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Graduate Programs

Master of Science in Administration (M.S.A.)

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 36 hours

The Master of Science in Administration degree is an interdis- ciplinary program developed to meet the educational needs and interests of administrators in both the public and nonprofit sec- tors. The primary focus of the degree program is applied action grounded in theory. The principal elements of this degree are knowledge, competencies, and practical processes needed for successful careers in administration.

The program includes a core of courses that provides the students with a base of common knowledge and competencies required for successful administration. In addition, the program provides a concentration of specialized courses in the student’s area of professional interest. The program culminates in an inte- grative applied project that links the concepts of the program to the world of work and demonstrates the unity and coherence of the student’s course of study. Specific courses will be selected by an academic advisor in consultation with the student.

This program leads to an MSA degree and is identical whether on- or off-campus. Credit for course work in either program is interchangeable.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards (For Off-Campus Students) Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Master of Science in Administration pro- gram, a candidate must meet the requirements for regular admis- sion to the College of Graduate Studies (a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing with a cumula- tive GPA of at least 2.7 or, optionally, 3.0 in the final sixty semester hours of graded coursework toward the bachelor’s degree). At least sixty semester hours of undergraduate coursework must be graded. Applicants who possess an undergraduate GPA less than 2.7 may be considered for conditional admission. A maximum of six hours taken before admission to the MSA program may be counted toward the degree.

Note: To be admitted to the Software Engineering Administration concentration, the student must have completed the equivalent of MTH 175, MTH 132, CPS 180, CPS 181, CPS 210 and CPS 340. In addition, the student must have completed one year of work in which his or her major assignment dealt with program design or development. Completion of a computer science major may be substituted for the one-year experience.

Competencies Required

Several MSA administrative core courses have prerequisites. These prerequisite courses are Accounting 201 or 203 and Statistics 282 or their equivalents. Students can satisfy the prerequisites for MSA 600, MSA 602, MSA 634, MSA 635, and MSA 640 in the following ways:

  • 1.

    Successful completion of the course (grade of C or better) or its equivalent within three years prior to admission to the MSA program;

  • 2.

    Pass a competency assessment exam, only offered if the student has previously taken the course and earned a grade of "C" or better. Examinations may be taken twice and must be passed with at least 70% accuracy; or

  • 3.

    Take the course or its equivalent at CMU or another accred- ited institution and earn a "C" or better. Submit an official transcript if the course is not taken at CMU.


Take either the CLEP Financial Accounting test and submit offical results of 50 or beter or take the DSST Principles of Financial Accounting exam and submit officlal results of 47 or better. Take the DSST Principles of Statistics exam and submit officla results of 48 or better.

Off Campus Students: If students are eligible to take the competency assessment approach to meeting the competency requirement, they must meet core course prerequisites by tak- ing and achieving a passing score on appropriate competency assessments. The assessments are an evaluation of a student’s readiness to perform the quantitative work required in MSA 600, 602, 634, 635, 640, BIS 630 and BIS 634. Competency as- sessments in financial accounting and statistics will determine a student’s preparation for graduate course work, and will point out any areas which need strengthening before enrollment in a particular core course.

The competency assessment is administered at the student’s program center, and each takes approximately one to two hours to complete. Those students who do not demonstrate competency may improve their skills in several ways: through CMU-sponsored refresher workshops (15 or more contact hours); through self study using instructional materials provided by CMU, which include a textbook and assignments; through enrollment in an undergradu- ate level course at a local college.

Satisfactory Progress

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in good standing. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. Students on probation will be allowed an opportunity to raise the cumula- tive GPA to a 3.0 according to College of Graduate Studies policy. Students dismissed from the program may petition for readmission no sooner than one academic year after the semester they were dismissed. Coursework which is over seven years old may not be used toward the MSA degree. Course work which is over four years old may not be used toward the graduate certificate.

English Language Requirements for International Students

International students who meet the requirements of off-campus admission should review the International Student Admission section on Demonstrating English Competency at the Graduate Level .


Upon admission to the MSA program, the student will be as- signed an advisor. The student is required to meet with his or her advisor to determine prerequisite(s) and core area requirements and to select the courses to meet the concentration’s require- ments. A record of the program authorization will be placed in the student’s file in the Off-Campus Programs’ office in Mt. Pleasant. Any course taken without the express written consent of the MSA Director may not be approved for fulfillment of the degree requirements.

Program Requirements

All Master of Science in Administration degree students are re- quired to take three core courses: MSA 600, MSA 602 or MSA 634 or MSA 635, and MSA 640. Other core courses must be selected in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.

To qualify for graduation, candidates for the Master of Science in Administration degree or Graduate Certificates must meet all of the requirements found in the Academic Information “Degree

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