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Top Supply Chain Management Schools

Here’s a roundup of some of the top programs to consider, whether you’re looking to major in supply chain at the undergraduate level, obtain an MBA with a supply chain concentration, or find the right executive education or certificate programs to further your career.

The next generation of supply chain professionals have an array of dynamic choices when it comes to determining their educational path. Premier institutions across the nation offer an extensive range of courses encompassing the broad spectrum of supply chain management, from strategic planning, sourcing, and procurement to transportation, inventory management, operations, data analytics, information technology, and sustainability.

And, today’s extend beyond traditional academic boundaries. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees, there’s also a wealth of programs tailored for industry practitioners eager to hone their strategic skills in the rapidly evolving supply chain landscape.

Frequently run or taught by renowned faculty, these courses seek to deliver a practical, real-world perspective, equipping students aiming for supply chain careers or professionals seeking advancement opportunities with the tools to thrive.

Here’s a roundup of some of the top programs to consider, whether you’re looking to major in supply chain at the undergraduate level, obtain an MBA with a supply chain concentration, or find the right executive education or certificate programs to further your career.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ranked as the world’s top university by the for 12 years in a row, maintains a stellar reputation for excellence across all disciplines. The university’s supply chain offerings include programs through its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s . Also available is a rigorous, 10-month, on-campus . 

“Our students focus on real challenges and real companies,” explains , the Director of Digital Supply Chain Transformation at MIT, who notes that all MIT supply chain faculty members conduct applied research. “As a result, we are teaching about the latest trends in the industry, like the digital transformation of the supply chain. By maintaining close ties to global companies, we provide valuable experiential learning to our students.”

University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School

Supply chain practitioners looking to add to their understanding of global supply chains are a good fit for the offering, . Designed to provide fresh insights on the rapidly changing supply chain ecosystem and help students translate those insights into action, the six-week online program tackles topics including global supply chain risk, managing a socially and economically responsible global supply chain, managing global sourcing, optimizing supply chain roles and responsibilities, and digital trends in global supply chain management.

Participants will learn how supply chains have responded to global stresses and develop an action plan to reimagine the current global supply chain based on identified opportunities for improvement. Wharton faculty members provide expert insights throughout the course, helping participants gain an understanding of the frameworks, skills, and capabilities required to coordinate and integrate global logistics.

Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

The is part of the Operations & Technology curriculum. This focused program follows a proven, interdisciplinary approach incorporating management, strategy, marketing, and decision sciences to help students design and manage supply chains.

Guided by senior faculty experts, participants explore state-of-the-art models and solutions to real-world challenges of managing facilities, logistics, inventories, transportation, information, outsourcing, and complex networks. Students will develop new skills for integrating a company’s supply chain into a coordinated system, identifying supply chain risks, and designing mitigation strategies.

Michigan State University – Eli Board College of Business

The faculty in the at are global industry leaders and according to the university, are considered the voice of the SCM field. The intent is to equip graduates with a competitive edge. Through an integrative educational approach, the university prepares students for the next era of supply chain management and careers in areas including procurement, manufacturing, inventory management, warehousing, logistics, and transportation.

Arizona State University – W. P. Carey School of Business

is currently promoting a certificate program designed for working professionals with some knowledge of supply chain management. The course is offered 100% online and is part of the .

Students of the operations and management survey course will be exposed to many issues, problems, and decision tools that pertain to effective and efficient internal and external flow of materials and requisite knowledge. The program addresses many topics from contemporary courses in production/operations management, purchasing management, logistics management, and sustainability. As the course progresses, students see significant linkages among those four knowledge areas and between these and other related areas.

Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business

The online at the is designed to build and refine valuable supply chain skills through a rigorous curriculum that combines online coursework with hands-on learning experience. The program culminates in a capstone project that addresses a real business challenge and delivers tangible results to a student’s current employer of an assigned organization.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie’s explores how firms can make better supply chain management strategic and tactical choices. The course includes the following units: inventory planning (both single-stage and multiple-stage), coordination, the inventory-order interface, and network design.

Throughout, the course of study illustrates mathematical analysis and qualitative principles applied to real SCM challenges. The course is intended to provide both strategic insights and tactical knowledge needed by supply chain consultants and managers. According to the university, the program is based on rigor and relevance.

Georgia Institute of Technology – Scheller School of Business

More than 7,000 supply chain and logistics professionals choose (GTPE) to learn modern supply chain best practices. According to , students learn through expert instruction and hands-on simulations. Upon completion of the program, students should be prepared to make a difference in their roles, transforming the organizations where they work and their careers. provides comprehensive certification options. With multiple disciplines and eight certificates, participants are equipped to advance their careers.

Professionals gain a credential that provides a competitive advantage in their careers and for the companies they represent. Georgia Tech instructors provide real-world training and experience to equip students with the skills needed to succeed.

Purdue University – Krannert School of Management

offers a transformative education as undergraduates study and learn from the same faculty who teach in the school’s highly ranked in addition to partnering with corporations to explore forecasting, inventory management, logistics, and financial analysis as it is practiced in real-world situations.

Practitioners can continue their professional development by participating in the . The purpose of the organization is to provide members with the means for professional and social development, which explores the many facets involved in operations management and other areas of the supply chain.

