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Administration (Core), M.S.A.

College of Education and Human Services

222 Rowe Hall; 989-774-6525

Course Designator:

MSA - Master of Science in Administration

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 36 hours

The Master of Science in Administration degree is an interdisciplinary program developed to meet the educational needs and interests of administrators in organizations. 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 integrative 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-campus or through Global Campus. Credit for course work in either program is interchangeable.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards 

Admission Requirement Snapshot

GPA: 2.7

Entrance Exam: N/A

International Application Deadline: July 1 (Fall), Oct. 1 (spring)
See Admission Requirement Details Below


To be admitted to the Master of Science in Administration program, a candidate must meet the requirements for regular admission to Graduate Studies at CMU (a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7 or, optionally, 3.0 in the final 60 semester hours of graded coursework toward the bachelor's degree). At least 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework must be graded. Applicants who possess an undergraduate GPA less than 2.7 may be considered for regular admission with stipulations. Those students not meeting the requirements for regular admission to the MSA program must provide a resume and a statement of purpose explaining both their undergraduate performance and their success strategy. A maximum of 6 hours taken before admission to the MSA program may be counted toward the degree.

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 cumulative GPA to a 3.0 according to 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 and certificates.

English Language Requirements for International Students

Applicants with TOEFL scores of 213 CBT, 550 PBT or 79 iBT and above or IELTS scores of 6.5 and above may be granted Regular admission to the MSA Program. Students with TOEFL scores between 500 and 549 PBT or 173 and 210 CBT or 61-78 iBT or IELTS scores of 5.5 or 6 should review the International Student Admission section on TOEFL scores in this Bulletin. Applicants who have satisfactorily completed a 4-year baccalaureate degree entirely in the United States qualify for English Proficiency. All students from non-exempt countries lacking proof of English Proficiency must be assessed by CMU’s English Language Institute. All exceptions must be approved by the MSA Director’s office.

Online Courses and MSA International Students

International students on student visas must obtain departmental approval in order to take online courses.


Upon admission to the MSA program, the student will be assigned an advisor. The student is required to meet with his or her advisor to discuss core area requirements and to select the courses to meet the concentration's requirements. The advisor will develop a degree plan in the Degree Progress System.  Course substitutions must be approved in advance by the advisor and the MSA Director. Students are also strongly encouraged to take MSA 600 before the mid-point of their program.

Graduate Transfer Credit

The MSA Program will consider graduate transfer credit for courses taken by correspondence. Courses must either be recommended by ACE for graduate credit or graduate level courses taken at a regionally accredited institution. Credit will be based on applicability of the courses to the student’s concentration and the MSA Program. Students should also review the Graduate Transfer Credit policy found in this bulletin for additional requirements.

Prior Learning Assessment Credit 

MSA students may use up to 12 hours of prior learning assessment credits on the Master of Science in Administration degree program.  Application of prior learning credit to the degree plan is determined by the MSA office.  


Program Requirements

All Master of Science in Administration degree students are required to take six core courses: MSA 600, MSA 601, MSA 602, MSA 603, MSA 604, and MSA 698 or MSA 699.

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 Degree Requirements section of the Graduate Bulletin and the following requirements:

  1. Earned a minimum of 36 semester hours of acceptable graduate credit (15-18 semester hours of which must be in the area of concentration).
  2. Earned a minimum of 18 semester hours from Central Michigan University.
  3. Submitted evidence of scholarship by meeting the Plan B paper requirement by completing the integrating experience (MSA 699 or MSA 698). This includes all Institutional Review Board (IRB) or research review application requirements.
  4. Successfully completed these required courses: MSA 600, MSA 601, MSA 602, MSA 603, MSA 604, and MSA 698 or MSA 699.
  5. Applied no more than 15 semester hours of College of Business Administration courses on the program plan. College of Business Administration courses are:
    1. Courses carrying designators ACC, BIS, BLR, BUS, FIN, HSA, MGT and MKT.
    2. MSA 601, MSA 602 OR MSA 634 or MSA 635, and MSA 660.
    3. Prior learning assessment credits identified as having business school content.
    4. Courses transferred from a school of business or management which would be considered College of Business Administration courses at CMU.
  6. Have an approved program plan on file.
  7. Completed all requirements for the degree within seven years of the awarding of the master's degree.

    In addition:

    1. MSA Certificate programs may not use more than 33% of their credits in College of Business Administration courses;
    2. MSA Certificate programs must be completed within seven years prior to the awarding of the graduate certificate;
    3. Business courses taken on any certificate program will not apply to any business degree at CMU; and
    4. Courses with MSA designators may not be used toward an MBA degree at CMU and CMU courses with MBA designators may not be used toward the MSA degree.

Accelerated Master of Science in Administration

(Currently enrolled CMU Undergraduate students only)

Undergraduate students majoring in the following majors: Organizational Leadership, Community Development, or Administration, or any main campus major may pursue a Master of Science in Administration degree while fulfilling the final year requirements for their Bachelor’s degree. The Accelerated Master of Science in Administration program allows students to reduce the total number of credits to complete their undergraduate degree and graduate level degrees by applying up to 18 credits toward the graduation requirements on both degree programs.

Admission Criteria

To be eligible for the Accelerated Master of Science in Administration program, the student must have:

  1. An overall cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 including all General Education requirements (including transfer and AP credits), the semester that they apply for admission to the Accelerated MSA program. This includes all forms of credit to include transfer credit from another institution.
  2. CMU undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 the semester that they apply for admission to the Accelerated MSA program.
  3. Minimum of 86 credit hours toward a Bachelor’s degree with no less than 18 remaining credit hours to complete the undergraduate degree.

During the final academic year, students will complete 18 credits of MSA coursework that will be the final courses taken and counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

Generally, students will apply during their junior year for admission into MSA’s accelerated degree program to begin the first semester of their senior year. To seek approval to enroll in this program, students should 1) submit an online admission application to be an Accelerated Graduate student and 2) complete and submit the Accelerated Graduate Degree Program Acknowledgement and Approval Form found on the College of Graduate Studies website. The student is required to meet with a MSA advisor to identify the MSA courses for the accelerated option. Course requirements are approved by the MSA Office.  If approved for admission, students must average a “B” or higher in the credits that apply to the graduate degree.  AGDP student grades will be monitored by Graduate Studies and any student who does not average a “B” or higher in the credits that apply to the graduate degree will be removed from the AGDP, unless the student obtains an exception from Graduate Studies. To request an exception, the student must have the support of their MSA advisor and present a viable plan to obtain the minimum “B” average in the credits that apply to the graduate degree prior to the completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students removed from the AGDP must apply for readmission into the master’s program. If removed from the AGDP, the completed courses may still be used at the undergraduate level but cannot subsequently be used at a graduate level.

If you are admitted to an AGDP, your financial aid may be affected. Contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for information (989-774-3674)


Program Requirements


Required Core I (15 hours)

MSA 600Foundations of Research Methods in Administration


MSA 601Organizational Dynamics and Human Behavior


MSA 602Financial Analysis, Planning and Control


MSA 603Strategic Planning for the Administrator


MSA 604Administration, Globalization and Multiculturalism


Required Core II (3 hours)

Select one of the following:

MSA 698Directed Administrative Portfolio


MSA 699Applied Research Project in Administration



Select one of the following:

Digital Management

Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Engineering Management

General Administration

Health Services Administration

Human Resources Administration

International Administration


Logistics and Acquisitions

Philanthropy and Fundraising

Project Management

Public Administration

Research Administration

Training and Development