Instructor: Jose A. Faria, PhD, PMP
Phone: (305) 348-3541
Office: EC-2951
Fax: (305) 348-6255
Office Hours: Thursdays: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
E-mail: Please use Blackboard Course Mail

This is the online section of a course that regularly meets face to face. The video of the lectures will be available normally with the course notes. Please email the instructor before deciding to attend a face to face lecture.


Understanding the scope of work and related cost is perhaps the most fundamental knowledge required to start any activity. This course provides a theoretical framework to define the scope of work, schedule and cost, the student is exposed to the different methods used to identify and measure the cost elements as the first step to build a cost estimate. After the basics of cost estimation are understood, the student learns how to control costs of ongoing projects. Finally, this knowledge is applied in a course project in which the student has the opportunity to prepare a cost estimate, and identify control mechanisms using the concepts learned in class and critique the estimates prepared by other students.


At the end of the course, the student will understand:

  • basic concepts of cost estimation,
  • different types of costs and their differences,
  • methods used to estimate costs,
  • how to gather information, compile and use a cost estimate,
  • the importance of having a credible, supportable, usable, accurate, achievable, competitive, complete and realistic cost estimate,
  • how to work with others, critique an estimate and provide insight on how to prepare one,
  • how to control cost during the different project life cycle phases,
  • basic project management techniques and their relationship to cost estimation, and
  • principles and techniques of budgeting and cost control.


Recommended book, NOT mandatory:
Project Management for Engineering and Construction
Garold D. Oberlender,
McGrawHill, 2nd Edition, 2000

ISBN: 0-07-039360-5

Click here to buy your textbook online at our FIU Bookstore.

Helpful Books

R.S Means Building Construction Cost Data, 2000 or later
R.S. Means Assemblies Cost Data, 2000 or later

Recommended Software

COCOMO - Estimation and planning of software activities
Expert Choice - Expert Choice Inc. Decision making software
Microsoft Project, Microsoft Office (Excel and PowerPoint) – Microsoft Corp. Scheduling software
OpenWorkbench - Free scheduling software by Computer Associates’ Clarity Division, BSO.
WBS Pro - Critical Tools. WBS Construction software.

Other references used

Albright, Christian. Learning Statistics with StatTools. Palisade Corporation 2003.

Amos, Scott J., Editor. Skills and Knowledge of Cost Engineering. 5th Edition. AACE International, , 2004

Blanchard, Benjamin S. and Wolter J. Fabrycky, Systems Engineering and Analysis. Third Edition Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1981.

Clark, F.D., and Lorenzoni, A.B. Applied Cost Engineering. Third Edition. Marcel Dekker New York, NY, 1997. ISBN 0-8247-9800-7

Dagostino, F.R and Feigenbaum L., Estimating in Building Construction. Sixth Edition w CD ROM, Prentice Hall NJ 2003.

DoD. Parametric Estimating Handbook. Second Edition. 1999

DoD. Work Breakdown Structure. MIL-HDBK-881A. 2005

Fuller, S. K. and S. R. Petersen. Life-Cycle Costing Manual for the Federal Energy Management Program, NIST HB 135. 1995

Garvey, Paul R. Probability Methods for Cost Uncertainty Analysis: A Systems Engineering Perspective. Marcel Dekker, Inc. 2000

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Sixth Edition. The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.

Laufer, Alexander. Simultaneous Management; Managing Projects in a Dynamic Environment. AMACON, 1997.

Mantel, Samuel J. et al. Project Management in Practice. John Wiley & Sons. Inc. 2001

NASA, Cost Estimating Handbook. 2002

Ostwald, Phillip F, McLaren, Timothy S. Cost Analysis and Estimating for Engineering and Management. Pearson Education, Inc Prentice Hall 2004

Peterson, Steven J. Construction Estimating Using Excel. Pearson Education. 2007

PMI A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK Guide. Third Edition PMI 2004

PMI. Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures. ISBN 1-880410-81-8. PMI 2001.

Samid, Gideon. Computer – Organized Cost Engineering. Marcel Dekker. 1990

Savage, Sam L. Decision Making with Insight. Brooks / Cole. 2003

Steward, Rodney D. Cost Estimating. Second Edition John Wiley and Sons 1991.

Stewart, Rodney L., Richard M. Wyskida, and  James D. Johannes. Cost Estimator’s Reference Manual. Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1995

Winston, Wayne L. Decision Making Under Uncertainty with RISKOptimizer. A Step-by-Step Guide Using Palisade’s RISKOptimizer for Excel. Palisade Corporation. 2000.

Winston, Wayne L. Introduction to Probability Models. Operations Research: Volume Two. Fourth Edition. Brooks/Cole. 2004

Winston, Wayne L. Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms. Third Edition.Wadsworth, Inc. 1994


There are no prerequisites for this course.

For more information about prerequisites, click here.


  • E-mail: Contact me via my Blackboard email
  • Discussion Forum: It will be used for class discussions and other postings of general interest that are directly related to the course. Everyone can read Discussion Forum postings; therefore, do not post private information.
  • LiveChat: It will be used during my online office hours.


