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Students who complete an online program to earn their master’s degree in supply chain management will learn much more about this highly technical field. They will also be able to obtain a more senior-level supply chain management job, such as logistician, where they can expect to earn an average salary of $77,520 per year.

Such programs require 30-60 credit hours; most full-time students can complete the required coursework in two years. Accelerated programs may allow students to complete all their courses in only one year. According to U.S. News & World Report, an online master’s degree in supply chain management usually costs between $12,000 to $50,000.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Program

Choose your area of study

Some schools offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in supply chain management, while others offer a Master of Science (MS) in supply chain management. MBA in supply chain management programs cover a broad range of business topics, while MS in supply chain management programs focus more on data analysis and other math-related subjects.

Many programs will also allow you to choose a specialized area of study. The exact concentrations available may vary by school, but students can typically choose from global business, quantitative approaches, logistics management, logistics and transportation, and logistics and operations.

These concentrations are related to supply chain management, but different concentrations prepare students for more specialized careers after graduation. Because of this, students are encouraged to carefully consider their ideal post-graduation career before selecting the area they will specialize in.

Research schools and programs

There is no shortage of universities offering an online master’s in supply chain management, so students need to develop their criteria to help them narrow down this extensive list of programs to a much smaller list of prospective schools.

You should only apply to institutions that have been 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. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Ideally, your master’s in supply chain management program will also be accredited by a respected industry group like the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). These organizations have particularly high standards for business education.

Additionally, students should rule out schools that are too expensive for their budget and schools that don’t offer a learning format that aligns with their learning preferences and needs. To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit their website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Most online programs for a master’s degree in supply chain management require students to submit GRE or GMAT scores. If a student has never taken one of these required tests, it’s important to know that it may take up to three months to study for the test and up to three weeks to receive test results. The time requirement may affect whether the student can meet specific application deadlines.

Each school and program have different application requirements. In addition to test scores, you may need to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and other materials. Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

With the list of schools now narrowed down, students must next decide on the online programs they plan to apply to.

Before making your final decision, you should review your needs and goals again (especially any logistical concerns). Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Are you only interested in 100% online programs, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a few in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer?

Cost should also be a consideration: students can mitigate or avoid taking on student debt by focusing on more affordable programs. Students who can’t pay for their tuition outright should focus on schools that offer enough financial aid to meet their needs. Finally, students may wish to focus on schools that provide a high degree of support (including tutoring services and online cohorts) necessary for remote learners to thrive.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

It’s always advisable for those pursuing an online master’s in supply chain management to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. Filling out this form qualifies students to receive federal student loans, and a completed FAFSA may be required for any grants, scholarships, or assistantships the student may earn. Those who already work in the field should see if their employer offers tuition assistance benefits as well.

Students who need additional aid or want to explore their options should contact the financial aid office of each prospective school to inquire about special assistance that may be available through either the school or the state.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Programs

Best Online Master's in Supply Chain Management Degree Programs

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Portland State University

Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University

Indiana University Bloomington

Florida Institute of Technology

Georgia College & State University

Marquette University

Michigan State University

Penn State World Campus

Liberty University

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

University of Wisconsin at Platteville

University of Maryland Global Campus

Syracuse University

UTD Naveen Jindal School of Management

Kettering University

University of San Diego

University of Southern California

Fontbonne University

Arizona State University

Wright State University

Rutgers Business School

University of Alaska Anchorage

Purdue University Krannert School of Management

University of Washington

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Houston

Athens State University

Loyola University Chicago

Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies

University of Kansas

FIU College of Business

Duquesne University

Clayton State University

Middle Tennessee State University

North Dakota State University

Adelphi University

University of North Florida

University of Michigan at Dearborn

Boston University

University of Denver

Discover More Options

How We Rank Schools

All the programs on our list are offered by regionally accredited institutions, and many also have programmatic accreditation through the AACSB or ACBSP. We included programs delivered in both 100% online and hybrid formats to offer options for all lifestyles and learning preferences.

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated them based on their faculty, flexibility, course strength, cost, and reputation. We then gave them an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Program?

An online master’s in supply chain management program is designed to build upon students’ knowledge of planning, logistics, and management while teaching additional skills, such as interpersonal and international communication.

As with most graduate degrees, the area of study chosen affects the coursework. For example, someone specializing in global business will learn more about topics such as international trade and multinational finance. Meanwhile, someone specializing in logistics and transportation will learn about business laws and theories and practical skills such as making the delivery of various goods faster and more efficient.

