The 10 Best Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Degree Programs
For those interested in advancing a long-term career in this rapidly growing industry, a Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree is a great option. Supply Chain management has become an essential competency set for managing global businesses involving the strategic flow of goods and services for meeting customers’ satisfaction. Supply chain management is a vital process that, if managed efficiently, will make the difference between the success and failure of a business. Supply chain management is concerned with all the interconnected steps involved in providing an end product or service to a customer. Selecting an accelerated affordable online MBA program in the field will not only help you as a busy professional needing to juggle work, family and coursework, but it will also set you apart from the competition on your resume. In fact, because an accelerated program is a challenging endeavor, it says a lot about you, your leadership, work ethic, and commitment—factors that will make you stand out in today’s competitive business world. Global thinking, social responsibility, and industry perspective are among the practices that a career-focused MBA program will prepare you for. While an MBA program will indeed give you the practical business knowledge and skills you need for strategic leadership, why not align your learning to your career goals by pursuing a specialization in supply chain management? An advanced degree will further distinguish you and definitively give you a competitive edge. The curriculum generally focuses on strategies to integrate all the components of the distribution chain, reduce costs, identify key performance indicators, and improve customer service. Some of the programs mentioned in this ranking may vary slightly and include logistics as a focus as well. Logistics management, a specialization within the context of the supply chain management, is concerned with operations planning, storage of goods, services, distribution, and transportation from the point of origin to the end destination.
According to the United States Department of Labor, “the performance of a company’s logistical and supply chain process is an important factor in a company’s profitability.” Forbes lists the “Supply Chain” industry in the top 20 for steady growth. Employment opportunities are growing faster than expected with a 25% projected increase over the next few years. As a matter of fact, the U.S. predicts a shortage of qualified managerial workers in the field. Additionally, a master’s degree in this competitive, high-growth job market can mean a sharp increase in salary over a bachelor’s degree. Overall, professionals holding specialized advanced degrees in supply chain management tend to have higher salaries than bachelor’s holders. For instance, based on a recent survey, the average salary of supply managers with a bachelor’s degree in the field was $95,931 while it was $128,127 for those with a master’s degree. Logistics and supply chain managers may work for a wide range of industries that include large-scale retailers, air cargo, package delivery, warehousing, distribution, transportation, manufacturing, and construction. More specifically, here is a list of positions that such a degree will prepare you for: execution and control operations, resource and information planning, supply chain integration and improvement, customer relationship management, supplier relationship management, lean/six sigma quality initiatives, risk modeling and forecasting, sustainability processes, and global operations.
For your convenience, we narrowed your search by selecting the best online Master’s in Supply Chain Management programs according to the following three metrics:
- Affordability: the estimated out-of-state tuition rate per credit hour and the percentage of students receiving financial aid
- Prestige: a set of core measurements including faculty with terminal degrees, selectivity, and class sizes.
- Flexibility: a range of factors including if the program can be taken asynchronously, if it grants life-experience or competency credits, if it can be accelerated, and if there are different specializations.
1. Georgia College & State University
Georgia College & State University (GCSU), founded in 1889, is one of the South’s leading public liberal arts colleges, offering 27 undergraduate degrees and over 25 graduate programs. Only 2 hours from the entertainments of Atlanta, GCSU sits on a beautiful and historic campus in semi-rural Milledgeville, GA. Notably, Georgia College currently ranks #31 “Regional Universities, South” and #8 “Top Public School, South” by U.S. News & World Report. The university enrolls approximately 7,000 students. Georgia College offers a 17-to-1 student-faculty ratio where 37.2% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
Georgia College & State University’s Online MBA program is also AACSB-Accredited and ranked #22 best “Online Master of Business Administration” in U.S. News & World Report 2016. GCSU’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management specialization requires 21 credit hours of core courses and 9 credit hours of electives. The program will prepare students for a career in supply chain with course offerings including: Supply Chain Management Strategy, Logistics Processes & Management, Logistics Quantitative Methods, Purchasing & Materials Management, International Trade & the Logistics Environment, Distribution & Inventory Control, and Supply Chain/Logistics Leadership.
