Supply Chain (SC) has been acknowledged for ages as an important aspect of any business model, but advancing technology has encouraged more colleges than ever to offer graduate programs in SC, even affordable online MS in Supply Chain and Logistics programs. In its 2018 “Top 25 North American Supply Chain Graduate University Programs” article, Gartner found that the number of available Supply Chain Management (SCM) graduate programs has increased by 67 percent in two years.
However, even Gartner’s list of universities offering these programs is not exhaustive. Lucky for you, we’ve collected over 100 and ranked 50 cheap master’s in supply chain and logistics online, hybrid and on-campus programs. These programs come in a variety of forms, so we paid special attention to those that are affordable, high-quality and customizable.
Looking for more information regarding master’s degree programs in supply chain? Check out the FAQ, available career options and other specifics we’ve laid out for you at the bottom of this article.
As Forbes contributor Willard Dix mentioned in an article concerning college rankings, “the imponderables of college are too great to measure meaningfully.” Plus, every student’s wants and needs concerning college are personal and difficult to quantify, so we’ve kept it simple for you with just three ranking criteria: Cost, Customization and Quality.
We began our research process with a general search and by consulting other reputable college ranking sites (like Forbes, Gartner, Times Higher Education and more) to gather around 100 colleges and universities offering a graduate degree program in Supply Chain. These include specialized master’s degree programs and MBA programs that have concentration options in Supply Chain. We also made it a point to seek out such programs that have yet to be featured on a “Top Supply Chain Programs” ranking.
From there, we utilized the below Rating and Ranking Methodology to whittle the list down to the 50 cheapest Master’s in Supply Chain degree programs. To find the cheapest colleges, we compared each school’s Net Price, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database. NCES describes this cost as being for “Full-time beginning undergraduate students who paid the in-state or in-district tuition rate and were awarded grant or scholarship aid from federal, state or local governments, or the institution (2016-17).” We then ranked that list using all three criteria so that we could highlight those that are the most affordable while offering flexibility, quality and accessibility.
Editor’s Update: Finally, we separated the schools offering affordable online master’s in supply chain and logistics programs from those schools that offer only on-campus supply chain programs, so as to provide you with two distinct resources.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
Net Price (as reported by the NCES):
- Under $10,000: 5 points
- Under $12,000: 4 points
- Under $14,000: 3 points
- Under $16,000: 2 points
- Under $18,000: 1 point
- Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Each
- Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, etc.)—1 Point Each
- 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us
28. Charleston Southern University
Online MS in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $17,858
Grad Student Enrollment: 472
GMAT Score Requirements: A GMAT score is not listed among the admissions requirements
Charleston Southern University is an independent college affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention that enrolls 3,459 students on its 300-acre campus and online. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), CSU has a 14:1 student-faculty ratio. Thirty percent of its student body is 25 or older. It has a 56 percent first-time student retention rate, and it’s among our top online Christian colleges and universities (No. 30 out of 60).
Charleston Southern Online offers an affordable online Master of Science in supply chain and logistics. It includes courses like:
- Servant Leadership
- Supply Chain Information Technology
- Product and Service Delivery Management
This 36-hour program offers rolling admissions. Programs in the College of Business are accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). Its curriculum includes your choice of five electives. The College of Adult and Professional Studies also offers a 15-hour Supply Chain Management Certificate.
27. Athens State University
Online MS in Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Net Price: Athens State did not report its net cost to NCES, but its affordable online tuition is listed as $332 per credit hour.
Grad Student Enrollment: 43
GMAT Score Requirements: 425 minimum (waived upon submission of a professional portfolio demonstrating three years of work experience in a related field)
Athens State University is the oldest institution of higher education in Alabama. It’s located in the Tennessee Valley area of the northern part of the state. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Athens State is a public, mostly-undergraduate university with a main campus and six instructional off-campus sites. In 2018 it enrolled 4,113 students and had a 15:1 student-faculty ratio.
The College of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP). Its only business program for graduate students is the affordable online MS in supply chain and logistics. This master’s degree program is completely online with no on-site requirements. Students move through it as a cohort in part-time enrollment (two courses per semester). Comprised of 30 semester hours, the curriculum has a logistics core and two three-course tracks students can choose from in Logistics Information Systems or Management. Students in the LIS track will earn SAP Certification. The CoB also offers a BS and a certificate program in logistics and supply chain management. In 2013 (most recent data), the CoB had an 84.95 percent retention rate among first-time students.
26. University of Wisconsin-Stout
Online MS in Operations and Supply Management
Net Price: $14,971 ($838 per credit for non-residents)
Grad Student Enrollment: 1,285 total, 76 within the MS program (Fall 2017)
GMAT Score Requirements: Unreported, but it specifically says the GRE scores are not required
The University of Wisconsin-Stout, the first of a few UW schools on this list, is a career-focused polytechnic university (institute of technology). It has a 19:1 student-faculty ratio and 69 percent freshmen retention rate. The retention for the MS program is 100 percent. About 9,600 students call this small-town, lakeside campus home, which has 3x more labs and studios than it does classrooms. UW-Stout has earned the Quality Standards Certification for excellence from the United States Distance Learning Association, as well as accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
UW-Stout’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management has an Operations and Management Department which offers an online MS in Operations and Supply Management. This 34-credit program comes with three concentration options:
- Quality Management
- Operations Management
- Project Management
You can complete the practice-oriented curriculum through evening or online courses and independent study programs at your own pace. To gain admission, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a GPA of at least 2.75, as well as two years of work or military experience. The Department also offers a professional development certificate in supply chain management.
25. University of Alabama
Online MS in Supply Chain and Logistics Management
Net Price: $17,766
Grad Student Enrollment: 1,884
GMAT Score Requirements: 535 is the average among MS-SCLM students, and 500 is the minimum required (five years of professional experience waives the GMAT)
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a public university with 16 research centers and affiliation with The University of Alabama System. Its 505-acre campus has nine colleges, an average graduate class size of 13 and 9,736 total students. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), UAH has a 17:1 student-faculty and an 82 percent first-time student retention.
The AACSB-accredited Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration offers a cheap MS in supply chain and logistics online. Designed for working professionals, this 30-credit program does not require work experience for admission. It can be completed in either 12 months of full-time enrollment or 22 months in part-time enrollment. This specialized management degree offers start dates in the fall, spring and summer and courses like:
- Contract Pricing & Cost Analysis
- Advanced Quality Control
- Supply Chain Management Systems
A thesis option is available, and only 33 students were in the 2017 class. Additionally, there is a graduate certificate in SCM (offered in partnership with the Army Materiel Command) and an MBA professional development area in supply chain and logistics management. The 33+ credit MBA is on-campus in the evenings and takes about 24 months to complete. Supply chain students at UAH benefit from student organizations like the Supply Chain Management Association, as well as the Alabama International Trade Center.
