Helping America's heroes secure their futures by preparing for and transitioning to high-skilled technology careers. 

The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA)

The MSSA program is a full-time, 16-week program that includes academic and technical training, certification testing and practical exercises aligned to meet urgent industry needs for Information Technology professionals. Successful completion of the MSSA program results in a Certificate in Computer Science from Saint Martin's University and a job interview with Microsoft. The MSSA is currently open to both Veterans and Active Duty Service Members with a separation or retirement date of 180 days or less from the class start date.

More about the program

Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) Overview briefing

  • Application Requirements

    Microsoft Virtual AcademyThank you for your interest in the MSSA Program.

    The first step is to complete the MSSA online application and request your official transcripts. There are two prerequisites that must be met before you can be accepted into a cohort, Math 101—Intermediate Algebra and Microsoft Technology Associate certification. Additionally, if you are on Active Duty, you must contact the Career Skills Program.


    MSSA Online Application: Note* Select Certificate Program and look for the MSSA check box

    Apply Now Online


    Official College Transcripts:

    Please request official transcripts from all colleges / universities you have attended. You will not be admitted to Saint Martin’s University until the Office of Admission receives all your official transcripts.

    Transcripts should be sent to:                                                           Or emailed to:

    Saint Martin’s University JBLM                                

    Attn:  Admissions

    PO Box 33058

    JBLM-Main, WA  98433


    Career Skills Program:

    JBLM: Active Duty must attend the CSP briefing held every Monday at 12:00 in BLD 3271, 2nd Division Drive, Lewis Main. MSSA representatives are present to answer question and CSP representatives to determine your eligibility for the program. JBLM CSP representative: Sojourner Thomas  at or (253) 477-4748.


    Other Locations: For Service Members not located at JBLM, the Army has authorized Service Members to attend the Saint Martin’s MSSA program at JBLM while on Permissive Temporary Duty (PTDY). Saint Martin’s University has accommodation available for the duration of the program. Contact your local CSP representative to initiate the process. 


    Math Prerequisite:

    Saint Martin University’s Math 101—Intermediate Algebra, is a pre-requisite for courses in the program. Your transcript will be evaluated to determine if you meet the math prerequisite. If you do not meet the prerequisite, you can either take the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy at Saint Martin’s online math placement exam, or you can take a math class that meets this prerequisite. If you chose to take a math class, email the school name and course number to to verify the class meets the prerequisite. 

    Once you complete the online application you will receive instructions on how to take the MSSA Math Placement Exam.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.


    Which MTA exam:

    Server and Cloud Administration (SCA) cohort: MTA 98-366 - Network Fundamentals.

    Database Administration and Business Intelligence (DBBI): MTA 98-364 - Database Fundamentals.


    Preparing for the MTA exam:


    Microsoft Virtual Academy Courses:

    Network Fundamentals

    SQL Database Fundamentals


    Study Guides:

    Network Fundamentals

    Database Administration Fundamentals


    Exam Information:

    Networking Fundamentals: Exam 98-366

    Database Fundamentals: Exam 98-364


    Additional Resources:

    Microsoft Virtual Academy

    Microsoft Learning

    Certiport – Pearson VUE


    How to Register for the MTA Exam: After you complete the online application and submit your official transcripts we will provide you a voucher and instructions for taking the MTA exam.


    Email Account:

    You will need a Microsoft email account to register for the MTA and for the MSSA program. This email address must identify you by your name, something like first.last@. Also, it must be a Microsoft email account, one that ends in,, or If you do not have a Microsoft email account that meets these requirements, please go to and create one e.g. firstname.lastname Do not register for a free trial of Azure with this email.

  • Academic Calendar

    MSSA program starts new cohorts three times per year, Spring (January), Summer (May), and Fall (September).

