To develop proficiency in Supply Chain and Logistics Management, a business mindset is a critical first ingredient. In 1925, president Calvin Coolidge declared that "the chief business of the American people is business," and he was as correct then as he would be today. Business is the engine that keeps the U.S. economy running. From manufacturing and selling goods, to creatively developing new ways to sell old things on the internet, Americans love business, warts and all. For those who are good at it, business can be as simple as supplying a need. The more complex business models get, they rarely stray from this basic premise. To identify that need, and gather the goods needed to make a product that will fill it can be a whole other set of skills. For those business professionals who are interested in Supply Chain Management as an advanced degree, look no further than the following list of PhD programs in this very subject.
What is Supply Chain Management?
Supply chain management is an interdisciplinary field that emphasizes the links between different companies or industries. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that professionals in this field manage those links to enhance a company's competitive advantage and ensure efficient production of products. They must be well versed in the allocation of resources, delivery to customers, process and flow management, forecasting the needs of the company, production planning, managing inventory, after-sales support and service, and other processes that are essential to business.
Many of these programs come directly from business schools at reputable colleges and universities with a curriculum that responds to the needs of businesses around the country. This is occupation was coined in the early 1980s to describe the management of the process of manufacturing at every step, from factory to consumer in one long chain. For manufacturing, this means that workers have the parts and training to do a great job in production, and salespeople have a product ready to move, and each part runs as a well-oiled machine. Given the amount of responsibility needed to shoulder so many steps in a long process, Business and Manufacturing executives must develop skills not only in leadership but also time management and innovative solutions. This smart degree requires smart people with great habits to not only get through writing a killer dissertation but also lead companies to their greatest fiscal year to date.
Ranking Online Supply Management PhD Programs
Most Supply Chain Management distance learning programs focus exclusively on research in the field of computer science and take the innovative aspects of the field very seriously when advising on doctoral research. If you are wondering if an Online Doctoral program looks legitimate to a potential employer, never fear. Especially for this subject matter, the online coursework of a can also be hands-on, as many of the programs are project-based and problem-solving focused. The schools were evaluated for this ranking based on their affordability, reputation, and track record. The metrics are:
- Cost (from IPEDS data)
- Reputation (from Niche rating)
- ROI (from College Scorecard data)
If you are interested in getting a top job in the executive management side of business, and are skilled at keeping their finger on pulse of every step of the process, Supply Chain & Logistics Management may be just what you are looking for. With these Top 10 Online Supply Chain & Logistics Management programs, OnlinePhD has you covered featuring some of the best online PhDs in the field.
1. University of Maryland University College
The University of Maryland University College, which is also known as UMUC is a public institution of higher learning. In 1947 UMUC was established, and they were built on the foundation of evening programs that were offered for adult learners at the University of Maryland, which started in the 1920s. One of the unique aspects of the University of Maryland University College is their extensive distance learning program that allows them to serve students all over the world. They have one of the largest distance learning programs across the globe, and ultimately enroll over 90,000 students per year. All students are accepted into their undergraduate programming. Aside from their online learning environment, they have over 53 sites, and a flagship campus in Adelphi, Maryland.
The University of Maryland University College offers an online Ph.D. program, Called a Doctor of Management degree in Supply Chain and Logistics, this course of study was built for working adults who are executive level professionals, interested in deepening their engagement with management and research. Students will learn how to appraise, acquire, apply, analyze and assess information to engage in decision making that is complex and based on researched evidence. Students will also be versed in ethical decision making, and they will also learn competencies for facilitating organizational and institutional change. The cohort model is utilized in this program, ensuring that students will have both peer and faculty support that will see them in this transformative program.
Degree: PhD in Supply Chain Management
2. Auburn University
In 1856 Auburn University was established, and was initiated by a charter from the Alabama Legislature. It was initially called the East Male College and was under the leadership of the Methodist Church. They underwent many changes and changed their name to Auburn College in 1960. Auburn University was racially segregated until 1963. They are designated as a space grant, sea grant, and land-grant institution. Their campus is situated on 1,843 acres of land in Auburn, Alabama. There are 23,000 students enrolled in Auburn's programs, including their online courses. They are Alabama's second largest institution of higher learning.
Auburn University offers a Ph.D. Program in Aviation and Supply Chain Management (MSIS) that is delivered online, and it feeds into the Ph.D. in Information Systems Management Program. The Ph.D. program engages students in rigorous research practices that can be applied to colleges, universities, government, and business. Students that have participated in the program love the flexibility that the online format allows. There are many opportunities for students to engage with topics such as statistics and general business and apply them to their dissertation research. Some students are granted assistantships, and therefore, may be required to work with undergraduate students.
