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For the second year in a row, the Master of Science in Business Analytics program offered through UT’s Haslam College of Business has been named a finalist for the UPS George D. Smith Prize presented by the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences.

Missie Bowers, director of UT’s MSBA program.
Missie Bowers, director of UT’s MSBA program.

“The Smith Prize is the most prestigious award given to an academic analytics program,” said Missie Bowers, director of the MSBA program. “The fact that we have been nominated for a second year recognizes our program’s strong connections with corporate partners and the value our graduates deliver to industry by transforming data into business insight.”

The Smith Prize recognizes one academic program each year for innovation in preparing students to be effective practitioners of operations research, management science, or analytics.

While the prize typically has a field of three finalists, INFORMS selected only two for 2018. The other is Cornell University’s School of Operations Research and Information Engineering. The winner will be announced April 16 at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research in Baltimore.

The US Air Force Academy’s operations excellence program received the award in 2017. UT and North Carolina State’s Institute for Advanced Analytics also were finalists.

The Haslam College of Business was the first business school in the country to launch a graduate degree in analytics. The program focuses on teaching analytics within a business context and developing the soft skills graduates need to excel in the business world, and it has placed 100 percent of its students in jobs within three months of graduation every year since its inception.

UPS established the George D. Smith Prize in 2012 in memory of its late chief executive officer. INFORMS is the world’s largest association of business analytics and operations research professionals, with more than 10,000 members.


Katie Williams (865-974-3589,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,