24. University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Online MS in Integrated Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $14,363 ($675 per credit, regardless of residency)
Grad Student Enrollment: 809 (Fall 2018)
GMAT Score Requirements: No GRE or GMAT required
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has an 821-acre campus located in a small city of about 11,000 residents. It’s less than 30 miles from the borders of Illinois and Iowa. With a total enrollment of 7,979, the average class size is 25 students, and the student-faculty ratio is 20:1. UW-Platteville was the first public university in the state to deliver an entire degree online. Today, more master’s programs are available online than on-campus. The university’s freshman to sophomore retention rate is 77 percent. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Distance Education at UW-Platteville offers an affordable Online MS in Supply Chain Management Logistics, which is only available in the fully-online format. This 30- to 33-credit program’s curriculum includes core supply chain courses like International Supply Chain Management and Purchasing Management. As many as 12 transfer credits may be accepted, and you can earn credit for life and work experiences. You can complete the program at your own pace (for up to seven years), or earn your degree in as little as two years. You can also tailor the degree to your interests by choosing an area of emphasis from one of the following:
- Customer Relationship Management
23. North Carolina A&T State University
On-Campus or Online MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $11,049
Grad Student Enrollment: 1,536 (60 MBA students in 2015-16)
GMAT Score Requirements: 500-525 is the average score range (GMAT is waived for those with an undergraduate GPA of 3.30+)
North Carolina A&T State University is a public, land-grant research university, graduating more African-American engineers and accountants than any of the historically black colleges and universities in America. Located in North Carolina’s third-largest city, the 200-acre NC A&T campus is just nine blocks from downtown and in the heart of the Piedmont Triad. With more than 11,000 students, NC A&T has an 18:1 student-faculty ratio and a 78.6 percent student retention rate. NC A&T is also home to a 600-acre farm and the largest agricultural school among HBCUs. This university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
NC A&T’s AACSB-accredited College of Business and Economics (COBE) includes the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, which offers an undergraduate major in SCM, student organizations like the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and an affordable online MBA in supply chain and logistics. There is also a graduate certificate program in supply chain management, but it’s currently not admitting new students. This 30- to 36-credit MBA program includes experiential learning components and business executive mentors. In Fall 2017, NC A&T began offering an online MBA program with a concentration in SCM. On-campus courses are mostly in the evening, and students can work through the program at their own pace, completing it in as little as one year, including the summer semester. The 12-credit supply chain management concentration includes courses like the following:
- Supply Chain Systems Integration with SAP ERP
- Global Supply Chain Design Management
- Demand Driven Supply Chain Management
22. East Carolina University
On-Campus, Hybrid or Online MBA with a Supply Chain Management Certificate
Net Price: $13,327
Grad Student Enrollment: 873 in the College of Business
GMAT Score Requirements: 450 minimum
East Carolina University has almost 29,000 total students and a student-faculty ratio of 18:1. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ECU’s 1,600-acre suburban campus is home to 12 colleges and schools, as well as 40+ online degree programs that “aren’t available at any other institution.” This campus’ College of Business is the largest business college in North Carolina. Its MBA retention rate is 71.7 percent (2017).
ECU’s CoB allows you to complement its AACSB-accredited MBA program with a Certificate in Supply Chain Management. This certificate, and the full MBA program, are available in a 100 percent online format, but you can take the classes on-campus or as a combination of the two. Regardless, the requirements, structure and teaching faculty are the same. This online MBA program doesn’t require prerequisites, business experience or a business academic background. However, depending on the classes you’ve already taken, you can complete this program with as few as 11 classes. The curriculum is flexible and customizable, allowing you to take one to five classes per semester in any order and with semester/s off in between. The program requires a total of 18 courses (54 semester hours). You can choose between a three elective courses to tailor your MBA or one of the four- to five-course certificates. The Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management can be fully online. It includes courses like Strategic Logistics Management and Supply Chain Analytics.
21. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
MBA with a Supply Chain Management Emphasis
Net Price: $12,422
Grad Student Enrollment: 1,337 (Fall 2018)
GMAT Score Requirements: A composite score of at least 1,100 based on the following formula: (GMAT score) + [200 x (overall undergraduate GPA based on a 4-point scale)]
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater enrolls more than 13,000 students between its main and Rock County campuses, which are an hour or less away from Milwaukee and Madison. Its 400-acre suburban campus lies in the center of the “Midwest Research Triangle,” offering over 170 student organizations and a wheelchair athletics program. The freshman-to-sophomore retention rate for Fall 2018 is 81.9 percent, and its student-faculty ratio is 21:1. UW-Whitewater is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The College of Business and Economics offers a 36-credit MBA with a Supply Chain Management emphasis. The emphasis consists of nine credits. It has a 100 percent career placement rate (based on a 2016-17 survey) with employers like Kraft-Heinz, American Transmission Company and Baker Tilly LLP. Both the breadth and emphasis courses of this program can be completed on-campus, online or a mix of both. You can also enroll full- or part-time. You don’t need prior work experience or business education to apply. UWW offers the most affordable MBAs in the region that are AACSB-accredited. Plus, all grad students qualify for a $1,000 scholarship to study abroad. The undergraduate BBA program offers a supply chain and operations major, which can be combined with a project management emphasis.
20. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Flex MBA or MBA@Nebraska with a Supply Chain Management Specialization
Net Price: $16,813 ($630 per credit hour)
Grad Student Enrollment: 4,606
GMAT Score Requirements: 600 is “highly recommended”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a public land-grant research university with 25,820 students, nine colleges and classification within the Carnegie “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” category. A member of the Big Ten Conference, UNL is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The student-faculty ratio is 21:1, and the first-time student retention rate is 82 percent. UNL’s AACSB-accredited College of Business is housed in the 240,000-square-foot $84 million Howard L. Hawks Hall, the largest academic building project in the university’s recent history. It was completed in 2017. Warren Buffet is an alum of UNL’s CoB.
The Supply Chain and Analytics Department is the CoB’s newest department, offering an undergraduate major, online graduate certificate in SCM, an MS in business analytics and an MBA specialization in Supply Chain Management. The MBA@Nebraska is 100 percent online, or the Flex MBA option offers online courses in conjunction with classes on-campus, but both are the same program. This 48-credit MBA offers joint program opportunities, 18 elective/specialization credits and an “international overlay” course requirement. Full-time students can complete the program in two years or less, and part-time students typically finish within three to five years. The program allows up to 10 years. You can tailor this MBA with the SCM certificate or the specialization, which includes courses like the following:
- Advanced Supply Chain Technology
- Data Mining and Warehousing
- Managing Logistics in the Supply Chain
19. University of Washington
Master of Supply Chain Management and Online Master of Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics
Net Price: $9,443 (Total tuition for the 12-month MSCM program is $42,888 for non-residents. The online program is listed as $930 per credit for 2018-19)
Grad Student Enrollment: 14,000
GMAT Score Requirements: There isn’t a minimum score required, but the average GMAT score for the current class is 653, and the average combined GRE is 308.
The University of Washington is comprised of three campuses. Its main campus is north of downtown Seattle, the birthplace of big-time companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco and more. UW is one of the oldest public universities on the West Coast. It has a 634-acre urban campus with 296 specialized research centers and 54,000 students. The freshman retention rate is 94 percent, and the student-faculty ratio is 19:1. UW is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), while its Michael G. Foster School of Business is accredited by AACSB International. The Foster School is the second oldest institution of management education on the West Coast. It enrolled 1,169 grad students in 2016 (most recent data).
UW offers both a Master of Supply Chain Management and an Online Master of Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics. The former is a one-year accelerated program with evening and weekend courses on-campus, allowing students to still work full-time. It requires 44 credits for completion. The average class size is 45 students and the average amount of professional work experience among students is 5.46 years. The core curriculum covers big data, sourcing, leadership and more. It directly incorporates networking with supply chain industry leaders. Both of UW’s supply chain degrees are STEM programs, but the online program is specifically offered by the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering in collaboration with UW Continuum College. The 43-credit online master of supply chain and logistics can be completed through part-time study within two years. Each class operates as a close-knit 30-student cohort. Aside from a required one-week residency class on-campus, the program is fully-online. A unique highlight of these two degree programs is the supply chain study tour during spring break to destinations like Hong Kong and Vietnam or Netherlands and Spain.
