MSA Class of 2018


Frequently Asked Questions: The MSA Program

Is the MSA available as a part-time or distance program?

Open Answer
The MSA is an intensive, cohort-based learning experience, offered only as a full-time program on campus. Our students’ success can be attributed to a great extent to the campus-based format, which requires full immersion in study.
What is a cohort-based program?

Open Answer
A learning cohort is a group of students who move through their courses and related learning experiences together from the beginning of their program of study to its completion. Peer-to-peer learning and feedback are critical aspects of the MSA experience. Cohort-based learning prepares students for employers who value teamwork and collaboration.
May I start the MSA during the fall or spring semester?

Open Answer
No. All members of the MSA cohort begin studies in late June (NC State’s Summer II term) and complete the program over 10 months. Graduation is held in early May. There is no year-to-year carryover of students.
May I complete the MSA over two years instead of one?

Open Answer
No. All members of the MSA cohort begin studies in late June (NC State’s Summer II term) and complete the program over 10 months. Graduation is held in early May. There is no year-to-year carryover of students.
May I register for MSA courses if I have not been accepted into the program?

Open Answer
No. All courses that are part of the MSA degree curriculum are restricted to students accepted into the program.
May I transfer credits from prior coursework toward the MSA?

Open Answer
We do not accept transfer credits. All students must complete the MSA 30-credit hour curriculum. Additional elective courses are not permitted while completing the degree.
When are classes held?

Open Answer
Classes are scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Students are involved in team exercises and other program activities when not in class and, therefore, do not schedule other commitments during these hours.
May I work while pursuing the MSA?

Open Answer
No. The MSA is an intensive full-time learning experience. Students typically spend 60 hours per week on MSA-related activities. Students should not attempt to hold a job while completing the degree; those who do so risk failing the program. Job responsibilities that interfere with school work are unacceptable, and are grounds for termination from the program.
How much does the MSA cost?

Open Answer
You’ll find details regarding tuition and fees here.
Is financial aid available?

Open Answer
MSA students are normally self-financed through personal savings or educational loans. You may apply for federal unsubsidized direct loans, and if qualified, for fellowships and other awards offered through the Graduate School. As a ten-month intensive program, the tuition and fee costs for the program are considerably lower than master’s degrees requiring registration for four or more semesters. Regrettably, the MSA program itself does not have the financial resources to accommodate prospective students who require a fully-subsidized education.
Do you offer graduate (teaching or research) assistantships?

Open Answer
No.
What additional expenses can I expect to incur while I am a student?

Open Answer
The university provides estimates for additional expenses here.
Does the MSA program offer job placement assistance?

Open Answer
Yes. More than 90% of MSA graduates seeking employment are placed with the Institute’s assistance. We provide dedicated career services to all students throughout the program, including resume review; interview coaching; and exposure to dozens of companies/organizations through an Analytics in Practice lecture series, networking receptions, and on-site interviews.
Who employs MSA graduates and for what positions do MSA graduates qualify?

Open Answer
We provide a detailed Employment Report for each cohort of MSA graduates. You may access these reports here.
What is the average salary for MSA graduates?

Open Answer
We provide a detailed Employment Report for each cohort of MSA graduates. You may access these reports here.
What is the employment outlook for international MSA students seeking jobs in the U.S.?

Open Answer
While the economy and other factors may create unpredictable obstacles to U.S. employment, and while some employers cannot or choose not to hire non-citizens, to date, 97% of MSA alumni are employed in the U.S. International students holding the MSA (a STEM-qualified degree) are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Please review our Employment Report for the latest information about student outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions: Our Admissions Process

Am I eligible to apply?

Open Answer
Admission is highly selective; however, we admit students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our admissions committee bases its decisions on a combination of criteria, detailed here.
What are the deadlines for application submission?

Open Answer
In mid-June 2020 we will begin accepting applications for admission to MSA Class of 2022, which begins studies in June 2021. International applicants should apply by December 15 to meet the Graduate School’s priority deadline. Domestic applicants should apply by one of the three deadlines detailed here. All available seats are filled by the end of April.
Do I need to complete all prerequisites before applying to the program?

Open Answer
You may complete prerequisite coursework concurrent with your application. You should inform us of any in-progress coursework and will need to provide a transcript once you have completed the course.
Am I required to take the GRE or GMAT?

Open Answer
No. We do not consider scores from standardized entrance exams such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) as part of the MSA admissions process.
As an international student, am I required to take the TOEFL or IELTS?

Open Answer
It depends. Refer to the English proficiency requirement to determine whether you qualify for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver.
Do I have to have all of my recommendation letters, transcripts and scores before I submit my application?

Open Answer
No. You may submit your application and send other materials later, but please note that the MSA admissions committee will not review an application until we’ve received all supporting documents. Please encourage your recommendation providers to submit their letters by the deadline under which you’re applying.
Will you notify me if something is missing from my application?

Open Answer
Applicants are responsible for ensuring the submission of all application materials, and should monitor their submission status via the Graduate School’s applicant portal. We will acknowledge receipt of your application and will make an effort to contact you if your application is incomplete as the deadline approaches.
What is the required length of an applicant’s personal statement?

Open Answer
There is no specific length requirement or page format. The typical personal statement, otherwise known as a statement of purpose (SOP), is 1-2 pages long. We are less interested in a narrative of your educational and/or work history, and more so in your professional aspirations and interest in our program. For additional tips, see here.
Are interviews required?

Open Answer
We select applicants to interview based on the quality of the completed application, and we will not offer admission until a candidate has completed an interview with our admissions committee. If invited, you will receive an email containing instructions for scheduling your interview. We conduct interviews here at the Institute or remotely via video conference.
When and how will I receive an admission decision?

Open Answer
Please refer to our admission timelines for US citizens/permanent residents and international applicants for admission decision notification dates. You will receive an email notifying you that a decision recommendation is available in the Graduate School’s applicant portal. To protect student confidentiality, we do not provide admission decisions over the telephone. All admissions decisions are final.
May I re-apply if I am denied admission?

Open Answer
If you are denied admission, you may re-apply to the program in the future. We encourage re-applicants to highlight how you have strengthened your candidacy since your previous application.
How do I qualify for North Carolina residency?

Open Answer
The state of North Carolina has a centralized Residency Determination Service (RDS). You’ll find details here.
Where can I find more information for international students?

Open Answer
NC State’s Office of International Services (OIS) is an excellent resource for international students.