Exploring the Best Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Online Programs

Want to see where an online supply chain management degree at the master’s level can take you? Read on to learn more about the best programs, curriculum and learning outcomes, and career possibilities.

Supply chain systems are integral to how companies and businesses function today, and there are many management and leadership opportunities for professionals with a master’s in supply chain management. Whether you have work experience in a business field or you’re fresh out of an undergrad program, earning a master’s degree in supply chain management online will help you develop advanced skills in logistics, statistics, business decision-making, process optimization, communication, and collaboration.

As you look into programs, you’ll want to know how much it will cost you, what subjects you’ll study, and which schools are the best fit for you. This guide will help you answer these questions and provide you with the essential details to help you choose the best online master’s in supply chain management to meet your personal and academic needs.

College Spotlights: Best Online Supply Chain Management Master’s Programs in 2021

There are many options for students interested in pursuing an online master’s degree in supply chain management. Our best-in-class program profiles will help you save time and energy as you consider prospective schools. These college spotlights preview some of the best accredited master’s programs that are both flexible and affordable. Keep reading to find out important details about the top-rated schools for master’s degrees in supply chain management online.

Boston University

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, BU is a private research institution with approximately 35,000 students. Established in 1839, the school today provides a wide selection of flexible remote programs, including its master’s in supply chain management. This program also holds programmatic accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Degree-seekers in supply chain management choose from concentrations in global business, logistics management, and quantitative approaches. Upon completing the program, distance learners understand supply chain management’s role in developing business strategies, logistics management, international trade, and operations management. Required core classes include financial concepts, global supply chains, quantitative and qualitative decision-making, and business process fundamentals.

BU requires 40 credits for graduation. In most cases, remote full-time learners can complete the program in 18-14 months. Graduate students will also need to complete a capstone project to meet graduation requirements. Applications should include college transcripts, an updated resume, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters.

Rutgers University

Established in 1766, Rutgers is one of the oldest colleges in the U.S. The private research institution boasts approximately 70,000 students. Its business school offers one of the best online master’s degrees in supply chain management out there today.

Graduate students can complete this program entirely online with no on-campus obligations. For students who wish to include a hybrid component, Rutgers offers a short-term residency option. The program also features an optional certificate program to be coupled with traditional degree coursework.

For graduation, learners need to complete ten courses or 30 credits. Course options include global procurement and supply management, global logistics management, supply chain law and governance, and risk and disruption management. Students can choose from two tracks: a customized part-time option or a one-year fast track option. Students may apply year-round and begin their program during one of three admissions cycles per year in the fall, spring, or summer. No GRE or GMAT scores are required for consideration.

Michigan State University

MSU is a public research institution established in 1855 and offers one of the best online master’s supply chain management programs with only a few on-campus obligations.

Degree-seekers must complete 31 credit hours for graduation. Most learners finish the program in two years or less. Master’s degree-seekers can complete the program entirely online except for three collaborative weekend sessions on campus.

Prospective supply chain management master’s students at MSU should possess at least two years of relevant work experience, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, and a 3.0 or higher GPA. Applications must also include a current resume, three professional letters of recommendation, two personal statements outlining academic and professional goals, and official transcripts.

Advantages of Earning an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management

With so many online degree options out there, how do you know if an online master’s in supply chain management is a good fit for you? There are many advantages to earning this graduate degree, not least of its flexibility, convenience, and affordability. Additionally, this advanced degree will increase your earning potential and diversify your business and leadership skills.

  1. Flexibility, Convenience, and Affordability

    Earning your master’s in supply chain management online comes with a valuable amount of flexibility and convenience. Whether you enroll as a full- or part-time learner, working from home or making fewer trips to campus will save you time and energy throughout the week. Additionally, online learners often enjoy lower tuition rates compared to traditional in-person or out-of-state rates. Online programs can help you advance your career without breaking the bank.

