Choosing the Right Path: MBA or MS in Business

Choosing Your Graduate Path in Business

Which graduate business program is right for you?

In the world of business, there isn’t a single right path to enter the field. In fact, there are many pathways to working in business. Regardless of whether you hold a bachelor's degree in business or not, or whether you are a working business professional or just starting out, Canisius offers business graduate programs tailored to individuals from all walks of life. 


Choosing the right path to working in business starts by reflecting on your career goals and understanding what options are available. Canisius provides a range of graduate business programs including:

  • Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) programs: General MBA and MBA in Professional Accounting
  • Master’s of Science programs: MS in Business Analytics and MS in Finance 
  • Advanced Certificates in Business (offering 7 different certificates) 

But, which program is right for you? Let’s explore your options. 

Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Programs at Canisius

If you are interested in gaining a comprehensive foundation of key business principles and want to explore different business functions like accounting, finance, marketing, and operations, then an MBA program would be a perfect fit for you. 

Choose a general MBA if: 

  • You are looking to gain a broad range of skills that are useful in various business functions.
  • You want to pursue a career in management or c-suite roles. 
  • You’re interested in specializing in a particular field of interest while still learning others (e.g., finance, marketing, global supply chain management, etc.).

Choose an MBA in Professional Accounting if:

  • Your goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and earn your New York State CPA licensure.
  • You seek the flexibility and versatility of an MBA, with a specific goal of entering the accounting profession. 

General MBA

The Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is a 1-2 year program offered by the Wehle School of Business that prepares you for a variety of MBA career paths. This program offers a hybrid style format on a full-time or part-time basis, or it can be completed 100% online in two years time. Choose from one of six concentrations including: accounting, finance, global supply chain management, investment research, marketing, and marketing for the food industry. No work or academic background in business is required, this program is designed for career movers and accelerators alike. 

Learn more about MBA

MBA in Professional Accounting

The Master’s in Professional Accounting (MBAPA) is a full-time, 2-3 year program offered by the Wehle School of Business that prepares you to enter the accounting profession. This program is open to individuals from diverse backgrounds, regardless of if they have an undergraduate or graduate degree in another discipline. With this program, you can earn an MBA and simultaneously qualify for the New York State CPA exam. Additionally, you can meet the 150-hour education requirement for NYS CPA Licensure through the internship portion of this program. 

Learn more about MBAPA

Master’s of Science Programs for Business at Canisius

If you are seeking advanced knowledge in a specific area of business, then a Master’s of Science (MS) may be the ideal choice for you. An MS in business provides a deep dive into both theoretical concepts and practical applications, equipping you with strong analytical skills to innovate within your chosen field.

 Choose a Master’s of Science in Finance if: 

  • You have an undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline and are looking for an advanced finance degree. 
  • Your goal is to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. 
  • You want to pursue various finance careers, including roles such as Investment Analyst, Risk Analyst, Equity Researcher, or Risk Management, among others. 

Choose a Master’s in Business Analytics if: 

  • You are passionate about pulling insights from data to inform strategic decision-making in business. 
  • You seek a commercially-focused data program that integrates knowledge from other areas of business such as accounting, economics, management, marketing, finance, and computer science. 
  • You are interested in business analytics careers such as Business Intelligence Analyst, Operations Research Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Consultant, or Statistician, among others.

MS in Finance

The Master’s of Science in Finance is a 1.5-2 year program offered by the Wehle School of Business and recognized by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Students have the option to take this program on a part-time or full-time basis. Choose from one of four speciality tracks including: investment research, risk management, data analytics, and general finance. Gain real-world experience at our state-of-the-art financial markets lab and in high-profile internships at investment wealth management companies and major banks. This program is designed to prepare graduates for CFA designation and careers in finance. 

Learn more about MS in Finance

MS in Business Analytics

The Master’s of Science in Business Analytics is a 1.5-2 year program depending on your pace with part-time and full-time study options. It equips you with the skills and knowledge needed for various business analytics jobs and careers. This program is suitable for both experienced and inexperienced individuals, as you can opt for foundation courses to get up to speed or waive them if you have prior experience. Develop practical and technical skills in quantitative analysis and decision-making; mastering at least one programming language and understanding the application of databases. If you are interested in more commercial-oriented data programs, choose business analytics over data analytics. Data analytics will be more focused on scientific and technical aspects. 

Learn more about Business Analytics

Advanced Graduate Certificates in Business

If you are a working business professional looking to deepen your expertise in a specific field, consider pursuing an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Business. At Canisius, we offer seven distinct certificates: General Business, Business Analytics, Business Skills, Advanced Business Skills, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, and Marketing. 

Choose an Advanced Graduate Certificate if: 

  • You already have a graduate business degree or are currently working in the business field. 
  • You're seeking a quick and cost-effective way to enhance your skills in a specific area and bolster your resume - only 15 credit hours required! 
  • You are a career mover or accelerator, aiming to secure a promotion, transition into a new role, or enter a new industry. 

Learn more

What jobs can you get with a business degree?

If you’re still unsure about which pathway to business to take, it can be helpful to research different job titles and career paths that interest you. This can help you identify the necessary education and certifications required for your desired career path. To get you started, we have compiled a list of common career paths and jobs for business degree graduates.

MBA Careers:

  • Chief Executive 
  • Director 
  • Management 
  • Consultant
  • Accountant

Business Analytics Careers: 

  • Operations Research Analyst 
  • Business Intelligence Analyst 
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Management Analyst

Finance Careers: 

  • Financial Manager or Controller
  • Investment Banker 
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Financial Analyst 
  • Financial Risk Specialists 

About the Business Graduate Programs at Canisius University

All of our business graduate programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a distinction earned by only a select few business schools globally. Furthermore, many of our programs offer flexibility, allowing you to choose the format and pace that suit you best, and all feature rolling admissions with Summer, Fall, and Spring start dates. 

Each of our graduate business programs also require students to complete the Leadership & Professional Development (LPD) Program. This unique program provides personalized coaching and opportunities for students to identify, evaluate, and develop their personal and professional brand and competencies. Once you finish the program, you'll get an LPD certificate and electronic badge - a great addition to your resume! 

To learn more about our graduate programs in business, please visit our graduate admissions page.