Higher Education Resources

NCMA supports students and faculty of contract management higher education programs and are invested in their success! We hope you will engage with our dynamic community and take advantage of NCMA resources.

The Big Question: Why Study Contract Management?

If you are a student considering a career in contract management or an academic professional guiding students on career options, we want to help you answer the big question: “Why Study Contract Management?”

Contract managers do important and interesting work! Contracts are not a piece of paper and contract managers are not “paper pushers.” Contracts are at the crux of every business deal in every industry and contract managers drive how these deals are made. Think of contract managers at the center of a wheel, interacting with every part of an organization including the C-suite, technical experts, marketing, IT, etc. What do NASA’s James Webb telescope, the USS Zumwalt and Covid-19 vaccines have in common? They all had acquisition professionals on the team, figuring out how to get it done.

View What is Contract Management video!


Exchange With Your Peers

Looking to connect with other higher education contract management faculty? Join us every other month for NCMA's Higher Education Virtual Meetup. Join your colleagues for a chance to discuss best practices for instructing contract management at the university level and learn about and share available resources. 

Next Virtual Meeting: September 13, 2023 at Noon Eastern Time 

Additional Virtual Meetings: 

  •  Stay tuned for more upcoming virtual events. 


Register for Free!


Higher Education Commitment to Contract Management Standard and CCMA Preparation

NCMA provides a list of higher education programs who have made a public commitment to offer contract management curricula that align with NCMA’s ANSI-approved Contract Management Standard™ (CMS).These programs have pledged to teach contract management based on this recognized understanding of the profession including the phases, domains, competencies, and skills required for students to be successful as they set their career expectations. Additionally, the listed contract management programs prepare students for CCMA certification, a powerful steppingstone into the profession.

NCMA provides this list as a benefit to the community. Any higher education institution that publicly commits to align curricula to the CMS and prepare students for the CCMA may be added. Inclusion on the list does not constitute endorsement or NCMA review of the programs or course curricula.

Three universities are the first group of higher education institutions to commit to aligning their program curriculums. The university programs include:

**To have your program reviewed for inclusion on the list, start by signing the Memorandum of Understanding to formalize your commitment to the CMS and CCMA preparation.**

View Memorandum of Understanding


Helpful Resources

How NCMA Can Help Academic Professionals

NCMA provides valuable resources to enhance your teachings and prepare students for their career journey.

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Incorporate The Contract Management Standard (CMS™) in Your Curriculum

NCMA’s ANSI-approved Standard describes the contract management life cycle in terms of competencies, job tasks, and skills. You can download and use it freely to support your curriculum. Knowledge of the CMS™ will support students’ initial entry into the profession and is the basis of NCMA’s entry-level Certified Contract Management Associate (CCMA) certification, which students can obtain as soon as they graduate.

NCMA’s CMS™ has been adopted by the Department of Defense as their new contract management standard and the basis for their new single-level certification. 

Learn more

Share NCMA Resources With Your Students

Have you ever been asked, “why contract management?” NCMA is here to help you answer that question and provide resources to students considering this dynamic and exciting career field. Share the NCMA Guide for Students widely with; students, colleagues teaching similar or related programs, career resource advisors, or others that would find it beneficial.

Use The Contract Management Body of Knowledge®(CMBOK®) as a Textbook

The CMS™ is the foundation of the CMBOK®, a full reference to the profession, structured around core competencies for successful contracting practitioners and leaders. We encourage you take advantage of fair use of the CMBOK® as you create curriculum as well as consider the CMBOK® as a course text. Many universities are directly using the CMBOK® including the University of Virginia, California State Polytech, Naval Post-graduate School, Brandeis University and more! NCMA is now offering a 15% discount on CMBOK® book orders when used as a course book. Faculty can request this discount for their students by contacting  [email protected].

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Publish Your Research in the Journal of Contract Management

NCMA publishes an annual peer-reviewed journal. We encourage submission of scholarly works for possible acceptance into the Journal. The call for submissions is currently open on a rolling basis. We encourage submission by the end of July 2022 for consideration in our Fall 2022 volume. Visit the Journal webpage for submission instructions and to download the most recent volume.

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NCMA Membership

Stay connected to the contract management community and get up-to-date on new developments. A NCMA Affiliate Membership at includes the following and much more:

Stay tuned for details on a new low-cost membership type!

Learn more

Share your Feedback

NCMA is seeking your input on how we can enhance our support to contract management higher education programs in the future. Complete this five-question survey to share your input.

How NCMA Can Help Students

NCMA provides valuable resources, no matter where you are in your education journey and as you embark in your career journey.

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Become a NCMA Student Member for Free & Connect with the Community

Connect, keep up-to-date, and expose yourself to new ideas through the following and so much more:

Take advantage of NCMA’s free membership!

Become a free student member!

NCMA Student Resource Guide

Have you ever asked yourself, “why contract management?” NCMA is here to help you answer that question and provide resources to students considering this dynamic and exciting career field.

Access Career Center

Industry and government hiring managers are always looking for smart, dedicated people like you to get the job done right. Use the NCMA Career Center to your advantage so you can land your dream job!

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Attend an NCMA Event at Student Rate

Attending an NCMA HQ event is the perfect opportunity to learn and network with those in the profession. As a student, you can take advantage of special student rates.

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Earn Your CCMA Certification

No better way to stand out from the crowd than obtaining an NCMA certification, specifically a Certified Contract Management Associate (CCMA) certification. A simple search of popular job sites reveals employers frequently identify one or more NCMA certifications as “desirable” or “preferred” in candidates. The CCMA certification is NCMA’s entry-level certification you can take upon graduation or with one year of work experience plus 40 continuing education credits. The certification is based on the NCMA Contract Management Standard™ which has been adopted by the Department of Defense as their new contract management standard and the basis for their new single-level certification. 

Learn more

Apply to NCMA’s Contract Management Leadership Development Program

After you have acquired a few years of work experience, apply for the upcoming class of Contract Management Leadership Development Program (CMLDP). Annually, NCMA selects rising and potential leaders to participate in its free, 10-month program where they: 

  • Learn leadership skills
  • Wrestle with leadership challenges from a contracting perspective
  • Build a career-long network of friends, colleagues, and mentors

Learn more

Contract Management Salaries

The contract management profession is a dynamic, challenging, and rewarding career choice. NCMA's Contract Management Salary Survey demonstrates that contract management professionals are highly experienced and extremely well-educated. They possess a variety of professional certifications and designations that demonstrate their proficiency. Experience tends to equate with age and typically salaries are highest among the oldest respondents. Those under 35 earn a National median salary of $81,100 compared to $131,000 among those 55 or older. Additionally, the National median salary of contracting professionals with a master’s degree was $120,000; $17,900 higher than those without an advanced degree. Those with a bachelor’s degree earned $9,200 more than those without a bachelor’s degree. For additional demographics access the report.

Visit NCMA’s Career Center for more information about contract management open jobs, salaries, and career paths.

Access 2021 Salary Survey


Annual Salary by Age


Annual Salary by Education