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Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis (MCEA)

Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences (GSOIS)

Program Length: 2 Years

Starts: Spring

Curriculum #379

Program Content

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 doubles the number of professional estimators in the near future.

The MCEA program will integrate courses from Operations Research, the Business School, and Systems Engineering to provide an inter-disciplinary curriculum not offered anywhere else in the world. This program is taught jointly between the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio.

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

Program Overview

The MCEA is a 24-month, part-time program that is taught jointly with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) of Dayton, Ohio. Students take two courses per quarter, for eight quarters. The MCEA curriculum will fulfill the education and training requirements for Business-Cost Estimating (BUS-CE) career field certification, DAWIA levels I, II, and III. The Component Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACMs) is the certifying agent for DAWIA levels I, II, and III certification in Business-Cost Estimation.

This program blends web-based, online instruction with video tele-education (VTE), and is tailored to students whose careers will not allow them to participate in a full-time, traditional, on-campus program.

The web-based courses are paced week-to-week by the instructors, but students have the flexibility to do their coursework at times of their choosing during each week. The VTE classes meet at a pre-determined three hour block once per week during the quarter with the concurrence of the student's current command or organization.

The following distance learning delivery method(s) may be used for this program:

 Program Announcements

Cohort I commenced Spring 2011 and graduated March 2013.

Cohort II commenced Spring 2012 and is scheduled to graduate March 2014.

Cohort III commenced Spring 2013 and is scheduled to graduate March 2015.

Cohort IV is now accepting applications for the degree program starting 31 March 2014. Acceptance process will begin November 2013.


First Cohort of NPS, AFIT Master in Cost Estimating and Analysis Now Underway

The first cohort of a jointly developed and jointly instructed, part-time distance learning Master’s Degree in Cost Estimating and Analysis (MCEA) program got underway this quarter at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Read the full article here.


NPS, AFIT Partner on Development of Cost Estimation Certificate Program

A joint educational effort between the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) celebrated the completion of its first cohort of students in the cost estimating and analysis certificate program. Read the full article here.



The courses listed below are taken in sequence, two per quarter.

Specific start dates for each quarter are independent of the NPS Academic Calendar. However, the start and end dates will closely align with the NPS Academic Calendar.

VTE Orientation

Quarter 1 Spring

  • OS2080 - Probability and Statistics I (3-0)
  • MN3301 - Acquisition of Defense Systems (4-0)

Quarter 2 Summer

  • OS3080 - Probability and Statistics II (3-0)
  • OS3006 - Operations Research for Cost Analysts (3-0)

Quarter 3 Fall

  • MN4053 - Defense Budget and Financial Management Policy (4-0)
  • OS3701/ COST 510 (AFIT) - Cost Estimation I: Methods and Techniques (3-0)

Quarter 4 Winter

  • MN3510 - Defense Financial Management Practice (3-0)
  • OS4702/ COST 520 (AFIT) - Cost Estimation II: Advanced Concepts in Cost Estimating (3-0)

Quarter 5 Spring

  • OS4012/ COST 610 (AFIT) - Cost Estimation IV: Risk and Uncertainty Analysis (3-0)
  • SE4011/ SENG 520 (AFIT) - Systems Engineering for Acquisition Managers (3-2)

Quarter 6 Summer

  • OS4703/ COST 530 (AFIT) - Cost Estimation III: Applied Cost Analysis (3-0)
  • SE4012/ SENG 610 (AFIT) - Management of Advanced Systems Engineering (4-0)

Quarter 7 Fall

  • OS4013/ OPER 543 (AFIT) - Cost Estimation VI: Decision Analysis for Cost Estimators (4-0)
  • OS4081/ COST 798 (AFIT) - Cost Estimating and Analysis Capstone I (MCEA Thesis Equivalent) (3-4)

Quarter 8 Winter

  • OS4080/ COST 630 (AFIT) - Cost Estimation V: Cost Estimating and Analysis Cases (3-0)
  • OS4082/ COST 798 (AFIT) - Cost Estimating and Analysis Capstone II (MCEA Thesis Equivalent) (3-4)

 Eligibility and Prerequisites

The following are eligible for this program:

  • US Government Civilians (GS)
  • US Military Officers
  • Enlisted Personnel
  • DoD Contractors
  • International Students**

**International Students: Ensure that you read and understand the eligibility requirements and application process.


  • Baccalaureate Degree
  • GPA of 2.7 or better
    • A GPA Waiver will be considered based on an applicant’s work experience and an assessment of the applicant’s GRE or GMAT performance.
  • Differential and Integral calculus course with C or better average.


$2000 per course per quarter for all Federal Government students; $3000 per course per quarter for all Department of Defense contractor students. Tuition must be paid by your command. 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.

Please refer to the tuition page regarding general information on tuition for DL programs. You may also contact the tuition-collection POC for this program directly:

 Contact Information

For additional information specific to the program, please email the Academic Associate.

For general questions about CED3 supported programs, please email the CED3 Student Coordinator at

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