Course Requirements Weights
Homework and participation in online discussions (Homework will be assigned according to the calendar and it is due at the beginning of the lecture.) 20%
Evaluation 1 - Online examination  covers cost estimation. 30%
Evaluation 2 - Online examination covers all course material. 30%
Project - Written report with intermediate deliverables. 20%
Total 100%

Letter Grade Range Letter Grade Range Letter Grade Range
   A above 93    B- 80 - 82    D+ 67 - 69
   A- 90 - 92    C+ 77 - 79    D 63 - 66
   B+ 87 - 89    C 73 - 76    D- 61 - 62
   B 83 - 86    C- 70 - 72    F < 60

The exams will be given online, a maximum time and number of attempts will be fixed beforehand. No communications are allowed between students during the exams.  The exam dates, homework assignments, presentations and reports are due on the date specified in the course calendar, these dates are fixed and non-negotiable. There will be no makeup exams, please check your calendar and report to the instructor any conflicts as soon as you become aware of them. Late assignments will be graded based on 90% of the lowest score of the assignments received on time. Exceptional circumstances including severe weather alert when recognized by the University, will be considered on a case by case basis. Business or leisure travel does not constitute exceptional circumstances. In the event of travel the student should take any necessary measures to submit deliverables electronically. Students with special needs should contact the instructor to discuss specific cases..

Students with disabilities who may need special accommodations should register with the Office of Disabilities Services, telephone (305) 348-3852.  In addition they are encouraged to contact the instructor so that arrangements can be made to accommodate their needs.  The Department of Construction Management adheres to the University’s policy concerning religious holidays.  Any student will be excused from attendance in order to observe a religious holiday for their faith.  If an examination or presentation is scheduled on that date, an alternate date will be provided.  Students are expected to inform the faculty, ahead of time, of such holidays


As a college, we care about and enforce the Policies and Procedures as they are important to the quality of the education we are providing to you. Details on FIU Policies can be found at:


The FIU library provides a number of services to distance learning students. For example:

  • Students can request a chat session in Blackboard for an explanation on how to access library resources.
  • Students can request detailed instructions on how to access library resources.
  • One-on-One assistance from the Distance Learning Librarian.

Don't struggle through your library research alone! Help is available. For further information, contact Sarah Hammill, Distance Learning Librarian, via email at or call 305-919-5604.

You can visit the FIU Library at:


In an effort to provide online/hybrid students with reliable and secure access to the online learning technology resources, FIU Online has standard maintenance periods to perform scheduled maintenance and system upgrades. FIU Online courses will be unavailable during the established maintenance schedule. System maintenance is performed weekly between the hours of 11:59 PM on Friday night through 5:00 AM on Saturday morning. We thank you for your patience and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause. 


This is a fully online course, meaning that all course work (100%) will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in fully online courses are the same as for traditional courses; in fact, fully online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students.

Fully online courses are not independent study courses. You will be expected to interact online with the professor and your fellow students; to do assignments; to meet deadlines; and in many classes, to work in virtual groups. In some fully online courses, you may be required to come to campus to take midterms and exams, but in most, you will take your tests online.

Tips for Success in your online course, click here.

Online Etiquette, click here.


Adjustments may be made to the calendar during the semester

Module Topic Assignments

Aug 25 -
Aug 31

Presentations, Ethics, grading, Introduction and Basics Homework #1 Given
Sep 01 -
Sep 07
Life Cycle phases, types of estimates, examples and overview Homework #1 Due
Homework #2 Given
Sep 08 -
Sep 14
WBS, basic tools schedules, elements, direct and indirect cost Homework #2 Due
Homework #3 Given

Estimate topic Due

Sep 15 -
Sep 21
Example of cost estimation Fee, profit and earnings, reviewing, publishing, use design to cost and value eng. Homework #3 Due
Homework #4 Given
Sep 22 -
Sep 28
Inflation, escalation, depreciation, software cost estimating, and sensitivity analysis Homework #4 Due
Homework #5 Given
Sep 29 -
Oct 05
Evaluation #1 Homework #5 Due

Project Update 1 Due

Oct 06 -
Oct 12

Intro to Project Management CPM/PDM AHP

Oct 13 -
Oct 19

Project Management Tools

Preliminary cost estimation due

Homework #6 Given

Oct 20 -
Oct 26
Earned Value Analysis Homework #6 Due
Homework #7 Given
Oct 27 -
Nov 02
Earned Value Analysis Homework #7 Due
Homework #8 Given
Project Update 2 Due
Nov 03 -
Nov 09
Earned Value Analysis Homework #8 Due
Nov 10 -
Nov 16

Evaluation #2

Nov 17 -
Nov 23

Nov 24 -

Reading material to be determined


Homework #9 Given
Dec 01 -
Dec 07

Reading material to be determined  Homework #9 Due

Homework #10 Given

Dec 08 -
Dec 14

Final Evaluations
 Homework #10 Due