Are you currently working in distribution and eager to land a leadership role? Are you someone who sees yourself managing teams, organizing large sets of data, and ensuring the quality of product distribution? Even if you don’t have the direct experience or academic background in logistics and supply chain management, attaining a masters degree in the industry can lead to an exciting, yet stable, and financially rewarding career.
Supply chain management is in high demand, congruent with the growth of e-retailing and digital sales. While logistician and management jobs will continue to rise in the next few years, so will salaries: on average, the title of Supply Chain Analyst comes with a yearly earning of 75k, which reflects only the average, not the earning potential.
Similarly, Supply Chain Managers make upwards of 85k a year. Though a bachelor’s degree alone can potentially help you acquire similar positions and salaries, it’s shown that a master’s degree significantly increases the annual earnings of logisticians and managers to over 100k. Most MBAs and master’s degrees only take a year or two to complete, which makes the salary bump more than worth it!
Just to get a sense of some of the careers you could anticipate awaiting you post-graduation, here’s a list of supply chain management and logistic-related jobs:
- Operations Manager
- Transport Coordinator
- Vice President of Purchasing
- Supply Chain Consultant
- Distribution Center Manager
Whether you’re interested in the matrix that is product data, quality control, and distribution or the challenge of leading a team, a rewarding career in logistics and supply chain management awaits!
What are the Best Master’s in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Degrees?
While some of the schools below are large research universities and others are small, technical schools, they each share one thing in common, and that is they each offer one of the nation’s best online MS in Logistics/Supply Chain Management degrees. To aggregate the best we first extensively research the academic quality and reputation of each school hosting this degree online.
From there we incorporated credit hour costs, retention rates (which mirror student satisfaction), and the early average salaries of the school’s graduates. What we have in the end is a thoroughly investigated and polished list of the most academically impressive, affordable, and influential MS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management degrees in the nation. Our information and figures come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 100
Credit Hour Cost: $1,484
An educational and cultural hub, the University of Southern California is a private research institution in Los Angeles that holds the honor of being the oldest private university in California. Despite its relatively large enrollment size (around 42,500 students), USC is one of the most selective universities in the country, accepting just 16 percent of annual applicants.
The University of Southern California is first on our list based on its high reward post-graduation, its competitive reputation, and its innovative curriculum. The online Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management at USC includes a number of unique elements: a week-long international trip to study supply chain management at a global level, the chance to earn Lean Sigma Six certification, and a flexible schedule that lets you finish your degree in just 16 months. Some of the classes included in this curriculum are:
- Port Engineering: Planning and Operation
- Sustainable Supply Chains
- Application of Lean Six Sigma
- Enterprise Wide Information Systems
We’re not the only ones who know the value of a business degree at University of Southern California. USC Marshall School of Business is, hands down, one of the best programs in the country. USA Today listed the program as the 3rd in the nation, and Forbes ranked it 3rd in the nation for business graduate satisfaction. As an overall school, University of Southern California was named 23rd in US News & World Report’s 2017 list of best national universities.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
College Choice Score: 99.25
Credit Hour Cost: $620
The world’s largest university that specializes in aviation and aerospace, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is an international institution, with over 125 campuses and learning centers in total. Embry-Riddle offers degrees in seven different areas—applied science, aviation, business, computers & technology, engineering, security, intelligence & safety, and space—and a large percentage of its graduates find top positions with the US Air Force and Army.
The 30-credit-hour online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management program at Embry-Riddle is offered through its Worldwide and Online Campus, using EagleVision Classroom. The program is designed for students to secure jobs specifically in the military, government, or private sector; similarly, its focus includes management and distribution of aviation and aerospace at the global level. Some of the classes you can expect to take here include:
- Production and Procurement in the Aviation and Aerospace Industry
- Management Science
- Purchasing for Logistics and Supply Chain Managers
- Transportation Management
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is unique in so many ways: for one, it is the first university to offer Space Physics, Aerospace Physiology, and Spaceflight Operations as degree options. Its graduates are achieving things that no others have—literally! For example, six of its alumni have ended up as NASA astronauts. Even more, it ranks number 55 in US News & World Report’s “Best Online Graduate Business Programs” of 2017.
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
College Choice Score: 99
Credit Hour Cost: $1,728
Founded in 1795, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is considered to be one of the oldest public universities in the country. Its campus, in downtown Chapel Hill, is known for its LEED Platinum status for its efforts in green sustainability. Of its 29,000 students, around 10,700 of them are graduate students, both on-campus and online.
