Online Supply Chain Management Degree

To meet demand, many online colleges offer degree programs in supply chain management (SCM). As a supply chain manager, one helps to make the flow of goods and services smooth and profitable. If you want to use your skills to help business succeed, it may be useful to have a degree.

A degree in this field may prep you with the skills to manage and oversee the flow of goods, products and information. And, help you do this within and among businesses – local, national and global. One may typically find online supply chain management degrees at all levels. Bachelor’s, master’s and PhD. At each level, you may study the skills and methods used to link many moving parts.

A bachelor’s in supply chain management is typically introductory. This means that many programs frame key terms, theories and practices. Apart from these basics, grads may build solid skills in data analysis and logistics.

In a master’s or MBA with a focus in logistics and SCM, classes usually go deeper. They tend to look at strategy and how to make managerial decisions. As such, grads may take away a keen sense of admin and how to run operations. A doctorate degree in SCM is the highest award. With this in mind, programs look at ways to craft policy and tactics for a whole company. As a result, grads may gain solid analytical skills and an understanding of the global markets.

When searching, you may want to look for accredited online colleges. These tend to take part in state and federal financial aid. Eligible students often use student aid to reduce the cost of higher education. There’s also the fact that accredited schools often allow the transfer of credit hours between them.

Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management

An online bachelor’s in supply chain management is an entry level degree. Many online colleges offer either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS). And many may stack supply chain with logistics into one major. BAS programs are for students with an associate of science degree. As a result, they gear courses to advanced technical training. For example, you may receive assignments that you could practice in your workplace.

In contrast, a BS is for people who are new to studies in supply chain. In addition to SCM and logistics, they typically also cover general science topics, business and math. Many bachelor’s programs cover these topics in 120 credits. If you study full time, you may be able to graduate in 4 years or less, with transfer credits.

To apply for entry into an online BS – SCM program, you typicallyneed a high school diploma or its equal. And some schools likely want to see that you have an acceptable GPA. If this appeals to you, you could expect tuition to vary from one school to the next. With this in mind, DataUSA, lists the average cost of an in state public college as $7,023 for the 2017 academic year. But it is higher if you go out of state, as the average cost is $31,150.

Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management

An online master’s in supply chain management is a graduate level degree. As such it often covers topics in more detail and one of them is usually leadership. This may make it of interest to people who want to step into a corporate role.

Many online schools offer either an MS or MBA with a focus in SC mgmt., logistics and operations. There are a few differences in these degrees, so you should assess your own goals. An MS tends to cover SC from all sides. From current trends to what you need to know in an everyday role. As a result, it is the more technical of the two degrees.

In contrast, an MBA offers a solid base in admin with a handful of supply chain classes. Thus, it tends to build core business and project manager skills while also addressing logistics. Many course plans may cover these topics in from 30 to 36 credits. So, expect to need at least one year to fulfill them unless you study part time.

To apply for entry into an online MS or MBA – SCM program, you typically need a bachelor’s degree. Some schools may set approved majors, like business. Beyond this, you may need to meet a certain GPA, submit GRE or GMAT scores, references and have prior work experience. But these standards do vary.

Another thing that varies is tuition. According to the NCES, the average cost of a grad degree  in 2016-2017 was $11,617 and that’s if you attend a public school.

PhD in Supply Chain Management

An online PhD in supply chain mgmt. is the highest award. As a research degree, it often appeals to people who want to teach or lead in policy analysis. Many PhD programs focus on admin or management. So, you might research these areas to then circle back to supply chain with new insights for your dissertation. That said, there is an option to the PhD if you prefer a practical degree. It is a DBA degree which stands for Doctor of Business Administration.

As opposed to the academic research PhD, a DBA is more hands on. This means classes may be geared to executives and leaders. Things like business strategy and ways to use data to drive decisions. As  a result, they may appeal to people in senior corporate jobs, Ones who may want to boost skills for global business and trade. Either way, Many doctoral degrees entail from 48 credits and up. To complete these credits typically tends to take at least 3 years if not more.

To apply for entry into a PhD or DBA program, you usually tend to need a master’s degree or MBA. Many schools typically set approved majors and look at your GPA too. They may ask for a CV and references that speak to your level of dedication and see if you are a fit. Now, not all programs are fully online. Some entail a few short visits to campus. And these visits may enable you to interact, network and learn in real time.

