A cost-benefit analysis of the requirement that students complete a thesis at the Naval Postgraduate School
Strobl, Michael R.
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This thesis identifies and compares the benefits and costs of the policy requiring master's degree candidates at NPS to complete a thesis. It uses fiscal year 2000 data. The goal is to evaluate the existing policy to determine if the economic benefit of requiring a thesis is greater than the economic cost. The direct benefit of the thesis requirement is the increased productivity of officers due to having completed a thesis. Indirect benefits are found in the valuable research provided by many theses to the DoD. The most prominent cost of the thesis requirement is the opportunity cost of the student's time necessary to stay at NPS, and therefore out of the Fleet, in order to write a thesis. This thesis estimates that the costs of the thesis requirement were approximately $ 19.8 million in FY2OOO. The indirect benefits of research completed by thesis students were between $8.3 million and $18.4 million. The direct benefits, in terms of its educational value, could not be quantified. Therefore, this report recommends that, until the direct benefits can be accurately quantified and monetized, the current requirement for thesis work remain as a condition for graduation from NPS. Training and Education, Manpower Policy, Cost-Benefit Analysis.
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