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Students who graduate with a degree in supply chain management are qualified to pursue careers managing transportation, warehouses, logistics, inventory, distribution, fleets, and other areas related to storing, transporting, and distributing goods. They can also work as data analysts, supply chain analysts, and purchasing agents. Students can earn a supply chain management degree at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels. Often, a standard business degree such as a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) is available with a specialization in supply chain management.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median annual pay for logisticians in 2021 was $77,030, while purchasing managers earned an average yearly salary of $75,410.Those who reach the executive level can earn a median annual salary of $98,980.

Tuition costs of online supply chain management degree programs vary. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2021-22, average undergraduate tuition was $7,869 at public schools and $37,095 at private institutions. Graduate students can expect to pay an average of $12,394 at public universities and $26,621 at private schools.

Completing a bachelor’s degree takes approximately four years of full-time study, while most associate and master’s programs take two years. It can take three to five years to earn a doctorate.

How to Choose an Online Supply Chain Management Degree Program

Choose your area of study

Since those holding a degree in supply chain management can pursue several different lines of work, those interested in this degree should determine what kind of employment they’ll pursue after graduation when choosing an area of study. They may want to concentrate on a specific area, such as data analytics, logistics, cloud computing, predictive analytics, and financial management. Each program is different, so it’s important to look at the curriculum to see what courses are included and if they offer the education you need to meet your goals.

If you’re earning a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, you can choose a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in supply chain management.

Likewise, with a master’s degree, you can select a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in supply chain management.

Research schools and programs

You can do much of your research online, as most university websites have pages dedicated to their various academic programs. Gather as much information as possible about the curriculum, learning format, faculty, schedule, admissions requirements, credit transfer policy, and anything else to help you choose a school and program. You can contact a school directly by phone, email, or online inquiry form if you have additional questions. While you’re researching each school and program, take note of these factors as well:

  • Is the school accredited? Proper accreditation is essential. First, it means you’ll get a high-quality education. Also, it directly affects the financial aid you’re eligible for, as loans, grants, and scholarships are typically only given to those attending accredited schools. If you want to pursue more postsecondary education, most institutions of higher learning recognize only degrees from accredited schools. Finally, a degree from an accredited institution will open more doors when looking for work. Therefore, ensure any school you apply to is accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • What is the cost of the program? When doing research, check the price of each program first. You don’t need to read any further if the tuition is more than you plan to spend. Stay within your budget, but weigh tuition costs against other factors. Don’t choose a program simply because it’s the least expensive.
  • Where is the school located? University campuses are full of activities and events like student clubs and organizations, meet-and-greets, career fairs, and sporting events. They also have gyms and fitness centers, libraries, tutoring centers, and other services for students. Although you’ll learn online, you may want to take advantage of some of these things. Additionally, some programs are offered only in a hybrid format, where students attend some classes in person. So, the school’s location may be an important factor when choosing a program.
  • What is the learning format? Online programs are delivered in three forms — synchronous, asynchronous, and a combination. Asynchronous is a good choice if you have family or work obligations and plan to study evenings and weekends, as it gives you the most control over your schedule. A synchronous format requires that students attend classes on specific days and times. Some students prefer this format, as it helps them adhere to a schedule and communicate and collaborate more closely with other students and instructors. Hybrid programs combine the two, requiring attendance at some live classes and lectures. Determine which format is the best fit for you.

Prepare for tests and applications

Not all institutions have the same admissions requirements, so it’s important to check with each institution you’re applying to and confirm their requirements and procedures.

Applicants to associate and bachelor’s programs usually require a high school diploma or GED, and all transcripts should be submitted. Applicants to bachelor’s programs may also have to provide SAT or ACT scores. Check the school’s minimum GPA and test score requirements. You may also submit letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume.

Applicants to master’s programs must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Most universities require transcripts, a resume, a personal statement or essay, and one or more letters of recommendation from people who know the applicant professionally. Students may also need to submit GRE or GMAT scores, and previous work experience in the field is sometimes required as well.

Some schools offer rolling admissions, while others have specific deadlines for submitting applications. Students should submit applications and supporting documents following these policies.

Select your program

When your research is complete, review all the information you’ve gathered and decide which programs you’ll apply to. You may have a favorite, but don’t limit yourself to just one or two. At this point, you don’t know which schools will accept your application. List the programs you’d like to attend in order of preference and apply to them all. When you have letters of acceptance, choose the highest school on your list.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Speaking to a financial aid counselor in the school’s financial aid office is an excellent place to start. They can help students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools will use the information provided in the FAFSA to determine eligibility for financial aid like scholarships, grants, student loans, and work-study funding. Students should also explore other scholarship avenues, including community and religious organizations, nonprofits, and businesses.

Many schools offer payment plans that allow students to spread tuition over the term and military discounts for veterans and active-duty service members. Enrolling in a flexible online program can make it easier for students to work full- or part-time, which can help subsidize education costs. In many cases, employers may offer tuition assistance benefits to help students pay for school.