  2. Earning Potential

    According to Northeastern University, professionals who hold a master’s degree make an average of $12,950 more per year than those with bachelor’s degrees. For professionals working in business, master’s degrees may help them learn even more. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that master’s degree-holders in areas of business can make nearly $27,500 more than those with bachelor’s degrees.

  3. Diversify Your Skillset

    An online master’s degree in supply chain management will help you grow your business skillset and prepare you to take on challenging managerial and leadership roles. As an expert who’s trained to solve business challenges in an increasingly complex global economy, you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and sought out some of the top positions in a large number of industries that rely on the supply chain system.

What You’ll Learn in Master’s in Supply Chain Management Programs

Graduate-level curricula in supply chain management ensure that you have the leadership, management, and business knowledge to navigate the current and ever-changing economic climate. You will learn the best practices for supporting vendors, working directly with suppliers or consumers, ensuring personnel and product safety, and more. A supply chain management degree also equips you with cutting-edge business skills to help you take on a diverse set of challenges in dozens of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, eCommerce, and more. Let’s have a look at some of the more popular classes you’ll encounter during your online supply chain management master’s program that’ll prepare you for a successful career.

Popular Supply Chain Management Online Master’s Courses

  • Data Analysis and Statistics

    Managers today need advanced analytical skills to solve modern business problems. This class serves as an introduction to statistical analysis and foundational data theory for new master’s students. Faculty typically cover regression analysis, estimation, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, fundamental probability theory, random variables, and data presentation.

  • Operations Management

    Typically a class designed for mid-level or advanced students, operations management training helps students understand and integrate all of the necessary activities and processes involved in providing products and services in today’s modern business environment. Students pay special attention to how manufacturing and service facilities compete in global markets.

  • Transportation and Global Logistics

    Students in this course explore the intricacies of supply chain systems, transportation, and the design and analysis of global logistics. Learners examine each component of global logistics, including material handling, production and inventory, and warehouse storage. Students will also learn about each component’s interactions in the logistics equation and develop techniques for analyzing logistics systems and desired financial outcomes.

  • Contract Management, Sourcing, and Purchasing

    This introductory course covers the basic processes involved in contract management, purchasing, sourcing, and applying various management tools. Faculty help learners develop the ability to study supply markets and make skilled plans to meet organizational needs in real-world scenarios.

  • Accounting for Management Personnel

    Students learn the fundamental concepts of financial reporting and accounting required for business managers today in this introductory accounting course. As opposed to traditional accounting courses, this class is typically tailored for supply chain management students and focuses on accounting techniques for professionals in that area of the field.

Accreditation for Master’s in Supply Chain Management Online Programs

Institutional accreditation ensures that colleges and universities offer students a quality education and credentials to advance their careers. Schools will possess either Regional or national accreditation from a recognized accrediting body. Regional accreditation is considered the gold standard and is possessed by schools that offer a wide range of degrees in traditional academic areas. On the other hand, national accreditation is typically held by vocational or trade schools that specialize in training students for particular employment areas. For your supply chain management master’s program, your school should possess regional accreditation.

Some programs will also seek out programmatic accreditation in addition to institutional accreditation. For online master’s degrees in supply chain management, some schools will possess programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). While programmatic accreditation is nice to see as a prospective student, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for you. All regionally accredited schools are held to high academic standards and can offer you a good education.

What You Can Do with a Master’s in Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain managers are in-demand across several major industries today. From transportation, defense, and aerospace, to data analysis, customer service, and manufacturing, there’s a niche area of the business world where your skills as a supply chain management expert will be put to good use. With a master’s degree, you’ll find lucrative and challenging careers in higher-level leadership and management roles. Here’s a look at five of the top careers for professionals with an online master’s in supply chain management.

