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Best Online Master's in Supply Chain Management Degree Programs

Students can choose from several different types of online master's programs in supply chain management, and some of the best provide students with a top education in the field. Explore different program options and career information in supply chain management.

Best Online Master's Programs in Supply Chain Management

There are many different online master's programs in supply chain management available, as well as those that include topics in logistics and/or industrial distribution. Some of the best online programs in the field include flexible program formats, unique learning opportunities, expert faculty, and/or other stand-out features. Explore some of these programs below.

1. Xavier University

LocationGraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Cincinnati, OH$11,716

Xavier University has an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with an optional concentration available in supply chain management. The program can be completed in 1.5 years full-time or 3 years part-time, requires a capstone course, and totals 39 to 45 credits. The MBA program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and according to the school's website, graduates of the program place in the top five for the highest starting salaries in Ohio. Students in the program learn from expert faculty, and courses also include a Jesuit perspective.

2. Arizona State University- Tempe

LocationGraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Tempe, AZ$12,134

Arizona State University in Tempe offers a unique online Master of Science (MS) in Supply Chain Management that is tied to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology- MIT x MicroMasters program. This allows students to learn from prestigious faculty from both institutions while pursuing their 30-credit degree. Classes are 7.5 weeks in length, and students must complete a seminar course. According to the school's website, 80% of students receive some form of financial aid to help pay for their education.

3. Georgia College and State University

LocationGraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Milledgeville, GA$7,206

According to its website, Georgia College and State University is home to one of Georgia's oldest logistics programs, and offers a Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. This accredited program totals 30 credits and can be completed fully online. The program is taught in a cohort model, and students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. A couple of different organizations have given the program a top ranking.

4. Texas A&M University- College Station

LocationGraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
College Station, TX$9,812

Texas A&M University in College Station provides a unique Master of Industrial Distribution degree program that focuses on supply chain management, profitability of distributors and manufacturers, and logistics. The program is taught by industry leaders and academic faculty, and can be completed in 2 years in a part-time format. Students in the program must complete a capstone course, an annual 1-week residency, and a 1-week global project trip. The program does follow a cohort model and a lock-step approach with coursework.

5. Fontbonne University

LocationGraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Saint Louis, MO$13,896

Fontbonne University offers an online MS in Supply Chain Management that has an optional concentration in project management. The program totals 30 hours, includes 8-week courses, and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Students must complete an assessment prior to graduation and should be prepared to take their Council of Supply Chain Management SCPro Level One Certification. The program has been ranked among the top programs for supply chain management by several groups.

Rank School Name Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
6University of Michigan-DearbornDearborn, MI$12,920
7University of San DiegoSan Diego, CA$27,066
8University of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsville, AL$11,214
9Charleston Southern UniversityCharleston, SC$7,540
10Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne, FL$22,588
11Lehigh UniversityBethlehem, PA$27,130
12San Jose State UniversitySan Jose, CA$9,230
13Rutgers University-NewarkNewark, NJ$19,401
14University of Wisconsin-PlattevillePlatteville, WI$9,018
15University of Colorado BoulderBoulder, CO$13,246

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Master's Programs in Supply Chain Management

Online master's degree programs in supply chain management are typically available as an MS degree, but there are some online MBA degree programs with supply chain management as a specialization. Subjects like logistics could also be found in the degree title, and there are some closely-related online degrees available, like a Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management or a Master of Industrial Distribution. There are also some MS degree programs that may offer additional areas of concentration within supply chain management, such as global business, logistics management, project management, or quantitative approaches.

Usually online master's programs in supply chain management are available as full- or part-time programs and can be completed fully online. However, there are some programs that may require a residency on campus. Programs in general may range between 30 and 45 credits; and some may be self-paced. Others may include courses with synchronous meeting times. Course lengths may vary from about 7.5 weeks to 10 weeks.

There are several online master's programs in supply chain management that follow a cohort model to allow students to learn together with their peers. Some of these online programs may offer other unique learning opportunities, such as a global project trip.

Find out more about online master's degree programs in supply chain management below.

Length of Program

The length of an online master's program in supply chain management can vary greatly by program. Traditionally, master's programs take 2 years to complete, but there are some online MS programs in supply chain management that can be completed in as little as 15-18 months. Some part-time online programs are designed to allow students to complete the program at a slower pace and finish in 3 years.

Common Courses

Online master's degree programs in supply chain management typically require a set of core courses along with electives or concentration courses. In the case of MBA programs, the core courses are usually in business administration and the concentration courses are in supply chain management. Some degree programs may conclude with a capstone course. Common course topics for many programs include:

  • Supply Chain Management- Courses in supply chain management typically provide students with an overview of the field and may discuss supply chain decision making processes, design, and/or strategies. Specific course topics may include best practices, evaluation and measurement, procurement, roles of managers, and inventory control.
  • Quantitative Methods- Students in quantitative methods courses learn about the statistical and mathematical tools used in the field to analyze system life cycles and help manage organizations. Students may study topics in probability, logistics support models, reliability, and maintainability.
  • Materials Management- Courses in materials management may be a continuation of supply chain management courses that explore the specifics of materials. Students in these courses may discuss materials management practices, inventory fundamentals, warehouse management, production planning systems, and more.
  • Logistics- Logistics courses usually explore the logistics processes used for managing a supply chain with the goal of ensuring an efficient product life cycle and customer satisfaction. Students in these courses may examine topics in order fulfillment, transportation cost drivers, and outsourcing.

