CMU Tepper Puts A Data-Focused Spin On The Management Master’s Degree

CMU Tepper Puts A Data-Focused Spin On The Management Master's Degree

Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business is the latest top U.S. B-school to launch a management master’s degree aimed at non-business students with only 1 to 2 years of work experience

The number of top business schools in the United States with management master’s programs keeps growing. Now the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University is putting its own unique, data-focused spin on the degree.

The Tepper School announced the launch of a full-time, two-semester Master of Science in Management program today (September 5) designed for recent college graduates with non-business backgrounds who have career aspirations in the field of business. First application deadline will be November 5, 2023, with decisions announced by mid-December.

Like many of their peer schools, Tepper’s new management master’s will be a 10-month degree; unlike most of them, the program will focus heavily on what Tepper does best: data.

“Our master’s is not a master in management, but a master of science in management,” Tepper Dean Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou emphasizes in an interview with Poets&Quants. “Which is a little bit different as a positioning than a regular MiM program. I’m originally from Europe, so I’m very familiar with the MiM programs because there are lots of MiM programs in Europe, as you know. Our program, like everything we do at Tepper, is a lot of data technology, a data-driven curriculum, and that’s something that is important and that’s why we wanted really a master of science in management — using a lot of the core courses from our MBA program and leveraging what we do well already in our MBA program.”


CMU Tepper Puts A Data-Focused Spin On The Management Master's Degree

CMU Tepper Dean Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou: School is “teaching with a very data-oriented mind set”

CMU Tepper’s MSM program is at least the 13th management master’s among U.S. B-schools ranked in the top 25 for their MBAs. It’s an increasingly crowded field — but Tepper’s offering has an edge, its dean tells Poets&Quants. 

“We invented management science here at Tepper — that is the edge that we have on the market,” Bajeux-Besnainou says. “Why go to Tepper for this degree? Because of what we are and what we’re offering to the market. Our portfolio of master’s programs is more diverse and more flexible, bringing more flexibility into the student’s experience, so that more students at different stages of their career can find something that fits their needs.

“We have this tradition of being really good on the data side and seeing always the business problems with a lens from data. It’s really about the philosophy of the program and it doesn’t show directly in an MBA program, but we’re teaching with a very data-oriented mindset. Right now, we’re going to have three different specializations and we’re working on more for our MSM program: It’s finance, it’s operation management, and it’s marketing, all in a more technical sense.”

Kevin Dietrick, director of Tepper’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program and its new MSM, echoes his dean: In each of the three specializations from which Tepper MSM students can choose, management science will be the foundation.

“I think the Master of Science in Management distinction is an important one,” he tells P&Q. “And I think it speaks to this concept of management science that is at the foundation of Tepper’s way of educating graduate business students for all of its existence. As we look forward to the future, we talk here about the intelligent future, and I think that ‘master of science’ moniker is key to who we are.”

CMU Tepper Master of Science in Management Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Deadline November 5 January 21 March 31 May 19
Decision December 14 March 14 May 16 June 20
First Deposit February 18 April 21 June 16 July 14
Second Deposit June 2 June 2 NA NA


Tepper’s MSM will focus on business fundamentals, analytics, and behavioral skills, Dietrick says, but it will also allow students to tailor their curriculum to specific areas of interest. Outside of a first-semester focus on core courses, students will have the freedom to take a wide range of elective courses, including those outside their specialization.

Flexibility is something a lot of schools talk about, especially in terms of curriculum. Tepper’s new MSM program boasts a great deal of it, Dietrick says.

“As we’ve talked about this program and envisioned it, we really wanted to craft something that met students’ needs,” Dietrick says. “That’s such a key part of what we do here at Tepper. And so the ability to not just come in and say, ‘I want a business degree,’ but ‘I want a business degree that’s going to meet my needs in getting me where I want to go, whether that’s finance, marketing, or operations, and then also take some courses outside of that’ is really important.

“We do pack a lot into a 10-month experience. In the fall semester, students will get those fundamental core areas of business: econ, finance, probability and statistics, accounting, operations, marketing, management presentations. A lot of their fall semester is spent in core courses. And as they get to the second half of the fall semester, they will have the opportunity to start dipping their toe in the elective waters, if you will. When we get into the spring semester, sort of the reverse happens: They have a couple of core courses to complete — optimization, and they’ll take a behavioral strategy course or a course of behavioral strategy and management — and then really the rest of their time is going to be spent on elective courses.”


Who is the ideal Tepper MSM student? The school is looking for “high-potential individuals with a variety of undergraduate degrees, a quantitative skill set, and minimal work experience,” students who “may be looking to pivot or upskill, desire a career change, or need additional skills to complement their undergraduate studies.” Says the school’s dean: “These students could be pre-experience students. I envision that there’ll be one or two years maybe for some of them, and then some of them coming directly from undergraduate with good internships, that would be fine. But they’re a very different profile from the MBA students.”

“With strategic planning and collaboration at Tepper and throughout the university, we designed a unique curriculum that helps ambitious, high-potential students prepare for successful careers in business,” says Kate Barraclough, associate dean of master’s programs and teaching professor of finance at the Tepper School. “We want to use the same teaching style that made Tepper a top school in higher education to attract a diverse group of smart students who are eager to excel and learn.”

“The Tepper School wants to provide the best education to students at different stages in their career,” says Willem-Jan van Hoeve, Carnegie Bosch professor of operations research and senior associate dean of education at the Tepper School. “Our MSM program focuses on students with little or no work experience and gives them a competitive edge in the job market. It also primes them for an MBA program if they choose to pursue one in the future.”


Tepper’s new MSM will have four rounds of admission, with the inaugural cohort beginning coursework in August 2024 and graduating the following May. The first-round deadline is November 5, 2023, with decisions promised by December 14. Applicants will need to submit Graduate Management Admission Test or Graduate Record Exam scores.

As of September 13, 2023, the new program is designated as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program, like many top MiMs in the U.S.; under federal law this qualifies non-U.S. graduates for up to 24 extra months of OPT, or Optional Practical Training, during which they can try to attain a visa to stay in the country long-term.

“It is not yet a STEM degree, but we are working towards a STEM designation,” Bajeux-Besnainou says. “So this is just a matter of making that happen at this point. That’s something we’re working on extensively now.”

See the next page for a Q&A with Kevin Dietrick, director of CMU Tepper’s Master of Science in Business Analytics and Master of Science in Management programs. Learn more about Tepper’s new degree here and sign up for a September 28 information session here.

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