JSU to Offer M.S. with Major in Manufacturing Systems
17 March 2005 — Jacksonville State University will offer a
Master of Science degree with a major in manufacturing systems technology beginning this fall to help workers needing
additional education relevant to the manufacturing sector.
The program will be the only one of its kind in the south. It will give graduates a broad base of knowledge and skills
needed to effectively manage and control production in manufacturing facilities.
Recently approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the degree "is designed for technical professionals in
manufacturing industries who now have management responsibilities or manage a manufacturing enterprise," said Mr. Terry
Marbut, head of JSU's Department of Technology and Engineering. "This program will give them the advanced education
they need to lead Alabama's industries in a global economy."
The program aims at assisting experienced workers who wish to take graduate programs part time. JSU will offer two
courses per semester, and the typical student should be able to graduate in two years. The degree requires 30 credit
hours, which will include courses in three areas: operational analysis, computer science, and project management.
Courses will include instruction in the areas of quality management, safety management, computer networking,
cost management, completing manufacturing projects on time and under budget, and other topics.
To graduate, students will be required to complete six semester hours related to a comprehensive project in
According to Mr. Marbut, "The program is designed as an evening, part-time program, and is not the type of full-time
graduate program where you would graduate with your undergraduate degree and then just stay in school full time. This
degree is for people who are out there working and who are going to come back to school part time."
The new degree is intended to enhance the educational credentials of technicians, engineers, supervisors, and middle
The manufacturing systems technology program is a natural extension of JSU's undergraduate technology and engineering
program. Graduates have gone on to assume positions within area manufacturing firms in Alabama and have matured to
the point where they need additional education to advance in their careers and to update their skills. JSU's
undergraduate programs in technology are accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT).
Studies show that Alabama is home to more than 6,600 manufacturing, assembly, and processing facilities that employ
more than 380,000 workers and export $5.4 billion in products and services annually. The U.S. Department of Commerce
forecasts a significant increase in the number of manufacturing jobs in Alabama. The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers
Association also reports rapid growth in the automotive sector of manufacturing in Alabama and anticipates continued
Manufacturing plays a key role in the nation's economic development. A 2003 publication of the National Association of
Manufacturers stated that manufacturing was responsible for one-third of the overall economy's growth in productivity
from 1992 to 2000. The U.S. Labor Department stated that manufacturing has one of the highest multiplier effects in
terms of job creation.
Prerequisites for admission to the program are:
For further information, contact the College of Graduate Studies at 256-782-5329 or the Department
of Technology and Engineering at 256-782-5294. The Department of Technology website is at
- Application to the JSU College of Graduate Studies.
- Transcripts from all institutions previously attended.
- Official test scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the
Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).
- Three Graduate Reference Forms completed by individuals who can provide qualitative assessment of
applicant's potential for success in graduate course work. The forms are available in the College
of Graduate Studies and on their website at
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