Degree: MS/PhD in Information Systems Management
3. Liberty University
Liberty University was established in 1971 by the renowned and controversial leader, Jerry Falwell. Lynchburg Baptist Church was the original name of the school, and then in 1976, the name was changed to Liberty Baptist College. In 1984 Liberty took on their current name. Christianity is an essential aspect of the school's foundation and mission, and they commit to the spiritual development of all of their students. In 1985 Liberty University began their distance learning programming, which at the time was administered through VHS tapes. They now have extensive online course offerings and degree programs that utilize cutting-edge technology to deliver coursework over the internet. Their campus in Lynchburg, Virginia sits on over 7,000 acres of land, and total enrollment includes over 50,000 students.
Liberty University offers an online PhD program that culminates in a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). Students in this program will learn how to achieve and excel in high-level leadership roles in the corporate world. Liberty ensures that students will have mentorship from high ranking business professionals that will promote hands-on learning. Each student will have the opportunity to pick a specialty that will then be a source of research and examination. Though the program is entirely online, students have the option of taking some of their classes on Liberty's Lynchburg, Virginia Campus. The entire program is 60 credit hours in length and can be completed in 3 and a half years time.
Degree: Doctor of Business Administration
4. The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, also known as USM, was founded in 1910 with the original name of Mississippi Normal College. Their original purpose was to train teachers effectively. Following suit, in 1924 they underwent another name change and became known as Mississippi State Teachers College. Their primary campus is situated on 300 acres of land in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. They are fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Carnegie Classification Foundation has classified USM as a research University that conducts a high level of research activity. As of fall 2017, their total enrollment was nearly 14,500 students.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a hybrid doctoral program in International Development with coursework that is primarily online. However, students are required to be present on campus at least seven times per the calendar year. The program can be completed in three years for students who are studying full time, and part-time students can finish the program is 4-5 years. Generally, synchronous courses are held only one time per week, enabling students to study at a flexible schedule. Analytics, communication skills, critical thinking, research, and writing are all skills that are highly stressed in the program. This program is known for its affordability and for being military friendly.
Degree:PhD in International Development
Sullivan University was established in 1962 as a private institution of higher learning. They originally opened their door as a one-year career-oriented school. In 1976 they changed their name to Sullivan Junior College of Business to reflect the fact that they grant associate's degrees. They underwent many name changes and settled on Sullivan University in 2012. Their campus is situated on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education has licensed them to grant Associate's degrees, Bachelor's Degrees, Master's and Doctoral. Sullivan is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Their total enrollment is nearly 6,000 students.
Sullivan University offers an online Ph.D. program in Management that is delivered entirely online. This program was designed to create leaders who can become effective practitioners following graduation. Students will have many opportunities to foster research skills and learn how to apply them to a variety of career paths. There are many opportunities for students to practice teaching skills applicable to the interests of individual students and the organizations for which they connect. Many graduates of the program partnered with faculty members and other leaders to co-author scholarly articles and collaborate. The program emphasizes proposal writing to ensure students are prepared to play leadership roles in a variety of fields and organizations.
Degree: Ph.D. in Management
6. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University was established in 1965 and was specifically designed to train former military personnel in vocational and technical avenues. They were initially called the Colorado Technical College. Colorado Technical College worked towards achieving university status and was finally successful in 1995, which is when they took on their current name. Their primary campus is situated in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and they have an additional campus in Aurora. Many Colorado Technical University students choose to take online courses, as they have the option to complete entire degree programs without ever stepping foot on campus. The US News and World Report ranked this institution among the best online programs in 2015.
If you are interested in online PhD programs, Colorado Technical University offers a Doctor of Business Management Program that engages students in leadership skills that tie into a variety of business concentrations including Supply Chain Management. The curriculum is delivered almost exclusively online and includes a residency component. One of the benefits of this particular program is the multiple start dates that are offered throughout the year, ensuring that students don't have to wait long to get started. Students can complete the program in three years time. Students will be given the tools to research and write their dissertations within the course of study. Students will be required to participate in an in-person dissertation experience.
Degree: DBA Supply Chain Logistics Concentration
7. Walden University
Two teachers from New York established Walden University in 1970 because they were interested in bringing doctoral opportunities to adult learners/ working adults. Initially, Walden's classes were delivered in Naples, Florida with a curriculum focused on primary school administration. In 1982 the institution's headquarters moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they are still holding down the fort. Walden has been fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1990. They are also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. They have expanded their course offerings to include a fully online masters degree program in Educational Change and Technology Innovation.