What could I do with an Online Supply Chain Management Degree?

Once you graduate, an SC mgmt. degree may be useful for jobs in many new fields. For many logistics jobs, you may need at least a bachelor’s. Apart from that degree, some roles call for an extra credential. This could be a certification, master’s degree or MBA. If you plan to teach or research, you may need to earn a PhD too.

1. Supply Chain Managers

A SC manager tends to play a hands on role with vendors, sales and manufacturing teams. As they know how to problem solve,  typically need to have analytical skills too. Some of the things they may figure out include key supply chain KPIs and suggest ways to make processes run better. Aside from these skills, most jobs likely entail a bachelor’s degree.

2. Cost Estimator 

As the job title suggests, a cost estimator does math. More to the point, these pros collect and assess data. They do this to figure out what it costs to make a product or provide a service. and their process typically looks at a few things. Like time, money, materials and labor. Apart from software and analytic skills, the role likely entails a bachelor’s degree.

3. Logistician 

As a logistician, your role is to assess and join the parts of a business’ As a logistician, your role is to typically assess and join the parts of a business’ supply chain. Your skills could make a company more efficient, and deliver value to the end customer. And the ability to problem solve is a staple to almost every industry. One in systems engineering, business or SC mgmt.

4. Industrial Productions Manager 

The role of an industrial production manager is to oversee daily operations. These activities relate to manufacturing and related plants. As such, they typically direct the activities that create a wide range of goods. Cars are one example. Paper towels another. Apart from admin skills, many plant managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, if not an MBA.

5. Operations Research Analyst 

An operations research analyst typically  uses strong math skills to help businesses make decisions. Much of their work is with big data, modeling and statistics. As they know how to turn data into useable info, it helps managers know how to make supply chain decisions. Apart from an ability to use advanced tech, many employers prefer candidates with a master’s or PhD.

6. Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers 

A transport manager plans and oversees the movement of goods. Beyond this, they typically need to figure out things like storage and how to allot materials. And, must meet business policies, gov’t laws and other rules in the process. Apart from these skills, many jobs usually call for a high school diploma or bachelor’s degree.

7. Project Manager 

If you love to organize, either a project manager (PM) or coordinator role might be perfect. While the role of a PM varies, it tends to entail strong logistics skills. For one, to track costs, timelines, labor, materials and other project specific needs. And for another, to keep teams engaged and clients satisfied. Apart from these skills, many sectors look for workers with a bachelor’s degree and industry credential.

8. Purchasing Manager  

Buyers and purchasing managers typically buy and sell products and services for businesses to use or resell. As a result, they tend to be the ones to negotiate contracts. And, often have to check quality, price and speed of delivery. Besides knowing their way around financial reports, Many have a bachelor’s degree.

Is a Degree in Supply Chain Management worth it?

Supply chain expertise may provide useful skills and opportunity. Logistics jobs show promise of faster than average growth, depending on the sector. Per the BLS, if you have supply chain skills, the future may hold promise. One reason is that more companies need to move products around the globe. As such, they predict 4% more jobs for logistics workers by 2029. Notably, these jobs tend to yield median annual wages ($74,600 average) well above the norm ($38,640) for all other occupations.  

Cost estimators typically help to ensure a company makes a profit. These skills are very useful which means higher demand for their services. And demand may be highest for those who have skills in one of two areas. Building info modeling or computer aided design (CAD). In fact, per the BLS.gov there may be 4% more jobs by 2029. And many may be in the construction industry.

If you prefer to use your analytic skills in operations, according to BLS, the forecast is 25% more jobs for operations research analysts by 2029. They attribute this to the strong need to turn big data into valuable info. And that this may drive decisions in business, health care and beyond.  

Supply Chain Management Degree Jobs & Salary

Occupation Median Annual Wage Jobs
Cost Estimator $65,250 217,400
Logistician $74,750 174,900
Operations Research Analyst $84,810 109,700
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager $102,850 124,810

Top States for Jobs as a Logisticians

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
CA 20,980 $84,260
TX 14,340 $86,500
IL 8,170 $67,490
MI 8,120 $80,150
VA 7,810 $86,230

What classes could I take with an Online Supply Chain Management Degree? 

