Prerequisites

The MSBA Program is highly intensive and quantitative.  In order to cover all the material in ten months, there are specific prerequisites that must be completed prior to enrollment in the program: Probability & Statistics, Linear Algebra, R Programming, Python Programming and Business Foundations.

W&M students should consult the W&M Advising Guide to see the list of W&M courses that will satisfy the prerequisites. Other prospective students should submit syllabi to the MSBA office for approval of the courses relating to the prerequisites. In some cases, prior courses may have given substantial exposure to R and Python programming although the course titles do not explicitly reference those programming languages.  In those cases, the MSBA Office will evaluate the syllabi and written explanations from applicants for sufficiency.  For online courses, an applicant must either provide documentation from the provider that the course was successfully completed or else take a competency exam that the MSBA Office will administer.  If you have any questions, please email the MSBA program office at MSBA@wm.edu.

Guidance for Fulfilling Prerequisites

Probability and Statistics:  This prerequisite can be met by the following:

  1. University coursework (including community college) in Probability & Statistics. If a student has taken AP Statistics and/or Probability, an additional higher level college level course must be completed. There are online classes offered through University of Maryland's University College (UMUC-Intro to Statistics) and Virginia's Community College System (VCCS - MTH 240) that have been pre-approved by the faculty. If you plan to take an alternative course in Probability and Statistics, please submit the class for curriculum approval before enrolling.

Linear Algebra: This prerequisite can be met by one of the following four options:

  1. University coursework (including community college) in Linear Algebra: Please submit a transcript and a syllabus for the course. 
  2. Complete a self-study of the Linear Algebra concepts that are required for the program and successfully complete a competency test that will be provided by the MSBA Program.  Click here for details on self-study.
  3. Register, attend and complete the MSBA program's one-week Linear Algebra Boot Camp on site at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business.  
  4. Complete the following free online MIT linear algebra course and then successfully complete a competency test that will be provided by the MSBA program by emailing MSBA@wm.edu.  MIT course: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-06sc-linear-algebra-fall-2011/
Python Programming: This prerequisite can be met by one of the following four options: 
  1. Submit a syllabus from a previous course that demonstrates a significant exposure to Python programming which will be evaluated by the MSBA Admissions Office.
  2. If you have taught yourself Python, you can request a competency test from the MSBA Program Office prior to enrollment.  See here for more details on references on self-teaching via books and online resources.
  3. Register, attend and complete the MSBA program's one-week Python Boot Camp on site at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business.  
  4. Complete both of the following online courses offered through Coursera.org and forward copies of the certificates to the MSBA Admissions Office:

R Programming: This prerequisite can be met by one of the following three options:

  1. Submit a syllabus from a previous course that demonstrates a significant exposure to R programming that will be evaluated by the MSBA Program Office. 
  2. Register, attend and complete the MSBA program's one-week R Programming Boot Camp on site at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business.  
  3. Complete the following online course offered through Coursera.org and forward a copy of the certificate to the MSBA Admissions Office:

Business Foundation Courses: Prospective students are required to have exposure to finance, financial accounting, marketing, and operations management before enrolling into the program.  This requirement can be fulfilled by submitting transcripts from prior course work, either at the undergraduate or masters level, or by submitting certificates of completion for these Coursera.org courses from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania:

Laptop Requirement: The MSBA program requires extensive computing.  After your admittance to the MSBA program, you will want to check these laptop requirements to ensure that your computer's capability will permit you to complete all of our coursework in a timely fashion.