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill offers an online MBA through its Kenan-Flagler Business School. The MBA at UNC includes eight different concentrations, one of which is Global Supply Chain Management. Unique to the program at UNC, students attend live Virtual Company Information Sessions, which connects top executives with students. Some of the classes in this concentration include:
- Analytical Tools
- Operations Management
- Global Supply Chain
- Data Analytics
Aside from its historical significance, UNC is also known for its impressive academic reputation. US News & World Report named UNC number 5 in the country for top public colleges. The business school at UNC was named 16th best in the United States. So all in all, you’re guaranteed a top-notch education and you’ll be a shoo-in for top jobs in the nation.
University of Washington
College Choice Score: 98.75
Credit Hour Cost: $900
- Collaboration across the Supply Chain
- Finance and Performance Management
- External Supply Chain Transportation Risks
- IT Systems and Supply Chain Integration
University of Wisconsin Platteville
College Choice Score: 97.25
Credit Hour Cost: $370
One of the 26 schools associated with the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin Platteville is a public institution that delivers bachelor’s and master’s degrees to around 9,000 students. Of the total student body, about 3,000 students attend via the distance education program.
The online Master of Science of Integrated Supply Chain Management program at the University of Wisconsin Platteville weaves together essential classes from six areas of emphases: Analysis, Customer Relations, Logistics, Management, Operations, and Purchasing. Within the overall 33 credit hours required in the degree, students can expect to take some of the following classes:
- Taguchi Method of Designing Experiments
- Engineering Management
- Continuous Improvement with Lean Principles
- Project Procurement Management
Though the University of Wisconsin Platteville is fairly small, its distance learning program is an up and coming feature of the school; so far, it hosts two undergraduate and six graduate programs completely online. It also holds the distinction of being the fastest growing institution in the University of Wisconsin system and the most affordable school on our list—$370 per credit hour!
College Choice Score: 97
Credit Hour Cost: $1,560
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University is an innovative, private research institution that is known for its cooperative program, which blends together academic learning with experience in the real world. Northeastern is an up-and-coming school; over the years, it has steadily risen in university rankings, increasing from 98th in the nation to 39th in just the last ten years.
If you choose Northeastern University for your online MBA, you’ll get the chance to experience a 6-month paid internship, as well as exposure to international clients through the Global Project course. The program gives students the option of specializing in any of eight concentrations, one of which is the Supply Chain Management track. This concentration requires all the core requirements in addition to 15 track-specific credits. Some of those classes include:
- Offshore Outsourcing
- Intellectual Property and Other Aspects of Business and Innovation
- Market-Driven Supply Chains
Northeastern University is no stranger to praise when it comes to their MBA program. This year, Financial Times ranked it 8th in a list of best online MBAs in the country. Graduates of the program are positive about the immediate results of earning an MBA too; in fact, 69 percent of them received a salary increase after finishing their degree.
University of Wisconsin Whitewater
College Choice Score: 97
Credit Hour Cost: $637
Started in 1868 as Whitewater Teachers College and later growing into a four-year state university as part of the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater educates over 12,000 students each year through any of its nearly 50 undergraduate majors and 13 graduate programs.
Offered as a concentration in tandem to the MBA at University of Wisconsin Whitewater, the Supply Chain Management program covers the essential topics needed for harnessing management issues, from sourcing and logistics to operations and supply chains. UW Whitewater is accredited by AACSB International, the “holy grail” of global accrediting standards. The concentration requires six specific classes, among them:
- Management of Innovation
- Supply Chain Systems
- Global Operations Management
- Quality Issues in Operations
When it comes to online degree programs, University of Wisconsin Whitewater is dedicated to making sure you find the right fit for you. By offering a self assessment tests, like the “Online Course Readiness Assessment,” and by giving students the option of earning their degree completely online or via a hybrid program, UW Whitewater shows that its program is one of flexibility and care.
Michigan State University
College Choice Score: 96
Credit Hour Cost: $1,375
Based in East Lansing, Michigan State University holds the distinction of being one of the largest universities in the country. Between its undergraduate, postgraduate, and online learning centers, MSU enrolls close to 50,500 students each year. Michigan State also is unique in being one of the first institutions in the nation to offer a supply chain management degree.
The hybrid Master of Science degree in Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University blends together three-day, intensive on-campus sessions with eight-week online classes. Therefore, students get both in-person access to highly regarded faculty as well as the ease of finishing a degree at home. Within the 36-credit-hour degree, students take some of the following classes:
- Applied Data Analysis
- Distribution Fulfillment
- Total Quality Management and Lean Enterprise
- Change Management
Regarded as one of the top 25 public schools in the nation by Times Higher Education, Michigan State University is a quiet force of the Midwest. The Eli Broad College of Business holds a strong reputation on its own; 94 percent of graduates from the program landed jobs immediately after graduation from their program.