SCM classes typically study the networks that businesses use to get, produce and deliver goods. As you might guess, a supply chain begins with a supplier of raw materials. These raw materials go to a manufacturer who makes them into something useful (goods).

Once the goods are ready, they go to a wholesaler, or ‘middleman’. This process stores the finished products before a retailer buys them to sell to clients. Naturally, there are many steps to manage. Like operations, purchasing, inventory and transport.

Alongside, there are likely topics that touch on how to streamline these flows. And classes in finances that discuss ways to lower company costs. It is likely you may study many of these topics in an online supply management program. Yet each level of degree is likely to do this in a unique way. Below are some of the classes you may find at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels.

Bachelor’s Degree Courses 

A BS in supply chain entails at least 120 units of credit. Among the credits are ones for a major, any general education classes and any liberal arts college set topics. In general, core courses for your major start with an overview of both logistics and supply chain. Topics like transport, buying, selling and cost. At the same time, your program is likely to cover business courses. More to the point, areas like operations, statistics, finance and human resources. As you study these areas, you may build skills. Things like being able to work with others and communicate. All while growing a critical thinking mind set. Here are a few sample topics you might find in an undergrad study plan.

Operations Management and Quantitative Techniques

Students in this type of course may focus on relevant quantitative techniques that are often used in areas of accounting and business. They may learn topics such as elementary probability theory and application. Topics range widely but may also include decision theory as well as linear programming aspects.

Quality Management for Organizational Excellence

This type of course often looks at quality control. It may also include concepts for enhancing services, goods, and the business environment as a whole through procedures. Students may often focus on customer focused processes that impact quality. They may learn about designing, monitoring, and controlling various aspects of business as it relates.

Principles of Microeconomics

The focus in this course often is to learn about consumer equilibrium and market structure. You also may learn about how microeconomics impacts supply chain as well as overall business development and management.

Supply Management

This is an upper level course in business programs with this focus. In it, you often learn the practice of supply/warehouse management. You may learn how it applies to business. You may learn about procurement, the total cost of ownership, as well as other topics. Also, you may learn how to negotiate contracts with organizational objectives.

Graduate Degree Courses

An MS entails at least 30 units of credit (many go up to 36). Some of the staple coursework cover key aspects. Like global sourcing, production and logistics. And others may touch on real world ways to manage people, process, budget and networks. You may find another set of courses in business analytics. These tend to provide models for forecasting. So, as you study these areas, you may hone skills as a decision maker. Some business schools may also cover finance and accounting.

An online PhD course plan is both broad and deep. Broad because it covers the field from all sides. And deep because you tend to build expertise in an area like management. Alongside, you may take many research courses with faculty members as mentors. As the goal is to write and defend your own theory, many programs walk you through these steps. Things like how to collect data, analyze and present it in clear terms.

As mentioned, online learning for DBA programs differ. They often focus on how to apply data to decisions. As opposed to coming up with the data like in a PhD. This means you may look at management issues. And, how to solve them with proven tactics and tools. Here are a few sample topics you might find in an online graduate degree in supply chain mgmt. study plan.

Project Management

This type of master program may focus on modern PM method. It may also cover topics related to aligning projects to an organization’s mission, vision, and values. You may learn how to do this using a variety of tools and methods. There may also be group work that allows students to use hands on methods to develop these skills.

Quantitative and Qualitative Decision Making

This type of class often looks at organizational behavior. It may also study the ways this impacts decisions and policies in companies. This may include topics related to goal setting and the overall planning process. You may learn concepts of prediction of outcomes, cost and benefit analysis, and risk assessment.

Operations Management

This type of course typically focuses on the understanding of business processes and how this impacts a company’s performance. You may learn to think like an operations manager. And, how to use various tools to analyze efforts in place. You may also learn how to improve processes. The focus is often on service and manufacturing sectors.

Strategic Logistics Management

This course often looks at methods used today in the logistics and transportation industry. You may learn applied problem solving methods. You may learn about making decisions in areas of warehousing, distribution centers, and transportation management. Plus, the information technology used to link all these areas.

How long does it take to earn a Supply Chain Management Degree online?

It may take four years to earn a bachelor’s in supply management online. Although if you have an associate degree or military credits, you may save time. After you graduate, you may need one to two years to earn a master’s or MBA. And, another 2 to 8 years for a PhD. It all depends on your course load and if you study full or part time.

