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Master ofSupply Chain Management

Program summary

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

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

30 Credits$1,132 per credit

Nationally Recognized

US News and World Report graduate business badge
Select graduate business programs are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Gain the Skills Needed to Solve Complex Supply Chain–Related Problems

  • Design and manage an effective supply chain and apply supply chain analytics.

  • Conduct demand forecasting, aggregate planning, and sales and operations planning for a supply chain.

  • Understand the implications of supply chain initiatives in terms of key financial performance metrics.

  • Recognize and evaluate supply chain vulnerabilities and formulate approaches to mitigate supply chain risk.

  • Assess fundamental dimensions of logistics strategy, innovation, transformation, and organizational leadership.

  • Develop the cross-functional business savvy needed for business success.

Supply Chain Management Online Courses

This online 30-credit master’s program allows for a higher degree of customization, so you can do more than explore best practices and new technologies in supply chain management — you can focus on the practical applications of knowledge and analytical techniques.

All courses are asynchronous, meaning you are not required to log in at a particular time each week. Optional synchronous discussions, however, will be available for those students who prefer a higher level of engagement.

Each course in the degree program includes small-group projects to encourage peer interaction and to build a learning community among the online learners. These projects simulate real-world business environments, where individuals frequently work in small teams to solve problems. Online discussions are also utilized, allowing learning from the broad variety of experience had amongst the students.

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    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
    credits

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

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      SCM 800

  • 3
    credits

    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
    credits

    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

The four required courses also meet the requirements for the 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management. If you would like to add this credential to your transcript and have questions about the application process, please contact the program office at [email protected] for assistance.

Advanced Courses (12 credits)

Once a student completes the core courses, s/he is eligible to take the advanced courses and electives below, in any order and based on course availability.

  • 3
    credits

    Methods and tools to support supply chain decision making with emphasis on forecasting, inventory analysis, and demand planning.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores emerging supply chain management issues for which established literature is still being reviewed.

  • 3
    credits

    Design and management of supply chain networks, emphasizing the alignment of supply chain networks with corporate competitive strategy.

    • Prerequisite

      SCM 801, SCM 822, and SCM 842

  • 3
    credits

    Strategic supply chain transformation and innovation with emphasis on (re)configuration of key capabilities to achieve competitive advantages.

    • Prerequisite

      SCM 801, SCM 822, and SCM 842

Electives (select 6 credits)

Select any two courses from the full Smeal Professional Graduate Programs portfolio to personalize your degree. Courses may be taken at any time throughout the program, based on availability. Courses may be added or removed to meet market demand, so the following list may change over time. As a reminder, credit from select courses may double count toward requirements for a graduate certificate in that discipline. Please email the program office at [email protected] with questions.

Supply Chain Management Electives

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to new business models and sustainable design principles for reinventing products and services to drive business value while reducing environmental and social impact, sourcing raw materials and working effectively with suppliers to safeguard labor and human rights and protect and restore natural resources, and managing total cost and risk. Special focus on circular economy strategies and closed loop supply chains.

  • 3
    credits

    Alignment of supplies with the strategic needs and direction of the organization.

  • 3
    credits

    A detailed review of concepts, tools, and strategies for managing global manufacturing and service operations.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores how to identify, assess, and implement strategies and tactics for managing supply chain risk by building and maintaining resiliency in the supply chain.

    • Prerequisite

      SCM 800

Other Electives

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of the internal organizational accounting procedures that establish accountability within organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Enhances the student's ability to deal with the complexities of ethical decision making in today's dynamic business environment by clarifying and applying personal values.

  • 3
    credits

    Delivers an overview of the difference between traditional (distributive) bargaining and interest-based (or integrative) negotiations; learn to identify their own and others' interests, to create and claim value, and to craft constructive agreements for all parties.

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the development and application of business architecture as a holistic discipline that produces a common understanding of the organization that is used to align strategic objectives and tactical initiatives.

  • 3
    credits

    Presents a senior executive perspective on the key opportunities and challenges faced by business leaders; includes discussions on the changing context for setting strategy and leading organizations in an evolving business environment.

