Supply Chain Management is a much more important career path than most people realize. When you think about it, society as we know it would cease to function without supply chain managers planning and executing the distribution of resources—and in the globally interconnected world of today, a graduate degree in supply chain management is necessary to prepare aspiring business managers for the disruptive influences of a global internet market.
Workdays may have irregular hours and frequent travel for supply chain managers, who supervise and arrange pivotal aspects of the company supply chain. Some of the key responsibilities include demand-based inventory management, developing and maintaining logistics policies and procedures, and encouraging interdepartmental teamwork. Qualifications typically include a four-year or graduate degree in business administration, logistics, and supply chain management.
Right now, companies in every industry worldwide are looking for efficient and creative-problem solvers who can manage the flow of goods, resources, and labor within a company or companies to meet the needs of consumers at the lowest available costs. There is no time like the present to enter this dynamic industry flush with career paths. Income-only earnings range from $50k to $123k, with a median income of 82k per year, although the final amount often includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds which may exceed $16k to $18k. (Payscale.com). Benefits such as medical and dental coverage are reported as provided by the majority of employers in this field.
The income of supply chain managers is influenced by factors such as location, experience level, and employer. In an a recent Institute for Supply Management (ISM) industry report, employees with bachelor’s degrees reported an average income of $94,416. Comparatively, those with doctoral degrees reported an average income 31 percent higher at $124,075 annually, making a graduate degree a valuable negotiating tool in this vital career field with such growth opportunity.
There are many career paths open to supply chain managers. The most common promotion is to Director of Supply Chain Management, which can lead to a multitude of positions—Sr. Strategic Sourcing Manager, Logistics Director, Vice President of Supply Chain Management, or Vice President of Operations. Chief Operating Officer, Executive Director, and Operations Officer are also promotional tracks for talented and ambitious supply chain managers.
As valuable a career change to supply chain management might be, many working adults don’t know how to find the time in their busy lives to commit to a residential graduate program in order to acquire a Masters in supply chain degree— which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best graduate programs available to receive an online supply chain management degree.
Our list ranking was determined by balancing the program offerings against available online support services, full-time faculty assigned to the program, graduation rates, affordability, and online availability. All the programs on this list are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
20. Lehigh University College of Business
Lehigh University offers an affordable online graduate degree supply chain program. The 36-credit hour MBA in Supply Chain Management is a two-year program with tuition between $30k-$40k. LU is a private institution founded in 1865, and their MBA program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB-International).
In their innovative online program, some courses are conducted through real-time live feeds which allow the students to interact with their professors, while other courses are accessed by logging into a classroom system at the student’s leisure. Despite the variety of technology used, they don’t offer 24/7 technical support to online students.
Through the 14 full-time and eight part-time faculties assigned to the online program, they teach a core course program culminating in an Integrative Experience course in which student teams conduct a case analysis of an organization undergoing drastic changes, and apply their gained skills and knowledge to the case study.
The attrition rate of new students to the program is 7.5 percent, and the three-year graduation rate is 41 percent. The middling graduation rate, low faculty numbers, and lack of technical support for online students give one pause, but the real reason LU is at 20 on this list instead of among the top five is that they require a one-day orientation visit to the campus at the outset of the program.
19. Clarkson University | School of Business
This MBA in Global Supply Chain Management is a 38-credit one-year program of ten modules, four electives, and an experimental course. If all foundational business courses have been completed, CU’s MBA program can be finished in two academic semesters, or nine months, with tuition falling in the $50k-$60k range.
CU promotes a collaborative learning style and adherence to curriculum, and online students have the same educational experience as their on-campus peers, who are simultaneously taking the same courses from the same professors. There are 15 full-time MBA professors teaching online, and two part-time instructors in the online program.
Only ten percent of CU students leave after the first year and 60 percent graduate within three years. There is an on-campus orientation requirement, although the remainder of the MBA-GSCM is earned online.
18. Temple University | Fox School of Business
Temple is widely recognized as the top business school in the nation. They offer a 48-credit mostly-online MBA in Supply Chain Management. The program does require a one-week orientation residency on the main campus, but the remaining 20 months are completed online for tuition in the $65k-$75k range.
