Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

Putting your data to work for you.

Achieve strategic objectives in any industry, from healthcare to finance, agriculture to manufacturing. Understanding and learning business analytics is a necessity for all business professionals and are crucial tools to guide business operations. 

Application Requirements

Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics Program Application Checklist

  • Online Graduate Program application:
  • $50 application fee: to be paid online via (click on MBA Application Fee)
  • All official transcripts from current and previous institutions including undergraduate and graduate. For a transcript to be considered official it must be sent from that institution’s Registrar’s Office to Loras College Graduate Admissions.
    • Note: Transcript “issued to student” will not be considered official. Faxed and copied transcripts will not be considered official.
  • Applicant statement: a typewritten statement outlining your interests and professional goals. This statement is an integral part of your application (maximum of 2-3 pages double spaced).
  • Current resume or vitae.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation: Please be sure that the people who submit a letter of recommendation also include their contact information. The letters need to be from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s character.
  • Interview with faculty of Executive MBA Program.

 Following the receipt of all application materials (and interview) listed above, your application will be reviewed by the Executive MBA Program Director and you will be notified of an admission decision.   

Application deadlines:

Fall enrollment – all materials due by August 1st

Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on an individual basis.

Materials may be sent to: 

  • Applicant statement, resume, and letters of recommendation can be emailed to:
  • All official transcripts can be mailed to:
    Loras College Graduate Admission
    Attn: Megan Henderson
    1450 Alta Vista Street
    Dubuque, IA  52001

International Students:

In addition to the standard application requirements above, international students whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting one of the official test scores below (Loras College’s school code is 6370):

    • PBT (paper based score) 550 or higher
    • IBT (internet based score) 79 or higher
    • CBT (computer based score) 213 or higher
    • 6.5 or higher
  • SAT
    • Composite test score of 1410 or higher (calculate Reading, Math, and Writing for the composite score)

At the time of admission, you will be sent a Certification of Finances form to complete and send back to us (along with a passport photo) so that we can start the I-20 process.

Course Requirements

The goal of the Graduate Certificate Program is to develop thought leadership skills so participants can impact the organization they work for in the area of analytics.

L.MBA 509 Big Data Ecosystem
L.MBA 515  Ethical & Social Responsibilities of Business
L.MBA 520 Data Science
L.MBA 530 Analytics Methods
L.MBA 550 Data Visualization

Course Descriptions

L.MBA 509 Big Data Ecosystem
This course examines the data management process from access to data sources through implementation of scalable processes.  Big data requires understanding database design, and increasingly involves parallel processing and cloud-based data storage and analysis.  Data formats and database architectures are examined.  Tools for extracting data from relational, structured, and non-structured databases are explored.  Included are issues related to data security and governance.  Students will also learn how to evaluate technologies used to implement scalable decision analytic systems. 3 cresits

L.MBA 515 Ethical and Social Responsibilities of Business
This course consists of two parts.  In the first, relatively brief part, we examine the ethical principles and theories that are relevant to resolving any moral issue.  In the second part, we apply these principles and theories to the key moral issues in business (with emphasis, where appropriate and relevant, on questions dealing with data/information acquisition, analysis, and application) by studying, discussing, and debating them, principally through a case-study approach. The focus of our attention is on the three basic kinds of moral relationships in business: a) between the firm and the employee; b) between the firm and other economic agents (i.e., customers, competitors); and c) between the firm and various non-business groups (i.e., the environment). 3 credits

L.MBA 520 Data Science
Analytics is the process of taking data and turning it into new forms of value.  The beginning of this process is often referred to as Data Science and the second stage of the process encompasses algorithms and visualization.   As an introduction to data science, we proceed to cover practical data analytic skills including accessing and transferring data (ETL – extract, transform, load), applying analytical frameworks or patterns, applying methods from data mining and machine learning, and learning analysis methods for processing text.  The course will also provide students an opportunity to do hands-on exercises with Big Data.  The emphasis will be on practical usefulness and analytics patterns. 3 credits

L.MBA 530 Analytics Methods
Business Analytics is the process of transforming data into business value.  This process is often broken into stages of Data Science and Analytics Methods.  The purpose of Analytics Methods is to use the data and rules resulting from data science methods and develop, test, and innovate business intelligence models to help solve common business problems.  These methods originate in the fields of operations research, simulation, statistics, and machine learning.  In this course, we model common business problems from the business domains of logistics, finance, marketing, and operations management using spreadsheets. 3 credits

L.MBA 550 Data Visualization
Data/Information visualization is widely used in a number of industries, including business, engineering, and media disciplines to help people analyze and understand what the data is telling us. The industry has grown exponentially over the last few years, and as a result there are more tools available to help us quickly and efficiently create compelling visualizations. 

This course provides an overview of the data/information visualization discipline. Using a hands-on approach, readings and lectures will cover various visualization principles and tools.  Our labs will focus on practical introductions to tools and frameworks, with plenty of time to explore & utilize additional applications. We will discuss existing visualizations (e.g. what we find in various publications and government data sources) and critique their effectiveness in conveying information.  All students are expected to participate in class discussion, complete lab assignments, and create & critique many data visualization examples throughout the session. 3 credits


Frequently Asked Questions

Application, Admission, Financial Aid

What are the academic requirements for admission into the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics program?
A minimum 2.75 GPA is required for admission, as well as at least two years’ experience in a professional business or engineering position.

How do I apply for admission?
Interested applicants may apply by submitting an online application, application fee, official transcripts, resume, personal statement, and 2 letters of recommendation to:

Loras College Admissions
Attn: Megan Henderson
1450 Alta Vista Street
Dubuque, IA 52001

The letters of recommendation, resume, and personal statement can be emailed to

Does the Certificate require an undergraduate degree in business?
Admission into the program requires that applicants have a familiarity with concepts in the areas of economics, accounting, finance, management and marketing. Applicants with an undergraduate business degree will generally meet these requirements.  The academic readiness of an applicant who does not hold an undergraduate degree in a business field will be determined through an interview process, including a review of professional work experience, and in some cases, completion of business competency exams.  Students who do not fully meet the academic readiness requirements for the program may be admitted on a provisional basis.

How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?
After receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the faculty. Shortly thereafter, you will be notified about your interview to complete your application process. After the interview is complete, you will be notified of your admission decision within a week.

How will I be notified of the admission decision?
You will be contacted by email once your complete file has been reviewed and a decision has been made.

How can I receive more information about the Certificate program?
For additional information about the application and admission process, please contact Megan Henderson, Associate Director of Admission for Graduate Programs at or 563-588-7140. For more information about the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics program curriculum, please contact Dr. Dale Lehman, Program Director, at

Is financial aid available?
Federal aid is not available for the Graduate Certificate, in Business Analytics.


How many credits are required in the Certificate program?
15 credits are needed to meet the course requirements for the Certificate.

What is the format of the Certificate program?
Each course is 7 weeks in length. The first 6 weeks of the course are taught online in a live virtual classroom, then students meet in person on the beautiful Loras College campus for a full weekend the last week of each course.

The online classes are synchronous (live) and are held 1 night per week from 6:30-8:30pm with multi-way audio and video.

Is there a preferred entry point into the Certificate program?
It is strongly encouraged to join at our September entry course.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The 5-course graduate certificate is completed in 10 months.

What is the time commitment outside of class?
Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set.  As a general rule, students can expect to spend 4 – 6 hours per week outside of class instruction.

Is Loras College accredited?
Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics Bundled Pricing Structure for Fall 2017 Cohort

Tuition, Fees and Books = $13,835

  • This amount includes tuition for the 5 courses required in the certificate program, technology fees, parking permit, refreshments during the on-campus weekends and all associated course textbooks and materials.
  • This amount does not include travel to/from Dubuque, accommodations or some meals while in Dubuque.

Individual Course Offerings

  • Individuals may enroll in a single course of interest within the MBA program with permission of the MBA Program Director.
    • Courses that fulfill requirements within the Graduate Certificate = $2,770 per course
    • Courses that fulfill requirements for the Executive MBA but not the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics = $2,166.
    • The above course fees are inclusive of technology fees, parking permit, refreshments during the on-campus weekend and all associated course textbooks and materials.

Employer Reimbursement

  • The Employer Reimbursement Form must be completed.
  • Students are responsible for providing the course information, final grades, and billing information to their employer to obtain the reimbursement.
  • Students are expected to submit timely reimbursement to their employer after the final grade is posted.
  • If the employer reimbursement criteria is not met and/or reimbursement is denied, the student must bring their account current before any future registration will be permitted.

Feel free to contact us if you have Billing Questions

Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

How do you apply the latest methods and technologies to help your company gather, store, report and analyze important data?

The graduate certificate in business analytics gives you the skills you need to do just that.  By staying abreast of concepts and market trends related to business analytics, you can be a key part of impacting strategic business decisions.  Your coursework  will explore topics such as visualization, storytelling, ethics and risk management. Each course in the program is seven weeks in length.

1 Year Commitment
15 credit hours
7 weeks per class
Hybrid Class format*

*Hybird format delivers the first six weeks of collaborative online instruction via live virtual classroom (broadband connection, microphone and headset required). The final week of class is delivered over the weekend, bringing student and faculty together face-to-face in the Loras College Center for Business Analytics in Keane Hall.