- Affordability: $467
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Accelerated Option
2. University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota (USD), founded in 1862, is South Dakota’s oldest collegiate institute and only public liberal arts university. Although the surrounding region is extremely rural, the city of Vermillion hosts the beautiful campus amongst its historic and modern buildings. This mixture of history and modernity parallels USD’s ability to remain a foundation of the Dakotas’ higher education system while maintaining an edge in technological innovation. With institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, USD ranked #129 and #223 best overall in U.S. News National Best College List 2018. Considering it also received the “Best Value” accolade from Forbes magazine in 2013, USD ranks on our list for its combination of academics and affordability. The university enrolls approximately 7,500 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students. With slightly more than 400 faculty members, University of South Dakota offers a 18-to-1 student-faculty ratio where 46.7 of classes cater to less than 20 students.
The Online MBA requires 18 credit hours of MBA Foundation courses, 27 credit hours of core courses, and at least 6 credit hours of electives for a total of 51 credit hours. USD’s program offers 9 credit hours of specialized Operations and Supply Chain courses split across three concentrations: project management, lean management, and data management and warehousing.
- Affordability: $442
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Accelerated Option, Several Concentrations
3. Fontbonne University
Fontbonne University (FU), founded in 1923, is one of Missouri’s top private, co-ed, Catholic institutions. The Clayton campus is located in the suburbs of St. Louis, thus offering students a safe educational environment with easy access to St. Louis’ urban epicenter. While it first opened its doors as an all-female institution, FU has admitted male students since 1960. FU ranked #70 best “Regional University Midwest” in U.S. News National Best College List 2018. The university is built on strong principles and offers a value-based environment where quality, respect, diversity, community, justice, service, faith, and Catholic presence are paramount. Most notably, the university enrolls approximately 1,700 students and offers an extremely intimate and personal educational setting. Fontbonne University offers an 10-to-1 student-faculty ratio where 89.6% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
Fontbonne University’s Online MBA requires 24 credit hours of core courses and 6 credit hours of electives split across three concentrations: accounting, management and leadership, and nonprofit management. The program will prepare students to pass the Council of Supply Chain Management SCPro Level One Certification exam with flexible, 8-week course formats.
- Affordability: $703
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Certificate Option
4. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University (SLU), founded in 1889, has been a leading provider of higher educational services to the U.S. military for nearly 40 years. Located in Saint Leo, FL, SLU is a private, non-profit, Catholic University. Although the town of Saint Leo itself is rural, it is only a short car ride to Tampa. Overall, SLU currently ranks #26 “Best Value School” in U.S. News & World Report. While the school itself emphasizes its commitment to veterans by offering reduced tuition to active duty service members, it promises flexibility to all by guaranteeing all courses be available each term. Moreover, SLU offers course-load reduction options in the case of demanding travel requirements or family issues. The university enrolls approximately 15,000 students. Saint Leo University offers a more intimate 15-to-1 student-faculty ratio where 43% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
Saint Leo University MBA students can take up to two courses per 8-week term to complete the 21 MBA core credits and 15 Supply Chain Management specialization credits required to graduate in as little as one year, or may extend their studies for as many as five years. Course specializations include: Dynamic Risk Modeling & Quality Initiatives, Integrated Global Systems & Sustainability Initiatives, Building Competitive Advantages through Relationships & Reverse Logistics, and Best Practices for Supply Chain Integration.
- Affordability: $695
- Program Length: 36 hours
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Accelerated Option
5. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), founded in 1932, is a private, nonprofit university located in Manchester, NH. Despite its humble beginnings, a recent leadership change has turned SNHU into one of the largest universities in the country, enrolling 34,000 online and offering over 200 programs online alone. SNHU is known for its innovative curriculum offerings; for instance, SNHU is the first university to offer a 3-year Bachelor’s in Business Administration. Southern New Hampshire University currently ranks #12 best “Regional University South” in U.S. News National Best College List 2017. Including online students, the university enrolls approximately 63,000 students. Despite its massive enrollment numbers, Southern New Hampshire University still manages to offer a 15-to-1 student-faculty ratio.