Members will gain a better understanding of what it takes to work in the supply chain industry and the tools and skills involved. They will also learn how to effectively network with companies to cultivate career opportunities for the future. The club is not exclusive to supply chain majors. All majors are welcome.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville – Haslam College of Business

The is ranked highly among supply chain graduate programs in the United States. Some of the advantages offered are flexibility, industry access, career readiness, and applied learning. The program provides working professionals with the flexibility to earn a master’s degree at a full or part-time pace. Students can connect, collaborate, and engage with supply chain practitioners, researchers, and thought leaders through the . The school focuses on a relevant curriculum that provides practical knowledge that can immediately be used on the job. Case studies, simulations, and projects equip enrollees with critical thinking and process management skills to advance in the supply chain industry.

University of Maryland College Park –

The University of Maryland’s gives students the knowledge they need to manage the flow of goods, services, and financial resources from the beginning to the end phases of a supply chain. The program is designed for methodical problem-solvers with strong communication skills who want to successfully negotiate with business partners.

The university’s MSSCM program teaches the fundamentals of the field while immersing students in more specialized technical skills and credentials, including contract negotiations. Students can earn valuable certifications such as Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and APICS certifications. The program also allows students to use cutting-edge tools, including blockchain technology and SAS, to identify trends, forecast consumer behavior, and improve operations.

The University of Wisconsin – Madison – School of Business

In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked the as number 18 in the United States for . The curriculum includes sourcing, procurement, logistics, marketing channels, and supply chain technology. Students will learn to assess the financial and operational implications of supply chain strategies. They will also make the correlation between supply chain strategies and business decisions. The program helps enrollees develop analytical thinking skills and the ability to evaluate opportunities and risks.

Rutgers University

The aims to disseminate knowledge in areas such as procurement and global sourcing, logistics optimization, distribution and supply chain innovation, labor relations and contract management, supply chain legal environments, project management, business process design and improvement, quality management, risk analysis, and supply chain security as well as supply chain finance, supply chain analytics, and supply chain technologies.

According to Rudolf Leuschner, Associate Professor at , “The Department of Supply Chain Management at Rutgers Business School has only been in existence for a little over a decade, yet it has grown to the second largest in the United States.”

The department offers a high-quality multidisciplinary education that balances theory and practice in supply chain management to prepare a new generation of business graduates to meet future challenges.

He noted, “Our perspective regarding supply chain management is that we need to educate our students on all aspects of the end-to-end supply chain. This includes the flow of products/services, the flow of information, as well as the flow of finances.”

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill –

According to the , increases in product variety and customization in the past few years have posed more challenges for firms in terms of delivering products to customers faster and more efficiently. With the prevalence of internet usage for business, electronic business transformations are occurring in every business. One of the fundamental enablers of electronic commerce is effective supply chain management. Therefore, supply chain management has become the focus of attention of senior management in the industry today.

The is divided into six modules: inventory and information, distribution and transportation, global operations, supplier management, management of product variety, and electronic supply chains.

Several new concepts have been included in the program, including prognostic supply chains, build-to-order, collaborative forecasting, delayed differentiation, cross-docking, global outsourcing, and efficient consumer response. At the end of the course, students will have the tools and metrics to evaluate a current supply chain and recommend design changes to supply chain processes.

Many Options and Approaches with Common Themes

Across the United States, there is a wide range of cutting-edge supply chain management educational programs, from undergraduate courses that begin with the basics to more advanced graduate programs and certification programs designed for supply chain practitioners. Regardless of each unique program, common trends emerge:

  • The combination of academic learning with real-world use cases.
  • Faculty members who have become thought leaders, not for their teaching skills alone, but for their achievements in supply chain management.
  • Programs that challenge students to address current issues and provide the necessary skills to be successful in a rapidly changing world and the supply chains that support commerce across the globe.
  • For more information, visit any university website or organizations like the that offer tracks for students as part of their conferences. 

Skill Gaps that Students Must Master Before Entering the Workforce

  • While supply chain programs across the United States are teaching academic skills that will be needed as graduates enter the workforce and stay current with changes in supply chain management, there are some skills that seem to be lagging, especially in the wake of COVID and virtual learning.
  • Chris Norek, an Affiliated Faculty member in and a graduate of the program, commented, “What is missing are the soft skills. Many students do not know how to network or form relationships, which are critical in all professions, but especially in supply chain management.”
  • He also noted that after years of attending classes virtually, some students may not understand the expectations of corporations for professional behavior. “You can’t work in your pajamas on your sofa when starting a career in supply chain management.” So, in addition to staying abreast of the latest supply chain trends, Penn State also focuses on the basics of communication and professionalism.
  • At Auburn University, , Executive Director of the Center for Supply Chain Innovation, and Wilson Faculty Professor, commented about the ever-expanding breadth of topics that must be included in today’s supply chain education programs. He said, “Students must develop analytical decision-making skills, problem-solving, and process improvement.”
  • He noted, “While many students use social media constantly, they need to become proficient in the use of business-focused technology, like Excel, data visualization tools, TMS, or ERP systems, which are now used by many supply chain professionals.”
  • He adds that one of the biggest skill gaps, and one that Auburn is striving to fill, is the ability to view data and know what it means and how to incorporate it into a real-world supply chain network.