Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis (MCEA) - (Distance Learning) - Curriculum 379

Program Manager

Daniel Nussbaum, Ph.D.

Code OR, Glasgow Hall, Room 242

(831) 656-2387, DSN 756-2387

FAX (831) 656-2595

danussba@nps.edu

Greg K. Mislick, LCOL, USMC (Ret.)

Code OR, Glasgow Hall, Room 202

(831) 656-3113, DSN 756-3113

FAX (831) 656-2595

gmislick@nps.edu

Program Officer and Academic Associate

Kevin J. Maher, CDR, USN (Ret.)

Code OR, Glasgow Hall, Room 227

(831) 656-2691, DSN 756-2691

kjmaher@nps.edu

Program Description

The Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis (MCEA) is a 24-month, distance learning graduate degree program designed to increase the accuracy and proficiency of DoD cost estimates and cost estimators. This curriculum is sponsored by Naval Sea Systems Command as a joint effort between NPS and the Air Force Institute of Technology. Students will learn cost estimating techniques commonly used in both DoD and industry, and acquire foundation skills and hands-on experience in all aspects of cost estimation, including shipbuilding, aircraft, software, and many other areas. Students enroll in two courses per quarter for eight quarters. Case studies and a two-quarter capstone project will complete the program. This program blends web-based, online instruction, with video tele-education (VTE), and is especially tailored to students whose careers will not allow them to get away for a full-time graduate education program. Web-based courses are paced week-to-week by the instructors, where students have the flexibility to complete their coursework at times of their choosing during each week. The VTE classes meet during a three-hour period each week at a pre-determined time throughout the program. VTE/VTC courses are scheduled on Wednesdays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM eastern time (for odd-numbered cohorts) or Thursdays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM eastern time (for even-numbered cohorts), once per week for three hours during the workday.

Requirements for Entry

A baccalaureate degree is required. Recent completion (within five years) of mathematics through single variable differential and integral calculus is considered minimal preparation. An academic profile code (APC) of 235 is required. For applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.7, a waiver will be considered depending on work experience.

Entry Dates

The MCEA program is an eight-quarter course of study with start dates in late March. If further information is needed, contact the Academic Associate or the Program Manager for this curriculum.

Degree

The Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis is a professional degree awarded for completing a curriculum focused on the practice of the profession rather than the more general arts or sciences behind the profession. It is analogous to the professional focus of an MBA (Master of Business Administration) compared to the more academic focus of an MS (Master of Science) in Management Science.

The Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis degree requires:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 40 quarter-hours of graduate-level courses with:
    1. At least 15 quarter-hours of 4000-level courses.
    2. Cost Estimating and Analysis core courses and a series of supporting courses in Probability, Statistics, Defense Acquisition, Financial Management, and Systems Engineering, all of which are set in a matrix approved by the Chairman, Department of Operations Research.
  2. Students are required to demonstrate mastery of Cost Estimating and Analysis practice through satisfactory completion of a Capstone Project approved by the Chairman, Department of Operations Research. The quarter-hours earned in the Capstone project are applied towards satisfying the minimum graduate level quarter-hours for the degree.

Required Courses

Quarter 1, Spring

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS2080Probability and Statistics I

3

0

MN3301Acquisition of Defense Systems

4

0

Quarter 2, Summer

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS3080Probability and Statistics II

3

0

OS3006Operations Research for Cost Analysts

3

0

Quarter 3, Fall

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN4053Defense Budget and Financial Management Policy

4

0

OS3701Cost Estimation I: Methods and Techniques

3

0

Quarter 4, Winter

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN3510Defense Financial Management Practice

3

0

OS4702Cost Estimation II: Advanced Concepts in Cost Estimating

3

0

Quarter 5, Spring

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4012Cost Estimation III: Risk and Uncertainty Analysis

3

0

OS4703Cost Estimation IV: Applied Cost Analysis

3

0

Quarter 6, Summer

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
SE3100Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

3

2

OS4080Cost Estimation V: Cost Estimating and Analysis Cases

3

0

Quarter 7, Fall

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
SI3400Fundamentals of Engineering Project Management

3

2

OS4081Cost Estimating and Analysis Capstone I

3

4

OS4081: MCEA Thesis Equivalent

Quarter 8, Winter

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4013Cost Estimation VI: Decision Analysis for Cost Estimators

3

0

OS4082Cost Estimating and Analysis Capstone II

3

4

OS4082: MCEA Thesis Equivalent

Educational Skill Requirements (ESR)

Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis (MCEA) - Curriculum 379

  1. Basics: The graduate will possess the mathematical skills required to support graduate study in Cost Analysis/Cost Estimating.
  2. Cost Analysis: The graduate will understand the methods and practice of cost analysis including various cost models, with particular emphasis in the relationship of effectiveness models and measures to cost, and applications in cost-benefit analysis.
  3. Statistics and Probability: The graduate will have a firm understanding of statistics and probability analysis and be able to apply that knowledge in the development of cost estimating relationships. The graduate will also be able to correctly interpret statistical measures of any data set.
  4. Uncertainty Fundamentals: The graduate will be well versed in uncertainty fundamentals for cost analysis, including applications of probability, statistics, data analysis, and modeling uncertainty.
  5. Simulation: The graduate will be able to construct and utilize Monte Carlo simulations in cost estimates of cost and schedule drivers, and will be able to deal with statistical issues associated with estimating costs of programs with limited financial resources.
  6. Rates Development: The graduate will be able to construct a rate-set for direct labor, overhead, general and administrative costs, and inflation. The graduate will also be able to construct costs for various contract types, such as cost-plus, fixed-fee plus incentive, etc.
  7. Cost-Benefit Analysis: The graduate will be able to apply the principles of probabilistic cost assessment in the context of resource allocation problems. This includes a framework for balancing costs and benefits, and analysis under conditions of large financial and technological uncertainties.
  8. Optimization: The graduate will be able to formulate and solve a wide variety of optimization problems with particular emphasis on applications in optimum allocation of scarce resources and multi-year capital budgeting.
  9. Systems Engineering and Analysis: The graduate of this curriculum will understand and be able to apply the basic principles of systems analysis as a basis for aiding key decisions on force requirements, weapon systems, and other defense matters.
  10. Practice: The graduate will have gained experience in all aspects of analytical studies, including review, critique, and oversight of the work of others, as well as participation in the conduct of an analytical study. Review, critique, and oversight include the ability to highlight critical assumptions, recognize strengths and weaknesses of applied analytical methodologies, and evaluate study recommendations. Practice in the design and conduct of an analytical study includes the skills to formulate problems, use the analytical process to define study requirements, and apply appropriate analytical methodologies. Practice also includes demonstrating proficiency in presenting results both orally and in writing.
  11. Cost Analysis Context: The graduate will have completed an approved option sequence in Naval Sea Systems, Air Force Systems, Naval Air Systems, or another approved option sequence in a particular defense systems area in which systems analysis may be applied.
  12. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Certification: The graduate, through program course work, will have satisfied all DAU academic requirements for Level III Certification in Cost Estimating.

Curriculum Sponsor and ESR Approval Authority

Curriculum sponsor is Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command and Commander, Naval Air Systems Command