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For analytical thinkers aspiring to senior-level roles in supply chain management, where efficiency and timely product distribution are of the utmost importance, earning your master’s in supply chain management is an excellent way to achieve this goal.

This degree will provide opportunities for lucrative careers and prepare you to meet the growing demands of global markets. With purchasing managers earning an average salary of $140,650 and storage and distribution managers at $108,910 yearly, these rewarding salaries emphasize the indispensable nature of these roles. Additionally, demand for logisticians is expected to increase by 18% over the next decade, far outpacing the average across all occupations in the United States.

Completing this degree takes 18 months to two years, with an average cost of $19,749, making it an investment that will position you for success in a fast-paced field.

How to Choose a Master’s in Supply Chain Management Program

Choose your area of study

While supply chain management is already niche, you can customize your education further by choosing an area of study — frequently called “specializations” — to better align your academic pursuits with your career goals.

Options may vary depending on your school, but some typical specializations include logistics and transportation, procurement, and supply chain analytics. Logistics and transportation is ideal for those interested in the movement and delivery of goods, while procurement suits those focusing on purchasing and negotiation strategies. Supply chain analytics is perfect for data enthusiasts aiming to optimize operations through data analysis.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve selected a specialization within supply chain management, you can begin researching schools and programs that suit your educational needs. Consider asking the following questions to guide your research:

  • What are the core and elective courses that focus on your specialization?
  • What experiential learning opportunities — like internships or projects — are available?
  • What is the faculty’s background in this area?
  • Does a recognized accrediting body accredit the program?
  • What are the career services and alumni networks like?

This information can be found on the program’s official website, but speaking with an admissions counselor or attending an information session can provide further insights.

Prepare for tests and applications

With your shortlist of schools you’d like to attend, the next step is to prepare for tests and applications early.

Gathering transcripts and letters of recommendation at least two to three months in advance will ensure you have everything ready for application deadlines. Devote significant time to writing your personal statement, illustrating your motivations and career aspirations. If any of your chosen programs require GRE or GMAT scores, consider enrolling in a test prep program well in advance to improve your performance.

Select your program

When acceptance letters arrive, you may have a big decision to make. Fortunately, you can simplify this decision by revisiting your initial criteria and focusing on what matters most in your educational experience. Additionally, carefully evaluate the total cost of attendance alongside any financial aid offerings. By taking this approach — considering both academic alignment and economic implications — you can make an informed choice on your ideal program.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Figuring out how to finance your degree involves taking a strategic approach to financial aid. Prioritize funding options that don’t require repayment — like scholarships and grants — which are awarded based on merit and need. Explore assistantship opportunities, which often offer tuition waivers or stipends in exchange for research or tuition duties. If you’re currently employed, ask your employer about tuition reimbursement programs, as many organizations invest in their employees’ education. Lastly, federal loans can cover any remaining financial gaps, offering relatively low interest rates and flexible repayment terms.

Best 50 Accredited Master’s in Supply Chain Management Programs

Best Master’s in Supply Chain Management Degree Programs

Michigan State University

Boston University

University of Southern California

Georgetown University

Texas A&M University Mays Business School

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Texas Christian University

University of Washington

University of Maryland

Arizona State University

University of Kansas

Indiana University

Marquette University

North Dakota State University

Discover More Options

How we rank schools

This list covers master’s programs in supply chain management that prepare graduates for leadership roles in logistics and distribution. Degree options include Master of Science in supply chain and logistics management, Master of Science in supply chain management, Master of Science in global supply chain management, and Master of Science in integrated supply chain management. Students can choose from in-person, online, and hybrid learning formats.

The programs on this list are all approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Many of the options on this list have programmatic accreditation from a respected industry group like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business as well.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect From a Master’s in Supply Chain Management Program?

By earning your master’s in supply chain management, you’ll gain the expertise to manage and optimize supply chains in diverse and dynamic business environments. Through comprehensive coursework, curriculums delve into supply chain strategy, logistics, procurement, and operations management. You will gain insights into the latest technological advancements, including AI and blockchain, revolutionizing how products and information flow from suppliers to consumers.

Many programs require a thesis or capstone course, which allows students to apply their knowledge to real-world challenges and demonstrate their ability to innovate and improve supply chain efficiencies.

Typically, these programs can be completed in 18 months to two years, depending on whether you enroll full-time or part-time. Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to take on leadership roles — driving organizational success through strategic supply chain management.

Potential courses you’ll take in a master’s in supply chain management program

  • Supply Chain Analytics: An essential component in many curriculums, this course introduces students to data analysis techniques critical for decision-making in supply chains. Learners explore predictive analytics, simulation, and optimization models to address complex logistics challenges, enabling more efficient and effective supply chain operations.
  • Global Supply Chain Management: This course focuses on the specifics of managing supply chains in a global context. It covers international trade laws, global sourcing strategies, and cross-cultural management. Students learn to navigate the complexities of global logistics, ensuring seamless operations across international borders.
  • Supply Chain Technology: In this course, students are introduced to emerging technologies such as blockchain, IoT, and AI and their applications in supply chains. They learn how to use these technologies to improve transparency, efficiency, and resilience in relevant operations, preparing them to lead innovation in their future roles.
  • Strategic Sourcing and Procurement: Students learn the principles of sourcing and acquiring goods and services in ways that leverage supplier relationships to achieve strategic business outcomes. The course covers negotiation tactics, supplier evaluation, and contract management, emphasizing cost reduction, quality improvement, and innovation.

Master’s in Supply Chain Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to a master's in supply chain management degree program?

While admissions requirements may vary slightly depending on the institution, many share similar criteria. Typically, this includes:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume highlighting relevant work experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • GRE or GMAT scores, although these may be optional for some programs

Due to the variability in application criteria among different schools, be sure to contact an admissions counselor before applying. They can clarify requirements and deadlines, helping you prepare a strong application.

How much does a master's in supply chain management degree cost?

The cost of a master’s in supply chain management degree varies by institution, with the average tuition for graduate programs during the 2020-2021 academic year at $19,749. Beyond tuition, you’ll need to budget for textbooks, course materials, and potentially living expenses if you’re attending on-campus. Costs can also differ significantly for in-state and out-of-state students at public universities.

Given these variables, it is crucial to discuss your financial situation and potential aid options with a financial aid counselor. This conversation can help you find scholarships, grants, and assistantships, making your academic goals more attainable.

How long does it take to earn a master's in supply chain management degree?

Earning this degree takes 18 months to two years for full-time students. Part-time enrollment will extend this timeline, generally taking three to four years to complete, as this usually entails spreading the coursework over a longer period to accommodate work or personal commitments. The total number of required credits also influences this timeline, with programs requiring more credits taking longer to complete.