supply chain

Graduate Certificate in
Supply Chain Management

Program summary

Gain the skills you need to maximize the efficiency of your organization’s supply chain. This fully online program can help you learn to develop supply chain solutions as you gain an understanding of how companies use networks to acquire, produce, and deliver goods and services domestically and worldwide.

Application deadline

Apply by July 20 to start August 26

Credits and costs

12 Credits $1,132 per credit

Earn a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management

Organizations in virtually every industry rely on supply chain managers to oversee some of the most essential processes to keep their businesses moving in a global marketplace. Synchronizing the flow of products, information, and funds is becoming increasingly complex with products that move across continents daily and deadlines that directly affect a company’s profitability.

Supply chain management and logistics professionals are increasingly part of their organization’s strategic management teams. As a result, they often can benefit from additional education and credentials to assist them in their current position or to advance their careers.

Penn State’s online Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management can give you the ability to develop supply chain solutions for your organization as you gain an understanding of how companies use supply chain networks to acquire, produce, and deliver goods and services domestically and worldwide.

The Penn State Difference

This program is AACSB Accredited

As a student in Penn State’s online Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management, you can learn from the same faculty who teach in Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, highly ranked in supply chain education and AACSB accredited. You will study:

  • supply chain strategy and network design
  • purchasing and negotiations
  • inventory cost analysis, planning, and control
  • performance measurement
  • information technology and decision support
  • transportation systems operation and third-party logistics services providers

A comprehensive industry report released by Gartner, Inc. ranks Penn State’s supply chain program as a top graduate supply chain program in the United States. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranks the Penn State Smeal College of Business supply chain/logistics graduate program as one of the best in the nation. Penn State’s Smeal College of Business is AACSB accredited and employers consistently recognize the very high quality of this program.

Who Should Apply?

The Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management is designed for working logistics professionals who want to gain the knowledge and skills needed to maximize the efficiency of their respective organization's supply chain. Although many individuals in the program have supply chain experience, the program is also appropriate if your education and/or experience may be in disciplines such as the sciences, engineering, or the liberal arts.

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.

Online Education at Penn State

Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.


Set Yourself Apart

The Penn State Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management curriculum consists of four courses designed to build your competence across the foundations of supply chain management. Courses are offered in a convenient online format that gives you the flexibility of learning from your home or office on your own time, while connecting with supply chain peers around the world.

Your Life, Your Schedule

You'll have the ability to study when and where it is convenient for you because the courses are delivered entirely online. You'll communicate with classmates and instructors using a variety of communication tools and applications, including bulletin boards, email, listservs, chat, and web conferencing.

Applied Knowledge

In addition to providing a flexible schedule, online delivery allows you to apply the knowledge you gain to your current job on a daily basis. This online program allows you to improve your learning experience and your company's bottom line each day as you put theory into practice.

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3

    Introduction to the core concepts of the strategic supply chain management framework, including process orientation, a systems viewpoint, intra-frim coordination, and extended enterprise collaboration.

  • 3

    Performance metrics used in supply chain management, both within the enterprise and across the extended enterprise.

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      SCM 800

  • 3

    Selecting, evaluating, and determining the nature of relationships with suppliers from the buyer's perspective within the context of industry and market knowledge. Additionally, understanding ethical conduct in business organizations.

    • Prerequisite

      SCM 800

  • 3

    Best principles and practices for production management as well as tools and models for demand forecasting and inventory management, particularly as it relates to the fulfillment of demand for finished goods.

    • Prerequisite

      SCM 800

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester? Cost
11 or fewer $1,132 per credit
12 or more $13,587 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester? Cost
11 or fewer $1,143 per credit
12 or more $13,723 per semester

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Applications are accepted year-round for the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management program. Students may begin the program in either the fall or spring semester.

  • Fall DeadlineApply by July 20 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

The certificate program curriculum is designed for working supply chain management professionals. Accordingly, successful applicants will have, before the start of their first semester, at least two years' post-baccalaureate work experience in supply chain management or a closely allied field. Additionally, prospective students should have Microsoft Office Excel skills, knowledge of business statistics, and an understanding of basic accounting and microeconomic terms and principles.

Students who require additional training are encouraged to enroll in preparatory courses prior to entrance into the program. For more information on prerequisites, please send an email to [email protected].

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State but must list Penn State as part of their academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GMAT/GRE test scores are not required.

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Résumé — Upload your résumé (one to two pages) to the online application. You may also submit your résumé by email to [email protected] with the following subject line: Resume for the Certificate Program – your last name, your first name.

Statement of purpose — Applicants must describe how their professional experience and goals align with the supply chain management certificate. Please do not exceed 500 words.

Short-form Responses — You will be asked to complete a brief series of questions relative to specific professional and educational experiences.

Start Your Application

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

Begin the graduate school application

  • Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission" or "Certificate Admission" 'Degree' or 'Certificate' varies based on program
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
  • Choose "Supply Chain Management" as the certificate

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by July 20 to start August 26. How to Apply

Start or Advance Your Career

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You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Your Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management can equip you for a variety of careers in the supply chain industry or in supply chain management positions in virtually any industry. You can prepare for positions such as:

  • supply chain program manager
  • logistics manager
  • purchasing manager
  • industrial production manager
  • retail solutions manager
  • product supply lead
  • import operations specialist
  • export specialist

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

A Head Start toward a Master’s Degree

A figure standing halfway up a set of stairs leading towards a graduation cap

Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full master’s degree.