Their courses integrate live streaming lectures, VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), WebEx, and Blackboard to create an online learning environment unprecedented in comprehensiveness. The online program has 22 full-time faculty and one part-time instructor. Competition to be accepted is intense, with around 41 percent of applicants accepted. About 10 percent of online students leave the program in the first year, and the three-year graduation rate is 83 percent.
For name recognition, prestige, and an innovative online program, Temple rates a mention—but for the high cost, difficulty of admission, and on-campus requirement aspect to the online program, it’s at 18.
17. Arizona State University | W.P. Carey Online
Arizona State’s 48-credit MBA with Supply Chain Management Certification is ranked 5th nationwide by most metrics but fell differently on our list due once more to an on-campus orientation requirement. Depending on fees, materials, and travel, tuition and costs fall in the $55-$65k range.
After the two-day orientation, the two-year course is completed online, although ASU isn’t exactly promoting a self-directed learning on a flexible schedule for their graduate students.
Somewhat differently than most online MBA programs, ASU opts to group entrants together and move them through the program in sync, one class every six weeks. The formula seems to work, as there is only a two percent drop-out rate after one year and an 89 percent graduation rate within three years.
While they do not offer live tutoring, their tech-support is up to par. They have 30 full-time and two part-time faculty available to online students. Although it is a high quality and prestigious program with impressive graduation and retention rates, the cost and on-campus orientation requirement conspired to put it at 17.
16. University of Florida | Hough Graduate School of Business (Warrington)
Competition is high for applicants to Florida’s 48-credit MBA in Supply Chain Management program, which projects their tuition in the $30k range. Only 24 percent of applicants will be accepted. Hough has been offering online MBA programs since 1999, and the results are apparent in the full complement of online student support services, 21 full-time and five part-time online faculty.
The FSU philosophy is flexibility and choice, and they offer a broad range of subjects under their MBA for students to better prepare for industries that are always changing. They source the most up-to-date technology for their online program and offer 24/7 technological support services to their online students.
A two-day orientation visit is required to start the graduate studies process, but the remainder of the program (they offer one-year and two-year versions) is completed online. Four percent of students drop out after the first year, while 92 percent graduate in three years. Once again, we prefer the online-only programs, so the on-campus requirement earned them a 17 on our list—still in the top 20 recommended online programs, though!
15. University of Michigan-Dearborn | College of Business
The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers a 30-credit-hour MS in Supply Chain Management for a projected $41k. Courses cover management, statistical modeling, logistics, and resource allocation. The MS-SCM is open to students from all undergraduate majors.
Online students receive 24/7 tech support, but no live tutoring. There are 15 full-time online faculty and one part-time. Twenty-nine percent of students leave the program after a year, and the three-year graduation rate is 17 percent. However—the entire degree can be acquired online, with no campus visits necessary. There are hybrid learning programs available for those interested, but there’s no on-campus requirement for today’s busy working student.
14. East Carolina University | College of Business
East Carolina offers an online 60-credit hour MBA program with elective concentrations for a projected $50k. There’s no business undergraduate degree requirement to enter the program, which takes an average of two years to complete. ECU offers online business prerequisites on their website for students who lack the foundational business credits.
They don’t offer live tutoring or 24/7 tech support to online students, although there is daytime tech support. The online faculty consists of 55 full-time and three part-time instructors. Twenty percent of the students leave a year after starting the program, and 31 percent graduate within three years.
There are no on-campus requirements. Students will need to come to an agreement with faculty regarding a proctor for the course exams– meaning the program is completed almost entirely online, with testing likely arranged in your city.
13. Quinnipiac University School of Business & Engineering
Quinnipiac offers a 46-credit MBA Supply Chain Management Track program, projected at $43k. The program core is 28 credits, and the last 18 credits are in an interdisciplinary program essential to supply chain management which teaches logistics, analytics, team building, manufacturing, retail, and banking.
QU offers limited daytime tech support, though students can e-mail one of their faculty if need be. There are 32 full-time and eight part-time faculty in the online graduate program. Twenty-one percent of students leave the program after the first year, and the three-year graduation rate is 44 percent. The program can be completed 100 percent online.
