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Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Online with Course Info

Find out about online Microsoft Office Specialist courses and in which programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification is a credential granted by the Microsoft Company after students complete Microsoft Office skills exams. Courses that prepare students for these exams are widely available online through community and 4-year colleges, vocational schools and universities. Some schools allow students to enroll in an online MOS preparation course at any time, while others operate on a semester system. While some schools award credits and/or certificates of completion, the MOS Certification is only available from Microsoft.

In order to learn the basics of the Microsoft Office applications, students must have access to the Microsoft Office programs on a PC. As a result of software upgrades and changes, many versions of this software are available, and depending on which programs students are using, the company offers different certification courses and exams accordingly. For example, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, and Microsoft Office 2000 each have their own preparation courses and exams.

Online AvailabilityFully online programs available
Degree Levels AvailableSome schools offer certificate of completion and/or degree credits for courses taken.
In-Person RequirementsNone for courses, but students must take Microsoft certification exam at approved testing location.
Online RequirementsAccess to Microsoft Office applications on a PC

Course Topics

Online MOS courses are typically completed in modules. Each module covers a basic program function, such as creating, organizing and formatting content, in one of Microsoft Office's five basic programs. Students are taught to use the tools to create finished products. The five Microsoft Office software programs are:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Access
  • Outlook

Certification Exams

The three MOS certification levels are specialist, expert and master. For the MOS specialist certification, students must pass a specialist skills test. For expert MOS certification, either the Word Expert or the Excel Expert exam must be passed. In order to become master certified, students must pass four exams: Word Expert, Excel Expert, PowerPoint Expert and either the Access or Outlook exam.

After completing the course, students can take the MOS certification exam at a proctored testing center near their home. Upon successful completion, students will receive an award from Microsoft in the mail.

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