18. University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Face-to-Face or Online MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $9,542 (The non-resident per-credit cost for the face-to-face MBA is $1020.27 for 2017-18; it costs $600 per credit for online students.)
Grad Student Enrollment: 140 (as of Fall 2017)
GMAT Score Requirements: The GMAT can be waived if your GPA is a 2.75 or above
Founded in 1968, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is one of the 13 four-year institutions in the UW System, enrolling 4,308 total students (2017). The 700-acre campus consists of natural Wisconsin prairie, woodland and a creek, situated in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor. UWP has a 19:1 student-faculty ratio, a 72.71 percent student retention rate and membership with the Carnegie Foundation. It’s accredited by both The Higher Learning Commission and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
UWP has a rolling admissions policy, admitting students to its MBA program throughout the year with multiple start dates.The College of Business, Economics, and Computing offers an MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management, which is also available 100 percent online or in a blended format. You can complete this 30-credit master’s degree program in as little as one year, but part-time enrollment is available. There’s room to tailor the curriculum to your special interests even within the SCM concentration through the program’s elective credits. The Business Advisory Board, made up of 30 senior business leaders and entrepreneurs with various management backgrounds, provides feedback to keep the curriculum up-to-date, which includes:
- network planning
- inventory management
- risk pooling
- strategic alliances
- and sustainability
17. North Carolina State University
Full-Time or Professional (Evening and Online) MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $13,442
Grad Student Enrollment: 9,500+ master’s and doctoral students
GMAT Score Requirements: Average score among MBA students is 606-625
North Carolina State University enrolls 35,479 students at its 2,010-acre main campus, Research Triangle Park and its award-winning Centennial Campus in Raleigh, a leading urban center. NC State has a 94 percent retention rate, a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and 900+ student organizations. It also has cooperative agreements with the graduate schools of:
- the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- Duke University
It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The AACSB-accredited Poole College of Management offers Jenkins MBA programs in full-time, evening and online formats, all of which can include a concentration in supply chain management. In this concentration, you’ll work in multidisciplinary teams. You’ll choose from a pool of six different SCM-related elective courses, like:
- Supply Chain Logistics
- Decision Making Under Uncertainty
- Analytical Supply Chain Management
Concentration-wise, the only difference between the Full-Time and Professional (Evening or Online) MBA programs is the Supply Chain Practicum, which is required in the Full-Time program (optional for the Professional programs). All MBA students can benefit from the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC), a research-learning initiative which partners the university with professionals to offer curriculum support, real-world experience and industry insights.
The 56-credit Full-Time program can be completed within two years on UNC’s main-campus, and the 40-credit Professional Evening or Online MBA allows up to six years for completion. The online supply chain MBA does require two 3-day residencies on UNC’s main campus.
16. University of Southern Mississippi
MS in Logistics, Trade and Transportation-Online
Net Price: $12,506
Grad Student Enrollment: Almost 2,700
GMAT Score Requirements: GRE or GMAT accepted with no minimum
The University of Southern Mississippi is a doctoral university with the Carnegie Foundation “higher research activity” designation. It’s comprised of its main campus, the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, MS and five teaching and research sites. USM enrolls 14,478 students from all 50 states and 72 countries. It has a 17:1 student-faculty ratio, 71 percent student retention and institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Within its ABET-accredited School of Construction and Design, USM offers an MS in Logistics, Trade and Transportation, which is an approved “Certified in Transportation and Logistics Academic Program” by the American Society of Transportation & Logistics Board of Examiners. Upon receiving the CTL designation with their degree, students will get an electronic subscription to the Transportation Journal, as well as one year complimentary membership in APICS and discounted registrations to major industry events. This affordable online MS in supply chain and logistics is interdisciplinary, requiring 30 customizable credit hours. It can be completed within one year fully-online, in-person or in a hybrid format. This unique program includes courses like:
- International Security
- Topics in Engineering Technology
- Logistics Transportation Systems
USM’s Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation offers supply chain research projects and student assistantships, which include a full tuition waiver.
15. University of Missouri–St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Flex MBA with an Emphasis Area in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $9,150
Grad Student Enrollment: 2,756 in 2017
GMAT Score Requirements: At least 500 overall
The University of Missouri–St. Louis is the largest public research university in the eastern part of the state, but it has a moderate student-faculty ratio of 18:1. Campus is made up of 470 suburban acres in St. Louis County with a mix of modern and historic buildings. It has about 17,000 students from 44 states and over 100 countries. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, UMSL has a first-year, full-time student retention rate of 75 percent. Additionally, the UMSL College of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In 2017, UMSL opened the $20-million, 51,293-square-foot Anheuser-Busch Hall, which is dedicated to business education. It includes features like the Trading Room with 12 Bloomberg terminals and a real-time financial stock ticker.
Graduate students interested in SCM can choose from the certificate program in Logistics and Supply Chain Management or the Flex MBA program with an “emphasis area” (concentration/track) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. The Flex MBA is designed for “well-rounded” business professionals, offering a mix of evening, online and hybrid courses that students can take at their own pace. You must complete 30-45 credit hours, which include LCSM courses, such as:
- International Logistics and Operations Management
- Simulation for Managerial Decision Making
- Lean Production
To get into the program, applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. They must have a sufficient understanding of:
- quantitative skills
- microeconomics and macroeconomics
- business statistics
- managerial communication skills
For those interested in continuing their studies, USML offers a PhD program in Business Administration with a specialization in Logistics & Supply Chain Management. It also has the state’s only AACSB-accredited Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) for working professionals with research concentrations in all areas.
14. University of Illinois at Chicago
MS in Supply Chain and Operations Management or MBA (Full-Time, Weekend or Flexible) with a Operations and Supply Chain Management Concentration
Net Price: $11,884
Grad Student Enrollment: 300 in the UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business (7,673 total)
GMAT Score Requirements: 550 is the minimum (GMAT is waived for high-achieving UI students)
The University of Illinois is a public Carnegie M1 research institution, located in the heart of Chicago, the third-largest freight hub in the world. Home to 31,683 students, 15 colleges and a hospital, UIC’s urban campus is known as one of the most diverse colleges in America. Its student-faculty ratio is 18:1. It’s accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The one-year retention rate for those who enrolled in Fall 2017 is 80.2 percent.
The AACSB-accredited UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business offers a 32-credit MS in Supply Chain and Operations Management, as well as a 54-credit MBA with a concentration in Operations and Supply Chain Management. The MS can be completed within just one year of full-time study, but part-time enrollment is also available. The curriculum is customizable with 16 elective credit hours. It includes a practicum capstone experience course, through which students work with a client company on real-world issues. Courses include:
- Global Sourcing & Logistics
- Vendor Management and Quality Control
- Lean Process Management
In the MBA program, 28 of the 54 credits are electives. Students can fill those elective requirements through two- or four-week study abroad opportunities in Brazil and around Europe. All MBA applicants are expected to have at least two years of professional work experience. The Accelerated, Full-Time MBA is designed for those without an academic background in business. The Flexible MBA can be completed online or through on-campus night classes and on Saturdays. Students go at their own pace, but it can be completed within as little as 18 months.
13. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Graduate Concentration in Supply Chain Management (available with multiple graduate business degrees) or iMBA with a Value Chain Management Specialization (Online)
Net Price: $16,638
Grad Student Enrollment: 15,666 (including professional student)
GMAT Score Requirements: GMAT is not required for admission, but it’s recommended for those with less than five years of work experience to bolster their application. The school could not provide an average or minimum score.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a land-grant research institution with more than 47,000 enrolled students and one of the largest public university library collections in the world. Its flagship, 6,000+-acre campus is about 140 miles south of Chicago, and it offers 15 different colleges and schools. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Illinois has a 20:1 student-faculty ratio and a 92 percent first-time student retention rate. The Gies College of Business has AACSB accreditation. It’s the first public business school facility in the world to earn LEED platinum certification.
At the graduate level, the CoB offers a Concentration in Supply Chain Management, which requires 12 graduate hours of SCM coursework. The concentration can complement any of the following degrees:
- Master of Science in Technology Management
- Master of Science in Business Administration
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Science in Accountancy
- Master of Accounting Science
The Professional MBA program only offers space for three specialization electives, but the 72-credit Full-Time MBA offers room for the full concentration. You can combine it with any master’s or PhD program on campus. The two-year MBA curriculum also includes experiential learning through Illinois Business Consulting, the world’s largest student-run consultancy offering consulting services to Fortune 500 companies, startups and nonprofits. For those looking for a quality online MBA program, the iMBA includes a Value Chain Management specialization. Also 72 credits, the two- to three-year iMBA’s curriculum is designed for working professionals. It requires at least three years of operational or management work experience. This is a very cheap online master’s in supply chain and logistics, with its total cost under $22k.
12. University of Michigan-Dearborn
MS in Supply Chain Management, On-campus/Online MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management or a Dual Degree MBA/MS in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $9,692 (In-state costs for 2018-19 were about $2,724 for a 3-credit course)
Grad Student Enrollment: 2,198
GMAT Score Requirements: GMAT could be waived, but the average incoming scores in 2018 were 600 (MBA) and 608 (MS)
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is a regional campus of the University of Michigan, and ranked as the safest public college in the state. Once owned by Henry Ford, this campus is located just two miles from the Ford Motor Co.’s world headquarters and a 15-minute drive from downtown Detroit. The school has a 17:1 student-faculty ratio, an 81 percent retention rate and 9,339 students, representing more than 100 different countries. While the university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. About 450 graduate students are enrolled in the College of Business, and its average class size is 26 students.
For those interested in studying supply chain, UM-Dearborn offers a variety of options:
- MS in Supply Chain Management: Mostly on-campus with a few courses occasionally available online, this program can be completed in just 12 months of full-time study. This is a highly specialized, 10-course (30 credit hours) program in the area of supply chain, but it can be tailored to your interests through elective courses like Information Technology in Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence and Management Science.
- MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management: The MBA curriculum is a much broader general management degree program with a nine-credit supply chain concentration. The full program is 36-48 credit hours, which can be completed within two, to two-and-a-half years of part-time study. This MBA offers evening, on-campus, hybrid and fully online classes, but the concentration in supply chain requires an on-campus presence.
- Dual Degree MBA/MS in Supply Chain Management: This Dual Degree allows you to combine the MBA’s broad managerial perspective with the specialized supply chain management focus of the MS program. You’re required to complete 57-66 credit hours. You have more options to tailor the curriculum through electives from the MBA and MSSCM. Within this Dual Degree program, you will complete graduate business courses in at least seven different disciplines.
All three of these programs have rolling admission. They are open to students of all undergraduate majors and all levels of prior work experience. You may enroll in any of the three part- or full-time. Plus, if you’re already an undergraduate student at the school, you may take up to six graduate credits during your final undergrad semester (after receiving admission to the graduate program).
11. Western Illinois University
On-campus, Hybrid or Online MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $15,605 ($323.64 per semester hour)
Grad Student Enrollment: 1,842 (200 in the CBT)
GMAT Score Requirements: 500 minimum for automatic admission
Western Illinois University is a a public university with a 1,050-acre main campus and an urban campus in Moline. With 9,441 enrolled students, WIU has a 14:1 student-faculty ratio and a 68 percent first-time student retention rate. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, WIU was the first university in Illinois to offer a guaranteed four-year rate for tuition, fees, room and meal plans, so that your college costs won’t go up. Today, it remains the only university in the state to include fees, room and meals in its tuition freeze guarantee.
WIU’s AACSB-accredited MBA, offered through the College of Business and Technology, is one of its top five graduate degree programs. The MBA’s concentration in supply chain management is available online, on-campus (main), at the Quad Cities campus or in a hybrid format. The complete program can range from 33 to 54 credits, depending on previously completed coursework. The supply chain management curriculum includes daytime and evening courses like:
- Transportation/Warehouse Management
- Worldwide Logistics/E-Commerce
- Supply Chain Risk Management
The program’s average class size is 16 students. Its curriculum is the same, regardless of the learning format, and it takes at least two years to complete. The hybrid option is about one calendar year. This program also allows automatic admission to applicants who meet one of the following:
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a GMAT score of at least 500
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 in an AACSB-accredited bachelor’s degree in a business discipline
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 in a bachelor’s degree from WIU’s CBT and a minor in either business or Pre-MBA
10. Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
Full-Time MBA with an Academic Track in Supply Chain and Operations or Master of Industrial Distribution
Net Price: $19,554
Grad Student Enrollment: 14,998 (757 in Mays)
GMAT Score Requirements: 50th percentile or higher for verbal and quantitative sections (643 is the average among Full-Time MBA students)
Texas A&M University is the state’s flagship campus and its first public institution of higher education. Today, it has 64,126 students at the 5,200-acre main campus and 5,241 students across its branch campuses, School of Law and other educational centers throughout Texas. TAMU offers 1,100+ student organizations, as well as 300 graduate degree programs at its 19 colleges and schools. TAMU has a massive research presence, with 2017 research expenditures exceeding $905 million. Its retention rate is 91.67 percent. The student-faculty ratio is 20:1 and it’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Accredited by AACSB-International, TAMU’s Mays Business School has a retention rate of 96.6 percent. Its Department of Information Systems and Operations Management offers a Full-Time MBA with an “academic track” in Supply Chain and Operations. This 18-month program is highly selective and requires a minimum two years of full-time work experience. The 49-credit program operates as a cohort through three semesters. Students are required to complete at least one academic track, all of which result in a university certificate. The Supply Chain and Operations track is 12 credits, and you can choose to take a second track, expanding your MBA to a fourth semester. Additionally, the College of Engineering offers a customizable MS in Interdisciplinary Engineering, as well as a Master of Industrial Distribution. Designed for working professionals, the MID is a four-semester, part-time mobile learning program where students take two online courses at a time. Its curriculum is focused on supply chain management, logistics and distributor and manufacturer/supplier profitability within industrial channels. This program includes two five-day Residency Weeks, a 10-day Global Project Trip and a Capstone Project.