Best 50 Accredited Online Supply Chain Management Degree Programs

Best Online Supply Chain Management Degree Programs

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Florida International University

Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University

Bellevue University

Charleston Southern University

Temple University

Clayton State University

Northern Arizona University

Western Governors University

Baker College

Athens State University

Ball State University

California State University, East Bay

UMass Global

ECU College of Business

University of Arkansas

Southern Wesleyan University

Anderson University

Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Kennesaw State University

Marian University Wisconsin

Franklin University

Oregon Tech

Miami Dade College

Colorado Christian University

Metropolitan State University

Northern Kentucky University

Georgia Military College

Johnson & Wales University

Lindenwood University

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Colorado State University

Discover More Options

How We Rank Schools

Students can earn a variety of degrees in supply chain management (SCM), including Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Business Administration (MBA). The exact type of degree you seek will depend on your current level of education and your intended career path.

This list includes degrees delivered in different formats, including online, on-campus, and hybrid programs, to provide options for all lifestyles and learning preferences.

To assure quality, we only reviewed programs offered at regionally accredited schools. Many also have programmatic accreditation through organizations like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

We evaluated all programs based on their reputation, course strength, cost, faculty, and flexibility. Then, we assigned each program 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 Supply Chain Management Degree Program?

In this program, students learn the complex systems of sourcing, purchasing, transporting, storing, and distributing goods. They study supply relations and risk management principles and the software currently used in the industry. The program covers logistics, finance, economics, product development, and business operations, and students develop and hone their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Many programs also require an internship or other in-person learning experience, so you’ll need to find out what opportunities are available locally.

Online students receive coursework via an online learning management system (LMS), which gives them access to the course syllabus, class material, assignments, tests, grades, and more. They can chat with fellow students and instructors and view schedules and announcements via the LMS. Many universities use an LMS such as Blackboard, Canvas, D2L Brightspace, or Moodle, but some have their own proprietary systems. Once an applicant is officially enrolled, the university provides the needed software and instructions.

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

  • Global sourcing. This course teaches students about various sourcing environments and the components of the international distribution system. They learn multiple techniques for strategically sourcing goods and establishing and working with contacts abroad.
  • Fundamentals of contracting and acquisition. Students learn the principles, practices, and procedures related to acquisition. They also learn about contractor performance metrics, how to plan, execute, and manage contracts, how to manage disputes, and how to close out completed contracts.
  • Marketing logistics and distribution management. In this course, students analyze logistics environments and physical distribution systems. Coursework covers the flow of information and how to establish and control customer service levels.
  • Supply chain risk management. This course examines strategies to manage both everyday risks and those that arise due to exceptional circumstances. Students learn about risk response planning, reducing vulnerability, and maintaining continuity.

What Can I Do With an Online Supply Chain Management Degree?

Graduates with a supply chain management degree can fulfill a variety of duties to ensure the supply chain operates smoothly and efficiently, including procurement, distribution, transportation, scheduling, and more.

A bachelor’s degree in supply chain management demonstrates to potential employers that you understand the key logistics and principles that keep the supply chain running. This degree qualifies individuals for most entry- and mid-level positions. It also provides a solid foundation for graduate-level studies, such as an MBA in supply chain management, which can prepare individuals for management and executive roles.

Career outlook

With an online supply chain management degree, students can qualify for the following jobs:

  • Logistician — Oversee activities related to purchasing, transportation, inventory, and warehousing, including organizing the movement of goods, people, and equipment and implementing software systems that help them plan and track product movement.
    • Median annual salary: $77,520
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 18%
    • New jobs projected: 21,800 per year
  • Industrial production manager — Oversee the operations of plants, including coordinating, planning, and directing activities related to the manufacturing and shipping of various goods.
    • Median annual salary: $107,560
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 2%
    • New jobs projected:  15,300 per year
  • Purchasing manager — Plan and coordinate the work of buyers and purchasing agents and handle complex procurement tasks to maintain the supply chain for a company’s products or services.
    • Median annual salary: $71,950
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): -6%
    • New jobs projected: 45,000 per year

Online Supply Chain Management Degree Program Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online supply chain management degree program?

Most universities allow you to submit applications and supporting documents like transcripts, recommendations, and essays via their websites. Those interested in a bachelor’s program can fill out the Common Application, which lets them apply to several schools simultaneously instead of submitting separate applications for each. Before applying, students should confirm application requirements and procedures with the school’s admissions office.

How much does an online supply chain management degree program cost?

The cost for an online supply chain management degree varies depending on the institution and degree level. An online bachelor’s degree in supply chain management can cost between $36,000 and $64,000, while an online master’s costs between $12,000 and $50,000. Tuition for an online doctorate is $18,000 to $59,000. Students should also consider additional expenses like technology, books, and supplies. Tuition is typically lowest for in-state students at public universities. These schools may charge a higher tuition rate for out-of-state students or a flat-rate tuition for all online students.

How long does it take to earn an online supply chain management degree?

A bachelor’s degree typically requires about 120 credits; full-time students can complete it in four years. An associate or master’s degree takes about two years, and a doctorate takes three to five years. Students who transfer previously earned credits can shorten the time needed to complete a program, and some schools offer accelerated programs that can be finished in less time.

Is an online supply chain management degree worth it?

The education requirements for supply chain management positions vary, with some only requiring a high school diploma and related work experience. However, having a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management qualifies you for a broader range of roles, including those at the management level. Students who are interested in entering this field may also want to consider online degree programs in logistics, which focus on the movement and storage of goods within the supply chain.

From a financial perspective, having a bachelor’s degree can lead to higher salaries.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn a median weekly salary of $1,432, while those with no college degree earn $935. Supply chain management, specifically, is a lucrative career path, with top earners in the field making more than $128,000 per year.