Master of Systems Analysis - (DL) - Curriculum 363

Program Officer

Brian Morgan, CAPT, USN

Code OR, Glasgow Hall, Room 241

(831) 656-2126, DSN 756-2126

FAX (831) 656-2595

blmorgan@nps.edu

Academic Associate

Steven E. Pilnick, Ph.D.

Code OR, Glasgow Hall, Room 291

(831) 656-2283, DSN 756-2283

FAX (831) 656-2595

spilnick@nps.edu

Brief Overview

The Master of Systems Analysis (MSA) program is a distance learning, graduate degree program, designed to meet the needs of the Navy and other services in the Department of Defense (DoD) for technical graduate education in systems analysis as a basis for aiding key decisions on force requirements, weapon systems, and other defense matters. Students acquire foundation skills and hands-on experience in all aspects of analytical studies, which includes the skills to formulate problems, use the analytical process to design study requirements, highlight critical assumptions, recognize strengths and weaknesses of applied analytical methodologies, and evaluate study recommendations.

This program is especially tailored to students whose career pattern will not allow them to get away for a full-time, graduate education program. The entire degree program can be completed at the student's current duty station. This program consists of a blend of approximately 50% web-based, online instruction, and 50% synchronous distance learning, mainly video-tele-education (VTE). The web-based instruction is paced week-to-week by the instructors, but the students have great flexibility to do their course work at times of their choosing during each week. The synchronous classes, mainly VTE, meet at a scheduled time, once per week, during the workday, with the agreement of the student's current command. Some of the synchronous classes use a web-based interface known as Blackboard Collaborate in lieu of VTE.

Requirements for Entry

A baccalaureate degree is required. Completion of mathematics through single variable differential and integral calculus is considered minimal preparation. An academic profile code (APC) of 335 is required.

Entry Dates

The MSA is an eight-quarter course of study with start dates in late March/early April and late September/early October. If further information is needed, contact the Academic Associate or the Program Officer for this curriculum.

Degree

Master of Systems Analysis

The Master of Systems Analysis degree requires:

  • Completion of a minimum of 32 quarter-hours of graduate-level courses with:
    • At least 16 quarter-hours of 4000-level courses.
    • Systems analysis core courses and a Systems Analysis context sequence approved by the Chairman, Department of Operations Research.
  • Students are required to demonstrate mastery of Systems Analysis practice through satisfactory completion of the thesis-equivalent three-course sequence in Systems Analysis Cases culminating in a final project approved by the Chairman, Department of Operations Research. The quarter-hours earned in the Systems Analysis Cases courses are applied towards satisfying the minimum graduate-level quarter-hours for the degree.

Program Description

The MSA program is a 24-month, part-time program. Students take two courses per quarter, for eight quarters. The curriculum consists of four blocks. Two of the blocks comprise stand-alone, web-based sequences. One is a four-course sequence leading to a Certificate in Systems Analysis, the second online sequence is a track approved by the student's service sponsor in a particular defense systems area in which systems analysis may be applied. The other two blocks round out the master's program with additional systems analysis core courses and a sequence of systems analysis case studies and projects that are an approved equivalent of a master's thesis. All students who successfully complete the distance-learning course of study will receive:

  • A Certificate in Systems Analysis awarded after completion of the first four quarters.
  • A Master of Systems Analysis degree awarded upon completion of the two-year program.
  • The approved systems analysis context track for Navy Unrestricted Line Officer students is a four-course sequence in Defense Resources Management (DRM). The student's service sponsor may approve another track based on course availability and needs of the sponsor and student.

Subspecialty

Completion of this curriculum is designed to qualify an officer as an Operations Research Analysis Subspecialist with a subspecialty code of 3210P. The curriculum sponsor is Director, Assessment Division (N81), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Typical Subspecialty Jobs

OPNAV staff

JCS staff

Fleet staff

Type Commander staff

Battle Group staff

OSD staff

Typical Course of Study (Navy URL Track)

Quarter 1, Spring/Fall

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS2080Probability and Statistics I

3

0

MO1180Topics in Mathematics for Systems Analysis

3

2

OS2080: SA Cert

Quarter 2, Summer/Winter

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS3380Combat Systems Simulation

3

1

OS3080Probability and Statistics II

3

0

OS3380: SA Cert

Quarter 3, Fall/Spring

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS3680Naval Tactical Analysis

4

0

OA4702Cost Estimation

4

0

OS3680: SA Cert

Quarter 4, Winter/Summer

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4680Naval Systems Analysis

4

0

OS3211Systems Optimization

4

0

SA Certificate Award

OS4680: SA Cert

Quarter 5, Spring/Fall

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4011Risk Benefit Analysis

3

2

MN4053Defense Budget and Financial Management Policy

4

0

MN4053: DRM track

Quarter 6, Summer/Winter

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS3081Systems Analysis Cases I

3

0

MN3510Defense Financial Management Practice

3

0

OS3081: MSA Thesis Equivalent

MN3510: DRM track

Quarter 7, Fall/Spring

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS3082Systems Analysis Cases II

3

0

MN3221Principles of Acquisition and Program Management I

3

0

OS3082: MSA Thesis Equivalent

MN3221: DRM track

Quarter 8, Winter/Summer

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4083Systems Analysis Cases III

3

4

MN3222Principles of Acquisition and Program Management II

3

0

Graduation week at NPS

OS4083: MSA Thesis Equivalent

MN3222: DRM track

Educational Skill Requirements (ESR)

Master of Systems Analysis (MSA) - Curriculum 363

Subspecialty Code: 3210P

  1. Systems 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. The following specific Educational Skill Requirements support this high-level objective.
  2. Basics: The graduate will possess the mathematical skills required to support graduate study in systems analysis.
  3. Uncertainty Fundamentals: The graduate will be well versed in uncertainty fundamentals for systems analysis, including applications of probability, statistics, data analysis, and modeling uncertainty.
  4. Simulation: The graduate will be able to construct and utilize Monte Carlo simulations of combat and other processes that evolve in time, and will be able to deal with statistical issues associated with the need for replication.
  5. Tactical Analysis: The graduate will be able to apply operations analysis methods to tactical and operational problems, including tactical decision analysis, search and detection, and weapons effectiveness.
  6. 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.
  7. Risk-Benefit Analysis: The graduate will be able to apply the principles of probabilistic risk assessment in the context of systems analysis decision problems. This includes a framework for balancing risks 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. 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.
  10. Systems Analysis Context: The graduate will have completed an approved option sequence in Defense Resource Management, or another approved option sequence in a particular defense systems area in which systems analysis may be applied.

Curriculum Sponsor and ESR Approval Authority

The Major Area Sponsor (MAS) for the Systems Analysis subspecialty is Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Integration of Capabilities and Resources (OPNAV N8). The designated Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Master of Systems Analysis curriculum is Director, Assessment Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N81). The Curriculum and ESR approval authority is Director, Total Force Manpower, Training, and Education Requirements Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations(OPNAV N12).(MSA Curriculum Review conducted 10 March 2017.)