12. University of Nebraska-Lincoln | College of Business Administration
The University of Nebraska offers a 48-credit-hour MBA with Supply Chain Certification projected around $26k for an accelerated two-month course. Although they do not offer to tutor, they do provide 24/7 tech support. The program has 18 full-time online faculty and three part-time online instructors.
The program has been highly ranked—15th nationwide and 12th worldwide—by US News and the Financial Times, respectively. With a 13 percent new student attrition rate and a three-year graduation rate of 35 percent, it’s clearly a challenging and competitive program. Those who think they’re up to the task of this intense eight-week course will be pleased to learn there’s no campus visit or travel requirements for this 100 percent online degree.
11. The University of Texas | Naveen Jindal School of Management
The University of Texas offers a 36-credit hour MS-SCM STEM degree program with a projected tuition between $45k and $95k. The program was developed in tandem with real-world supply chain managers and boasts 54 full-time instructors and seven adjuncts. They have an 18 percent attrition rate after one year, and 46 percent graduate within three years. The 18-24 month program can be completed entirely online.
10. Northeastern University | D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Northeastern’s MBA in Supply Chain Management runs 50 credit hours, at a projected cost of $75k, with 13 core courses to strengthen the business knowledge foundation of students and five elective courses for the area of emphasis.
NU offers a hybrid, residency, and travel options for completing the online degree. Students who’ve completed nine online credits can attend an accelerated one-week campus residency course worth three credits and second-year online MBA students in good standing with a GPA of 3.0 have the option to study global business management practices in an International Field Study Residency.
NU has 39 full-time and four part-time faculty in their online courses. Twenty percent of students leave after the first year and about 59 percent graduate in a three-year time frame. The hybrid and residency options aren’t required to complete the online MBA, which can be completed without ever visiting the campus if so desired.
9. Missouri University of Science and Technology
The 36-credit hour MBA program with a Supply Chain Management specialization is targeted toward working professionals and students with families. Fifty-nine percent of online graduate students are employed at the time they enroll, and the average age of students starting their online graduate program at Missouri University of Science and Technology is 29.
Projected to cost $44k, this part-time program is meant to be completed in 2-3 years, and has 16 full-time and three part-time faculty assigned to the program and daytime tech support. The first-year attrition rate is low, at 10 percent, and the three-year graduation rate is 62 percent. It is a 100 percent online program, with no on-campus requirements.
8. Indiana University | Kelley School of Business
Indiana University offers a 30-credit MS in Global Supply Chain Management, designed to be completed in two years for approximately $55k. The competitive program (33 percent acceptance rate) is geared toward working professionals seeking to pursue a graduate degree while maintaining their career.
MBA students keep up with course materials and lectures according to their schedule from any place with Internet access, allowing them to engage in a challenging academic program according to their schedule. Online class discussions take place on forums or in live chat, and professors are always available by e-mail. There are 66 full-time and six part-time professors in the online program.
The new student attrition rate is low, at only 3.25 percent, while the three-year graduation rate is middling at 65 percent. With no on-campus requirements to complete the program, this is another option for those interested in obtaining an MBA-GSCM from home.
7. Cleveland State University | Monte Ahuja College of Business
This 34-credit MBA in Operations & Supply Chain Management was designed for working students to complete in a year and was one of the first one-year online programs to be accredited by the AACSB.
They are pleased to advertise their $36,500 tuition as all inclusive: It covers the cost of tuition and materials, and there are no hidden fees, taxes, or surcharges. One of the materials in question is an Apple iPad 4G with one year of activation, which is sent to the student for their online studies.
CSU has nine full-time online faculty and offers the full complement of available support services to their online students, such as live tutoring and 24/7 tech support. The entire program can be completed online without any campus visit requirements.
6. Colorado State University | College of Business
Colorado State’s MBA with a Certification in Supply Chain Management is rated a top-value MBA by CNBC. The 42 credit program with a projected cost of $40k is intended to prepare students for management positions in the thriving heart of Colorado. Online MBA-SCM students may even consider starting their supply chain management career in the mountains of Colorado, where industries such as aerospace, electronics, advanced manufacturing, technology, and more are booming.