9. University of Arkansas
Full-Time or Online MBA Track in Supply Chain Management Career
Net Price: $15,966
Grad Student Enrollment: 4,024
GMAT Score Requirements: No minimum, but 656 is the average among Full-time MBA students (GMAT is waived for Executive MBA candidates with 5+ years of quality work experience)
The University of Arkansas is one of the nation’s top research universities, classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having “the highest possible level of research.” This land-grant institution is the flagship campus within the U of A System, enrolling 27,778 students from all 50 states and 120+ countries. Its 718-acre scenic campus includes two arboreta that overlook the Ozark Mountains with a multitude of outdoor activity opportunities. It has a 19:1 student-faculty ratio and an 82 percent first-time student retention rate. U of A is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Sam M. Walton College of Business, the state’s premier college of business, is accredited by the AACSB International.
The Department of Supply Chain Management at the Walton College is located just 30 minutes from Walmart headquarters, as well as 300 Fortune 500 companies. It has “deep connections with retail and transportation sectors.” From undergraduate through doctorate, the Department offers an on-campus and online bachelor’s degree in supply chain management (with concentrations in transportation & logistics and retail), a supply chain management PhD program, a graduate certificate in business analytics and an MBA Track in Supply Chain. The two-year, part-time Executive hybrid/online MBA offers a six-credit Focus Area in Supply Chain and multiple start dates throughout the year. The 53-credit Walton MBA is a 22-month, highly-competitive full-time program that includes:
- a career track in SCM
- corporate mentorship
- business internships and global experiences
For those looking for supply chain education, but not quite a degree, UArk offers Executive Education online courses in Supply Chain Foundations and Supply Chain Intermediate.
8. Indiana University Bloomington
Online MS in Global Supply Chain Management or a Full-Time MBA with a Major in Supply Chain and Operations
Net Price: $12,488
Grad Student Enrollment: 2,308 (Kelley School of Business, Fall 2017)
GMAT Score Requirements: 636 is the average score among online MBA students (Full-Time MBA average is 677)
Indiana University Bloomington is home to 42,937 students (more than half of Bloomington’s total population) from all 50 states and more than 139 countries. Bloomington is IU’s flagship campus out of the seven statewide campuses and two regional centers. This campus’ student-faculty ratio is 17:1, and its retention rate is 91 percent. IU Bloomington is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Its business school has more living alumni than any other business school in the world.
IU Bloomington’s AACSB-accredited Kelley School of Business offers an undergraduate business degree in supply chain, as well as an affordable online MS in supply chain. This 30-credit program is completable in 15 months, or you can take up to three years to finish. Even though it’s fully online, you’ll gain a worldly business understanding through technology-mediated global teamwork and opportunities to visit “emerging economies” as a part of the curriculum. You can combine it with the online MBA through the dual degree option, which takes less time than earning the degrees separately. You also have to opportunity to make this a hybrid program by choosing one or more in-person electives. Those interested in a broader business program can choose the Full-Time MBA with the Supply Chain Management major. About 99 percent of students in this _-credit MBA program have full-time work experience. Their age range is 22-40. The major in supply chain requires a minimum of 15 credits, or you can choose just four courses for a supply chain and operations minor. This unique MBA program offers career-focused Academies in areas like supply chain, entrepreneurial innovation and even healthcare to bridge your coursework with experience-based, mentorship-driven opportunities.
7. University of Minnesota Twin Cities
MS in Supply Chain Management (MS-SCM) or Full-Time, Part-Time or Online MBA with a Supply Chain Specialization
Net Price: $16,808
Grad Student Enrollment: 16,033 (graduate and professional)
GMAT Score Requirements: 690 is the median score (Fall 2017)
University of Minnesota Twin Cities is the flagship campus of the UMN system and the state’s land-grant research university, as well as a member of the Big Ten Conference. It’s located within minutes to both Minneapolis and St. Paul. UMN-Twin Cities is home to over 47,500 students who represent 130 countries. It has nearly 4,000 faculty, including Nobel Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winners. The Mississippi River runs right through the Twin Cities campus, on which there’s a 93.2 percent first-year retention rate and a 17:1 student-faculty ratio. UMN is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its Curtis L. Carlson School of Management is accredited by AACSB International.
In addition to an undergraduate Supply Chain and Operations Management major and the PhD program’s concentration of SCO, the Carlson School offers an MS in Supply Chain Management and an MBA Specialization in Supply Chain. The master’s in supply chain is a 32-credit, one-year program, designed for working professionals. The 25-student (average) class moves through the STEM-designated curriculum as a cohort, attending evening, weekend and online classes. The program includes coaching from a leadership expert, as well as team experiential learning projects that tackle real-world global supply chain problems. For admissions, you must have three years, minimum, of professional work experience. As for the MBA, this can be a full-time (two years, 64 credits), part-time (52 credits) or fully online master’s degree in supply chain and operations (52 credits). All require a global experience prior to graduation. The Part-Time and Online MBA programs are incredibly customizable. While the online program does not offer specific specializations, it does include eight credits worth of Supply Chain Operations elective options.
6. University of Maryland
College Park, MD
MS in Supply Chain Management OR Full-Time and Online MBA in Supply Chain Management (via career track or specialization)
Net Price: $17,241
Grad Student Enrollment: 2,142 in the SoB
GMAT Score Requirements: (not required if applicants have a strong academic background in operations management and/or statistical analysis)
The University of Maryland is the state’s flagship campus, including 12 colleges and schools, as well as 41,000 total students, who come from 118 countries. An active research university, UMD is “the nation’s first Do Good campus,” embedding the act of giving back in its curriculum and campus life from orientation through graduation. UMD has a 95 percent retention rate, a student-faculty ratio of 18:1 and accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
The AACSB-accredited Robert H. Smith School of Business, located in Washington, D.C., offers an affordable master’s in supply chain management. In this 30-credit program, every student is eligible to receive Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt™ (ICYB™) Certified by the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASCC). Completable within one or two years, classes occur throughout the day, and the curriculum is STEM-eligible. Students benefit from the technologically-advanced Netcentric Supply Chain Management Lab, in Smith’s Supply Chain Management Center, which is a partner in Sun Microsystems’ world-wide iForce Initiative. This program only admits during the fall semester. It includes courses like:
- Global Supply Chain Resources Planning
- Technology Applications in Supply Chain Management
- Global Trade Logistics
You can earn a bachelor’s in supply chain and complete this master’s degree in just five years. UMD even has a PhD in Supply Chain Management. Finally, the 54-credit Full-Time MBA offers a career track in Operations/Supply Chain/Logistics, and it completable within 21 months. The Online MBA includes a specialization in Supply Chain Management, completable in as few as 24 months.
5. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Newark and New Brunswick, NJ
Online MS in Supply Chain Management, MS in Supply Chain Analytics or Full-Time/Part-Time MBA Concentration in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $12,020 at the Newark Campus; $16016 at New Brunswick ($1,948 per credit for nonresidents)
Grad Student Enrollment: 19,900+
GMAT Score Requirements: “GMAT/GRE is optional, but preferred.” There are no minimum requirements, as the admission committee considers all aspects of the applications. (Average GMAT for MBA students in 2018 was 683)
Highly regarded by other sources for having one of the best master’s in supply chain management degree programs, Rutgers University is one of the country’s leading research universities. It has more than 70,000 students (50,254 of whom are at the New Brunswick campus). However, the undergraduate student-faculty is just 13:1. With locations around the world, Rutgers offers 29 different schools and colleges, as well as almost 300 research centers and institutes (like the Center for Supply Chain Management). It’s accredited by both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and AACSB. The Rutgers Business School has a first year retention rate of 90 percent among Master of Supply Chain Management students and a 98 percent retention rate for its Full-Time MBA students.
