Department of Systems Engineering & Management

Department of Systems Engineering & Management
Program Details

Cost Analysis (GCA)
Current as of: 08/17/2015

Degree Type: MS

Program Description: The GCA program is designed to advance the knowledge and creative problem solving skills needed to effectively estimate program resources within the global military, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the United States Air Force (USAF) environments.  The curriculum integrates a strong foundation in quantitative concepts and techniques with specific military cost-related topics to prepare students to contribute effectively in a variety of complex and challenging roles in the global military arena.  Besides the weapon system cost sequence, the curriculum includes courses in mathematical methods, quantitative decision-making, economics, risk, systems engineering, and maintenance and production management. Program graduates are well grounded in course work related to follow-on assignments within the financial management field of cost estimating at the base, Major Command, Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA), and higher levels.

The Cost Analysis program is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. There have been over 300 graduates since the inaugural class in 1982. 

Program Educational Objectives: The educational objective of the cost analysis program is to have graduates who are well-prepared to use analytical techniques to make significant progress toward solving problems of interest to the Air Force, DoD and Homeland Security.  Graduates will be independent, trusted advisors in proposing, developing, and implementing policy in the areas of financial management, cost estimation, and cost analysis as a result of excellent and consistent application of decision making and research tools to real issues confronting the staff.

Student Outcomes: The Cost Analysis program provides a strong technical foundation in cost analysis, cost estimating, and decision support.  The following student outcomes are those competencies that students are expected to achieve by the completion of the program:

  1. Effectively communicate using both oral and written communications.
  2. Understand and apply concepts and techniques of descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze problems under conditions of risk and uncertainty.
  3. Understand and apply the concepts, methods, and tools related to cost estimating in a program acquisition context.
  4. Understand and apply concepts from a wide range of business disciplines within the specific context of DOD resource estimation.
  5. Conduct and present methodical research to creatively solve complex and ambiguous problems and support resulting decisions with appropriate documentation.

Admission Criteria: The general requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Cost Analysis program in the Department of Systems Engineering and Management are:

  • Degree: Baccalaureate degree
  • Courses: Students should have completed courses in calculus up to (but not necessarily including) differential equations. Students also should have successfully completed at least one course in statistics.
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA  > = 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) overall   > = 3.0 in mathematics (on a 4.0 scale)
  • GRE: Verbal  > = 153 (500 if taken prior to August 2012) Quantitative  > = 148 (600 if taken prior to 1 August 2012) OR
  • GMAT: Total score  > = 550 (with a minimum of 28 verbal, 37 quantitative, and 4.5 analytical writing).

Enrollment and graduation data for  the Cost Analysis master's degree program are located on AFIT's Institutional Data webpage.

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