Master of Science in Program Management (MSPM) - Curriculum 836

Program Officer

Matt Geiser, CDR, USN
Code GB, Ingersoll Hall, Room 219A
(831) 656-3953, DSN 756-3953

mtgeiser1@nps.edu

Academic Associate

Raymond Jones, COL USA (Ret.)

Code GB, Ingersoll Hall, Room 244

(831) 656-3960, DSN 756-3960

rdjone1@nps.edu

Program Manager

Christina Hart, Ph.D.

Code GB, Ingersoll Hall, Room 302

(831) 656-6269 DSN 756-6269

cchart@nps.edu

Brief Overview

The Master of Science in Program Management (MSPM) degree is an advanced education in the concepts, methodologies and analytical techniques necessary for successful management of programs/projects within complex organizations. The MSPM degree is a 24-month, part-time distance learning program open to qualified DoD uniformed personnel, federal employees, international students, and a limited number of DoD contractor personnel.  Students that complete the degree program attain DAWIA Level lll education requirements for Program Management and earn numerous DAU equivalencies in other functional areas. Navy officers also awarded subspecialty code 6502P Systems Acquisition Management. The curriculum focuses on leadership, problem solving and decision making within the acquisition environment utilizing case studies, teaming exercises, hands-on applications, active participation and integrative exercises. Lecture and laboratory tasks require the application of critical thinking to problem solving within notional and actual situations. The curriculum is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills and abilities to manage and lead effectively in the federal government acquisition environment.

 

Competencies: Our graduates will:

  1. Be effective managers of defense organizations.
  2. Be effective participants in DoD policy making.
  3. Be leaders and program managers in the DoD acquisition system.

Requirements for Entry

Candidates for the program must have achieved the following: a baccalaureate degree with a minimum undergraduate quality point rating (QPR) of 2.20, completion of at least one semester of college algebra or trigonometry is considered to be the minimum mathematical preparation, and an Academic Profile Code (APC) of 355.  Applicants without previous program management experience are eligible for admission. In addition to institutional funding support, students must also provide a participation agreement acknowledging support from their command or home organization.

Entry Dates

September 

Program Length

Eight quarters with two courses per quarter

Degree

The Master of Science in Program Management degree requires:

  • Completion of a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate-level courses, at least 12 which are at the 4000 level.
  • Completion of an acceptable joint applied project, with at least one advisor from the Graduate School of Defense Management.

Typical Course of Study: Curriculum 836

Quarter 1

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN3155Financial Management for Acquisition Managers

2

0

MN3321Federal Contract Negotiations

3

0

Quarter 2

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN3309Software Acquisition Management for Strategic and Tactical Systems

4

1

MN3222Principles of Acquisition and Program Management II

3

0

Quarter 3

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN3303Principles of Acquisition and Contract Management

4

0

SE4011Systems Engineering for Acquisition Managers

3

2

Quarter 4

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN4470Strategic Planning and Policy for the Logistic Manager

4

0

MN4602Acquisition Test and Evaluation Decision Science

3

2

Quarter 5

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN3172Resourcing National Security: Policy and Process

3

0

MN3001Economics for Acquisition Managers

3

0

Quarter 6

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN3384Acquisition Production, Quality and Manufacturing Decision Science

4

1

MN4474Organizational Analysis

3

1

Quarter 7

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN4090Capstone Applied Project

0

6

MN4105Strategic Management

3

0

Quarter 8

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN4307Defense Acquisition Program Management Case Studies

4

0

MN3012Communications Strategies for Effective Leadership

3

0

Educational Skills Requirements (ESR)

Program Management - Curriculum 836

  1. Management Fundamentals: The graduate will understand the theory of and have an ability to apply accounting, economic, mathematical, statistical, managerial and other state-of-the-art management techniques and concepts to problem solving and decision-making responsibilities as Department of Defense managers. The graduate will have the ability to think creatively, addressing issues and problems in a dynamic, challenging environment.
  2. Advanced Leadership and Management Concepts: The graduate will have the ability to apply advanced leadership, management and operations research techniques to defense problems. This includes policy formulation and execution, strategic planning, defense resource allocation, project leadership, cost benefit and cost effectiveness analysis, federal fiscal policy, computer-based information and decision support systems, and complex managerial situations requiring comprehensive integrated leadership abilities.
  3. Program Leadership and Management Principles: The graduate will have an understanding of and will be able to apply the principles, concepts, and techniques of Program Leadership and Program Management to the acquisition of major defense weapon systems. This includes the principles of risk management and tradeoff decision analysis using Total Ownership Cost, schedule and performance dynamics from a total life cycle management perspective.
  4. Program Management Policies: The graduate will have an ability to formulate and execute Defense acquisition policies, strategies, plans and procedures; an understanding of the policy-making roles of various federal agencies of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the Government, particularly the Department of Defense (DoD), the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congressional committees, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); and an understanding of the strategies necessary to influence policy development and implementation.
  5. Systems Acquisition Process: The graduate will understand the theory of and have an ability to lead program teams and manage the systems acquisition process. This involves the system life cycle process for requirements determination, research and development, funding and budgeting, procurement, systems engineering, including systems of systems, test and evaluation, manufacturing and quality control, integrated logistics support, ownership and disposal; the interrelationship between reliability, maintainability and logistics support as an element of system effectiveness in Defense system/equipment design; and embedded weapon system software, particularly related to current policies and standards, software metrics, risk management, inspections, testing, integration, and post-deployment software support.
  6. Contract Management: The graduate will understand the role of the contracting process within the acquisition environment including financial, legal, statutory, technical and managerial constraints in the process.
  7. Business Theory and Practices: The graduate will have an understanding of the business and operating philosophies, concepts, practices and methodologies of the defense industry with regard to major weapon systems acquisition, particularly the application of sound business practices.
  8. Government and Industry Budgeting and Financial Management: The graduate will have an understanding of and an ability to apply the principles of government and private organizational financing including corporate financial structures, cost and financial accounting, capital budgeting techniques, financial analysis, and Defense financial management and budgeting processes to include the Planning, Programming, Budgeting Execution System (PPBES).
  9. Acquisition Workforce: The graduate will satisfy all requirements of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) and mandatory Program Management courses required by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) at Levels I, II, and III.
  10. Ethics and Standards of Conduct: The graduate will have an ability to manage and provide leadership in the ethical considerations of defense acquisition, including the provisions of procurement integrity, and to appropriately apply defense acquisition standards of conduct.
  11. Analysis, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: The graduate will demonstrate the ability to conduct research and analysis, and proficiency in presenting the results in writing and orally by means of an applied project and a command-oriented briefing appropriate to this curriculum.