Connecting both the Newark and New Brunswick campuses, Rutgers Business School offers supply chain management degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels. The graduate degree programs in supply chain are housed in the Department of Supply Chain Management, which also offers industry-recognized certificates, hands-on experience and research and real-world industry projects in the Center for Supply Chain Management. The Center offers a certificate program in SCM. The three supply chain master’s degree programs are outlined below:
- Online MS in Supply Chain Management: This fully-online master’s in supply chain program consists of 30 credits (10 courses) with a curriculum “based on a holistic end-to-end view of SCM” and a maximum class size of 20 students. Applicants should be familiar with SC concepts, but can come from most professional/educational backgrounds. 97 percent of program students work full-time. There are no prerequisites in this curriculum. It offers a residency option through the on-site Mini-MBA: Supply Chain in a Digitized Network certificate program.
- MS in Supply Chain Analytics: This STEM-designated program consists of 36 credits, and is on-campus in New Brunswick. It combines general SC knowledge with analytical data skills to create data-driven decision makers. Students can enroll full- or part-time, finishing as quickly as one year or in three years (two courses at a time), respectively. While applicants are expected to only have a basic background in mathematics and statistics, admissions does target seasoned supply chain professionals. This program can be tailored to the student’s interests through elective courses (19 options) and industry client projects. It has as many supply chain courses as it does analytics courses.
- MBA Concentration in Supply Chain Management: This MBA program is available to full-time (60 credits) and part-time (49 credits) students. The Full-time option begins as a cohort in the fall. The part-time track is geared toward the working professional with three start times, as well as evening and online class options. A Customized MBA program option is available upon proposal, but this concentration can be tailored through the Foundation Courses and the Integrative Course Requirement, which includes a Supply Chain Management Industry Project. Those interested in the full-time program must have at least two years of work experience. Within three months of graduation, 100 percent of Rutgers MBA supply chain students were employed.
4. Arizona State University
Master of Science in Global Logistics (MS-GL) or a Full-Time/Part-Time/Online MBA with a Supply Chain Management Concentration
Net Price: $12,947 (each program offers specific tuition costs)
Grad Student Enrollment: 7,796 graduate students earned degrees in 2017-18
GMAT Score Requirements: 694 is the class average for MBA students (the MS-GL average is 581, and the MS-BA average is 657)
Known as the most innovative university in the country, Arizona State University has $1 million of prototyping equipment and ideation space for budding innovators. Located in the heart of metropolitan Phoenix, this public research university has four campuses in addition to a plethora of online offerings. The graduate student retention rate in the W.P. Carey School of Business MBA program is 98.7 percent. Nearly 96 percent of MBA students are employed 90 days after graduation. Additionally, the School of Business has 1,523 graduate students in the MBA and specialized master’s programs, as well as 345 total faculty. The School has maintained accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for 50+ years. ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Committee.
ASU’s School of Business has a Department of Supply Chain Management, which offers:
- a BS in Supply Chain Management
- a BA in Global Logistics Management
- an MS-BA in Business Analytics
- an MS in Global Logistics
- an MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management
- a PhD Program in Business Administration with a concentration in SCM
Students in any of these programs can also take advantage of the many supply chain research institutes and collaborative partnerships ASU manages. These include the Internet Edge Supply Chain Lab and the Supply Chain Executive Consortium (SCEC), which includes corporate leaders like Amazon, Cisco, Intel, Union Pacific and much more. The supply chain degree program options at ASU are broken down as follows:
- Master of Science in Global Logistics (MS-GL): This nine-month master’s degree program has a curriculum steeped in logistics methods with a focus on cross-cultural management and leadership and global perspectives. It’s offered exclusively at ASU’s West campus, but includes an off-campus trip with real-world experiences. Students in this program will take 11 logistics management courses in a lock-step class format and full-time weekday courses.
- MBA with a Supply Chain Management Concentration: This program can be completed through online, full-time (21 months) or part-time (2-4 years) enrollment. The program features “eight dynamic experiences,” including learning labs, executive connections and out-of-class opportunities. Beyond choosing concentrations in subjects like SCM and business analytics, this program also offers specializations in:
-global business economics
-health care management
3. University of North Texas
On-Campus or Online MBA with Concentrations in Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Management or Supply Chain Analytics
Net Price: $12,053
Grad Student Enrollment: 6,680
GMAT Score Requirements: Average score among applicants is between 520 and 550 (Recommended GRE score is 153 Verbal/154 Quantitative)
The University of North Texas is a Tier-One research university with 38,154 students and campus locations across the region. This university is home to 14 colleges and schools and about 2,500 international students from 141 countries. It’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. UNT’s student-faculty ratio is 26:1, and the first-time student retention rate is 78 percent. The College of Business is one of the largest business schools in America with almost 5,800 students and a 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building. Its logistics program and Center for Logistics & Supply Chain Management offers a lot of impressive extras for SCM students, like its Center-specific scholarships and the Logistics Student Association.
Students interested in a master’s in supply chain and logistics can benefit from the AACSB-accredited CoB’s strategic location in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The CoB offers a STEM-designated MS in Business Analytics, as well as an MBA program with multiple supply chain and logistics concentrations and options. Students can enroll part- or full-time, on-campus or online (65 percent of MBA students are part-time). Plus, you can choose to focus on logistics and supply chain management, just supply chain management or supply chain analytics. Out of the 389 MBA students, who come from 73 countries, just 32 were in the logistics and supply chain management track. The breakdown of each program is as follows:
- MBA with a Concentration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Completable within two years, this program is offered by the Department of Marketing and Logistics. Out of the 36 total required credits, 15 are dedicated to concentration courses like Model-Based Business Intelligence and Strategic Logistics Management. Many of these courses are available online, on-campus or at the Frisco campus, depending on the semester. Software Advice ranked this program 3rd for integration of new technology. The Full-Time MBA is an 11-month cohort, daytime program.
- Accelerated Online MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management: This Accelerated Online Program (AOP) is a fully online master’s in supply chain degree program, offering courses in Channel and Retailing Strategy,Industrial Distribution and Logistics Management and International Management
In the AOPs, you can choose from five different start dates for each eight-week course, and you can take as little as one course at a time.
- Accelerated Online MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Analytics: The AOP in supply chain analytics is also 100 percent online and completable in as few as 14 months. Concentration courses include Harvesting, Storing, and Retrieving Data, Introduction to Data Science and Advanced Supply Chain Management Problems.
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management (MASc-SCM), Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management (MEng-SCM) or MITx MicroMasters Credential in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $22,230
Grad Student Enrollment: 6,919
GMAT Score Requirements: Meet/surpass the 75th percentile in the Verbal and Quantitative sections, as well as the 50th percentile in Analytical Writing (waived for those who complete the MicroMasters)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university founded in 1861 to help accelerate America’s industrial revolution. Its 166-acre riverfront campus is located across the Charles River from Boston’s Back Bay, offering 20+ gardens and green spaces in addition to 60+ research centers and a student-built roller coaster. At MIT, total student enrollment was 11,466 (2017-18), the undergrad student-faculty ratio of 3:1 and a 99 percent student retention rate. Institutionally, MIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), and most of its programs received specialized accreditation.