This 21-month program is designed for working students. The classes are held over live streaming feeds, or recordings the student can view at their leisure. Courses are based on teaching fundamental business concepts and moving on. There is no thesis, final project, or final exam required. There are 23 full-time online faculty and 58 part-time instructors. The program can be completed 100 percent online, with no need to visit the campus in person unless you feel like it.
5. University of Wisconsin–Whitewater | College of Business and Economics
This 30-credit hour MBA in Supply Chain Management is very affordable, with an average cost of $21k. The program is 2-3 years, and admissions are open on a rolling basis.
They offer daytime tech support and live tutoring to their online students. There is 34 full-time faculty accredited for online instruction through the MBA Consortium program, and no adjuncts are ever assigned to online programs. Their retention and graduation rates are impressive—only three percent leave after the first year, and a full 78 percent complete the program within three years. It can be completed online-only, although students may also transition to on-campus or hybrid courses if they prefer.
4. SUNY Oswego | School of Business
SUNY offers a 36-credit online MBA in Global Supply Chain Management taught by the same faculty which manages their traditional, nationally ranked MBA program. The online MBA-GSCM has a projected cost of $37k, and is open to students without a business undergraduate—however, such students may need to take up to an additional 63 credit hours of coursework to finish the program.
SUNY’s online program has 11 full-time faculty and six part-time faculty. There’s a 13 percent student attrition rate after one year and a 79 percent graduation rate within three years. They offer hybrid online/ on-campus options, but the program can be completed from start to finish online, with no campus visit requirements for orientations or exams.
3. Old Dominion University | Stome College of Business
Old Dominion offers an interesting maritime twist on the supply chain management degree. As one of only two universities in the USA to offer maritime supply chain majors, take note: Here is an opportunity to acquire a unique, eye-catching degree in a desirable and marketable skill-set!
Old Dominion offers two graduate track programs. The Maritime & Supply Chain Management (MSCM), or the MBA and Graduate Certificate in Maritime, Ports, and Logistics. These programs range from 40 to 45 credit hours, with a projected cost of about $25k. There is 15 full-time faculty assigned to the online program, and online students receive both live tutoring and 24/7 tech support as needed. The accelerated eight-week program can be completed 100 percent online, with no on-campus visits necessary.
2. University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium
The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium faculty is drawn from the graduate faculty of the four affiliated Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited Consortium partners (as have the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, another entrant on this list).
The MBA Consortium’s 30-credit hour programs have designed curriculum intended to invest in innovative leadership and the practical application of creative problem solving. Their 30-credit hour MBA in Supply Chain Management costs an average of $21k and generally takes 2-3 years to finish.
The UW-MBA Consortium provides a generous faculty complement, with 38 full-time and ten part-time instructors for their online programs. Only five percent of students leave the program in the first year, and 78 percent graduate within three years. The entire graduate program can be completed online, from application to graduation.
1. Arkansas State University | College of Business
Arkansas State University offers an online MBA program that is regularly ranked among the best in the country for both quality and affordability. Their 39-credit hour MBA in Supply Chain Management is in the affordable tuition range of $23k.
As an institution, Arkansas State goes above and beyond to ascertain their online students aren’t suffering from distracted faculty: No adjuncts are hired for the online programs, only qualified graduate appointed faculty. All faculty assigned to the online program go through training in effective online instruction. Finally, Arizona State has assigned 24 full-time faculty to their online MBA program. They also offer the full complement of online student support services, from live tutoring to 24/7 tech support. The entire program is available 100 percent online, from start to finish.
Considering their dedication to student success, it is not surprising they have a three-year graduation rate of 92 percent for their online program—a number that’s even more impressive when considering that 98 percent of Arkansas MBA students are working when they start the program in their mid-30s.
The best value of an MBA in Supply Side Management comes from completing the program. Arkansas State provides the support to make that happen at phenomenal rates, with the data to prove it, earning them the number-one spot on our list.