The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) helps America's heroes secure their futures by preparing for and transitioning to high-skilled technology careers. 

Program highlights

Photo of MSSA classroom
  • Accelerated, full-time 16-week program
  • Includes academic and technical training, certification testing and practical exercises to meet urgent Information Technology industry needs
  • ​​Successful completion results in a certificate in computer science and a job interview with Microsoft
  • Open to: veterans, guard, reserve​ and active duty service members with separation or retirement dates of 180 days or less from class start date

Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) Overview briefing

Microsoft: We still serve logo

Learning Paths

  • Cloud Application Development (CAD)

    Become a C# programmer to build local, server-based and cloud-stored applications. 

    Concepts include:

    • Database programming
    • Data integration and manipulation
    • C# application programming with MVC
    • C# application development in Azure

    Saint Martin's credit will be awarded for the following courses:

    • CSC 160 - Computing Technologies 
    • CSC 205 - Programming in C# 
    • CSC 305 - SQL and Application Development                
    • CSC 390 - Developing ASP.NET Web Applications  
    • CSC 440 - Azure Application Development 
    • CSC 457 - Developing Cloud Solutions  

    See potential careers


  • Server & Cloud Administration (SCA)

    Become a systems administrator who can install, configure, manage and advance the usage of IT resources on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid combination to meet the technology needs of major organizations. 

    Concepts include:

    • Windows Server workloads, networking, authentication and authorization
    • Cloud models
    • Azure administration

    Saint Martin's credit will be awarded for the following courses:

    • CSC 160 - Computing Technologies 
    • CSC 330 - Networking and Server Fundamentals 
    • CSC 331 - Windows Server Configuration and Management
    • CSC 332 - Configuring Advanced Windows Server Services 
    • CSC 395 - ST: Advanced Server Administration Tools
    • CSC 456 - Configuring and Deploying Cloud Technologies

    See potential careers

Program Information

  • Program eligibility

    Open to: 

    • Service members meeting criteria for Skillbridge in DoDI 1322.29
    • Honorably discharged veterans
    • National Guard
    • Reservists

    Not open to:

    • Military spouses
    • Dependents
    • Veterans with less than an honorable discharge
    • Civilians without military service
  • Academic calendar

    Important dates for the upcoming cohorts: 

    Spring 2020

    • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Application Developer
    • Admissions deadline: 3 January (date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
    • Start date: 14 January
    • End date: 8 May

    Summer 2020

    • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Application Developer
    • Admissions deadline: 1 May (date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
    • Start date: 12 May
    • End date: 21 August

    Fall 2020

    • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Application Developer
    • Admissions deadline: 14 August (date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
    • Start date: 1 September
    • End date: 18 December

    Spring 2021

    • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Application Developer
    • Admissions deadline: 3 January (date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
    • Start date: 12 January
    • End date: 7 May

    Summer 2021

    • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Application Developer
    • Admissions deadline: 1 May (date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
    • Start date: 11 May
    • End date: 20 August


  • Tuition & books


    • Primary means of payment is GI Bill
    • MSSA uses four (4) months of GI Bill benefits
    • Saint Martin’s is a Yellow Ribbon school
    • Tuition rate: $19,075
    • MSSA is not eligible for FAVSA
    • Scholarships available:
      • Chancellors Scholarship: $7,000
      • MSSA Scholarship: $6,575



    • MSSA Class Pack approximately $500 (required purchase first week of course)
      • E-books
      • Virtual lab environments 
      • Three (3) MCP exam vouchers
    • GI Bill book stipend is $750


    GI Bill

    For those using VA educational benefits, prior to the orientation you will need to compete the following:

    If you have any questions, please contact the MSSA VA Certifier is Mercedes Garrido at or (253) 584-4149

  • Residence halls
    • Residence halls are available free of charge for PTDY (two (2) person rooms)
    • Veterans using Post 911 GI Bill are eligible for BAH
    • Residence hall rate: $2,800 for the semester
  • Campus locations
    • MSSA has two campuses:


    • Stone Education Center
      • JBLM, WA 98433


    • Saint Martin's University
      • 5000 Abbey Way SE
      • Lacey, WA 98503 


    • Campuses are approxemitely 10 miles appart
    • MSSA applicants must be prepared to attend at the location specified by Saint Martin’s
    • Both locations will conduct classes Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., some sessions may run later
    • Computer labs are open Mondays for students

Application process

  • Step two: Proof of service

    Upload your proof of service to your MSSA application.

