by Sarah K. White

10 best graduate programs for supply chain management

Jul 25, 2018
CareersSupply Chain

A master’s degree in SCM can help you gain an edge in a growing field. Here are the ten schools that, according to Best Colleges, offer the best master’s programs — many of which can be completed part-time and online.

You can start a career in supply chain management (SCM) with a bachelor’s degree, but if you’re looking to climb the ladder and push your career forward, you will want to explore a master’s degree in the field. SCM is becoming an important role in multiple industries, including retail, manufacturing, technology and the federal government.

If you want to expand your expertise and get ahead of the competition, here are the top ten schools where you can get a master’s degree in supply chain management, according to data from Best Colleges.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers a Master of Science in global supply chain management degree as a part-time program, which can be completed in 16 months. Courses take place online, but you’ll travel to Los Angeles for the first week for orientation and for another week to Singapore, or another specified location. These “experiential trips” include ground transport, breakfast, lunch and hotel accommodations — you will be responsible for airfare.  

Length: 16 months

Location: Primarily online, one week in Singapore and one week in Los Angeles

Tuition: $46,170 for the total program

University of Washington

The University of Washington offers an online master’s degree in supply chain transportation and logistics, which specifically targets SCM in the transportation industry. The program includes an engineering-based curriculum and can be attended online and part-time. The online program includes interactive classrooms and even live online classes where instructors and students can connect in real-time.

Length: 2 years

Location: Online

Tuition: $38,700 for the total program

Boston University

Boston University’s Master of Science in supply chain management online offers a well-rounded SCM education covering lean production, global supply chain coordination, risk mitigation, strategic logistics management and import-export operations. The program offers three SCM concentrations, including global business, logistics management and quantitative approaches, so you can tailor your master’s degree for your career. BU promises that graduates will walk away with the ability to “analyze and improve business process flows and become confident decision makers.”

Length: 18 to 24 months

Location: Online

Tuition: $25,490 per semester

University of Maryland-College Park

The University of Maryland – College Park (UMCP) offers a Master of Science in management, with the option to specialize in acquisition and supply chain management. The program focuses on the legal structure of acquisition processes, using technology to establish supply chains, contract management, evolution of SCM, compliance regulations, cost analysis and more. It can also help you prepare for popular SCM certifications, including the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSMP), NCMA Professional, Defense Acquisition University DAWIA and APICS certifications.  

Length: 36 credits required for graduation

Location: Hybrid

Tuition: $659 per credit for out-of-state graduate students, $458 per course for residents of Maryland

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego offers a master’s in supply chain management and it’s the first program to be ISM-approved and accredited by the Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). Courses take place online, but you’ll be required to attend five on-campus interactive sessions, for a total of 20 days to meet with faculty and other students. To graduate, you’ll also complete a sponsor-based advanced integrative project that tests your SCM skills in a real-world scenario.

Length: 36 credits, typically 2 years

Location: Online, with 20 days on campus

Tuition: $1,475 per class

Michigan State University

Michigan State University offers a Master of Science in supply chain management that takes place online, with an additional nine days on campus in the form of three-day weekend sessions. The three-day weekend intensives include interactive case studies, breakout sessions, simulation assignments and other hands-on experiences to help solidify your skills. During the in-person sessions, you’ll work closely with other students and instructors to collaborate, network and grow in the field.

Length: 2 years

Location: Online, 9 days on campus

Tuition: $1,450 per credit

Air Force Institute of Technology – Graduate School of Engineering and Management

The Air Force Institute of Technology offers a Master of Science in Logistics through the Graduate School of Engineering and Management. It’s primarily for DoD-sponsored full-time and part-time students, but civilian DoD employees and defense contractor employees can be admitted if there are open seats. The program is uniquely tailored to working for key decision- and policy-making positions with the Pentagon, MAJCOM headquarters, COCOM headquarters, AFMC product centers, operational units and other DoD agencies.

Length: 1 year, 48 credits

Location: Online

Tuition: $351 per credit

Rutgers University

Rutgers University Business School offers a Master of Science in supply chain management that is completely online — so you won’t have to travel for any on-campus requirements. It’s targeted at working professionals in the field and can be completed within one year. Rutgers Business School has been recognized as a top choice for SCM — it ranked ninth on US News & World Report’s list of best business school for supply chain management and logistics in 2017.  

Length: 1 year, 30 credits

Location:  Online

Tuition: $3,600 per course

Florida Institute of Technology

The Florida Institute of Technology offers a Master of Science in supply chain management degree that is designed for working professionals with experience in the industry. Students include those working in private industries or with the government or military, so you’ll be exposed to other professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Length: 2 years, 30 credits

Location:  Online

Tuition: $2,331 per class with tuition reductions for active military, veterans, first responders and police officers

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers a Master of Science in logistics and supply chain management that is tailored to those working with air cargo, parcel delivery, warehousing, distribution, transportation, manufacturing and large-scale retailers. ERAU also promises to prepare students for management positions in government, military and the private sector. Graduates will also qualify to complete their CSCP, APICS, CPL, SOLE and CPSM certifications through the ISM.

Length: 1 year, 30 credits

Location: Online

Tuition: $540 per credit for military; $640 per credit for civilians