    Important dates for the upcoming cohorts:

    Fall 2017 Cohort (Server & Cloud Administrator and Database Administrator & Business Intelligence)

    Start Date: 5 Sep 17

    Graduation Date: 15 Dec 17


    Spring 2018 Cohort (Server & Cloud Administrator and Database Administrator & Business Intelligence)

    Admissions Deadline: 19 Dec 17 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)

    Orientation Date: 9 Jan 18 Server & Cloud Administrator, 10 Jan 18 Database Administrator & Business Intelligence

    Start Date: 16 Jan 18

    Graduation Date: 11 May 18


    Summer 2018 (Server & Cloud Administrator)

    Admissions Deadline: 24 Apr 18 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)

    Start Date: 15 May 18

    End Date: 24 Aug 18


    Fall 2018 (Server & Cloud Administrator and Database Administrator & Business Intelligence)

    Admissions Deadline: 7 Aug 18 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)

    Start Date: 28 Aug 18

    End Date: 14 Dec 18


    Spring 2019 (Server & Cloud Administrator and Database Administrator & Business Intelligence BBI)

    Admissions Deadline: 11 Dec 18 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)

    Start Date: 15 Jan 19

    End Date: 10 May 19


    Summer 2019 (Server & Cloud Administrator)

    Admissions Deadline: 23 Apr 18 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)

    Start Date: 14 May 18

    End Date: 23 Aug 18


    Fall 2019 (Server & Cloud Administrator and Database Administrator & Business Intelligence)

    Admissions Deadline: 6 Aug 19 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)

    Start Date: 27 Aug 19

    End Date: 13 Dec 19

  • Campus Locations

    MSSA Campus Locations:

    The Microsoft Software System Academy (MSSA) has two Campuses, Stone Education Center, JBLM, WA 98433 and Saint Martin's University, 5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey, WA 98503. 


    MSSA applicants must be prepared to attend at the location specified by Saint Martin’s University. The location will be determined by Saint Martin’s University based on the MSSA cohort size and number of cohorts conducted during the semester.


    Both locations will conduct classes Tuesday through Friday 0800-1700. Some sessions may run later depending on class projects and assignments. Classrooms are also open on Mondays for students to work on labs.

  • Database Administration and Business Intelligence (BI) Learning Path

    Database systems are the information hub of all modern day computers systems — they are ubiquitous. If you use the internet, a database is running behind it. Most people are not even aware that they are using a database system when they are on their smart phone, reading on kindle or surfing the internet.

    Business intelligence consists of techniques and tools for collecting raw data and producing meaningful information used in business analysis. The goal of BI is to be able to display a huge amount of data in an easy-to-interpret way, enabling companies to identify new opportunities and implement an effective data-driven strategy. These tools provide businesses with a competitive market advantage. Analyzing large data is also used in research and medicine.

    This learning path prepares you to develop and manage databases and teaches you tools that represent the information visually. You also learn the structure, trends and relationships in the data that will provide valuable business insights, enabling managers to make effective and efficient decisions. Examples of large database systems used every day include: computerized library systems, health care networks, flight reservation systems, Amazon inventory systems.

    Database & BI Administrators will have some of the following responsibilities:

    • Monitoring database health, applications
    • Maintain database and BI infrastructure
    • Configure, update and/or install database software and applications
    • Governance, risk and compliance management
    • End user assistance/requests
  • Server & Cloud Administrator (Network Administrator) Learning Path

    A network administrator is responsible for the maintenance of computer hardware and software systems that make up a computer network in an organization. In recent years, cloud technology has been added to a network administrator’s required skill base. Cloud technology is used by everyone in one way or another, and rapidly growing within business and non-profit organizations. An example of a cloud service is Google, Azure, and Amazon. All three organizations store data in the cloud, make end user software available ‘in the cloud’, and provide storage space in the cloud for companies and individuals.

    Network /cloud administration will have some of the following responsibilities:

    • Set up, configure and maintain company networks and system infrastructure; generate system improvements based on business needs.
    • Develop and/or monitor security related policies and guidelines; monitor the implementation of a security infrastructure; install and implement security programs.
    • Deploy virtual systems and network resources according to specifications based on established guidelines.
    • Collaborate with other departments to troubleshoot and resolve network connectivity and stability issues; test networks for weakness
    • Monitor the needs for growths and/or updates.
    • Align server/cloud services, business and IT goals.