To get a graduate degree in supply chain management at MIT, there are two paths: the traditional 10-month residential program or the new blended format. The latter combines five rigorous online courses in supply chain with just over one full semester of on-campus courses and projects. Both of these pathways, offered by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, can lead to either:
- a Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management (for students preparing to enter the industry)
- a Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management (more research-focused for those planning to continue on to the PhD)
Regardless of the degree type or program, you’ll move as a cohort of 30-40 students through a total of 90 credits, including a unit thesis or capstone project. Students work directly with researchers and industry experts, as well as personal career coaches. They can benefit from university centers and labs like the MIT Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab or the MIT Responsible Supply Chain Lab. These programs offer an engineering focus (rather than strictly business), and they require applicants to have at least two years of work experience.
Before applying to the blended format pathway, students must complete the MITx MicroMasters Credential in Supply Chain Management. This is a fully-online “certificate” program, which offers five free online courses in SCM (you must pay to receive the credential upon completion of the courses). This can stand on its own like a graduate certificate or operate as the beginning of the low-cost online master’s in supply chain and logistics. To complete the blended master’s degree, you’ll follow up the MicroMasters with 36 credits of on-campus classwork. Once you’ve reached the required 90 credits, you can take additional courses for free. For those looking to only complete the credential, you are not required to have any specific academic background (even an undergraduate degree), and you don’t have to be admitted to MIT. Master’s degree students can complete the residency portion of the blended program in Spain, Malaysia, Luxembourg, China or Latin America, thanks to the MIT Global Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) Network.
*Editor’s Note: We deducted one point because MIT is priced slightly above our top 50 cheapest colleges, but its offerings were too good not to include.
1. Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
Hybrid On-Campus/Online MS in Supply Chain Management (MSSCM) or Full-Time MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management
Net Price: $16,684 (Cost per credit hour for online students is $1,700)
Grad Student Enrollment: 10,928
GMAT Score Requirements: A GMAT score “may be required” in addition to a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a minimum of two years as a working supply chain professional and three recommendations by professionals. (Average GMAT score among MBA students is 668 for 2020)
Michigan State University is known as one of the top research universities in the world. Its 5,200-acre campus is just three miles east of the state’s capital. It has 17 degree-granting colleges and over 50,000 students. It has one of the largest single-campus housing systems in the country and almost an additional 20,000 acres throughout Michigan. MSU had a 91 percent student retention rate in 2017. It has a 16:1 student-faculty ratio. MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Michigan State is highlighted as a top runner in almost every college ranking out there for having the best business school and the best master’s degree program in supply chain management. Through its Department of Supply Chain Management, you’ll find:
- a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management (the first in America)
- an MS in SCM (another first)
- an MBA (with concentrations in Logistics Management, Operations Management or Procurement/Sourcing Strategy)
- two doctoral programs in Logistics or Operations and Sourcing Management
- nine different SC-related certificate programs.
The MSSCM is a 31-credit untraditional hybrid program for working professionals that can be completed in two years. The curriculum combines e-learning segments with three-day in-class sessions (nine days total). Here, students receive one-on-one attention and networking opportunities. Students in the Full-Time MBA program can tailor their program beyond the SCM concentration with a Career Path in either Corporate SCM or SCM Consulting. There are also nine different Areas of Interest like:
- Global Business
- Talent Development
- Strategic Performance Measurement.
We were especially “wowed” by the Department’s host of supply chain resources students have to learn and network with, such as:
- The Axia Institute
- Global strategic relationships with institutions in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India, involving supply chain management research, executive education or service
- Michigan State University Supply Chain Management Association
- Supply Chain Management Corporate and Student Relations Office (CSRO)
- Supply Chain Management Council
More on Getting a Master’s in Supply Chain and Logistics
Defining the Degree: Master’s in Supply Chain and Logistics
A graduate degree in supply chain and logistics is a postgraduate academic degree program, offered by universities around the world. A degree program is usually one to two years long, and there is a variety of accelerated or specialized programs out there. Typically resulting in a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Business Administration (MBA), you can earn a master’s degree in supply chain and logistics online, in a hybrid format, on-campus and abroad. This kind of graduate degree program can also result in a:
- Master of the Arts (MA)
- Master of Supply Chain (MSc)
- Master of Management
- Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (MLSCM)
- Master of Professional Studies (MPS)
- Master of Business Logistics Engineering (MBLE) and more.
There are also a number of different subject titles around this degree program that offer the same or similar curriculum, with some occasionally being more STEM-designated, more focused on engineering or strictly business. Some of these titles, instead of “supply chain and logistics,” may be:
- Supply Chain Management Logistics
- Supply Chain Management and Logistics
- Supply Chain Analytics
- Supply Chain and Logistics Management
- Transportation Management
- Supply and Logistics Management
- Logistics Engineering
- Global Supply Chain Management
- Industrial and Systems Engineering
- Acquisition and Supply Chain Management
- Procurement and Acquisitions Management
- Operations and Supply Chain Management
- Supply Chain, Transport and Mobility
- Supply Chain and Logistics Technology and more.
When choosing a program, you need to decide whether you want yours to be focused more around general business management (MBA), or if you prefer more of a mathematics, statistics and engineering background. Some supply chain master’s degree programs even have a more specific focus, like Wayne State University’s Executive MS in Automotive Supply Chain Management. Related degree types not included in this ranking would be master’s programs in:
- Business Analytics
- Information Systems
- Industrial Engineering
- Operations Management.
Most Frequently Searched Graduate Programs in Supply Chain
- National University of Singapore’s MS in Supply Chain Management: The NUS Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Management offers a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management program jointly with The Logistics Institute-Asia Pacific and the NUS Business School’s Department of Decision Sciences. This multi-disciplinary program combines business with engineering. It’s designed for mid-career professionals looking for advancement.
- Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation’s MS in Supply Chain Management: This supply chain master’s program is available as a part-time professional degree and as a joint program with MIT (included in the ranking above). MISI also offers a number of supply-chain-specific short courses, executive education programs and a PhD program in supply chain management.
- HEC Montréal’s MSC in Global Supply Chain Management: Canadian programs in supply chain management are highly sought after, and this one aims to train you as a logistics specialist in the global fields of product procurement, production, transportation, warehousing and distribution. Half of this program’s students come from 15+ different countries, It offers a dual-degree option with the University of Melbourne in Australia.
- Nanyang Technological University’s MSc (Supply Chain & Logistics): This is an engineering logistics program with a curriculum designed to address the needs of both the manufacturing and service sectors. Offered by the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, it includes an optional specialization in Additive Manufacturing.
- MIT: The No. 2 top affordable master’s in supply chain and logistics on this list, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the most searched-for SCM degree program in America. It offers a:
- Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management (MASc-SCM)
- Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management (MEng-SCM)
- MITx MicroMasters Credential in Supply Chain Management.
FAQ Concerning Supply Chain Graduate Degree Programs
1. What is Supply Chain?
Supply Chain is a network of independent, yet interconnected moving parts, which an experienced employee must oversee to keep the flow of things smooth, efficient and cost-effective. According to Investopedia, Supply Chain Management “is based on the idea that nearly every product that comes to market results from the efforts of various organizations that make up a supply chain.”
At one end of the chain, an Operations, Logistics or Supply Chain Manager might deal with the vendors who create individual raw materials necessary to the business. At the other end, he or she will work with distribution centers, online retailers and small businesses to get the finished product out to the right customers. Somewhere in between, he or she might manage the transportation “middlemen” or storage warehouses to get the products where they need to be. Some even operate globally, coordinating with factories overseas and communicating with other players in different time zones. That bottle of soda you pick up at your local store passed through many hands before making it to that shelf.
