business analytics charts

Graduate Certificate in
Business Analytics

Program summary

Develop the quantitative and managerial skills needed to analyze complex data sets and support data-driven business decisions. This online program provides a practical approach to deploying analytics in the areas of marketing, supply chain management, operations, and risk management.

Application deadline

Apply by July 20 to start August 26

Credits and costs

9 Credits $1,056 per credit

Online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

This program is AACSB accredited

Learn how to make informed, data-driven business decisions with Penn State's 9-credit online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics. Learn how to apply data analytics to meet your organization's business objectives — and leverage this information to gain a competitive advantage.

The Penn State Difference

Offered in partnership with the Penn State Smeal College of Business, you can learn from the same faculty who teach in resident programs at Smeal, which is AACSB–accredited and consistently recognized by employers for having outstanding graduates.

Business Analytics Curriculum: More Than Predictive Analytics

The focus of the business analytics curriculum is to explore and analyze data to support data-driven business decisions through the complete spectrum of analytics activities:

  • descriptive (what happened)
  • predictive (what will happen)
  • prescriptive (what should happen)

In addition to learning how to use optimization and forecasting techniques, you can gain a practical skill set to perform tasks in various areas of business, such as marketing, supply chain management, operations, and risk management.

The courses offer you the chance to build expertise in business analytics software such as:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Power BI Desktop
  • R
  • RStudio
  • Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
  • Solver (in Excel)
  • Generalized Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS)
  • Silver Decisions

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.


Through the curriculum of the 9-credit online business analytics certificate program, you can learn to explore and analyze large data sets to support data-driven business decisions through the complete spectrum of analytics activities: descriptive (what happened), diagnostic (why it happened), predictive (what will happen), and prescriptive (what should happen).

The business analytics program now offers a second intake. You have the flexibility to start this graduate program in either the fall or spring semester. By taking the three courses in sequential order, beginning with BAN 830, you can complete the required course work to earn the certificate on a part-time basis in as little as 12 months.

Required Courses (9 credits)

Because key concepts build from one course to the next, please plan to start with BAN 830, follow with 840, and finish with 550. Prerequisite includes previous work experience and/or academic background with statistics. Please contact the program at [email protected] for further information.

  • 3

    Explores the use of descriptive analytics concepts, tools, and techniques throughout a wide range of business scenarios and problems.

  • 3

    Explores the use of predictive analytics tools and techniques throughout a wide range of business scenarios and problems; includes a subset of methods such as neural networks, machine learning, social media analytics, and more.

  • 3

    Development of methods for prescriptive analytics with a focus on business supply side decisions and risk mitigation.

    • Prerequisite

      BAN 840

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester? Cost
11 or fewer $1,056 per credit
12 or more $12,678 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester? Cost
11 or fewer $1,067 per credit
12 or more $12,805 per semester

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Your certificate application should be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete:

  • Fall DeadlineApply by July 20 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.

Admission Requirements 

For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

Applicants should have knowledge or experience in quantitative work such as science, engineering, or business. The objective is to establish a baseline knowledge and to prepare the student for the advanced course work in this program. Applicants from other disciplines will be considered based on prior academic and professional experience. Qualified applicants should have successfully completed an undergraduate- or graduate-level course in statistics or be able to show significant experience using statistics in a professional capacity. If a foundation in statistics is absent, the program may require the completion of a fundamental STAT course prior to entry.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State but must list Penn State as part of their academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GRE or GMAT test scores are NOT required.

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Vita or Résumé — A one- to two-page listing of your professional experience. Upload to the online application.

Statement of Intent — Describe how your professional experience and goals align with the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics. Do not exceed 500 words. Upload to the online application.

Start Your Application

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

Begin the graduate school application

  • Choose "Certificate Admission" as the enrollment type
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
  • Choose "Business Analytics" as the certificate

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this degree program.


Ready to Learn More?

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by July 20 to start August 26. How to Apply

Start or Advance Your Career

Two business professionals reviewing numbers

You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

A Head Start toward a Master’s Degree

A figure standing halfway up a set of stairs leading towards a graduation cap

Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full master’s degree.

Degree Programs Related to This Certificate

Some or all credits earned for this certificate can be applied to the following Penn State World Campus degree programs:

Learn to strategically manage high-performance teams and solve complex, real-world business challenges. With more than 25 concentrations to choose from, you can customize this highly ranked online MBA to suit your unique career goals.

Learn more about the Master of Business Administration  

Build a practical skill set that can help you support data-driven business decisions. The business analytics option focuses on preparing students for positions such as business analyst and analytic system designer.

Learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics – Business Analytics Option  

Contact Us

Learn more about the Business Analytics Certificate, offered in partnership with the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

For general questions, contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

For questions about the program or your submitted application, contact:

Penn State Smeal College of Business
Professional Graduate Programs Office
Phone: 814-865-5290
Email: [email protected]


  • Rashmi Sharma

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Supply Chain and Information Systems, Penn State
    • Degree
      MBA, Supply Chain Management, Penn State
    • Degree
      Master of Computer Applications, Indira Gandhi National Open University
    • Degree
      B.S., Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Applications, University of Rajasthan

    Dr. Rashmi Sharma, assistant clinical professor of supply chain and information systems and managing director of the Laboratory for Economics, Management, and Auctions, will teach Predictive Analytics (BAN 840). Before coming to Penn State, she worked in the software industry and managed the development of business intelligence solutions for manufacturing. She has teaching and research interests in supply chain management, management science, business analytics, incentive design, and workforce management.

