Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS) allows Army officers a chance to pursue advanced degrees in STEM, acquisition, or business-related disciplines at civilian universities on a full-time, fully funded basis. The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office fully funds board-selected officers enrolled in advanced education programs. The primary focus of education must be an acquisition relevant Master of Science in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Studies in Law (MSL), or a Master of Science in Systems Engineering Management.
On this page you will find information to help you launch into a fully funded graduate degree program, stay connected while in the program, and ease your transition back into the workforce once you’ve completed your schooling.
SCHOLASTIC INSTITUTIONS AND/OR PROGRAMS OF STUDY
Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)
NPS offers degrees both in the Business and Systems Engineering department. For newly assessed officers we recommend the Master of Science in Systems Engineering Management (522 Curriculum) program. Officers that already attended ACOE foundations course can look at any of the NPS programs. The 522 Curriculum is designed to provide acquisition officers with a curriculum to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to lead and manage more effectively through advanced concepts, methodologies and analytical techniques necessary to manage successful programs and projects within complex organizations. More information is available on the NPS website and specific 522 details are attached here: Resident-MSSEM-CatalogDescription
School of Choice
The school of choice option is applicable to officers who are pursuing an acquisition related area of study of particular importance (e.g. STEM, MBA) or are accepted by a top-tier university for an acquisition relevant degree. Historical school of choice options include, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, William and Mary, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, Duke University, University of Virginia, and Boston University.
George Washington University (GWU)
The George Washington University Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Program is designed for acquisition professionals who want to broaden their understanding of government procurement law and apply the knowledge towards the increasing demands of the Army Acquisition Corps. GWU MSL Information
Doctor of Philosophy Opportunity
The Army Acquisition Corps provides a path for select officers to earn a doctorate degree and become acquisition technical experts who support the Army’s scientific and engineering needs across a broad spectrum of assignments. Acquisition-relevant doctorate degrees include: cyber and networks, computer science and engineering, robotics, physics, aerospace engineering, artificial intelligence / machine learning, autonomous systems, directed energy, material engineering, aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biotechnology. Before considering this program, discuss your career timeline with your AMB manager to see if you are a good fit.
ACS APPLICATION PROCESS
- Decide where to apply. (When in doubt reach out to the ASC POC for ACS for guidance)
Note: You can often reduce tuition costs by negotiating directly with the school, in-state tuition, securing a scholarship or fellowship, or applying to a range of schools. Tuition is divided into three categories for annual costs: High, $43,001 to $55,000; Medium, $26,001 to $43,000; and Low, $26,000 and below. Officers applying to a school with tuition in the High or Medium categories must also apply to a school in the Low tuition category, such as the Naval Postgraduate School.
- Take appropriate admissions tests (e.g., the GMAT or GRE), if required
- Secure letters of recommendation for civilian schools
- Apply to schools
- Receive conditional acceptance letter
- Receive movers message from ATS Management Board
- Prepare Advanced Civilian Schooling application (HRC POC: Michelle Houston) https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Advanced%20Education%20Programs%20AEP
- Submit packet to ACS Board
- Receive results
- Start school learning, autonomous systems, directed energy, material engineering, aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biotechnology.
I am new to the Acquisition Corps. How can I start onboarding while in school?
The Army DACM Office, through its Army Acquisition Center of Excellence, will be hosting an onboarding session to welcome you into the career field and set you up with the standards and skills needed for your career, before your first assignment. NPS through the 522 program provides all necessary education equivalences for new officers. All school of choice officers will conduct follow-on school at the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence.
Does the Army DACM fund special projects while I am participating in ACS?
The Army DACM provides limited funding for travel related to defense-specific research and thesis topics. Additionally, based on availability of funds, the Army DACM provides funding for defense-related certifications. Contact the ACS program manager at your school or at the Army DACM office for more information.
Who is my CAPPMIS / IDP supervisor while I am out of the force?
Please contact the ACS program manager to assist in switching your IDP to the Army DACM ACS point of contact.
How can I reintegrate into an assignment after graduation?
The Army DACM Office also sponsors out-briefs and exit surveys to ensure a smooth transition from classroom to workplace.