2. What can I do with a supply chain degree?
Working in Supply Chain means you’ll be a part of the business’ external trail of supply and demand, from the creation of its goods/services through delivery of the finished product into the customers’ hands. This can include the following functions:
- Controlling and linking the production, shipment and distribution of a product
- Planning and supervising the sources/procurement of the raw materials necessary for a product/service
- Maximizing efficiency while managing the conversion, transportation and logistics involved in creating and delivering the business’ good/service
- Minimizing cost while delivering quality
- Coordinating and collaborating with third parties, like suppliers and customers
- Speed up product distribution to meet market needs
- Evaluate and work to improve an organization’s technology and analytics capabilities within its Supply Chain
3. Why should I master in supply chain?
Supply chain is one of an organization’s essential functions, so remaining up-to-date and competitive in that function is pertinent to long-term sustainability. Going back to school will put you “in the know” about the newest SC buzzwords and concepts, increasing your value to employers. Consider the degree to be an investment in you. Is the return worth the risk? A master’s degree could earn you a promotion, or a new title at a different organization.
Supply chain has been around a long time, but the technical advances of our Information Age have brought to light the value of experienced and well-educated Supply Chain Managers. According to Gartner, the number of MS degree programs in Supply Chain Management has grown 67 percent in two years.
4. Is it worth it if I already have a bachelor’s degree in supply chain?
Master’s programs in supply chain delve deeper into the global scope of the field, giving you a broader education, typically after you’ve had a couple years of experience working in the field. In today’s information age, it’s more important than ever for businesses to operate with globalism in mind. Plus, the field’s demand for forward-thinking individuals exceeds what’s currently out there. Many organizations are actually paying for their employees to enhance their degrees.
Graduate degree programs are also more expansive, dealing with subjects beyond traditional SC areas, like marketing, finance and accounting. Plus, you’ll benefit from a number of networking opportunities with professionals across the industry. Supply chain is a fast-evolving field, so an MS, MA, MBA or MPS keep you ahead of competitors and on top of your game. Those with a graduate degree in supply chain management can expect to pull in an average starting salary of $70,000 to $110,000.
5. What kind of coursework does a graduate degree program in Supply Chain cover?
Depending on the program (e.g. whether it’s an MBA, engineering degree, etc.), you may find a wide range of courses within the curriculum. You might see general business management courses, statistics/mathematics courses and courses covering subjects like big data/data analytics, business information systems, transportation logistics, industrial engineering, finance, accounting, material acquisition, global management and much more. In the list above, we include specific course titles for most of the ranked schools.
6. Can I get an affordable online MS in supply chain and logistics?
Many colleges and universities offer full MBA programs and MS degrees online, allowing you to complete your courses from wherever you have access to wifi. Above, we’ve highlighted each school that offers an online format of its supply chain master’s degree program.
7. What’s the difference between Supply Chain Management and Operations Management?
According to Florida Tech, Supply Chain is the collective of a business’ external functions, beginning with the raw materials’ point of origin and ending with delivery of the product/service to the consumer. A Supply Chain Manager works to control cost and ensure efficiency of the entire process. For many businesses, Supply Chain Management is a component of Operations Management. One key difference, however, is that Operations Management focuses internally, working with various departments on strategy and tactics. The coursework of most master’s degree programs in Supply Chain Management covers the fundamentals of both Supply Chain and Operations Management.
8. What’s the difference between Supply Chain Management and Logistics Management?
Logistics Management is a subcomponent of Supply Chain Management. In a business, the Logistics Manager usually supervises the planning, implementation and control of the product/service’s movement. He or she might follow and manage the ebb and flow of the supply chain, the storage of goods or other related processes between the points of origin and consumption.
9. What is Supply Chain Analytics?
Today, more and more companies are utilizing big data in their supply chains to maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the chain. Examining this raw data allows supply chain analysts to draw conclusions based on real information and make data-driven decisions at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.
10. What does a supply chain manager make?
According to PayScale, the average supply chain manager’s salary is over $81,000. On the higher end, you could make $115,000, and the lower end is just below $52,000. However, this is an expanding field. According to the APICS “2018 Supply Chain Compensation and Career Survey Report,” wage increases and high job satisfaction was reported across the profession. In 2017, 90 percent of survey respondents received an average salary increase of at least 3 percent.
Available Concentrations within Supply Chain Management Grad Programs
Not many Master’s degree programs in supply chain offer additional concentrations, as it’s a fairly specific field, but some schools offer career tracks, certificates or extra specializations to further tailor your degree. All of the following are mentioned at least once in the ranking above:
- Quality management
- Operations management
- Project management
- Global SCM or international business
- Transportation and logistics
- High-speed rail management
- Transportation security management
- Automotive industry certificate in purchasing and SCM
- Procurement/sourcing strategy
- Supply chain/business analytics
- Corporate SCM
- SCM consulting
- Social innovation
- SAP Student Recognition Award (certificate): SAP is the global leader in business application software, and this program trains you to become a certified professional with valuable supply chain software skills.
- SAS Certificate in Data Mining and Business Intelligence: SAS, a company with 40+ years of experience innovating in analytics, offers certification that’s an internationally recognized credential in subjects like data management or BI & analytics.
- Six Sigma (certificate): Six Sigma is a statistical analysis methodology to improve business processes by identifying and removing defect causes.
- Lean Six Sigma (certificate): Lean Six Sigma is the method of using collaborative team effort to improve performance by eliminating “waste.”
- Supply chain in a digitized network (certificate)
- Economic development
- Certified Supply Chain Professionals (CSCP): Demonstrates your operational knowledge and organizational skills for developing more efficient supply chains.
- Strategic innovation
Master’s in Supply Chain Career Questions
Do supply chain and logistics jobs pay well?
Yes, over $115,000! And the salaries are only getting higher, with high rates of overall job satisfaction, according to a 2018 survey from APICS, the not-for-profit association for supply chain management.
What can you do with a supply chain management degree?
The supply chain encompasses a massive, multi-operational system of procurement, transport, storage and delivery with more moving parts in between. Plus, you can find a supply chain within almost every industry: software and technology companies, petroleum and chemical companies, utilities, retailers, manufacturers, healthcare, and more. One may begin as an expeditor before becoming a buyer/purchasing agent and moving up in the chain from there to positions like logistician, operations manager, sourcing strategist, or operations analyst. The list goes on:
- Supply chain manager
- Commodity manager/analyst
- Digital supply chain specialist
- Supply chain consultant
- Business analyst
- Category manager
- Distribution center manager
- Import/export agent
- Logistics consultant
- Materials project manager
- Procurement specialist or manager
- Sourcing leader
- Sustainability analyst
- Transportation manager
- Manufacturing manager
- Inventory manager
- International operations manager
- Mergers and acquisitions analyst
- Risk management
- Operations financial analyst
How can I be a competitive supply chain manager?
Regardless of your position within the supply chain, there will most likely be some (or major) focus on data. Taking the opportunity to add tracks or certificates in data analytics or a related subject to your master’s degree program will keep you up to speed and ahead of your older competitors. Supply chain and logistics is a fast-paced industry, so it’s important to continuously ask yourself, “What’s next?” However, teamwork makes the dream work, so prepare to become a good delegator and team player. Finally: network, network, network! While what you know is important, so is who you know. Allow a good networking opportunity to develop into a mentorship because it’s always better to learn from someone you respect with lots of experience.
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