Quality Education in the Benedictine Tradition.


Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

Top Reasons Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Pursue Your Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence at Saint Vincent College

Posted by Michael Urick on Tue, May 5, 2020 @ 09:05 AM

I’ve had the privilege of directing Saint Vincent College’s Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence (MSMOE) program for nearly seven years. I want to share with you why I think now is a great time to pursue this degree.

Before I list my top reasons, here is some background on the program for those who might not know. The MSMOE started nearly 15 years ago as a response to the needs of regional organizations. The 36-credit (12 graduate classes) curriculum focuses on academically supported management concepts related to the philosophy of Operational Excellence. As such, it presents a balanced blend between the human and process sides of organizations. To be a good leader, managers must understand their organizations, the people they interact with and the processes in which they engage. Operational Excellence takes these concepts and emphasizes continuous improvement, waste reduction and problem-solving. Every course in the MSMOE explores one or more of these related areas.

Now that I’ve shared a bit about the program, without further ado these are my top reasons why you should consider applying for the MSMOE.

  1. Flexibility

Courses meet in the evenings. You can complete the program in as quickly as a year or as long as you need to take in order to finish the requirements. About half of our students work full-time and the other half study full-time. For those students not sure if they want to commit to the full master’s program, a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Management: Operational Excellence (GCMOE) is also available starting this fall. Classes in the GCMOE program also count toward the MSMOE for those students who later decide that they would like to earn their master’s degree. Both programs are relevant to anyone who would like to be a leader in the context of an organization and who is interested in continuous improvement, waste reduction and problem-solving.

  1. Cost effectiveness

Comparatively speaking, the MSMOE program actually has one of the lowest overall costs out of other business graduate degrees in the region. This fact, along with its reputation and history of student outcomes, makes it one of the most economical business master’s programs around. There are also some discounts available for those individuals who live in Westmoreland County or who are Saint Vincent alumni.

  1. Student outcomes

Speaking of student outcomes, based on survey responses, 100 percent of MSMOE graduates report satisfaction with the program. The MSMOE also has historically had a nearly 100 percent job placement rate for all job-seeking graduates within one month out of the program (with a median salary in the mid-$60k). Graduates of the program often report promotions and salary increases, sometimes in excess of 15 percent, within one year out of the program. For those students who would like to stay in academia, we have had several graduates pursue further education including doctoral degrees. This program also offers opportunities to pursue academic research which is crucial to getting accepted into a doctoral program. Within the past five years, we have had nine pieces of student-driven research get published or presented. Seven of these have been through peer-reviewed channels, and one was presented at the top management academic conference in the world.

  1. Reputation

The MSMOE is fully accredited and has been nationally ranked five times in recent years. Four of those rankings were based on the online format of the program. For example, in its most recent three national rankings, U.S. News and World Report ranked Saint Vincent’s MSMOE as a Top Online Graduate Business Program. Our faculty have an extensive background and are leaders in their respective fields. While some have extensive careers in academic research, others have excelled as former executives, entrepreneurs and practical subjective matter experts. This blend of academic and practical expertise truly benefits our students.

  1. Format

The MSMOE is now available 100 percent online. While we have had online courses available for the past six years, students may now complete all components “virtually” with no requirement to physically be on campus. However, for those students who prefer the traditional face-to-face approach to learning, courses will also be offered in person (once it is safe to do so again).

  1. Curriculum

Let’s not forget one of the most important reasons to apply for the MSMOE – you’re going to learn a lot! Our curriculum has been designed based on recommendations from our business partners, a group of regional organizations that value Operational Excellence. Their insights ensure that our program is current and applicable to a variety of jobs.

Regardless of what role or industry you aspire to work in, I am confident that the ideals of continuous improvement, waste reduction and problem-solving will be useful to you. Again, I encourage you to apply to Saint Vincent College’s Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program. You can find out more information on the program at www.stvincent.edu/msmoe. And I am always happy to answer any of your questions; just email me at michael.urick@stvincent.edu. Don’t forget to check out our new MSMOE Facebook page. Our faculty look forward to seeing your application soon!          


Dr. Mike Urick

Topics: Saint Vincent College, Education, Michael Urick, Graduate programs, MSMOE, mike urick, Dr. Mike Urick, Master of Science in Management

About the Authors

Michelle Gil-Montero is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She runs the visiting writers series on campus, oversees the student literary magazine, and serves as guru to aspiring poets on campus. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, and she has been on the Saint Vincent faculty since that year. She is an active poet and literary translator from Spanish. She is spending part of the 2016-17 school year travelling to Argentina on a Howard Foundation fellowship and Fulbright grant. 

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January 2008. Dr. Smetanka has taught courses in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Geology as well as interdisciplinary seminars. He has published scientific research articles in physics and astrophysics journals, numerous conference proceedings and also works in science education reform and the interaction between science, technology and theology.

Jim Kellam is an associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College and our resident ornithologist. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2003, and is taking this semester as a sabbatical. What does that mean? He'll explain in his blog posts.

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Associate Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

David Safin, C'00, has been a lecturer in the communication department since the Fall of 2003, and has served in a variety of administrative roles since the summer of 2004. Currently, he teaches multimedia in the communication department as an assistant professor. 

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom also directs the Faith and Reason summer program every summer. 

Subscribe via E-mail

Schedule a visit today

Request Information

Apply now to become a bearcat

Latest Posts

Join the Community