Logistician

Logisticians manage the life cycle of a product, from design to disposal. They typically work directly with suppliers and customers. Their main function is to coordinate an organization’s supply chain, review and improve logistical functions for businesses, and minimize spending and time to deliver goods. A master’s degree in supply chain management positions you for more advanced roles and higher-level positions in this area of the field.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$44,020 $74,750 $120,400

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Purchasing Manager

Typically employed in manufacturing or wholesale trade, purchasing managers buy products or services for businesses and organizations to use or sell. These professionals typically negotiate contracts, deal directly with suppliers, develop corrective actions when goods are defective or unacceptable, and maintain records of product performance, inventories, and costs.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$71,450 $121,110 $193,400

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Industrial Production Manager

Industrial production managers oversee daily operations in manufacturing plants. They most often work in environments that produce fabricated metal, transportation equipment, chemicals, machinery, or food. These managers often manage production schedules and budgets, analyze production data, monitor plant workers, and strive to streamline production processes. While most employers require a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in supply chain management will position you for more leadership roles in this area of the field.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$65,050 $105,480 $176,070

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts work with companies and organizations using advanced analytical methods and mathematics to solve problems and make better business decisions. This career suits degree-holders who are invested in statistical analysis, predictive modeling, and logistics.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$48,670

$84,810 $140,790

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Management Analyst

Sometimes referred to as management consultants, management analysts ultimately strive to improve an organization’s efficiency through increased revenues and cost reductions. These professionals typically help make productive organizational changes, including alterations to spending and financial planning, daily business procedures, personnel hiring, uses of equipment, and more.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$49,700 $85,260 $154,310

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Master’s Degrees in Supply Chain Management

Earning a master’s in supply chain management online can be a significant financial commitment for most students, so it’s important to have a clear picture of what will cost you and how you will pay for it during your search for programs. Luckily, many graduate schools today offer students substantial financial aid in the form of graduate fellowships, scholarships, and stipends.

This assistance can be merit- or need-based, depending on the department and amount of available funding. You should also consider applying for private scholarships outside of school and looking into work-study programs through your department. If you currently hold a job, there might also be employer tuition assistance opportunities available to you. For more information on the financial aid and funding opportunities for online master’s degree-seekers today, check out our financial aid page.

What Your Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Could Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Total Tuition Cost

Rutgers University

30

$1,264

$37,920

Arizona State University

30

$543

$16,290

Kettering University

40

$940

$37,600

FAQs About Online Supply Chain Management Master’s Degrees

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in supply chain management?

Admissions requirements for your online master’s in supply chain management will vary between programs. Today, most colleges and universities expect incoming students to have a competitive GPA, typically a 3.0 or higher, and history of coursework in relevant business or management topics. Depending on the program, you may also need some kind of related volunteer or work experience when you apply for your master’s. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many master’s in supply chain management online programs waive GRE or GMAT score requirements for 2021 applicants. Be sure to check with your prospective programs about test score requirements, so you know you’ve covered all your bases.

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited Institution
  • Competitive GPA (often 3.0 or higher)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Application fee
  • An updated resume or CV
  • GRE or GMAT score (maybe optional)

How long will it take to finish my master’s in supply chain management online?

Students pursuing an online master’s degree in supply chain management typically need to complete 30-40 credits for graduation. Full-time students can often finish these programs in two years or less. Depending on their availability each semester, part-time learners can expect to spend 3-4 years finishing their program. Degree-seekers in self-paced, asynchronous programs may complete coursework more quickly than those in traditional classroom settings or synchronous online formats. If it’s required for graduation in your program, a master’s thesis or capstone project may extend the amount of time you spend completing your degree.

Can I earn a master’s in supply chain management 100% online?

Most online graduate programs in supply chain management are available entirely online or in a hybrid format. Even though you may be required to complete a traditional master’s thesis or capstone project for graduation, these requirements can also be completed remotely in most cases. Those supply chain management programs with some in-person requirements, such as on-campus weekend residencies, also tend to be quite minimal. At most, master’s students can expect to spend 2-3 weekends over 1-2 years completing these kinds of residency requirements.a