Master of Science

Master of Science (M.S.)

The Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation (MOVES) Academic Program of the Naval Postgraduate School provides the MS student both fundamental and specialized courses in applied visual simulation technology, combat models and systems, and the application of quantatative analyses to training and simulation technology.
The MS program is a seven-quarter program (eight quarters for students requiring JPME) whose core covers the fundamentals of modeling and simulation, data analysis, visual simulation, intelligent systems, training and human performance.  These topics include object-oriented programming, probability, statistics, stochastic modeling, data analysis, acquistion and program management, artificial intellgence, computer graphics, simulation and training, and combat modeling systems.  The MS student demonstrates depth by the completion of a written thesis.

Students entering the MS program in MOVES are required to have a baccalaureat degree, or the equivalent, with above average grades in mathematics (including differential and integral calculus), resulting in an APC of at least 325 is required for entry.  Undergraduate degrees in applied science or engineering are highly desirable.  Students lacking these prerequisites may be acceptable for the program, through the 12-week technical refresher or 12-week Engineering Science program, providing their undergraduate records and/or other indicators of success, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), indicate an ability to work in quantitative subjects.  While previous academic or practical experience in modeling, virtual environments, and simulation is certainly helpful and can enhance the applicant's potential for admission, such experience is not a prerequisite.
MOVES is a seven-quarter (eight-quarters for students requring JPME) course of study starting annually in September.  Those requiring the 12-week refresher will begin study in July.  If further information is needed,  please contact the MOVES Academic Associate or the MOVES Program Officer for the curriculum.

The degree of Master of Science in Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulation is awarded after satisfactory completion of a program which satisfies, as a minimum, the following degree requirements:

  1. At least 40 quarter-hours of graduate-level work, of which at least 12 quarter-hours must be at the 4000 level.
  2. Completion of an approved sequence courses constituting specialization in an area of Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulation.
  3. Completion of an acceptable thesis in addition to the required course work.

Requirements for the MS in Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulation are met as a milestone en route to satisfying the Educational Skill Requirements established by the sponsor for the curricular program.

Completion of the seven-quarter sequence of courses specified below is required to satisfy the Education Skills Requirements for the Navy 6202P code and Marine MOS 8825.

Completion of this curriculum qualfies an officer as a modeling, virtual environments, and simulation subspecialist with a Navy subspecialty code of 6202P or Marine Corps MOS 8825.

The MOVES curriculum prepares students to b e the Department of Defense's experts in Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation.  They are able to provide both technical and managerial leadership in all areas of simulation development, sustainment, and application. Their rigorous technical background enables them to quickly adapt to rapidly evolving technical  landscape.