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
Athens State University Bachelors 124 3 24
Florida State University Bachelors 120 3 20
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Bachelors 120 12 24
Rutgers University Masters 30 3 12
Ohio University MBA 35 3 24
Georgia College /td> Masters 30 1 (Fall) 12
Walden University DBA 103 QC Multiple 38
Liberty University DBA 60 Multiple 36
Capella University DBA 82 QC Multiple 36

15 Online Supply Chain Management Degrees

Below is a curated list of 15 online colleges with supply chain management degrees at all levels. Our methods use data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Use it to narrow school search results within the United States.

  1. Athens State University 
  2. Florida State University 
  3. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University 
  4. Southern New Hampshire University   
  5. Northern Arizona University 
  6. Rutgers University  
  7. Ohio University    
  8. Georgia College     
  9. Portland State University 
  10. Wright State University    
  11. Walden University     
  12. Liberty University 
  13. Capella University
  14. Colorado Technical University
  15. University of Maryland Global Campus 

FIND AN ONLINE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT DEGREE

Here is a more detailed look at the supply chain management degrees these online colleges offer.  


ASU offers an online BSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Mgmt. (LSM). It often entails 124 credits and includes a wide range of classes. Some are classes in statistics, law and accounting as they relate to business. And others focus more on managerial practices specific to supply chain. These help you learn reliable, cost effective ways to source services and goods. Plus, all about inventory, customer care and demand forecasting. Other sample topics are:

  • Intro to acquisition and contract management  Business Law
  • Management of info systems 
  • Logistics and supply chain strategy 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,360
Grad $13,224
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,341

Average Net Price:
N/A

2

Florida State University

Bachelor of Applied Science in Logistics

Online


FSU offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Logistics. It often entails 120 credits and covers supply chain as well as logistics. As a result, some classes may look at managerial practices for each network with the chain. Then there are others that touch on tactics, transport, purchasing and finance. These aim to build a set of decision skills that apply to operations. Other sample topics are:

  • Global operations management 
  • Strategic transportation 
  • Purchasing

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $18,786
Grad $25,985
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,685

Average Net Price:
$12,568

3

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management

Online


Embry Riddle offers an online Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management. It often entails 120 credits and there may be monthly start dates. In terms of courses, core topics typically draw from business and SCM with a focus on the aviation sector. As such you may study process, metrics, operations and staff solutions. Plus, there may be other topics to you grow as a manager. Like finance, statistics and strategy. Other sample topics are:

  • Management of Air Cargo 
  • Logistics management for aviation / aerospace 
  • Transportation 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $36,868
Grad $19,156
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$15,688

Average Net Price:
$36,063


SNHU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Operations Management. It entails 120 credits and comes with a focus in logistics and transportation. As such, it typically looks at the flow of moving and storing supplies, work in progress and finished goods. You may also learn to use spreadsheets, manage projects and supply chains. Plus, there may be specific logistics classes that discuss risk, inventory and more. Other sample topics are:

  • Integrated SCM 
  • Reverse logistics 
  • Sustainable operations 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $31,136
Grad $18,810
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,913

Average Net Price:
$39,743


NAU offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. It entails 120 credits has a practical focus. As such, there may be a wide range of logistics classes. Plus, others that may cover business, liberal studies and teamwork. To help you gain IT skills, there may be classes in network analysis too. Other sample topics are:

  • Global logistics 
  • Strategic logistics 
  • Sustainable logistics 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $26,516
Grad $20,338
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$9,960

Average Net Price:
$14,236

6


Rutgers offers an online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management. It typically entails 30 credits and you may finish in one year or up to 8. Beyond these features, the program usually takes a deep dive into SCM. Above all, it may look at strategy, finance, and global logistics. At the same time, other courses may cover risk and operations, so you may gain analytic skills too. Other sample topics are:

  • Lean Six Sigma 
  • Global procurement
  • B2B marketing 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $32,189
Grad $32,391
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$12,941

Average Net Price:
$16,873


Ohio U offers an online MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management. It typically entails 35 credits and there is one Leadership Development Program residency. So, all in all, you may need about two years to finish. Beyond these features is the classes may help you develop the skills to assess and address business risks. Plus, you likely study ways to improve SCM methods with a Lean Sigma Six course. Other sample topics are:

