Advanced Studies in Estimating and Integrated Cost Management FAQs

Experience and Prerequisites

  • Is this program only for people in the construction industry?
  • Estimating is a process to determine a prediction or projection. This program uses the model of construction to demonstrate the function of estimating. Furthermore, we use construction to demonstrate how new technology is integrated into the decision making and functionality of estimating. However, estimating concepts and processes taught in this program can be applied in many different industries. 
  • Would this certificate be appropriate for someone with no construction experience?
  • This program requires 4+ of years work experience related to construction or engineering projects OR a Bachelor's (or equivalent degree) in construction or engineering.
    If you do not have either of these, you can still apply to join the program. In order to be considered through this path, you will want to have experience and skills in the following:
    - A comprehensive understanding of spreadsheets
    - High analytical analysis
    - An understanding of the basic function of the role of an estimator and unit cost concepts
    - Most importantly, a mindset of critical thinking and curiosity
  • Are there a prerequisite for this program?
  • This is an application based program. While there is no formal prerequisite for this program, people do need to meet the qualifications as stated above.
  • Do you advise that students enrolling in the Program have experience with estimating software packages?
  • Previous experience with estimating software is not required for this program.
  • I am not an estimator, so I'm not a user of the estimating tools. I'm more of a consumer/reviewer of estimates supporting an owner or project sponsor. Is this program right for me?
  • Yes, this program will provide an understanding of the concept of estimating and how it would best align with an owner's business case. Furthermore, it will provide a comprehensive understanding of strategic approaches to an estimate to create a reliable forecast or prediction of cost. By learning the skills that are the foundation of this program, you will be able to better identify strong estimates and question weaker estimates by understanding the methodology behind them.

Course Details

  • Will financial aid be available for this program?
  • Paying for your education can be a challenge as a continuing education student. The UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Student Services office can work with you to identify available financial assistance options. Contact us at (800) 752-0881 or (530) 757-8777, or visit our "Financing Your Education" page to learn more.

    Students in courses and programs offered through Continuing and Professional Education may be eligible for a tax credit for educational expense, job training funds, alternative student loans (which do not require enrollment in a degree program) or other financial assistance. At this time, Continuing and Professional Education students are not eligible for financial aid based on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), sometimes referred to as Title IV funds, which have specific requirements Continuing and Professional Education programs do not meet.
  • When does the program start?
  • There are multiple entry points into the program throughout the year. If you are interested in applying for a future offering, feel free to submit your application now and contact the program advisor, Crystal Babowal ( to discuss what quarter you would like to join the program.
  • Are the courses sequential?
  • There is a specific order in which you will take the 4 classes - this is why the program must be taken as a whole certificate. Below are the classes in the order you will take them.
    Class 1 - Active Estimating Concept and Application
    Class 2 - Technologies in Project Management and Estimating
    Class 3 - Value / Risk Management and Conceptual Behavioral Estimating
    Class 4 - Project Based Capstone Course and Final Project
  • Who teaches this program?
  • This program has been developed and is taught by Paul Martin and Dr. Hung Nguyen. Their teaching schedule is as follows
    Paul Martin, lead instructor: Class 1 - Active Estimating Concept and Application and Class 3 - Value / Risk Management and Conceptual Behavioral Estimating
    Hung Nguyen, lead instructor: Class 2 - Technologies in Project Management and Estimating and Class 4 - Project Based Capstone Course and Final Project
  • What kinds of software will be required/utilized for the course? Will UC Davis be providing student licenses?
  • The first class will primarily use Excel, with some integration of On Screen Take-Off. In the other courses you will get experience using various tools and softwares such as BIM 360 Autodesk, 3-D Take-Off Software, Software for Data Analytics and additional document viewing and analytics tools. All software licenses will be provided by UC Davis.
  • Will we need to have software installed or will software be installed / shared?
  • There may be computer specification requirements for the necessary software. Any specifications or technical requirements will be communicated upon enrollment in the individual classes.

Program Format

  • Are the courses self-paced learning with no hard times required to be online for weekly lectures?
  • The courses will have weekly, live synchronous sessions. These sessions will be recorded if you cannot make the regularly scheduled session. Periodically, you will also engage with the instructor and your fellow classmates through live synchronous interactive lab sessions. Content, discussion questions and assignments will roll out on a weekly basis.
  • Is there a program syllabus I can review?
  • If you contact the Program Advisor, Crystal Babowal (, you can request course syllabi and weekly course outlines.

Construction Management vs Advanced Studies in Estimating and Integrated Cost Management

  • How much redundancy will there be between this program and the estimating course through the Construction Management program?
  • This program is very different from the basic estimating course offered as a part of the UC Davis Construction Management program.

    Estimating, Preconstruction and Bidding course is an introductory-level curriculum. It is a 12-week class that provides foundational skills, a basic understanding of estimating processes, a broad knowledge of the profession of estimating and how it integrates into the construction industry.

    Advanced Studies in Estimating and Integrated Cost Management Certificate is a more in-depth program and curriculum. This 12-month program will provide tools, concepts and processes that will help you stand out amongst the competition. You will walk away with a better understanding of the strategy behind estimating, new approaches to save time and money by estimating in front of design and development opportunities to integrate the latest technology into your processes.
  • Would you recommend taking the basic estimating course first if one doesn't have construction experience?
  • Yes. If you have no construction, estimating or cost management experience, the Estimating, Preconstruction and Bidding course would be a great place to learn those foundational skills.
  • Do I need to have completed the Construction Management Certificate Program before we can enroll in this one?
  • No, the Construction Management program is a completely separate program. 

    While students in the Advanced Studies in Estimating and Integrated Cost Management Certificate may have also completed the Construction Management Certificate Program, it is not a requirement.

Other Questions

  • Does the program address traditional estimating and management methods that are often deployed? 
  • This program respects the tradition and protocols of standard estimating practices, while advancing critical thinking strategies and implementation that allows for a unique perspective on the process. 
  • I am senior project manager involved in development, design and construction of large scale data centers, worldwide. Will there be content addressing how to quantify costs associated with land selection, permits, etc, in addition to the typical pre-construction/construction estimating?
  • This program will examine:
    Relevance of a business case
    - How to develop an estimate that addresses owner expectations
    - Need and balance of design progression or design maturity, as it relates to the business cases/allowable cost
    - Environmental constraints and mitigation
    - Entitlements process and its relevance to the active estimating process
  • How industry specific will the discussions on active estimating be?
  • This program will not dive into specific trades. This program focuses on the strategy of the estimate - from the business case to final build. The program is not designed to teach you how to estimate, rather to challenge you to think about estimating as a full cycle process.