Georgia College & State University
College Choice Score: 95.75
Credit Hour Cost: $467
Known as Georgia’s “public liberal arts university,” Georgia College is a small school in Milledgeville, Georgia that enrolls around 7,000 students each year. Georgia College has cycled through many forms over its 128-year history, from its beginnings as a vocational and industrial college, to its span as a women’s college, to its final form now as a coeducational public school for both undergraduates and postgraduates.
The oldest logistics program in the state, the Master’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Georgia College has been around for over forty years. The logistics degree is offered 100 percent online to accommodate working professionals. This 30-credit-hour program combines core classes with unique electives, among them:
- Commercial Law, Regulation, and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Integrated Accounting for Decision Makers
- Introduction to Enterprise Systems
- International Trade and the Logistics Environment
Georgia College’s status as a public liberal arts college provides it a number of automatic benefits—small class sizes (the student to faculty ratio is 17:1), low tuition ($467 per credit hour), and a tight-knit community. Furthermore, the Institute of Logistics and Transportation Studies at Georgia College gives students in the Logistics and Supply Chain Management a unique access to local business opportunities.
University of Maryland College Park
College Choice Score: 95.5
Credit Hour Cost: $1,984
Located on the border between Washington DC and Maryland, the University of Maryland College Park is a large public university (around 38,000 students) with a long history of advanced academic research. The university takes full advantage of its central location to the nation’s capital, and many of its degree programs incorporate research opportunities and partnerships with federal programs and agencies in Washington DC.
In the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management degree at the University of Maryland College Park, students are expected to lean on their foundational knowledge of statistics and management techniques. This program uses only the most relevant software and techniques (like Six Sigma) to guide their students to lucrative jobs after they graduate from the 9-16 month program. Some of the classes within this global-oriented concentration include:
- Global Supply Chain Management
- Global Trade Logistics
- Global Supply Chain Resources Planning
- Global Supply Chain Risk Management
The University of Maryland College Park earns high marks across the board. For one, the Robert H. Smith Business School of Business ranks 47th in the nation among other graduate schools in business according to US News & World Report. Furthermore, Business Insider recently listed it as the 9th “Smartest Public College in America” and its close connections to DC give students amazing job opportunities post-graduation.
Indiana University Bloomington
College Choice Score: 95
Credit Hour Cost: $1,482
Known as a “Public Ivy” school, Indiana University Bloomington is a public research institution that competes on par with the elite Ivy League schools. It enrolls close to 50,000 students each year. Within the student body, around 6,100 students are enrolled as business students through the Kelley School of Business, which has been listed in the top 10 programs in the country the last four years.
The renowned Kelley School of Business houses Indiana University’s online Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management, which is a 30-credit-hour program that can be completed at your own pace (though most finish it in between fifteen months and five years). IU Bloomington also offers a dual degree option, which lets you earn both a master of science and an MBA at the same time. Some of the classes in the MS in Global Supply Chain Management degree include:
- Sustainable Operations
- System Distribution and Inventory Management
- Quantitative Analysis
- Managing Accounting Information for Decision-Making
Hands down, the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington is a stand-out feature for this school. Just this year, US News & World Report ranked it 3rd in the nation for online MBA programs. Overall, IU Bloomington holds steady ground in the world of rankings; in 2016, the school had 40 graduate programs that ranked within the top 25 in the country. Clearly, you’ll be in good hands!
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 93.75
Credit Hour Cost: $1,206
Arizona State University, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is a public research institution with a number of notable features: its impressive enrollment of around 73,000 students, its commitment to sustainable energy and education, and its large online learning platform that aims to give students the same quality of learning experience they would receive on campus.
The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University offers an online MBA that covers the principles of management, along with the chance to earn an Executive Certificate in Supply Chain Management. At the beginning of the program, all students attend an on-campus orientation to get accustomed to the online format and meet their cohort and faculty members. Beyond the nine-course core curriculum, the certificate program includes three online courses:
- Operations and Supply Management
- Integrated Supply Chain Strategy
- Electives like Principles of CSR & Sustainability
Arizona State University is nationally and globally ranked by US News & World Report, Washington Monthly, the Wall Street Journal, and more. For one, it was ranked number 1 in a list of “Most Innovative Universities,” and it holds the 47th rank nationally for “Best Universities in the US.” The Supply Chain Management program was ranked 5th last year by US News & World Report. You can’t go wrong with any of those statistics!
