Liu Sidi: My plan to graduate with a master’s degree in 4 and a half year
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My plan to graduate with a master’s degree in 4 and a half year



I am 2016er graduate Daniel Liu. I’m now a student at Emory University Goizueta Business School. By sharing my stories in the US and some of my personal thoughts, I hope to give you an insight into what student’s life here is really like. This can also act as a guidance for your future college choice.


During my sophomore year, I heard that our school has rolled out a new degree program. As the demand for employment in big data growing, more and more students are interested in learning skills about data analysis. However, data analysis is a relatively emerging discipline, and Emory did not provide relevant majors and degrees before. Led by a business school professor, and after pulling a $1 million grant from FedEx, the school opened a Master of Science in Business Analytics program, or MSBA, which is considered as a STEM major. The goal of this program is to develop people with special set of skills who can connect data science with business applications. What people would learn from the program includes the most basic programming and data analysis skills, as well as the ability to solve business problems and interpret the results of the analysis in business language to those without technical backgrounds.


I was very excited when hearing about the program since it links closely with my personal interest. And since this is a business school program, I will be able to complete both my undergraduate and postgraduate diploma in four and a half years without the need for additional GRE/GMAT scores. I heard that they had nearly 800 applications last year, but only 44 of them were admitted, and many of them have work experience. For example, one of the students I talked to is an Indian software engineer with eight years of work experience. I am just a junior so I couldn’t help but thinking I may not be as competent as they are.


The application process includes two letters of recommendation, a few essays, a one-minute video answering one of the provided questions, as well as a document where I fill out my technical background, such as my programming and mathematics skills. After paying the $75 application fee, I waited for the interview notice anxiously. After about two weeks, I received an interview. The interview was mainly Behavior Interview, which lasted for about half an hour. I tried my best and started waiting for the admission decision.


On the day when results were announced, I was fortunate to receive a conditional offer from the Emory MSBA Program. I need to complete more than a hundred hours of online classes to get a certificate by the deadline before being officially enrolled in the program. Online courses are about some basic principles of programming and data analytics ​​which aim to ensure a solid technical foundation for everyone before starting the program.


I am about to start my master’s degree in July. I will definably share more of my personal experience after I start the program.


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