The curriculum for the Master of Science in Quality Systems Management degree program can be completed in one year (three semesters, twelve courses, 36 credits).
The program is designed in an integrated-storyboard format developed after extensive consultation with diverse focus groups of prospective employers, organizational leaders and quality practitioners. A distinguishing feature of the program is the substitution of the conventional master’s thesis with a team-based, work-related project of significant professional relevance to the learner and his employer or company (the Master’s Business Project or MBP).
In order for a student to graduate, the project’s supervisor or “Champion” must validate and formally attest to the school that results have been achieved. In the tradition of the oral thesis defense, students publicly defend their results before an audience of faculty and invited experts.
In the contemporary manner of programs for experienced, working adult professionals, the school emphasizes and monitors student study teams, which routinely spend at least as much time outside of class as they do in class.
In addition, each student is expected to spend approximately 400 out-of-class hours on the project and will be monitored by designated academic faculty advisors.
- Semester 1 provides a foundation in quality to guide students through the remainder of the curriculum. Topics include an overview of performance-based management systems, best practices, value stream mapping and a systems approach to strategic planning.
- Semester 2 helps students gain enhanced skills through a linked series of courses related to and supportive of MBP results. Topics include the DMAIC model, six sigma and lean thinking applications.
- Semester 3 provides practical methodologies for applying quality systems principles to assess organizational achievements.
Purpose of the accelerated Master of Science in Quality Systems Management degree program
- To provide students, particularly working adults and other nontraditional students, with a business-related graduate education that will empower them to make rapid contributions to private, public and military sector organizations;
- To engage students in a rigorous, exciting, challenging, theoretical and practical learning experience in a specialized curriculum that is uniquely centered in both management sciences and quality systems, predicated on a teamwork approach and which incorporates a business project that requires measurable results;
- To provide students with the resources needed to interact with others clearly and effectively;
- To impart knowledge and demonstrate to students the aligned relationship of a quality systems management theme to ethical behavior;
- To subject the body of knowledge known as quality systems management to a process of continuous improvement derived from the application of that knowledge in the workplace and responses to research in the field.
The program is offered only in a cohort-group format.