  • Supply chain risk management 
  • Operations and project management 
  • Management of Lean Six Sigma programs   

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $8,666
Grad N/A
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,958

Average Net Price:
$7,853


Georgia College offers an online Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. It typically entails 30 credits and you enter as a cohort in the Fall. Aside from this you may take two courses each semester and they are usually in a lock step sequence. To that point, you typically take core classes in LSCM and electives that broaden this base with IT skills. Other sample topics are:

  • SCM strategy 
  • IT project management 
  • Integrated accounting  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $28,710
Grad $20,868
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,545

Average Net Price:
$20,823

9

Portland State University 

Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management

Online


PSU offers an online Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management. It typically entails 45 credits and takes about 18 months to complete. The program also features approval by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Beyond this, classes may take a systems approach and focuses on key aspects of the global supply chain. Like markets, channels, sourcing logistics and analytics. Other sample topics are:

  • Sustainable end of life closed loop processes 
  • Global leadership 
  • Cost accounting for global SCM  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $28,410
Grad $19,347
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,253

Average Net Price:
$12,710


WSU offers an online Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. It typically entails 33 credits and is a one year cohort program with some on campus intensives. You may also need at least 3 years work experience (E.g. in logistics, SCM, operations or IT) to enroll. Apart from these features, the program usually studies LSCM in depth with all courses devoted to your major and a capstone. In them, you likely study strategy, performance, global logistics and SCM management. Other sample topics are:

  • Info tech and supply chain 
  • SCM design 
  • Total quality management 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $18,996
Grad $24,286
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,555

Average Net Price:
$15,251


Walden offers an online Doctor of Business Administration with a focus in Global Supply Chain Management. It typically entails up to 103 quarter credits, two residencies and at least 3.3. years to complete. As the focus is on business admin, many courses relate to strategy and org’al leadership. You may also study ways to gain a competitive edge in the global market place. Beyond this, you may take research classes to build skills in analysis. Other sample topics are:

  • Global SCM 
  • IT for competitive edge 
  • Multi cultural management 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,150
Grad $12,539
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,900

Average Net Price:
N/A


Liberty typically offers an online Doctor of Business Administration with a focus in supply chain management and logistics. It entails 60 credits and may take about 3 years to complete. Apart from that, it is 100 % online unless you opt to take part in on campus intensives. Beyond these features, the program gears classes around global markets and tools for leaders. Other sample topics are:

  • Operations management 
  • Total quality management 
  • SCM and logistics 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $22,747
Grad $8,400
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,550

Average Net Price:
$28,181


Capella offers an online Doctor of Business Administration with a focus in Global Operations and Supply Chain Management. It  typically entails 82 quarter credits and a few built in residencies. Apart from these features, the classes usually stress managerial functions. Above all, things like marketing, sales, product and inventory, staff and client care. As a result, you may learn how to manage relationships with suppliers as well as design a global network. Other sample topics are:

  • Financial decision making 
  • Global supply chain design 
  • Marketing in a connected world 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,540
Grad $15,233
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,781

Average Net Price:
$17,368

14

Colorado Technical University

Doctor of Management in Global Leadership

Online


CTU offers an online Doctor of Management in Global Leadership. It typically entails 100 credits and there may be three start dates during the year. As the main focus is management, you likely study theory, ethics and also ways to make tactical decisions. You may also learn how to apply action research and there are classes about consulting as well as strategy. Other sample topics are:

  • Organization innovation and scenario thinking   
  • Leadership in global organizations   
  • Advanced career strategies   

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,529
Grad $14,121
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,039

Average Net Price:
$16,260

15

University of Maryland Global Campus

Doctor of Business Administration

Online


UMGC offers an online Doctor of Business Administration. It typically entails 48 credits and is for executive level students. Because it is a DBA, the focus in usually on management theory and strategy. Then through applied research, you may also learn to problem solve and lead successful change. As a result, the program may help you gain practical skills you might be able to apply in your job. Other sample topics are:

  • Research as a tool for decisions    
  • Producing original management ideas 
  • Data analytics in practice    

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,336
Grad $12,132
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,659

Average Net Price:
$14,635

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.