  • 3
    credits

    Emphasizes identity issues that are critical to understanding individual and collective processes in organizational life.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the use of descriptive analytics concepts, tools, and techniques throughout a wide range of business scenarios and problems.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the use of predictive analytics tools and techniques throughout a wide range of business scenarios and problems; includes a subset of methods such as neural networks, machine learning, social media analytics, and more.

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the process of launching a new venture, in a corporate setting or as a new start-up, including identifying a problem or market opportunity, developing business models, forming a team, financing, analyzing markets, assessing the competitive environment, and planning to acquire leadership talent.

  • 3
    credits

    Surveys emerging trends and disruptors in technology and industry that create new markets and influence decision-making, product development, business models, and business practices associated with innovation.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the methods used to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in a corporate setting, with a special emphasis on how organizations foster creativity, innovation, and new venture creation.

  • 3
    credits

    Integrating multiple functional business areas to resolve global business problems and improve organizational performance.

  • 3
    credits

    Accounting rules, practices, and applications that characterize the accounting presentations that for-profit organizations provide to the public.

  • 3
    credits

    Overview of human behavior in organizations, and implications for managing and leading individuals, teams, and organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Application of techniques available to aid managers in sound financial decision making.

  • 3
    credits

    Examining strategic issues in marketing, including analysis, planning, and implementation.

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding, exploring, and applying innovation-related concepts, principles, and practices to corporate environments involved with new venture creation and other contexts.

  • 3
    credits

    Aims to provide students with a toolkit that will allow them to diagnose individual and organizational source of power and influence as well as an array of tactics by which power and influence are wielded.

  • 3
    credits

    An overview of the economic, social, and environmental drivers of the transformation to sustainable business models and practices; identification of best practices and frameworks for assessing organizational engagement with sustainability; development of a strategic sustainability plan.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces the theory and practice of negotiation in a variety of settings, with specific emphasis on multiparty context; the course will allow students to develop these skills experientially and to understand negotiation in useful analytical frameworks.

    • Prerequisite

      BA 805

  • 3
    credits

    Addresses the managerial challenge of strategy implementation, particularly by examining the organizational elements that must be drawn into line to support a strategy, as well as the immense difficulties of changing an organization.

  • 3
    credits

    Emphasizes how leading across differences and diversity is a core leadership competency in organizations today.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an understanding of key issues, concepts, and methodologies associated with business transformation and management consulting; helps students identify and define organization problems, highlight pain points, map workflows, explore business models, investigate strategic alignment, develop recommendations, present business cases, and deliver prototype solutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the methods and tools commonly used in the practice of management consulting and is intended for students interested in working in this field or working in organizations that hire management consultants.

  • 3
    credits

    Prepares students with the knowledge and skills to gather data that is credible, targeted, and actionable; covers techniques and tools for gathering quantitative and qualitative data, including sampling, questionnaire design and administration, experiments for ad and product testing, and interview guides for focus groups.

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of applied marketing analytics, including marketing data sources, data quality, software, and fundamentals of statistics. Special focus on translating data into meaningful business insights and strategy.

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.

Advance Your Career

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Organizations in virtually every industry, including nonprofit and government sectors, use supply chains in their daily operations. 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.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

As logistics and global supply chain management networks become increasingly complex, professionals like you are enhancing their skills, hoping to earn a place at the strategic leadership table. Gain the higher-order skills and abilities to think collectively about the people, processes, and technologies required for world-class integrated supply chain management.

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Global Logistics Analyst
  • Global Supply Chain Director
  • Logistics Director
  • Logistics Management Analyst
  • Supply Chain Analyst

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Logisticians

18.3%
employment growth (10 years)
202,970
total employment

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

8.2%
employment growth (10 years)
169,910
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

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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 

Ready to Learn More?

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

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.

Penn State Smeal Advantage

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Smeal College of Business is committed to being your partner in lifelong learning. Smeal offers programs, support, and resources for every career stage and life circumstance that will prepare you not only for your next great opportunity but also for the one after that.

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.

Earn a Valuable Credential along the Way

A figure walking on a path that includes a certificate part of the way through their progress

You don't have to wait until graduation to update your résumé. The degree curriculum is uniquely structured to give working professionals like you the opportunity to earn one or more graduate certificates while in pursuit of the master's degree.

