Master of Science in Contract Management

Master’s Degree #835

Est.imated Completion Time: 2 years

Starts: Summer

Subspecialty Code: 1306P

Program Area: Defense Systems Management

POC: Program Support

Modality: Distance Learning


The Master of Science in Contract Management (MSCM) degree provides an advanced education in the concepts, methodologies and analytical techniques necessary for successful management of acquisition and contracting within complex organizations. The MSCM 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 III training and education requirements for the CON series. The program also meets DAWIA requirements for 40 hours of annual continuous learning. The curriculum focuses on problem solving and decision making within the acquisition environment utilizing case studies, teaming exercises, hands-on applications, active participation, and other similar activities. Lecture and laboratory tasks require the application of critical thinking to problem solving within actual situations. The MSCM program embodies an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving and analysis, including quantitative financial analysis, economics, and public and private sector operations. The curriculum is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to manage and lead effectively in systems buying offices, field contracting offices, contract administration offices, and contracting policy offices.

Courses required

Quarter Course
Quarter 1
  • MN3301
  • MN3303
Quarter 2
  • MN3070
  • MN3315
Quarter 3
  • MN3156
  • MN4474
Quarter 4
  • MN3320
  • MN3321
Quarter 5
  • MN3172
  • MN3312
Quarter 6
  • MN4105
  • GB4045
Quarter 7
  • MN4311
  • MN4090
Quarter 8
  • MN4371
  • MN4090


  • Baccalaureate degree with a minimum undergraduate quality point rating (QPR) of 2.20
  • Applicants without previous contracting 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.

Learning Outcomes

Our graduates will be:

  • Effective managers within DoD and the federal government environment, and
  • Effective contract managers.

Our graduates will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Advanced Management Concepts - The graduate will have the ability to apply advanced management theory and techniques to problems in both the public and private sectors.  This includes policy formulation and execution, strategic planning, resource allocation, federal fiscal policy, computer-based information and decision support systems, and complex managerial situations requiring comprehensive integrated approaches.  The graduate will have the ability to apply state-of-the-art management concepts and practices to problem solving and decision-making responsibilities as middle and senior managers.
  2. Acquisition and Contracting Principles - The graduate will have an understanding of  and will be able to apply the principles and fundamentals of acquisition and contracting within the federal government including knowledge  of the acquisition laws and regulations, particularly the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS); the unique legal principles applied in government contract law and the Uniform Commercial Code; and the application of sound business principles and practices  to Defense contracting problems.  Further, the graduate will be able to apply innovative and creative approaches  not only to resolve difficult acquisition and contracting  issues but to significantly influence the legal  and regulatory structure within which  acquisition  decision making occurs.  Finally, the graduate will have the ability to conceptualize, develop and execute strategic business alliances and relationships necessary to the successful acquisition  of goods and services.
  3. Contracting Process - The graduate will understand the theory of and have the ability to manage the field contracting, contingency contracting, supplies and services contracting system acquisition and contract administration processes.  This involves a knowledge of the defense system life cycle processes, including requirements determination, funding, contracting, ownership, and disposal; an ability to evaluate military requirements, specifications, and bids and proposals; an ability to utilize the sealed bid, competitive proposals and simplified acquisition methodologies; a comprehensive knowledge  of all contract types and their application in Defense application; an ability to conduct cost and price analyses; and an ability to negotiate various contracting actions including new procurement, contract changes and modifications, claims, equitable adjustment settlements, and noncompliance issues.
  4. Acquisition and Contracting Policy - The graduate will have an ability to formulate and execute  acquisition policies, strategies, plans and procedures; a knowledge of the legislative process and an ability to research and analyze acquisition legislation; and a knowledge of the government organization for acquisition, including Congress, the General Accounting Office , the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the federal and military contracting offices, the Boards of Contract Appeals, and the court system.
  5. Business Theory and Practices - The graduate will have an understanding of the business philosophy, concepts, practices and methodologies of the commercial industrial base (both domestic and global) and the ability to apply these to the federal government acquisition environment.
  6. Defense Financial Management and Budgeting - The graduate will have an ability to apply sound financial management theories, principles and practices to defense acquisition and contracting issues, including fiscal and monetary policy.
  7. Production and Quality Management - The graduate will have an understanding of principles and fundamentals of Production and Quality Management, with particular emphasis on the Procuring Contracting Officer’s and Administrative Contracting Officer’s roles and relationships with industry and the Government Program Manager.
  8. Analysis and Application - The graduate will demonstrate an ability to apply acquisition, contracting and management principles in dealing with the significant issues encountered in managing  the contracting process in one of the following areas: (1) major weapon systems acquisition (2) research and development, (3) field procurement, and (4) facilities contracting.
  9. Ethics and Standards of Conduct - The graduate will have an ability to manage and provide leadership in the ethical considerations of military acquisition, including the provisions of procurement integrity, and to appropriately apply Defense acquisition standards of conduct.
  10. Acquisition Workforce - The graduate will satisfy all training requirements of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) contracting certification.
  11. Analysis, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking - The graduate will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and analysis, and proficiency in presenting  the results in writing and orally by means of a thesis and a command–oriented briefing appropriate to this curriculum.

Application Information

Applications are handled by the NPS Admissions Office. Please visit the admissions website or contact them at

Tuition & Service Obligation

For information regarding tuition, please contact the NPS Tuition office at, or contact this offering’s POC at

For information regarding service obligation, please visit the Admissions Office’s Eligibility/Service Obligation page.

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Academic Calendar

  •  29 May 2023

    Memorial Day

  •  06 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter pre-graduation awards ceremony

  •  09 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter last day of classes