Decision Sciences Degree Programs

Learn about the field of decision sciences and the tasks workers in this field perform. Get information about degree options along with commonly offered classes and employment opportunities. Schools offering Business Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Decision Sciences Degree?

In a decision sciences program, you learn how to use statistical and mathematical models to solve problems related to business decisions. Some of the quantitative methods that you'll learn include data mining, forecasting and Six Sigma, which is a method used to minimize variability and error in manufacturing. The main goal of any decision science program is to teach you the methods and skills necessary to help you make fast and effective decisions in a business setting.

Skills Learned Quick decision making, forecasting, data mining, using statistics and mathematical models, Six Sigma
Program Levels Associate's through doctoral degree levels
Common Courses Undergraduate: Economics, e-business, business computing, programming
Graduate: Decision analysis, financial systems, managerial decision making, business forecasting
Possible Career Fields Economics, marketing, education, accounting
Median Salary (2018)$83,390 (Operations Research Analysts)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)27% growth (Operations Research Analysts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Degrees Are Available?

A range of degree levels is available if you want to study in a decision sciences program. The lowest level of degree that you can obtain in this field is an associate's degree, though it is difficult to find one specifically in decision science (most associate's degrees come from related fields like business analytics). An associate's degree program typically takes two years, and it may also lead into a 4-year program that culminates with a bachelor's degree. The highest-level degree that you can obtain is a Ph.D. This degree typically takes at least eight total years of study to achieve - four in a bachelor's degree program and an additional four years of graduate school.

What Classes Will I Take?

The classes you'll take in a decision science program depend on your level of study. If you're trying to obtain an undergraduate degree, you'll have to take many liberal arts classes in addition to more area specific classes. The area-specific classes aim to teach you a combination of statistical and business skills. Some examples of undergraduate area-specific courses are:

  • Programming
  • E-commerce
  • Business computing
  • Economics

If you enter a graduate program, the classes become both more specific and more technical. The main goal of these courses is still to prepare you to be able to make efficient business decisions. Some sample graduate courses include these:

  • Managerial decision making
  • Business forecasting
  • Decision analysis
  • Financial systems

In addition to classes, some programs may offer or require you to undertake a practicum. Other programs may require you to complete a capstone class, which may aim to apply the skills you've learned in the program and apply them to a real-life problem. Also, if you enroll in a Ph.D. program, you'll probably be required to perform your own research and write a dissertation in order to earn your degree.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

A range of career options is available to you, depending on the degree that you obtain. If you complete an associate's degree program, you'll be eligible for entry-level positions in such areas as accounting, economics and marketing. If you continue your education and obtain a bachelor's degree, you'll be eligible for a greater range of positions, including management positions, decision support positions and possibly even secondary school business teacher. A doctoral degree gives you a wider range of careers, because you also have the option to teach and conduct research at a university.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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