Certificate Programs Related to This Degree

You can earn the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management after taking the initial required courses from the degree program. You also have the freedom to pair elective courses together by topic to potentially meet most of the requirements for a second graduate certificate in one of many in-demand disciplines, including: 

  • accounting foundations 
  • business analytics 
  • business architecture 
  • business sustainability strategy 
  • corporate innovation and entrepreneurship 
  • strategic leadership 

The following certificates can be earned while completing this degree program:

Gain the skills you need to maximize the efficiency of your organization’s supply chain. This 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.

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management

Learn to create a more secure supply chain using industry-proven strategies for managing interruptions as well as tactics for mitigating risks.

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Risk Management

AACSB Accredited

This program is AACSB Accredited

The Penn State Smeal College of Business is AACSB accredited, an honor reserved for the top 5% of business schools worldwide. This program is competitively priced compared to other AACSB–accredited programs.

Engagement Opportunities

Our required residency has been replaced with optional engagement opportunities. You may choose to earn your degree without ever setting foot on campus or take advantage of special events so you can network with faculty and peers at the University Park campus.

Set Your Own Pace

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Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). The majority of students finish the program in 20–28 months.

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

Information for Military and Veterans

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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, and application instructions.

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by April 15 to start May 13
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by July 20 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

Due to the course offering schedule, students who begin in the summer semester must start with one or two of their elective classes needed for the program.

Steps to Apply

  1. 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 master's degree curriculum is designed for working professionals with at least two years of post-baccalaureate work experience in business, engineering, or science. Applicants must possess a strong quantitative background.

  2. 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 your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

    Test Scores — GRE/GMAT 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

    Vita or Résumé — A one- to two-page listing of your professional experience and education. Applicants should have at least 2 years of relevant work experience.

    Statement of Purpose — Describe how your professional experience and goals align with the Master of Supply Chain Management program. This statement should be approximately two pages in length and indicate why the applicant is applying to the program.

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

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. 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.

    • Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
    • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus

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

    Technical Requirements  
    Review the technical requirements for this degree program. 

    Acceptance Process
    Students applying to the Master of Supply Chain Management (MSCM) degree program must be admitted by both the MSCM program and the Graduate School at Penn State. The Graduate School will notify the applicant whether or not they meet the Graduate School requirement for a baccalaureate degree. Please note, however, that acceptance to the Graduate School is not the same as acceptance to the MSCM program. Separate correspondence will be sent from the program office, indicating whether or not an applicant has been accepted into the MSCM program.

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Applicants who are in the military qualify for an application fee waiver. Please contact the program office at [email protected] to request the military waiver code.

Contact Us

Customer service representative wearing a headset

Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the Master of Supply Chain Management program, please contact:

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

For general questions about the application process, please contact:

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

Learn from the Best

The Master of Supply Chain Management is offered in partnership with the Penn State Smeal College of Business. For the past decade, Gartner, Inc. has consistently ranked Penn State’s supply chain program as a top graduate supply chain program in the United States.

Faculty

  • 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.

  • C. John Langley Jr.

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Supply Chain Management, Penn State
    • Degree
      MBA, Finance, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Mathematics, Penn State

    Dr. C. John Langley Jr. is clinical professor of supply chain management and director of development in the Center for Supply Chain Research. He is a former president of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and a recipient of its distinguished service award. Dr. Langley has had significant involvement in the supply chain and logistics industries, and has served on multiple boards of directors.

  • Heather Lutz

    Assistant Clinical Professor, Supply Chain & Information Systems, Penn State

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Supply Chain Management, Syracuse University
    • Degree
      MBA, Logistics, Operations, and Materials Management Emphasis, The George Washington University School of Business
    • Degree
      B.S., Mathematics, Systems Analysis Option, Penn State

    Dr. Heather Lutz is an assistant clinical professor of supply chain and information systems with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. She previously taught operations management at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of St. Thomas and has served as a consultant, providing training on strategic planning, forecasting techniques, and make-buy analysis.

  • 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.

News

The front entrance of the Business Building at Penn State
Penn State ranked No. 1 in graduate supply chain education,
Old Main building at Penn State's University Park campus
Supply chain curriculum is changing to make sure the next generation of logistic, Bloomberg
Laptop showing a Zoom video call with Stacey Peeler
Amid pandemic, online business programs move residences to virtual formats, Penn State News

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply