MBA in Business Analytics 3+2

Bachelor of Arts in Your Field of Focus + MBA in Business Analytics

The Loras College Business Analytics program is at the forefront of changing professional requirements, by initiating a 3+2 dual degree program that grants a bachelor of arts degree in a field of your choice along with a Master in Business Administration in Business Analytics.

Students enrolled in the dual degree program will earn a bachelor’s degree in their field of focus. This enables a wide range of major options to receive foundational and advanced level courses designed to prepare you for graduate study. You will complete the majority of your bachelor’s level courses during the first three years.

The MBA in Business Analytics degree will be conferred on the students who have completed the 3+2 Program. This program provides you with challenging classroom experiences and research opportunities. The graduate portion of the program will begin in the your fourth year. Summer courses will be required for students in the program for the fourth and fifth years.

Admission Requirements

Any undergraduate student may consider this accelerated joint degree option. *Students may apply for admission to the 3+2 program after completion of their first year.

Requirements for admission:

  • Completed Intention to Enter the 3+2 program form by February 15 of their sophomore year once 40 credits have been earned.
  • The completed 3+2 application is due by May 1.
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and have demonstrated an aptitude for quantitative analysis.
  • Complete an admissions interview with the MBA Program Director. They will be advised about the academic and financial requirements of the program.

Requirements to meet prior to taking any MBA courses

  • All General Education courses, with the exception of up to 8 General Education credits, must be completed prior to taking any graduate coursework in the MBA program
  • Completion of at least one statistics course with a grade of at least a B-.
  • Completion of the following undergraduate business courses: ACC 227, BUS 230, BUS 240, BUS 350, CIT 321, BAN 210, and either BAN 320 (new course) or BAN 330; all courses must be completed with a grade of at least C-, and the cumulative GPA for these 21 credits must be at least 3.0.
  • Completion of at least one meaningful professional experience in a business setting (such as an internship)

*Specific scheduling will depend on student’s undergraduate major.  Some majors may prove difficult to complete, along with the MBA in 5 years.  Students in the 3+2 program will be individually advised so as to maximize their opportunity to complete both degrees in a timely fashion.

Course Descriptions

L.MBA 510 Managerial Effectiveness
This course is an examination of best practices for both current managers and those aspiring to a management position.  Particular focus is placed on small group behavior and how group functioning affects organizational effectiveness.  Since communication permeates every management function, emphasis will include the processes involved in management communication.  This course will utilize case studies to discuss and apply the principles presented during class discussion. 3 credits

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 525 Managerial Economic Analysis
In this course, students will build on the basic undergraduate microeconomic framework by application and evaluation of theoretical models of decision making specifically related to business operations.  Managerial economic analysis will proceed by covering practical microeconomic skills including supply and demand theory, consumer theory, cost analysis, market structures, regulation, and forecasting economic models.  Exploration of these models will include derivation and application geared toward scenarios applicable from a managerial perspective. The course will also provide students an opportunity to do hands-on exercises with data to aid in application and interpretation of data in a microeconomic framework to comprehend and interpret consumer behavior and influence appropriate decision making within business settings. 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 535 Communication for the Organization
This course offers an in-depth treatment of Organizational Communication research and theory, providing critical and analytical resources to make sense of complex organizational processes and experiences. The core focus of the course is examining the ways communication constitutes organizational life. From this perspective organizations are viewed as ongoing systems of interconnected discursive practices that generate and are dependent on entangled political, cultural and economic processes. Deeper understanding of organizational communication scholarship will aid students in achieving the core dispositions of nurturing active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decision makers and responsible contributors by providing opportunities to critically analyze the role of communication in creating and sustaining organizations and the ways people communicate effectively and ineffectively in organizational contexts. 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

L.MBA 555 Financial Management
The objective of this course is to help students understand financial decision making and modeling and how these are impacted by real world uncertainty. To achieve this, students will review basic financial concepts and then work on applying them through case studies and a course project. This is all done in the context of the need for socially responsible decisions to be made with all stakeholders in mind. Students will also learn about a variety of financial regulations and why they have been put in place. 3 credits

Through the use of case studies and using Microsoft Excel, students will apply financial concepts to evaluate and analyze decisions that businesses make. To understand how financial decisions are made, students will create their own financial projections for a company and experience how financial decision making is impacted by the assumptions that go into the financial model. Financial concepts will include: current financial statement analysis and how to forecast future financial statements; capital budgeting; the cost of capital; financing operations; and risk management. 3 credits

L.MBA 560 Marketing Analytics
Marketing remains a branch of business as well as a social science, and is often characterized by product, place, promotion, and price, and has been extended in many contexts to include people, packaging, and positioning.  Each of these is a candidate for improvement through the use of analytics.  In Marketing Analytics, we consider the analytics of:

  1. Pricing, Forecasting Sales
  2. Understanding Customer Demand
  3. Customer Value
  4. Market Segmentation
  5. Retailing
  6. Advertising
  7. Market Research Tools
  8. Internet and Social Marketing.

Topics include but are not limited to Price Bundling, Willingness to Pay, Profile Conjoint Analysis, Discrete Choice Analysis, Value Templates, Clustering and Collaborative Filtering, Bass Diffusion Models, Market Basket Analysis, Pay-per-Click Advertising, Principal Components Analysis, Measuring Nodes and Links, Network Contagion, and Viral Marketing Models.

L.MBA 565 Operations and Performance Management
Business Performance Management is a management field which considers the visibility of operations in a close loop model across all facets of the enterprise.  This course will focus on content related to operations principles including business process management and measurement topics, statistical process control, six sigma, quality, and supply chain and logistics, while still addressing the broader performance management loop consisting of strategy development, strategy translation, organizational alignment, operations planning, learning and monitoring, and testing/adapting.  This course will serve as the strategy development phase for the final two externship classes. 3 credits

L.MBA 571 Risk Analysis
An important part of business planning is identification, analysis, and management of risk.  This spreadsheet-based course examines a variety of models geared to addressing business and social needs.  Uncertainty is explicitly analyzed through the use of scenarios, simulation, and other techniques.  Emphasis is placed on understanding and communicating the important uncertainties associated with any plan, and developing ways to incorporate these into business plans. 3 credits

L.MBA 576 Analytics Internship
This project based internship which comprises the final 6 credits in the 3+2 program is associated with the Center of Business Analytics.  Students will apply what they learned in prior courses to their work on various data analysis projects undertaken by the Center.  In doing so, they will synthesize those concepts as approaches and apply these, in an extended and more thorough way to data in the healthcare, finance, manufacturing, consumer products, or other business sectors related to the mission of the Center.  Some projects will be oriented to data-underserved populations.

L.MBA 581 Capstone Project
The goal of this course is to have students complete a data project (generally in groups) of a complex nature.  This includes obtaining and cleaning relevant data, conducting appropriate analysis and communications of findings, and planning implementation of organizational processes that utilize the results of the project.  Projects may come from students’ work environment, Center for Business Analytics sponsored projects, or other timely data projects that may arise at appropriate times. 3 credits

Program Requirements

Five Year Graduation Plan Template

The following table is for planning purposes only – each student should work out an individualized plan with their undergraduate advisor that is tailored to their particular undergraduate major.  Blue courses are General Education requirements, Red courses are required prerequisite courses for the MBA program, Black courses are free electives, and Green courses are possible placeholders for undergraduate major requirements.  This template contains 12 spots for undergraduate major requirements (36 credits) – some majors may require more, or less, than 36 credits for their degree.  The Free electives will need to be adjusted (upwards or downwards), depending on the student’s undergraduate major.

Year 1

Fall J-Term Spring Summer
MOI Free elective Gen Ed Foundation
Gen Ed Foundation Gen Ed Foundation
Major Requirement Major Requirement
Free elective BAN 210
Free elective Free elective

Year 2

Fall J-Term Spring Summer
Mission Gen Ed Free elective Mission Gen Ed Free elective
Major Requirement Major Requirement Free elective
Major Requirement Major Requirement
ACC 227 BUS 230
CIT 110 Gen Ed Advanced

Year 3

Fall J-Term Spring Summer
Gen Ed Advanced Gen Ed Advanced internship
Major Requirement Major Requirement
Major Requirement BUS 350
BAN 320 / BAN 330 CIT 321
BUS 240 Free elective

Year 4

Fall J-Term Spring Summer
Gen Ed Cluster Portfolio
Gen Ed Cluster Major Requirement
Major Requirement Major Requirement

Year 5

Fall J-Term Spring Summer
Tuition & Fees

Financial and enrollment considerations

Students in the 3+2 program will be undergraduate students (with attendant financial aid) through the spring semester of their fourth year.  Undergraduate tuition will apply to the 4 graduate courses taken during the fall and spring semesters of the fourth year.  Beginning with the summer after their fourth year, 3+2 students will be considered graduate students and will pay graduate tuition.  Graduate tuition will be set at the time a student is fully admitted to the 3+2 program.

Eligibility for full time undergraduate status during the fourth year requires that the student take at least 12 credits per semester (if less credits are taken, financial aid will be proportionately decreased).  Any undergraduate coursework taken beyond the fourth academic year will be charged part-time undergraduate tuition and will not be eligible for undergraduate financial aid besides loans.

Loras College Department Staff

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.

Questions? Let’s get in touch.

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