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PhD Programs in Supply Chain Management

Individuals looking to become qualified for upper-level careers in supply chain management may consider completing a Ph.D. program in supply chain management. Explore common courses in this type of Ph.D. program as well as common admission requirements.

Supply Chain Management Ph.D. Program Information

Many businesses and organizations are involved in the management and flow of the supply chain from the procurement and transportation of basic raw materials to the manufacturing and packaging of a finished product. Individuals interested in becoming qualified to work in this industry may consider a Ph.D. program in supply chain management. These programs can take around four years to complete, although this may vary from program to program, as well as on individual course loads and research schedules. Students in these programs can be exposed to a variety of topics of study and strengthen a number of related competencies through several courses, including the following.

Global Supply Chain Management

This course gives students a basic overview of supply chain management strategies needed to operate in an international business environment while also covering several of the underlying theories and practicalities. Students may study the relationships between international supply chain management and a firm's other activities as well as risk management, multinational sourcing and transportation issues, and network design. Students can also examine concepts related to trade agreements, legal considerations, ethical behavior, and compliance.

Financial and Statistical Analysis

Students in this type of course may be exposed to various financial theories that can govern decision making and performance analysis in business. Students may be introduced to various analytical tools and software, as well as the interpretive skills needed to make effective use of these tools. Students may also be introduced to techniques that utilize external data to inform future decision making, probability and probability distributions, and analysis of variance and regression methods.

Business Research

A course that imparts the skills necessary to perform individual research in the field of supply chain management can also be common in these Ph.D. programs. Ph.D. programs are generally research-heavy degree programs, and courses such as these can instruct students on specifics of business research, including qualitative and quantitative techniques, while also teaching them how to analyze various methods of research. Students may tackle questions of ethical research in the business environment or how best to study and test solutions to challenges in contemporary business.

Applied Research

A course such as this can offer students the opportunity to propose, engage in, and discuss their own research in a guided setting. Students typically take the skills that they have learned in previous research courses and apply them to their own original research. This course may be geared toward or part of a larger thesis, capstone, or dissertation project for some programs or may simply give students an opportunity to put their research competencies to work in a practical setting. Students in these courses are typically given a faculty advisor to oversee ongoing research, approve and guide proposals, and help students with any questions or issues that may arise during the different processes of semi-independent research.

Supply Chain Innovations

These courses can introduce students to a number of recent and ongoing innovations in the field of supply chain management. Students may study the various historical problems common to supply chains and how recent or emerging technologies have worked toward mitigating or solving those problems. Students may also look at processes, theories, and technologies that can aid in the development of new innovations and solutions to address current and future problems in supply chain management.

Supply Chain Management Doctoral Degree Program Admission

Some of these Ph.D. programs are only open to students who have completed both a baccalaureate degree and a master's degree program. Others do not require a graduate degree to be considered for admission and evaluate applicants holistically. However, they also report that successful applicants have typically completed some graduate-level study. Prospective students will also typically need to submit transcripts from all of their associated postsecondary institutions. A resume or curriculum vitae is another common requirement, and some programs may also require GRE or GMAT scores as well as letters of recommendation, typically three. International students may need to submit TOEFL scores to demonstrate English proficiency.

Ph.D. programs in supply chain management can take around four years to complete and can include a number of courses on financial analysis and metrics, business research, and supply chain innovations. Admissions requirements can include GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, and a previous graduate coursework.