  1. Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Foundations: The graduate will understand the capabilities, limitations, history, terminology of the M&S domain. The graduate will understand the concepts and applicability of wargamming, simulation tools, conceptual models, statistical models, discrete modeling, artificial intelligence, physics-based modeling, visual representation, and data standards to complex problems within the military domain.  This understanding will be based on probability theory, calculus, linear algebra, and data analyst techniques that will enable the graduate to fully understand modeling of uncertainty and randomness within these complex domains. 
  2. M&S in the DoD: The graduate will have a thorough understanding of the DoD M&S organizations, current policies, and M&S trends at both the DoD and individual Service levels. Moreover, the graduate will understand and be able to apply the capabilities and limitations of simulations across the DoD M&S application domains.  In addition, the graduate will understand the process verification, validation and accreditation (VV&A), particulary current industry best practices.  Finally, the graduate will have a solid understanding of information assurance and cyber security plicies, organization, requirments, and vulnerabilities, with particular emphasis on who is  responsible for cyber security in the military structure  and how M&S interfaces with that structure. 
  3. Modes and Modeling Techniques: The graduate will understand the various modeling systems in current military use (e.g. queing theory, discrete event simulation, detection and engagement models, and environmental models) with an emphasis on ballistic, weapon, terrain, vegetation, cultural, and weather effects on military concepts (i.e. mobility, survivability, and firepower) that achieve military objectives. The graduate will be able to practically apply techniques (both designing and programming) such as: event graphs; aggregate versus entity-level modeling; weapons effect modeling (e.g., blast, thermal, acoustic); high fidelity, destructible terrian within a virtual 3D enviornment. The graduate will understand the state of  he art of abstract representations of culture, social relationships, and information structures in the military contenxt including human communciation and stability models in a political, military, economic, social, information, and infrastrcture (PMESII) environment. Furthermore, the graduate will understand how physics can be modeled at varying degrees of resolution and the tradeoffs inherent to more simpilified models.  Finally, the graduate will understand fundamentals of intelligent systems and machine learning in the context of agent-based systems.
  4. Simulation Software Development: The graduate will understand and have demonstrated the ability to: use systems engineering processes to specify operational, functional, and technical requirements; program and  analyze interface devices to include augmented realtiy un-occluded heads up displays (HUD) and motion capture. Additionally, they will be able to design and document conceptual models with the appropriate analysis of alternatives, and plan and execute both developmental and operational testing events in s upport of VV&A. 
  5. Military Appplications: The graduate will understand the capabilities and limitations of and have demonstrated the ability to apply M&S to training and analysis applications using simulations in current use by DoD Services, as  practical. This understanding will include task-condition-standards methodologies for skills and staff actions within the appropriate training environment, including interfacing with (C4I) systems. The graduate will be able to plan, prepare, execute, and conduct after-action review training exercises using human performance evaluation techniques that ensure positive training transfer occurs. In addiiton, the graduate will be able to apply analysis simulations to answer a commander's critical information  requirements, including via wargaming (both seminar and simulation supported).
  6. Simulation Interoperability: The graduate will understand and be able to design distributed simulations in a net-centric environment, while considering hardware and software requirements, simulation data, control data, voice data, and technical standards for connectivity.  In addition, the graduate will have a detailed understanding of simulation federations within LVC environments, with particular emphasis on capabilities, limitations, strengths, and weaknesses of modern single and mixed architectures.  The graduate's understanding will also include augmented reality, C4I simulation, basic networking architectures and communication protocols, and standards for data and communication networks as well as the technical development processes, and open-soruce standard capabilities and limitations' impacts on interoperatibliity. 
  7. Business Practices: The graduate will understand the underlying concepts, fundamentals and philosophies of the Department of Defense systems acquisition process and the practical application of program management methods within that process.  Specifically, they will understand management characteristics and competencies, control policies and techniques, systems analysis methods, and functional area concerns.  The graduate will gain a program management perspective on the evolution and current state of: systems acquisition management; the system acquistion life  cycle; requirements analysis; contract managment; resource management; test and evaluation; user-producer acquisition management disciplines and activities; and program planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling processes. 
  8. Thesis: The graduate will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in the area of M&S and proficiency in presenting the results in writing by means of a thesis appropriate curriculum. 

MOVES (399), First Year Matrix, All Students

Refresher-if required (Summer)

Refresher for Beginning Programming

Bridge to Advanced Mathematics


Single Variable Calculus I
Single Variable Calculus II with Matrix Algebra 


Quarter 1
Fundamental Object Oriented Programming in JavaScript
Probability and Statistics for HSI and MOVES
Linear Algebra
Introduction to Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation
Introduction to MOVES
Quarter 2
Java as a Second Language
Data Analysis for HSI and MOVES
Graphical Simualtion
Introduction to Computer Security
Introduction to Virtual Environment Technology
Quarter 3
Introduction to Discrete Event Simulation Modeling
Statistics & Design of Experiments
Introduction to Computer Graphics
Introduction to Research in MOVES
Quarter 4
Cognitive and Behavioral Modeling for Simulations
Simulation and Training
Simulation Devleopment Practicum
Network Communmcations and Simulation
Current Topics in MOVES





MOVES (399), First Year Matrix, All Students

Quarter 5

Introduction to Joint Combat Modeling


Advanced Topics in MOVES


Human Factors of Virtual Environments


Simulation Interoperability Practicum

 Current Topics in  MOVES
Quarter 6



Modeling and Simulation for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations


Principles of Acquistion and Program Managment


Simulation Application Practicum


Thesis Research

Current Topics in MOVES


Acquisition Management for International Students

Quarter 7

Thesis Research
Thesis Research


Introduction to Joint Combat Modeling


Managment of Modeling & Simulation Development

Research Seminar in MOVES


Fundamentals of Systems Engineering




*DOD Students only

+Alternate course for Non-DoD students

** Not a direct link to course description. Redirects to department's courses listing.

Program Officer

Eric Regnier, LCDR, USN

Code CS/32, Glasgow East, Room 309

(831) 656-7980, DSN 756-7980


Academic Associate

Chris Darken, Ph.D.

Code CS/Cd, Watkins Hall, Room 382

(831) 656-2095, DSN 756-2095

FAX (831) 656-7599