Does an Online MBA Require Statistics?

Prospective students interested in an online Master of Business Administration program often ask about the math needed for an MBA. Most online programs require enrolling in MBA statistics. Statistics is the study of data collection, measurement, analysis, organization and presentation. Students who enroll in an MBA statistics course learn how to use data to solve economic problems.

About MBA Statistics

Not all online MBA programs refer to statistics in the course title. For example, “Quantitative Methods for Business” covers MBA statistics. In this course, students learn quantitative concepts and how to apply them to decision-making in business.

Here are some of the topics a typical statistics course covers:

  • Quantitative analysis for business decisions.
  • Descriptive statistics to describe what data reveals.
  • Inferential statistics to draw conclusions beyond the data.
  • Analysis of variance, or ANOVA, for the differences between two or more means.
  • Graphical and tabular presentation of data with spreadsheets.

The data that businesses collect can have little meaning in and of themselves. Statistics provides students with the tools to convert a sea of numbers into useful information.

Math Needed for an MBA

Students pursuing an MBA may not come from a business background. Even so, they are likely to have taken math courses as undergraduates. That math may be enough to enroll in an online MBA program without the need for an additional prerequisite.

Talk to your adviser to learn about the preparation required for an MBA program. If an online MBA program has an undergraduate math prerequisite that you are missing, look into taking the course at a local community college. Before you sign up for the course, be sure to verify that the credits will transfer to your MBA program.

Most online MBA programs offer different concentrations. Some require more math than others. For example, an MBA with a marketing or management specialization may have fewer math requirements than one with a business analytics concentration. Nonetheless, most MBA programs require statistics.

Benefits of Taking MBA Statistics

Statistics can help students answer everyday questions that arise in business such as the following:

  • How did sales perform last month?
  • What product should we ship and when?
  • What will profits be in one, three or six months?
  • How many samples should we test to certify a batch for release?
  • What is the average product sales for all regions?

Completing statistics coursework can provide you with skills to help you in a number of ways:

  • Know what to measure and how.
  • Analyze data in multiple ways.
  • Build repeatable processes to ensure high quality results.
  • Get an accurate snapshot of a representative group.
  • Gain confidence in decision-making.
  • Make connections between two variables.

You can prepare for a quantitative analysis course by watching online videos or taking a free massive open online course, or MOOC. Contact the MBA program you are interested in for suggestions on preparing for MBA coursework. Some programs offer math reviews.

Students can learn how to draw conclusions from a variety of data by completing MBA statistics coursework. The ability to interpret data and use the findings in decision-making is valuable in today’s business world.

Learn more about the University of Tennessee Chattanooga online MBA program.


Houston chronicle: The Importance of Statistics in Management Decision Making

U.S. News & World Report: Get a Head Start on Business School by Improving Quantitative Skills

Forbes: Heading to Business School? An Essential Pre-MBA Strategy to Hit the Ground Running

4 Courses That Can Prepare You For An MBA

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The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; or call 404-679-4500.

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