Business Analytics Faculty

Dale Lehman, Ph.D
MBA Program Director and Professor of Business
563-588-7725 |

Dale has a PhD is in Economics from the University of Rochester.  He has taught at a dozen universities as well as holding positions at Bellcore and SBC Communications.  He has published dozens of articles and three books on a variety of topics related to economics, industry analysis, and modeling.  He is a frequent expert witness in regulatory proceedings and regularly teaches at a number of European universities.

His current research interests involve modeling and communicating uncertainties to improve decision making, ensuring open data access, and enhancing the role of replicability of data analysis.

Roman Ciapalo, Ph.D
Professor of Philosophy and Andrew P. Studdert Chair of Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership
563-588-7434 |

Dr. Ciapalo currently teaches courses in business ethics, environmental ethics, ethics in sports, media communication ethics, and a January-Term course: Art, Beauty, and Meaning.

His academic expertise includes, in addition to the above-mentioned areas, Ancient philosophy (especially the thought of the Pre-socratics, Plato, and Plotinus), Contemporary philosophy (especially the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre and William James).  His research interests include the philosophy of Gregory Skovoroda (18thcentury Ukrainian philosopher) and the intersection of Catholic Social Teaching with issues in sports and athletics.  He has published one book and several articles, and has served as translator/editor of Ukrainian-language translations of two business ethics textbooks.

He is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholar awards, one of which blossomed into the opportunity to teach business ethics in two MBA programs in Ukraine (Lviv Institute of Management and National University Kiev-Mohyla Academy) during most summers since 1994.  He is currently developing a similar course for Ukrainian Catholic University in Ukraine.  He has served as Chairperson of the Philosophy Program and on numerous committees, including the Curriculum Review Task Force, which revised the General Education Curriculum a few years ago.  He is faculty advisor to Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, and Loras Hockey Club.

Finally, for many years, he established, and served as coordinator of, the Loras College Classical Philosophy Lecture Series, which, each semester, brought a noted philosopher to campus over a two-day period to give a public lecture and several in-class lecture/discussions, and meet with philosophy majors and faculty.

He urges his Philosophy advisees to see philosophy as a way of life, rather than merely an academic discipline to be mastered, and to employ it in their search for meaning and purpose in their lives.

William Hitchcock, MBA
Professor of Computing/IT
563-588-7286 |

In 1984, William Hitchcock graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, double majoring in Marketing and Management Computer Systems. Upon graduation, he began working as a Programmer/Analyst for the Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Most of his development work was with marketing decision support systems utilizing retail store audit information. While working full time at Oscar Mayer, he began his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1986. He completed his work and graduated with an MBA degree majoring in Finance, Investments, and Banking in 1988. In 1989, Hitchcock made a career move to begin teaching business courses at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He has taught business coursework to both traditional college students and professionals working in the Dubuque area. In 2011, he served as the Faculty Director of the Study Abroad program in Dublin, Ireland. He has a special interest in International/Irish studies, and has since taught several Irish-themed courses including a summer course in Ireland in 2014.

Doug Gambrall, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Business Administration

Doug Gambrall is Associate Professor of Business Administration at Loras College—joining the faculty in August of 2011.  Gambrall earned his BBA, majoring in finance, from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from the University of Evansville. After working in retail banking, Gambrall embraced higher education, serving four different colleges in Indiana, Tennessee, and Iowa as an administrator and faculty member since 1994.  In 2005, Gambrall received his doctorate in leadership education from Spalding University with a cognate in business management.

Krista Belanger, Ph.D
Asst. Professor of Public Relations
563-588-7268 |

Dr. Krista Belanger came to Loras in 2013. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Luther College and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from University of Colorado at Boulder. Krista has been teaching in the communication discipline since 2003. At Loras, her courses include Introduction to Mass Communication, Public Speaking, Organizational Communication, PR Writing, and PR Case Studies.  Her research focuses on issues of work and family within small family businesses.

Eric Eller, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Finance
563-588-7202 |

Dr. Eller received his PhD from the University of Virginia, a Masters degree from the University of Missouri, and his undergraduate degree from Missouri State. Prior to joining the faculty at Loras, Dr. Eller spent time on the tenure-track faculty at Bellarmine University, at Buena Vista University (where he was tenured), and at Upper Iowa University. Dr. Eller’s areas of scholarly research include International Service Learning and Microfinance. He has taught numerous study away courses with travel destinations including Cuba, Haiti, Russia, Egypt, and the Galapagos Islands.

Under Dr. Eller’s direction, the LIFE Investment class (which manages a portion of the Loras endowment) will focus on choosing investments which align with the College’s mission while still maximizing portfolio efficiency.