Most of the time, an online program to earn a master’s degree in supply chain management can be completed in two years by students attending full-time. Full-time students can also take accelerated programs that allow them to complete their coursework in as little as one year, while part-time students should expect their coursework to take three years or longer to complete.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in supply chain management degree program

  • Advanced Supply Chain Planning and Control: This course builds on students’ existing supply chain management knowledge by providing more detail about converting raw materials into finished goods for consumers. As part of this class, students will learn in-depth about the different aspects of the supply chain, from scheduling to inventory management.
  • Case Studies in Global Supply Chain and Logistics: This class teaches students about applying supply chain theories to various real-world scenarios. While this course emphasizes global logistics, its fundamentals can also help students address domestic supply chain issues.
  • Decision Models for Supply Chain: When it comes to supply chain management, there are many theories and modeling approaches to managing the chain more effectively. This course provides an overview of decision models used in supply chain management and how these models can help create the most optimal approach.
  • Project Management: This course prepares students for every step of the project management process, including manufacturing, R&D, resource management, construction, and more. Students will be ready to take the lead on any project related to the supply chain.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management?

Career outlook

Supply chain management is critical to the success of many businesses in today’s global marketplace. With the increasing need for efficient and cost-effective supply chains, there is strong demand for a variety of occupations related to this field.

Indeed, earning an online master’s degree in supply chain management becomes a gateway to many compelling career paths. Supply chain professionals play a pivotal role in optimizing processes, minimizing costs, and ensuring seamless operations from production to delivery. Here are some job options that can be undertaken by someone with a master’s in supply chain management:

  • Logistician — Manage an organization’s supply chain, overseeing activities such as product acquisition, inventory, and warehousing.
    • Median annual salary: $77,520
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 18%
    • New job openings projected: 21,800 annually
  • Wholesale or manufacturing sales representative — Identify prospective clients and supply bulk goods to corporations, government agencies, and other organizations.
    • Median annual salary: $67,750
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 1%
    • New job openings projected: 148,000 annually
  • Purchasing agent, buyer, or purchasing manager — Purchasing managers supervise the work of purchasing agents and buyers, who are responsible for evaluating suppliers and negotiating contracts on behalf of their employer.
    • Median annual salary: $75,120
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): -6%
    • New job openings projected: 45,000 annually

Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

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

To apply for an online master’s in supply chain management, students must first navigate to the university website. There, students can apply directly online or through an application portal. Either way, filling out the required fields and hitting “send” shouldn’t take too long. Still, it’s important to review the application for any required attachments, including test scores, transcripts, a cover letter, and letters of recommendation.

Students with questions about the application or application process should contact the school’s admissions office. There, they can get the answers they need and confirm that their submitted application is complete.

How much does an online master's in supply chain management degree program cost?

According to U.S. News & World Report, an online master’s in supply chain management typically costs between $12,000 and $50,000. Private schools are often much more expensive than public schools. Also, public schools tend to charge out-of-state students much more than in-state students. Those who put in the time to research all their options may able to achieve significant savings.

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

An online program for a master’s degree in supply chain management can typically be completed within two years by full-time students.

Those who enroll in an accelerated program will be able to complete all their coursework in only one year, while those who attend part-time may need three years or more. Ultimately, the most important thing for remote learners to do is to find an online program that offers coursework related to their career goals with the learning format and remote support necessary for academic success.

Is an online master's in supply chain management worth it?

Earning an online master’s in supply chain management may be worth it for many individuals. The demand for skilled professionals in this field is growing, opening up numerous opportunities for career advancement. This can be a lucrative field as well, with supply chain management positions often offering six-figure salaries.

Online programs offer flexibility, allowing individuals to pursue advanced education without disrupting their careers. This flexibility is crucial for working professionals seeking to enhance their skills and qualifications while balancing work and personal commitments. Online master’s programs often incorporate real-world case studies and collaborative projects, providing practical insights and networking opportunities that can directly impact one’s career.

For those considering a career change or seeking to move into managerial roles within the supply chain field, an online master’s degree offers a convenient and effective pathway. The flexibility to study from anywhere, coupled with the opportunity to learn from experienced faculty and industry experts, makes online education a valuable investment for anyone aspiring to excel in the dynamic and critical field of supply chain management.