    This is required to prove your eligibility for the MSSA program. Your application will not move forward until this step is completed.

    Proof of service is DD-214 for Veterans or SRB/ERB/SURF depending on your branch of service for active duty.

  • Step three: Official transcripts

    Request official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the school you attended to Saint Martin’s University.  

    If you have sealed official transcripts, you may bring them to the Saint Martin’s Office at the Stone Education Center on JBLM. If you open the transcripts, they are no longer sealed and therefore no longer official.

    Prior to admission into the MSSA, the Office of Admissions must receive all official transcripts.

    Mail transcripts to: 
    Saint Martin’s University
    Attn: Admissions
    PO Box 33058
    JBLM-Main, WA 98433

    Or email transcripts to:

  • Step four: Math prerequisite

    Saint Martin University MTH 101—Intermediate Algebra is the math prerequisite.

    MSSA Admissions will evaluate your official transcript to determine if you meet the math prerequisite. If you do not meet the prerequisite based on your official transcripts, you can take the MSSA math placement exam or you can take a math course that meets this prerequisite. If you plan to take the math course with a school other than Saint Martin's, email the school name and course number to to verify the class meets the prerequisite.

    Math placement exam: Once you submit your MSSA application, you will receive instructions on how to take the MSSA math placement exam. Ensure you study prior to taking the math placement exam as you only get one chance. You will receive the link and instructions for the math placement exam via email once you submit your MSSA application. 

    Important: Students applying for the MSSA program take the math placement exam at a different web location than regular undergraduates.  If you fail to use the correct website, your math placement exam scores will be invalidated and you will be required to take any future math placement exams in a proctored environment on campus at predetermined times.

  • Step five: Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exam

    Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification prerequisite

    Once you submit your application and upload your proof of service, Saint Martin’s University will provide you with resources to prepare for the MTA exam and a voucher code to take the MTA exam.

    Which MTA exam is required:

    • Cloud Application Development (CAD): MTA 98-361 - Software Development Fundamentals
    • Server & Cloud Administration (SCA): MTA 98-366 - Network Fundamentals or Valid CompTIA Net+ or Sec+ Certification

    MTA exam registration instructions

    Read the MTA registration guidelines

    Upload MTA certificate

    Upload your MTA certificate to your MSSA application.

    Failed MTA Exam

    Saint Martin's will only issue one voucher code per student. If you do not pass the exam, you may be able to use the Microsoft Military Program (MMP) to take the MTA exam again. If not, check with your local library; sometimes they have MTA exam vouchers, or you can pay out of pocket. The exam costs approximately $127.

  • Step six: Pre-program interview

    After the math and MTA prerequisites are met, the final step is the pre-program interview. MSSA routinely has more applicants than seats in the class; you will receive a seat in the class once the pre-program interview is completed and you receive the official acceptance letter.

  • Active duty applicants

    If you are on active duty, you must also contact the Career Skills Program (CSP).


    Active duty service members stationed at JBLM must attend the CSP briefing to begin the command approval process.

    CSP briefings:

    Every Monday at 12 p.m.
    Hawk Transition Center
    Lewis North

    Contact JBLM CSP representatives:
    253-966-2200 or 253-477-4743

    Other locations

    For service members not located at JBLM, contact your local CSP representative to initiate the process. If you do not have a local CSP representative, contact the JBLM CSP team at

    Permissive Temporary Duty (PTDY)

    PTDY is authorized for service members to attend the MSSA CSP program at JBLM. Saint Martin’s has free residence halls available for PTDY service members attending the MSSA.

  • Residence hall application

    If you wish to stay in the residence halls while attending the MSSA program, you must complete the online application.

    Note: MSSA students must use this link; please do not use residence hall application links found on other Saint Martin’s web pages. There is a $200 refundable security deposit required for students staying on campus.

    MSSA residence hall application

    Note: MSSA students are not required to purchase meal plans.

    Housing and dining

    The Saint Martin's Student Handbook outlines housing and residence life policies and procedures.

    Student handbook