Students aspiring to sharpen their analytic and quantitative skills are well served at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Boasting a faculty that includes multiple Nobel Prize winners, Tepper has pioneered “management science,” a supplement to traditional case studies that draws on more scientific—rather than historical—strategies for complex business decision making. Management science depends on tools such as computer modeling, organizational behavior, and economic theory.
In addition to this overall “quant” emphasis in its curriculum, Tepper offers an MBA track for Business Analytics. In the track, students are immersed in highly focused computational analysis, examining different theories of finance, stochastic calculus modeling, and statistical methodologies, in addition to the managerial skills they learn in the MBA program’s marketing, strategy, communications, and operations courses. While such schools as Chicago Booth and Columbia Business School may garner a higher rank for careers in finance, few MBA programs offer such uniquely intensive academic resources for a specialization in business analysis.
Elsewhere in the state, Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business is perhaps best known for balancing traditional course work with immersive learning. Smeal’s modular curriculum structure includes eight modules over the course of the two-year MBA program. The program begins with the week-long orientation program, after which students take the week-long course “Concentration Intensive,” during which they participate in various seminars to learn more about the program’s four available main concentrations. The second course module, for example, focuses on such themes as “Foundations in Finance” and “Economics for Managers.” The “Communication Skills for Leaders” course runs through the entire first year and is described on the school’s website as “a signature hallmark of the Penn State Smeal MBA experience.”
Smeal’s curriculum also includes a required international experience component, the “Global Immersion,” which takes place in the second year. Students travel to such countries as South Africa, Croatia, and China to visit international organizations across various industries.