How to Choose an Online Master's Degree in Supply Chain Management

There are many different factors to consider when selecting an online master's degree program in supply chain management. Students may first want to consider the type of program format that may work best with their personal schedule. For example, students may need to think about whether a full-time or part-time program, blended program, and/or self-paced program may be right for them. Here we discuss a few other important considerations for choosing an online degree program in supply chain management in more detail.

MS vs. MBA

A primary factor students need to consider when choosing a supply chain management degree program is what kind of degree they want to pursue. Although online MBA programs with a concentration in supply chain management are fairly common, these degrees are different from an MS or other master's degrees in supply chain management.

The biggest difference between an MBA and an MS in Supply Chain Management is that an MBA provides students with a broader scope of business. MBA programs require core business administration courses that are aimed at preparing students for managerial and leadership positions in any business industry with only a few courses focused on supply chain management. MS degree programs, on the other hand, are more specialized as courses focuses primarily on supply chain management concepts.

Students may complete some online MBA programs at a slightly faster pace than MS degree programs, but this can vary. MS or master's degree programs in supply chain management may be more likely to follow a cohort model.

Accreditation

Students who want to ensure that they are receiving a quality education should be sure to find an accredited school and/or program in supply chain management. Typically, schools that offer online degree programs have institutional accreditation by regional accreditation bodies, like the Higher Learning Commission or the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), to demonstrate that academic programs in general have met academic standards set by these accreditation bodies.

However, some schools and/or programs may take accreditation a step further and pursue specialized accreditation in a particular subject area. For example, schools with supply chain management master's degree programs may have business programs accredited by the AACSB International -- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This specialized accreditation indicates that business-related programs have met specific business-related academic standards.

Cost of Program

Many students need to consider the cost of a program to see if they are able to afford to enroll in a specific program. Although tuition rates vary by institution, some online master's degree programs in supply chain management may cost between $627 and $860 per credit hour. Students also need to check for any additional fees that may be associated with online degree programs, such as a $50 per credit hour course fee.

Students may also want to investigate any discounts or other financial aid options that schools offer to help reduce the cost of a program. For example, some schools may offer a discount in tuition for military service members and/or spouses. Other programs may offer payment plans, loans, and/or scholarships to help reduce costs.

Career Options for Graduates with a Master's in Supply Chain Management

Graduates with their master's in supply chain management can work in a wide range of industries at the local, national, and even international levels. A master's degree may help graduates qualify for more advanced leadership and/or managerial positions in the field. Some specific job titles for graduates with this degree may include:

  • Supply chain manager
  • Master scheduler
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Category manager
  • Sourcing leader
  • Logistician
  • Operations research analyst
  • Management analyst

Logisticians

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), logisticians have a job outlook of 5% from 2018 to 2028, which is as fast as average. These professionals made a median annual salary of $74,600, as of 2018, and are responsible for evaluating and overseeing supply chains. Logisticians manage the entire life cycle of a product and look for ways to make the supply chain more efficient. They work closely with clients and suppliers, allocate resources, and manage inventory.

Operations Research Analysts

The BLS reported that the job outlook for operations research analysts is 26% from 2018 to 2028. This job outlook is much faster than average, and the BLS also reported that these analysts made an annual median salary of $83,390, as of 2018. Operations research analysts collect and study data and information on organizations to determine ways of making the organization's operations more effective and/or efficient. They help managers make better decisions for the organization and use statistical tools to write reports with their findings.

Management Analysts

Management analysts also have a much faster than average job outlook of 14% from 2018 to 2028, per the BLS. These analysts made an annual median salary of $83,610, as of 2018, and are responsible for finding ways to make an organization more profitable. These analysts are similar to operations research analysts in that they gather and analyze data, but they focus on organizational changes and procedures as opposed to operational processes.

Certifications and Licensure

There are several different professional certifications and/or licensure opportunities that professionals in supply chain management can pursue. Most of these certifications and licenses are not necessarily required for a position, but may help professionals advance their careers. Some schools with supply chain management programs may even help prepare students for specific certifications, such as the SCPro Level One Certification from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Many of these certifications are available in the field of logistics and may be offered by organizations like the International Society of Logistics or APICS. Certifications from these groups usually require students to pass an exam and have some work experience. APICS offers several different certifications including:

  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD)

There are also certifications available for specific careers that utilize supply chain management, such as management analysts. Management analysts may pursue the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation from the Institute of Management Consultants USA.