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JSU to Offer M.S. with Major in Manufacturing Systems Technology
This Fall

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 manufacturing.

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 managers.

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 growth.

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:

  • 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
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

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