Degree Program Related to This Certificate

In addition to being an excellent stand-alone credential, all of the courses in the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management can be applied toward the following program, if you are accepted into that program:

Study proven theory, industry best practices, and new technologies in supply chain management. For the past decade, this program has ranked as a top graduate supply chain program in the U.S. by Gartner, Inc.

Learn more about the Master of Supply Chain Management  

Contact Us

To learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management program, please contact:

Penn State Smeal College of Business
Professional Graduate Programs Office
Phone: (814) 865-5290
Email: [email protected] 

For general questions about the application process, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: (814) 863-5386
Email: [email protected]


  • Norm Aggon

    • Degree
      MBA, James Madison University,
    • Degree
      B.S., Mining Engineering, Penn State

    Norm Aggon has 26 years of experience in various executive and supply chain management positions, including work for Pfizer, Engelhard and Tarmac, Ltd., and Chemstone Corporations.

  • David Huff

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Business Administration, University of Rochester
    • Degree
      M.S., Mathematics, Brigham Young University
    • Degree
      B.A., Mathematics, Utah State University

    Dr. David Huff is clinical professor of supply chain management and director of Online Graduate Programs in Supply Chain Management. Previously, he held visiting professorships at NYU and Utah. He teaches supply chain management, operations management, business statistics, and management science for undergraduate, graduate, and executive students. He consistently receives top ratings and teaching awards, receiving the award for best MBA Supply Chain Professor in 2017.

  • Susan B. Purdum

    • Degree
      MBA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Degree
      B.S., Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, Penn State

    Susan B. Purdum, CTL, is a senior instructor of supply chain management and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR). After an extensive industry career in engineering, manufacturing, logistics, and consulting, she joined CSCR to lead research efforts in supply chain and design course content for executive education. She now teaches and specializes in strategic procurement, supplier development, and supply chain strategy and transformation.

Penn State Smeal Advantage

More options, greater flexibility and a commitment to lifelong learning

The desire for knowledge and professional growth spans a lifetime. That is why the Penn State Smeal College of Business offers a portfolio of professional graduate programs for all stages of your career. In partnership with Penn State World Campus, Smeal makes it easy to customize a learning plan to your unique career aspirations and busy schedule. Penn State Smeal offers you a lifetime of learning with more concentrations and one of the most integrated, flexible offerings of online and residential programs in the United States.

Penn State Business building

An entire team dedicated to your success

Personal advising — Our experts will explain the many options that Penn State Smeal offers and will help you refine your career strategy and craft the educational experience best suited to your interests. It all starts with a simple, but critical question: “What are your goals?” 

Career coaching* — Our Alumni Career Services team will support you across all career stages with professional advancement opportunities and coaching to help you stay focused on achieving your goals.

Delivering the best of online and in-person learning for a rich educational experience

We understand that today’s professional learners want meaningful discussion and interaction with faculty and classmates along with the technologies and flexible approaches of contemporary online learning. By aligning the best of both worlds, we bring richness, depth, and diversity to the overall educational experience.

Courses designed to engage and motivate the professional student

Creative Teams consisting of a lead faculty member, a Teaching Support Specialist (TSS), and an Instructional Designer use advanced analytics to develop and deliver contemporary graduate courses that promote application and engagement. We strive to innovate in ways that others don’t. 

A real-world perspective

  • Industry professionals inside the virtual classroom — Many of Penn State Smeal’s courses feature industry professionals who have been in the trenches and work hard to make an impact every day. These individuals, most of whom hold a Smeal graduate degree, partner with our renowned faculty to provide a rich academic context with real-world application.
  • Global immersion* — This unique, optional experience will enhance your ability to communicate cross-culturally, adapt to evolving business environments, and manage the risks and benefits of operating on a global scale. Any student pursing a full degree from Smeal may participate in this optional, faculty-led experience for elective credit. Previous destinations have included Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Prague, Czech Republic; Santiago, Chile; and Zagreb, Croatia.

One of the largest and most influential networks in the country

At Penn State, you are part of a worldwide community of instructors, learners, and more than 750,000 alumni who support one another and make a meaningful impact. 

More than 90,000 Smeal alumni benefit from connections around the globe as well as networking events, podcasts, webinars, a powerful LinkedIn community, and opportunities for volunteerism.

Impact Smeal Day — This day provides alumni and professional graduate students with the opportunity to come to campus and interact with current students, network with other alumni, gain professional insights, and hear about college initiatives. The day is designed so that you can sign up for the sessions that work for your schedule.

* Services are available only to students and alumni of Penn State Smeal’s degree programs and online degrees led by Smeal and delivered through the World Campus. Students and alumni of online graduate certificates are not eligible to receive these benefits unless they are also enrolled in a degree program.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by July 20 to start August 26. How to Apply