Colleges for Aspiring Government Contract Specialists: How to Choose

Dec 12, 2019

Various colleges and universities around the country offer programs for those wishing to begin a career in government contract negotiations. Both master's degree and graduate certificate programs are available.

Schools with Government Contract Management Programs

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
Villanova University Villanova, PA 4-year, Private Master's Certificate $18,905
University of Virginia Charlottesille, VA 4-year, Public Graduate Certificate $16,018 (In-State), $26,830 (Out-of-State)
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public Certificate $11,442
George Washington University Washington, DC 4-year, Private Master's $30,780
Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA 4-year, Public Graduate Certificate $9,727 (In-state), $28,435 (Out-of-State)
Northcentral University San Diego, CA 4-year, Private Graduate Certificate $16,864
Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 4-year, Private Master's $18,810
Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN 4-year, Private Master's $13,104
University of the Potomac Washington, DC 4-year, Private Master's, Graduate Certificate $15,984

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

Students may want to consider the following when looking for a government contract school:

  • Assess the course in relation to your career goals because those interested in increased responsibilities, such as subcontractor and project management professionals, may want to consider a master's degree program that provides the necessary multidisciplinary education.
  • Consider the flexibility of class schedules and the option of online classes as some schools also provide part-time options or flexible scheduling with night and weekend classes to accommodate working students.
  • Look into areas of specialization as this may be a contributing factor when researching potential schools, with some master's degree programs offering concentrations, such as military contracts or public acquisitions.
  • Assess the available internships opportunities for the course and opportunities to secure practical, supervised experience.

Graduate Certificate in Government Contract Management

Certificate programs are designed for experienced professionals with a bachelor's degree. Graduate studies prepare employees to advance their careers or transition into a different field. Courses include cost and price analysis, purchasing, materials management and government procurement law.

Master's Degree in Contract Management

A master's degree provides students with advanced knowledge of government contracting and aids in career advancement into management positions. This degree program is suitable for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in a related field of study. Coursework commonly includes business research methods, management information systems, government contract law and negotiations.

Students interested in government contracts can either obtain a Master's degree or a graduate certificate, with some specialization, depending on the school and student's career path.

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