Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis

Master’s Degree #379

Est.imated Completion Time: 24 months

Starts: Spring

Program Area: Data Science and Decisions

POC: Program Manager

Modality: Distance Learning


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 the 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 and uses Zoom for the live classes; it 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 Zoom classes meet during a three-hour period each week at a pre-determined time throughout the program. Zoom 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.

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 MCEA addresses a critical need for personnel as the DoD will double the number of professional estimators in the near future.

The MCEA program will integrate courses from Operations Research, the Defense Management, and Systems Engineering Departments to provide an inter-disciplinary curriculum not offered anywhere else in the world.

We hope you will consider joining us in this exciting, vibrant degree program!



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.

Courses Required

Quarter Course
Quarter 1
  • OS2080
  • MN3301
Quarter 2
  • OS3080
  • OS3701
Quarter 3
  • OS3006
  • OS4702
Quarter 4
  • OS4013
  • GE4053
Quarter 5
  • OS4012
  • OS4080
Quarter 6
  • OS4703
  • SE3100
Quarter 7
  • OS4081
  • SI3400
Quarter 8
  • OS4082
  • MN3510

Requirements for Entry

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Strong Math background. Recent completion (within five years) of mathematics through single variable differential and integral calculus is evidence of a very strong Math Background
  • For applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.7, a waiver will be considered depending on work experience

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

Points of Contact
Program Managers: Kevin Maher; Karen Mislick; and Greg Mislick.


$2,600 per course per quarter for all Federal Government and Department of Defense Industrial contractor students. Tuition must be paid by your command. A funding agreement between NPS and your command, using either the SF1144 or SF7600A/B, must be in place prior to the exchange of tuition funds; this signed agreement may require five weeks of lead time to complete. Personal checks and the GI Bill may not be used. 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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