnesota (UMN)

Based on publicly available data, the following metrics are used:

METRICS
Number of Applicants
Acceptance Rate
Enrollment
Enrollment Rate
% Female Students
% International Students
Length of Work Experience
% Work Experience
Age
Undergraduate GPA
% Seeking Employment
Number Seeking Employment
Average Base Salary
% Reporting Salary Data
% Employed at Graduation
% Employed 3-Months After Graduation
Signing Bonus
% Receiving Signing Bonus
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and Fees – Residents
Average Indebtedness
% Students with Debt
ROI Payback Period
ROI Payback Period – Residents

Practicum Team

2018 BENCHMARKS

Metrics

MSA

Top-5 MBA Programs

Mean

UW

RICE

GT

ASU

UMN

US News Rank (April 2018)

22

23

28

29

29

Number of Applicants

1032

708

1038

813

489

634

565

Acceptance Rate

14%

28%

22%

27%

31%

24%

37%

Enrollment

115

97

90

118

81

109

88

Enrollment Rate

78%

52%

39%

53%

53%

72%

42%

% Women Students

46%

33%

40%

29%

23%

41%

32%

% International Students

18%

28%

34%

30%

25%

32%

21%

Age

25

29

28

29

28

29

29

Undergraduate GPA

3.57

3.40

3.39

3.34

3.40

3.51

3.35

Work Experience (mo.)

38

63

68

66

54

67

59

% Work Experience

45%

98%

100%

98%

93%

100%

97%

% Seeking New Employment

99%

87%

89%

89%

86%

87%

84%

Average Base Salary ($000)

102

109

120

113

106

99

106

Reporting Salary Data

100%

82%

79%

90%

87%

78%

77%

Employed at Graduation

93%

79%

85%

83%

72%

74%

83%

Employed 3-mo. After Graduation

98%

95%

98%

94%

93%

96%

96%

Signing Bonus ($000)

10

24

32

27

25

15

23

Students Receiving Signing Bonus

68%

75%

75%

68%

74%

86%

72%

Tuition and Fees ($000)

47

94

97

112

40

112

107

Tuition and Fees – Residents

27

60

67

29

58

86

Average Indebtedness ($000)

34

57

45

69

64

41

65

Students with Debt

44%

42%

55%

39%

27%

39%

48%

ROI Payback Period (months)

28

45

33

43

43

57

49

ROI Payback Period – Residents

22

38

27

37

46

43

Source of business school data: U.S. News

Applicants – Acceptance Rate
Enrollment – Enrollment Rate
Women – International Rate
Prior Work Experience
Age – GPA
Grads Seeking Employment
Average Base Salary
Employed at Graduation
Signing Bonuses
Tuition and Fees
Indebtedness
Return on Investment


Annual Benchmark Report

The Annual Benchmark Report is updated and made available each year in April.

Practicum Team