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

Program Manager

Gregory K. Mislick

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

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. 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

OS3701Cost Estimation I: Methods and Techniques

3

0

Quarter 3, Fall

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS3006Operations Research for Cost Analysts

3

0

OS4702Cost Estimation II: Advanced Concepts in Cost Estimating

3

0

Quarter 4, Winter

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

3

0

MN4053Defense Budget and Financial Management Policy

4

0

Quarter 5, Spring

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

3

0

OS4080Cost Estimation V: Cost Estimating and Analysis Cases

3

0

Quarter 6, Summer

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4703Cost Estimation IV: Applied Cost Analysis

3

0

SE3100Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

3

2

Quarter 7, Fall

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4081Cost Estimating and Analysis Capstone I

3

4

SI3400Fundamentals of Engineering Project Management

3

2

OS4081: MCEA Thesis Equivalent

Quarter 8, Winter

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OS4082Cost Estimating and Analysis Capstone II

3

4

MN3510Defense Financial Management Practice

3

0

OS4082: MCEA Thesis Equivalent

Educational Skill Requirements (ESR)

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

  1. BASIC MATHEMATICS: The graduate will possess the mathematical skills required to support graduate study in Cost Analysis/Cost Estimating.
  2. PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS: The graduate will have a firm understanding of probability analysis and statistics 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.
  3. UNCERTAINTY FUNDAMENTALS: The graduate will be well versed in uncertainty fundamentals for cost analysis, including applications of probability, statistics, data analysis, and modeling uncertainty.
  4. OPTIMIZATION: The graduate will be able to formulate and solve basic optimization problems with emphasis on allocating scarce resources and multi-year capital budgeting.
  5. SIMULATION: The graduate will be able to develop Monte Carlo simulations of cost estimating scenarios, incorporating cost and schedule drivers; and the graduate will be able to assess statistical issues associated with estimating costs of programs with limited financial resources.
  6. COST ANALYSIS: The graduate will understand and be able to apply the data, methods, and tools required to conduct cost analysis. 
  7. RATES DEVELOPMENT: The graduate will be able to construct a fully burdened wrap rate (e.g., direct labor, overhead, general and administrative costs, and inflation/escalation) utilizing Forward Pricing Rates (FPRs).
    the one
    • The graduate will understand how business base forecasts, competition, and economic changes impact FPRs
    • The graduate will also be able to understand various contract types (cost-plus, fixed-price plus incentive, etc.) and the impacts they have of cost sharing ratios, contract geometries, and ceiling prices.
  8. 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.
  9. SYSTEMS ENGINEERING AND ANALYSIS: The graduate will understand the basic principles of systems analysis as a basis for aiding key decisions on force requirements, weapon systems, and other defense matters. The graduate will also have an awareness of how maturity assessments (e.g., technology, manufacturing readiness) are conducted and potential impact on cost and scheduling.
  10. DEFENSE ACQUISITIION SYSTEM: The graduate will have a fundamental understanding of defense requirements, acquisition and the planning, programming, budgeting and execution system (PPBES). The graduate will have satisfied all DAWIA acquisition and functional training requirements for Level I, II and III Certification in Business - Cost Estimating (Bus-CE).
  11. DECISION ANALYSIS: Students will understand modern theory and methods for decision making in both single and multiple person decision-making situations.
  12. PRACTICE: The graduate will have gained experience in all aspects of analytical studies, including construct, review, critique, and oversight of the work of others, as well as participate in the conduct of an analytical study.
    • The student will formulate problems, use analytical processes to define study requirements, and apply appropriate analytical methodologies.
    • The graduate will be competent in building a life cycle cost estimate
    • Practice also includes demonstrating proficiency in presenting results both orally and in writing.
  13. SOFTWARE COST ESTIMATION: The graduate will understand software cost estimation, and be able to distinguish between development paradigms (e.g., waterfall, agile, incremental). The graduate will also be able to develop software cost estimates for both development and maintenance efforts.
  14. SCHEDULING: The graduate will understand how schedule networks rely on logic and the critical path method as well as other top-level schedule methods. The graduate will also learn Schedule Risk Analysis, and how to update and baseline a schedule using industry best practices.

Curriculum Sponsor and ESR Approval Authority

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