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

The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (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 MSSA program

Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) Overview briefing

Thank you for your interest in the MSSA Program.

The first step is to complete the MSSA online application and, second, request your official transcripts. Then there are two prerequisites that must be met before you can be accepted into a cohort, (a) Math 101—Intermediate Algebra and (b) Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification. Finally, if you are on active duty, you must also contact the Career Skills program.


Step 1. Complete the MSSA Online Application. (Note: In the "Select an application type" dropdown, select "Non-Degree / Certificate")

Apply now


Step 2. Request 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: Saint Martin’s University JBLM, Attn: Admissions, PO Box 33058,  JBLM-Main, WA 98433
  • Or email transcripts to


Step 3. Complete the Math 101 Prerequisite.
Saint Martin University’s Math 101—Intermediate Algebra is a prerequisite 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.


Step 4. Prepare for and register for Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification.
After you complete the online application and submit your official transcripts we will provide you a voucher and instructions for taking the MTA exam.

You will also 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.


Which MTA exam:

  • Server & Cloud Administration (SCA) cohort: MTA 98-366 - Network Fundamentals
  • Cloud Application Developer (CAD) cohort: MTA 98-361 - Software Development Fundamentals


Preparing for the MTA exam:

Microsoft Virtual Academy Course and Study Guide:

Exam Information:

Additional Resources:


Additional information


For applicants on Active Duty:
Finally, if you are on Active Duty, you must also contact the Career Skills Program (CSP).

  • 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. Contact JBLM CSP representatives at or (253) 966-2200 or (253) 477-4743.
  • 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, if your location does not have a CSP representative then contact the JBLM CSP team.


For applicants who wish to stay in dorms for MSSA at Saint Martin's University:
For MSSA students who wish to stay in the dorms while attending the MSSA program you must complete the online dorm application. (Note: MSSA students must use this link, do not use dorm application links found on other Saint Martin’s pages. There is a $200 refundable security deposit required for students staying in the dorms.)
MSSA Dorm Application

For information about the dorms and meal plans. (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

MSSA program starts new cohorts three times per year:

  • Spring (January)
  • Summer (May)
  • Fall (September)


Important dates for the upcoming cohorts:

Summer 2018

  • Tracks: 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 

  • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator
  • Admissions Deadline: 7 Aug 18 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
  • Start Date: 28 Aug 18
  • End Date: 14 Dec 18


Spring 2019

  • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Application Developer
  • Admissions Deadline: 11 Dec 18 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
  • Start Date: 15 Jan 19
  • End Date: 10 May 19


Summer 2019 

  • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator
  • Admissions Deadline: 23 Apr 19 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
  • Start Date: 14 May 19
  • End Date: 23 Aug 19


Fall 2019

  • Tracks: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Application Developer
  • Admissions Deadline: 6 Aug 19 (Date all prerequisites met and packet complete)
  • Start Date: 27 Aug 19
  • End Date: 13 Dec 19

The Microsoft Software System Academy (MSSA) has two campuses:

  • Stone Education Center, JBLM, WA 98433
  • 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.

Server & Cloud Administration

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 and Azure administration.

See potential careers

To ensure success in the MSSA program, we expect you’ll begin with a fundamental understanding of the technology taught in your cohort. There are two options to meet this prerequisite for entrance into the MSSA program:

A) A current Microsoft Networking Fundamentals Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification meets the prerequisite for this learning path. To gain certification, take the MTA Networking Fundamentals Training to understand the basics of networking and the different workloads that define a comprehensive network infrastructure.


B) A current CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ certification also meets the prerequisite options for this learning path.


Cloud Application Development

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 and application development in Azure.

See potential careers

To ensure success in the MSSA program, we expect you’ll begin with a fundamental understanding of the technology taught in your cohort. We require current Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification as a prerequisite for this learning path. Take the online MTA Software Development Fundamentals Training to gain an introductory level of understanding of programming concepts required for this program.


MSSA Program Contact Information

Phone: (360) 688-2417