College Choice Score: 92.75
Credit Hour Cost: $1,500
A private research institution based in Syracuse, New York and loosely connected with the Methodist church, Syracuse University excels in both academics and sports on a national level. Made up of thirteen well-respected colleges, Syracuse provides hundreds of different majors and programs to both undergraduates and graduates (enrollment is around 21,000 students annually).
The 54-credit-hour online MBA at Syracuse University splits its requirements into three categories: 36 core business classes, 15 credits in a specialization (one of which is in Supply Chain Management), and 3 credits for a residency on Syracuse’s campus. In addition to the specializations, students have the chance to earn certifications in APICS, ISM, and ASQ. The Supply Chain Management specialization requires some of the following courses:
- Principles of Management Science
- Lean Six Sigma
- Strategic Sourcing
- Global Supply Chain Management
Syracuse’s online MBA program has reaped the praises of a number of reputable sources over the years. This year, Financial Times listed it as the 10th best online MBA and The Princeton Review listed it as the 20th best, leaving our 13th place ranking just about averaging the two out. Nationally, Syracuse University ranks 60th among other universities, according to US News & World Review.
College Choice Score: 92
Credit Hour Cost: $840
A Catholic university located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, Desales University is a small school that offers big features: an impressive student to faculty ratio of 14:1, a robust online program that provides flexible hybrid options, and affordable tuition in both its online and on-campus programs. At DeSales University over 95 percent of its students receive some kind of financial aid, a good indicator of the strength and support of the university.
The blended MBA program at DeSales University is offered in any format that fits your schedule: fully in person, a hybrid of online and in person, or fully online. One of the concentrations included in this MBA program (from a list of nine) is in Supply Chain Management. Other than the 7 core courses in business and one capstone class at the end of your degree, the Supply Chain Management degree at Syracuse involves 4 courses. You can choose some of the following:
- Forecasting, Production, and Inventory Planning
- Value Chain Operations and Quality Management
- Project Management Essentials
- Strategic Procurement and Financial Risk Management
DeSales University performs quite well in its region. US News & World Report named it the 61st best school in its list of “Regional Universities North.” It also earned a spot in this year’s “Best Value Schools,” ranking 32nd in the nation. In terms of graduate satisfaction, DeSales University’s record is nearly perfect; 99 percent of students say they “felt well-prepared for their careers or for more schooling.”
Saint Leo University
College Choice Score: 91.75
Credit Hour Cost: $720
Another Catholic college on our list (and the first one established in Florida), Saint Leo University is a private, Roman Catholic university that was founded in 1889. Saint Leo University’s academic reach goes beyond its main campus in St. Leo, Florida—the university’s 14,650 students are enrolled in over 40 locations throughout the country.
Saint Leo University offers an online MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Global Integration Management with the choice to complete it in either the traditional two-year timeline, or in the accelerated program, which takes just one year. All of the faculty are associated with the Council of Supply Chain Professionals and are certified in Lean Six-Sigma. Their expertise and wide network in the field are two stand-out perks of this particular program. Some of the classes you’ll take in this 36-credit-hour program are:
- Building Competitive Advantages through Relationships & Reverse Logistics
- Dynamic Risk Modeling & Quality Initiatives
- Integrated Global Systems & Sustainability Initiatives
Saint Leo University has a number of areas in which it excels. For instance, Guide to Online Schools recently gave Saint Leo the 17th spot in its list of the top online programs in the country. That’s no surprise, given its relatively lengthy history in online education—The Center for Online Learning at Saint Leo was created in 1998, one of the first in the United States! On a more regional scale, US News & World Report included Saint Leo University in its list of “Top Universities in the South” in 2016.
College Choice Score: 91.25
Credit Hour Cost: $714
Based just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, Maryville University is a historical landmark when it comes to academic institutions in the state. Founded in 1872, it has grown into a private university with a long-lasting reputation for academic excellence. Beyond its on-campus programs, Maryville’s online branch offers a number of different degrees in Health Care, Nursing, Business, and Education.
Started in 2014 through the John E. Simon School of Business, the online MBA at Maryville University was formed to meet the needs of working adults. For instance, the degree can be completed in just one year, and has six possible start times per calendar year. The application process is made simple too; applicants are not required to take the GRE or GMAT and no prior business background is required. The Project Management track is one of 9 concentrations that is included in the degree, offering classes in:
- Process and Operations Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Enterprise Planning & Control
- Project Management
Maryville University is one of the quiet standout schools on our list. It doesn’t have a fancy Ivy League status or a multi-million dollar research budget, but it does have the historical backing of quality, practical education. It has landed Forbes’ “Top Colleges” list consistently since 2014, and it was listed as a “Best College Values” school by Kiplinger’s in 2017 ($714 per credit hour).
