Spreadsheet Competency Requirement

The School of Business, Government, and Economics undergraduate program has a spreadsheet competency requirement.  This is not a course requirement, but is rather a skill requirement. Your proficiency in the use of spreadsheets is attested to by passing the MOS 77-420 (Excel 2013), MOS 77-727 (Excel 2016), or MO-200 (Excel 2019) exam, or by passing BUS 1700.  This requirement applies to all majors in the School of Business, Government, and Economics. The SBGE spreadsheet competency requirement should be satisfied before you apply to a major in the School of Business, Government, and Economics.  It must be satisfied before courses such as ACCT 2362 Managerial Accounting, BUS 2700 Statistics for Business and Economics, BUS 3250 Business Finance, or POL 4643 Methods of Political Analysis may be taken.

Note:  Students who received a grade of C- or higher in BUS 1700 or CSC 1123 prior to summer 2015 have satisfied this requirement. Courses transferred to SPU with a grade of C- or higher, and deemed equivalent to BUS 1700 prior to summer 2016, also satisfy this requirement.    

How to Satisfy the Spreadsheet Requirement

Evidence that you have passed a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification in the area of Microsoft Excel is the  method approved to document your basic spreadsheet competency.  The current exam is the MO-200 for Excel 2019 examWhile a 700/1000 score is required to earn the MOS certification, SBGE will accept a score of at least 600/1000 to satisfy this spreadsheet competency requirement.  (Updated: 8/12/19)

Students must be proficient with the Windows version of Excel. Microsoft does not offer an Apple/Mac version of this exam.

Here is a list of the exam topics.

SPU is a Certiport Authorized Testing Center.  Here are the three ways a student can take the MOS exam.

(1)   Student enrolled in BUS 1700 have a $50 course fee added onto their tuition bill.  This way the cost can be covered  by financial aid.  This fee allows each student to take the MOS exam following the three-weeks of BUS 1700 tutorial lectures.  Enrolled students are also allowed one free retake of the exam if necessary.  G∙Metrix practice exams can be reviewed online, details of which will be covered in class.  Students may retake the exam multiple times if needed, but only the first retake is free.  Subsequent retakes are charged at $50 per exam.  BUS 1700 students who pass the exam with a score of 70% or above, not only receive one credit toward graduation, but also earn the Microsoft Office Specialist certificate.

(2)   Students are free to take the MOS exam at any public Certiport Authorized Testing Center.  For example, the Sylvan Learning Center in Ballard is a nearby center, although costs there are significant relative to here at SPU.  Some students have taken the older MOS 77-727 (Excel 2016) exam at the downtown Seattle Public Library.  Search the Event Calendar there for "MOS" exams for more information.  To satisfy our requirement, you would stop by Dr. Sleight's office and login to your test account to show him that you have passed the exam.

(3)   Students may also acquire the Microsoft course textbook, and additional exam review materials from Dr. Sleight, and take the certification exam here in McKenna Hall after preparing for it on your own.  Reservations to take the exam are made through Dr. Sleight and are scheduled during weeks four through ten of each quarter.  Test times match the hours BUS 1700 is offered each quarter.  Students not enrolled in BUS 1700 must pay a $50 testing fee.  Any needed retakes would also be $50.  Financial aid does not cover these testing fees.  Course credit is not earned unless students are registered in BUS 1700. 

How to sign up for a Microsoft Office Specialist Exam at SPU 

1.  If you are not registered in BUS 1700, contact Dr. Sleight to request information about the exam you are interested in taking.  He will also provide you with the exam dates and times for the current quarter. He is available to answer questions about the exam and to help you prepare for it. 
2.  When you feel ready to take the exam, make a reservation with him by email.  (During this season of COVID-19, Dr. Sleight is also available via Zoom during his office hours.)  
3.  At least two days before your exam, go to SPU's QuickPay web page and pay the $50 exam fee. Notice of your payment will be sent to Dr. Sleight. Payment must be made before a MOS exam may be taken.
4.  Before you arrive at our Certiport Authorized Testing Center (McKenna 113), register at for a Microsoft Office Specialist exam.  Create a username and password for yourself and make sure you remember these when you arrive to take your exam.  There is no voucher to purchase from Certiport or Microsoft. 

For additional help, resources, or questions:

Faculty Contact

Richard Sleight

Manager of Information Systems
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2265
Office: McKenna Hall 123A

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