Southern New Hampshire University MBA students can accelerate your learning by taking up to two courses per 10-week term, allowing them to complete the program in a little over a year. Programs are accredited by multiple governing agencies, including the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. SNHU has a great networking system with many past alumni working for major and multifarious sectors of the industry such as the U.S. Departments of Defense, IBM, Fidelity Investments, and Verizon to name a few.
- Affordability: $627
- Program Length: 33 hours
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: accelerated
6. University of Hartford
The University of Hartford (UHart), started in 1877, is a private, independent, nonsectarian, coed institution with a very diverse student body. UHart provides a robust education, and the school’s values are rooted in community, integrity, creativity, excellence, responsibility, and accomplishment. The establishment occupies a suburban and beautifully landscaped 320-acre campus in West Hartford, CT with grassy expanses, wooded areas, and a small residential college feel that includes parts of Hartford, West Hartford, and Bloomfield. Also accredited by the Commission On Institutions Of Higher Education (CIHE) Of The New England Association Of Schools And Colleges (NEASC), UHart ranked #176 National Universities and #216 Business Programs in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report. University of Hartford registers about 5,150 undergraduate and 1,566 graduate students, provides a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, and 72.4% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
University of Hartford’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Supply Chain Management is an exclusively online master’s program designed for working professionals. The program prepares students for a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to large corporations and non-profits. The supply chain management concentration takes 12 credit hours to complete and the overall program has an average completion time of 36 months. The 51-credit-hour program requires 6 core and 4 elective courses and a capstone apart from the specialization courses which include: Lean Six Sigma Principles & Applications, Supply Chain Management or Logistics & Supply Chain, Business Process Engineering, and several specialized electives to choose from. The program provides prestige with a distinguished faculty that provide research, performance, and internship opportunities to students as well as UHart’s Barney School of Business ranking as one of the nation’s Best Business Schools by the Princeton Review. Finally, the program offers affordability because of a $695 credit-hour cost.
- Affordability: $695
- Program Length: 51 hours
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Elective Customization, Transfer Credits
7. Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology was founded in Melbourne, Florida in 1958. Florida tech is ranked Tier 1 for Best National University by U.S. News & World Report, named one of America’s “Best Value” universities by Forbes, and recognized as one of the best colleges in the Southeast by The Princeton Review. Nearly 90% of full-time faculty members hold a doctorate degree or highest degree relevant to their field, making Florida Tech rather prestigious. Florida Institute of Technology is a fully accredited university by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.
Florida Institute of Technology’s Master’s in Supply Chain Management prepares graduates to effectively plan, communicate, reduce costs, improve processes, manage vendors, control inventory, and manage receiving and delivery across various global channels. Entirely online, this program is designed for professionals who want to succeed in areas such as purchasing, manufacturing, transportation, and consulting. The 30-credit-hour program takes approximately 2 years to complete and offers the foundational knowledge for SCM industry certification exams. The curriculum covers the various aspects of supply chain management from marketing and strategic planning to managerial statistics and global supply chain management with courses like: Managerial Accounting, Corporate Finance, Managerial Statistics, Applied Management Project, Production & Operations Management, Cost & Economic Analysis, Supply Chain Management, Advanced Techniques in Supply Chain Management, Global Supply Chain Management & International Logistics, and Material Acquisition Management. The program offers prestige due to a world-class faculty that includes highly experienced, published authors and respected researchers; FIT’s business school is also accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Finally, the program provides affordability because of a $777 credit-hour cost.