College Choice Score: 90.5
Credit Hour Cost: $728
Founded in 1923 as a Catholic women’s college, Fontbonne University opened its doors to be coeducational in 1970 and grew into its current form of around 1,500 students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Located in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, Fontbonne University is a strong local provider, with 74 percent of its alumni still living and working in the larger St. Louis area.
Led by business experts in the St. Louis area, the Masters of Science in Supply Chain Management at Fontbonne University is offered 100 percent online. The program takes an eight-week-per-course format, with a curriculum of seven core classes and two elective classes. Within the degree, students can choose concentrations in three areas: accounting, management and leadership, or nonprofit management. Among the required courses of the degree are:
- Business Components Assessment
- Materials Management
- Lean Principles in the Supply Chain
- Strategic Procurement
The online options at Fontbonne University have expanded significantly over the last number of years to today, where the university offers online programs in undergraduate majors and minors, graduate programs, graduate certificates, and more. Last year, Fontbonne was recognized by Colleges of Distinction for excelling in four core categories: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 90.25
Credit Hour Cost: $627
Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, and home to six professional colleges and schools, Southern New Hampshire University is private university that enrolls around 60,000 students per year. However, only about 3,000 students attend on the main campus, with the majority of its students earning degrees through its College of Online & Continuing Education. Southern New Hampshire University’s MBA has a forty-year history, and now offers around 50 specialized MBAs, one of which is the Operations and Supply Chain Management degree.
Known as one of the more affordable online MBA programs ($627 per credit hour), Southern New Hampshire University’s MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management distills the essential tools and techniques of the degree into a 15-month-long program. The curriculum is organized for students to take two classes during each 10-week term, with foundation courses building into core business classes and electives. Some of those classes include:
- Six Sigma Quality Management
- Government Impact on Business
- Ethics, Corporate Culture, and Social Responsibility
- Leading in an Organization
Southern New Hampshire’s School of Business has a strong reputation among local and national standards. In the past number of years, the New Hampshire Business Review awarded the School of Business multiple “Best of Business” recognitions, including “Best MBA Program.” The university is also frequently recognized for its innovation; in fact, Fast Company recently named it the 12th most innovative organization in the world.
College Choice Score: 90
Credit Hour Cost: $903
Chatham University was founded as Pennsylvania Female College, and has a long history of educating women. The school maintains three different academic Colleges on its eastern Pittsburgh campus and online: Chatham College for Women (female only), the College for Graduate Studies (coeducational), and the College for Continuing and Professional Studies (coeducational).
Chatham University’s online MBA program, open to both men and women, offers eight unique concentrations within the degree, one of which is the Supply Chain Management track. All concentrations include the Business Consulting Capstone, which allows students to work with top executives on a final project. On top of the 27 credits of core MBA courses, students who specialize in the Supply Chain Management concentration are required to take an additional 9 credits, which include the following courses:
- Sustainable Supply Chain Management
- Logistics and Operations
- Global Procurement
Since Chatham University has historically supported women in academics, the support services for women are exceptionally strong. For example, the business program includes a Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and offers a Certificate in Executive Women’s Leadership. Chatham is also nationally known for its sustainability projects on campus, and was ranked in the top five in the country for its efforts.
Penn State World Campus
College Choice Score: 89.75
Credit Hour Cost: $1,025
Penn State World Campus, started in 1998, is the distance learning offshoot campus of the larger Pennsylvania State University, located in University Park and elsewhere in the state. The World Campus provides the platform for 125 online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level and enrolls around 13,400 students each year.
The 30-credit-hour Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management at Penn State World Campus typically takes around two years to complete. The curriculum combines leading theories and techniques in the field, as well as research skills and business practices, to give you a well-rounded education. One intensive, four-day residency is required at the Pennsylvania campus, which gives you access to faculty members and in-person advising. Some of the supply chain-specific courses in this degree include:
- Supply Chain Performance Metrics and Financial Analysis
- Manufacturing and Service Operations Planning
- Strategic Procurement
- Supply Chain Design and Strategy
Even though Penn State World Campus is the last school on our list, it should not diminish the reputation of its online MBA program. In fact, Penn State World Campus holds an impressive spot in the top ten list of “Best Online Programs,” according to US News & World Report. Its extensive experience in distance learning has understandably propelled it to the front of the pack.