  • Chris Solo

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S., Operations Research, Air Force Institute of Technology
    • Degree
      B.S., Mathematics, Penn State

    Dr. Chris Solo, clinical assistant professor of supply chain and analytics, teaches Business Strategies for Data Analytics (BAN 530). Dr. Solo previously served more than 21 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he held leadership positions in the intelligence, acquisition program management, and operations research analyst career fields. During this time, he also served on the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy, teaching a variety of quantitative analysis courses. He is an active member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

  • Serkan Yilmaz

    • Degree
      Business Analytics, Wharton Business School Executive Education
    • Degree
      Ph.D., Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Nuclear Engineering, Hacettepe University

    Dr. Serkan Yilmaz works for Royal Philips HealthCare as a senior manager of global risk management, data analytics, and trending for the Philips corporate global risk management and post-market surveillance analytics team, which drives and executes the Philips global business transformation journey in the risk management, complaint handling, and post-market surveillance processes. He reports Philips Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to the senior executive team and provides insights using data analytics and problem solution techniques. He leads and provides coaching to business teams on medical device risk profiles, risk management, post-market surveillance, data analytics, statistical and trending methods, data insights, and problem solutions. Dr. Yilmaz brings 17 years of industry, engineering, research, and teaching experience with a diverse background in the following areas: manufacturing engineering, medical device industry, quality engineering, regulatory and compliance, medical device risk management, probabilistic risk assessment and reliability, Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Design for Six Sigma (DFSS), Design for Reliability (DFR), data analytics and trending, risk quantification, Measurement System Analysis (MSA), kaizen, uncertainty propagation, crystal ball forecasting, manufacturing process capabilities, Statistical Process Control (SPC), Design of Experiment (DOE), new product introduction, software and method development and validation, optimization methods, adjunct faculty six sigma, and nuclear engineering. Dr. Yilmaz teaches BAN 830: Descriptive Analytics for Business.

Penn State Smeal Advantage

More options, greater flexibility and a commitment to lifelong learning

The desire for knowledge and professional growth spans a lifetime. That is why the Penn State Smeal College of Business offers a portfolio of professional graduate programs for all stages of your career. In partnership with Penn State World Campus, Smeal makes it easy to customize a learning plan to your unique career aspirations and busy schedule. Penn State Smeal offers you a lifetime of learning with more concentrations and one of the most integrated, flexible offerings of online and residential programs in the United States.

Penn State Business building

An entire team dedicated to your success

Personal advising — Our experts will explain the many options that Penn State Smeal offers and will help you refine your career strategy and craft the educational experience best suited to your interests. It all starts with a simple, but critical question: “What are your goals?” 

Career coaching* — Our Alumni Career Services team will support you across all career stages with professional advancement opportunities and coaching to help you stay focused on achieving your goals.

Delivering the best of online and in-person learning for a rich educational experience

We understand that today’s professional learners want meaningful discussion and interaction with faculty and classmates along with the technologies and flexible approaches of contemporary online learning. By aligning the best of both worlds, we bring richness, depth, and diversity to the overall educational experience.

Courses designed to engage and motivate the professional student

Creative Teams consisting of a lead faculty member, a Teaching Support Specialist (TSS), and an Instructional Designer use advanced analytics to develop and deliver contemporary graduate courses that promote application and engagement. We strive to innovate in ways that others don’t. 

A real-world perspective

  • Industry professionals inside the virtual classroom — Many of Penn State Smeal’s courses feature industry professionals who have been in the trenches and work hard to make an impact every day. These individuals, most of whom hold a Smeal graduate degree, partner with our renowned faculty to provide a rich academic context with real-world application.
  • Global immersion* — This unique, optional experience will enhance your ability to communicate cross-culturally, adapt to evolving business environments, and manage the risks and benefits of operating on a global scale. Any student pursing a full degree from Smeal may participate in this optional, faculty-led experience for elective credit. Previous destinations have included Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Prague, Czech Republic; Santiago, Chile; and Zagreb, Croatia.

One of the largest and most influential networks in the country

At Penn State, you are part of a worldwide community of instructors, learners, and more than 750,000 alumni who support one another and make a meaningful impact. 

More than 90,000 Smeal alumni benefit from connections around the globe as well as networking events, podcasts, webinars, a powerful LinkedIn community, and opportunities for volunteerism.

Impact Smeal Day — This day provides alumni and professional graduate students with the opportunity to come to campus and interact with current students, network with other alumni, gain professional insights, and hear about college initiatives. The day is designed so that you can sign up for the sessions that work for your schedule.

* Services are available only to students and alumni of Penn State Smeal’s degree programs and online degrees led by Smeal and delivered through the World Campus. Students and alumni of online graduate certificates are not eligible to receive these benefits unless they are also enrolled in a degree program.

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by July 20 to start August 26. How to Apply