- Affordability: $777
- Program Length: 30 hours
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: N/A
8. University of Minnesota–Minneapolis
The University of Minnesota–Minneapolis (UMM), started in 1851, is a public research institution. The school occupies an urban 1,204-acre campus in Minneapolis, MN–University of Minnesota has a campus in both cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, known as the Twin Cities. Also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, UMM is ranked #69 National Universities and #78 in Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report. University of Minnesota–Minneapolis enrolls approximately 34,871 undergraduate students, promises a student-faculty ratio of 17:1, and 36.3% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
University of Minnesota–Minneapolis’ Master’s in Supply Chain Management equips students with industry knowledge and skillsets needed to become business leaders in the field. Students will learn how to lead organizations and examine real-world supply chain challenges while improving their understanding of overall business operations. Through experiential learning programs, students learn to apply supply chain methodologies, techniques, and tools to global business problems, all with an estimated completion time of 1 year. The 32-credit-hour program requires a rigorous and relevant curriculum with an emphasis on leadership, analytics, social responsibility, and global perspective. You can customize the curriculum to focus on supply chain management in specific industry sectors like global manufacturing, healthcare and medical devices, food and agribusiness, and retail. The program offers prestige because The MS in Supply Chain Management curriculum is recognized by the U.S. government as a STEM designated program. Finally, the program provides affordability thanks to a $1,362 .
- Affordability: $1,362
- Program Length: 32 hours
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: accelerated
9. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW), founded in 1868, is a public institution committed to providing generous financial aid packages to students. In fact, 51% of full-time undergraduate students receive need-based aid while almost 50% of undergraduates have their financial aid needs fully met. Although the campus is located in a suburban environment, Whitewater is only a little more than an hour’s drive from Milwaukee, WI. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater maintains institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and enrolls approximately 12,000 students. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater offers a 22-to-1 student-faculty ratio where 37.5% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s MBA program is also AACSB-Accredited and ranked #10 “Top Public Schools, and #61 in Regional Universities Midwest” in U.S. News National Best College List 2018. The program requires 24 credit hours of core courses, at least 3 credit hours of electives, and 9 credit hours of specialization courses chosen from the following: Management of Innovation, Supply Chain Systems, Global Operations Management, Operations Strategy, or Quality Issues in Operations.
- Affordability: $637
- Program Length: 36 hours
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: Part-Time Option
10. Ferris State University
Ferris State University (FSU), founded in 1884, is a public, career-oriented institution. Notably, FSU offers its proprietary T.O.W.E.R.S. system, a leadership development program that provides development opportunities for students to acquire transferable skills that promote leadership. The school occupies a 935-acre campus in Big Rapids, Michigan–a great vacation destination and within 200 miles of Chicago and Detroit. Also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Ferris State ranks #83 Regional Universities Midwest and #18 Top Public Schools in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report. Ferris State University matriculates roughly 12,866 undergraduate students, offers a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, and 42.1% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
Ferris State University’s Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is entirely online and provides knowledge across multiple business disciplines, preparing you to lead and grow in many professional settings and develop well-rounded competencies that industry leaders look for. Students will gain skillsets to promote innovative growth and problem-solving strategies and program has an average completion time of less than 2 years. The 48-credit-hour program requires 36 core credit-hours, 3 elective credit-hours, and 9 credit-hours of concentration courses. Core courses draw from a foundation in business administration such as Business Management, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Economics, and Business Law while other classes include Information Systems Strategy, Lean Enterprises Systems, and an MBA Thesis. Additionally, students choose one of seven 12-credit-hour concentrations or alternatively, some may elect to do independent research based on their area of interest. The concentration in supply chain management offers courses in Lean Supply Chain Management, Global Supply Chain & Logistics, and Lean Logistics. The program offers prestige with a faculty that are experts and practitioners in the industry and hold terminal degrees in their field. Finally, the program guarantees affordability due to a $542 credit-hour cost and Ferris State offers generous financial aid awards.
- Affordability: $542
- Program Length: 48 hours
- Flexibility Enhancing Components: N/A