Cost Estimating and Analysis Certificate

Certificate #289

Est.imated Completion Time: 12 months

Starts: Summer

Subspecialty Code: 5300L

Program Area: Data Science and Decisions

POC: Program Manager

Modality: Distance Learning


The Cost Estimating and Analysis certificate program is a distance learning, graduate-level, non-degree program designed to provide cost estimating and analysis training to Navy and other DoD personnel. The program consists of four courses delivered one per quarter via distance learning over a one-year period.

Specific topics for specialized estimating in ship building, aircraft, software, and other interest areas are included in the program. Funding support from the student’s organization, and authorization to take time off during the workday to attend the VTE is required.

Cost analysts provide services that allow decision makers to accurately estimate the cost of their programs, to compare the cost of alternatives, and to help make informed decisions with regards to prudent resource allocation choices. This program is designed to educate the Cost Estimating Professional. It will help your organization meet government expectations, and ultimately result in cost estimates with greater accuracy and realism. The driving force behind this curriculum is the Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, signed by President Barack Obama, which created the Directorate of Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation within the DoD, and increases awareness of cost estimating issues. The CEA addresses a critical need for personnel as the DoD doubles the number of professional estimators in the near future.

Courses Required

Quarter Course
Quarter 1 Choose one of the following:
  • OS3701
  • OA4702
Quarter 2 OS4702
Quarter 3 OS4012
Quarter 4 OS4013


The following are eligible for this offering:

  • Naval Officers
  • Naval Enlisted
  • Non-Naval Officers
  • Non-Naval Enlisted
  • DON Civilians
  • DOD Civilians
  • Defense Contractors
  • Non-DOD Federal Employees

Requirements for Entry

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • GPA of 2.7 or better
  • Multivariate calculus course with C or better average

Learning Outcomes

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.

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. 

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.

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

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.

Data AnalyticsThe graduate will understand how to obtain, normalize, analyze and then visualize data using various methods. The graduate will know how to assess the data to determine its reliability and applicability to cost estimating to support informed decision making.

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.

Other Information

$2,600 per course per quarter for all Federal Government and Department of Defense contractor students.

Commands may pay ahead to meet fiscal year budget concerns as long as their students are funded before a quarter starts.

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