Walden University offers a Doctor of Business Administration program in Global Supply Chain Management. This online PhD program is designed to teach you the fundamentals of business and specifically how services and products go from ideas to deliverables. Students will engage with the concepts that equal the highest standards globally. The coursework focuses on critical thinking skills, research, and writing at a doctoral level. The entire program is 49 credit hours. Though the classes convene online, there are two four day residencies throughout the program. Students are granted eight years to complete the program, though they are allowed to petition for an extension if needed.
Degree: DBA Specialization Global Supply Chain Management
8. University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas sits on a beautiful, sprawling 560-acre campus, near the heart of Fayetteville, AK. In 1871, the Arkansas state legislature set in motion a plan that would bring together political, military, and civilian Arkansans together, where they were once torn apart by the Civil War. The U of A campus came together, and the first class of 8 students started classes. Since that reconstruction era success, the campus and student body has grown, and the methods of education also have. The University of Arkansas ONLINE administers distance learning programs that are designed by academic departments on the Fayetteville campus. Students can engage in earning a degree from a top-tier public research university, without having to commit to living directly in Fayetteville. Online programs give students the flexibility to balance home commitments with the commitment of achieving a degree, and a more substantial earning potential. Online students pay in-state tuition, regardless of where their home state is.
U of A Online offers a Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education. Applicants to the program must have completed a master's degree in education, psychology or counseling, program design, organizational development, testing and evaluation, customer service, leadership, or a graduate degree in a similar field. Students must have completed the GRE before applying and must complete a dissertation and candidacy exam to complete the program. Students may apply and be admitted in both the spring and fall semesters. To be considered for admission, students must apply both to the graduate school, and to the Human Resource and Workforce Development Education program. Graduates of the program must successfully defend their dissertation before a university committee. Careers people seek after the successful completion of the program include HR Director of large companies, Organizational Change Consultant, School Superintendent, and other similar careers.
Degree: Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education
9. Capella University
Capella University was established in 1993, with the original name The Graduate School of America. Dr. Harold Abel and Stephen Shank founded this comprehensive institution of higher learning and designed it to offer distance learning opportunities primarily. In 1997 Capella was granted regional accreditation, and in 2000 they began offering bachelor's degree programs alongside graduate programs. Publicly traded Capella Company is the parent organization that runs the institution. Graduate students comprise the majority of the student body currently. Capella has close to 150 undergraduate and graduate disciplines, as well as 25 certificate programs. They also have over 1600 courses that convene online.
Capella University offers an online PhD program that can also be achieved on campus depending on the students' desires and life circumstances. This Doctor of Business Administration with a specialization in Global Operations and Supply Chain Management prepares students to be leaders among global operations management professionals. The course of study will engage students in a rigorous curriculum that includes global supply chain design, financial decision making, and preparation to lead practice and theory of advanced supply chain management. Students will develop competencies in functional and cross-functional disciplines. The program is made up of 8 core courses, four specialization courses, two residencies, and one doctoral research project.
Degree: DBA Global Operations and Supply Chain Management Specialization
10. Penn State World Campus
Penn State World Campus is often referred to as Penn State Online, and it was founded in 1998. Penn State University has a long legacy of distance learning education dating back to 1892, and the world campus was created to extend programming to students who live around the country and the world. Over 150 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs are offered online through the World Campus, and they serve nearly 13,500 students per year. Their administrative buildings are located in University Park, Pennsylvania. Academic integrity is stressed in Penn State World Campus' mission, and because they are an exclusively online entity, many classes enforce online proctoring technology for exams.
Penn State World Campus offers an online graduate certificate in Supply Chain Management. The same world-class faculty who teach at the residential program at Penn State University also teach the courses in this online program. Some of the topics that students will study include: information technology and decision support, transportation systems operation and third-party logistics service providers, inventory cost analysis, planning and control, and purchasing negotiations. This program is designed for students who are interested in engaging more deeply with Supply Chain Management. Many of these students are also interested in achieving leadership positions in the same field. Students that find the program are often involved in career paths such as supply chain program manager, export specialist, or retail solutions manager, among many others.
Degree: Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management online
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What Are Some of the Job Titles in Supply Chain Management?
Entry-level positions in the supply chain management may entail such positions as clerks in the inventory, assistant buyers, and agents in purchasing. Besides, for career changing adults to qualify for supply –chain management jobs they need some mid-level positions requiring additional experience and training such as procurement specialist, materials manager, traffic manager, and purchasing analyst. Also, they may need leadership roles such a strategic planning director, contracts and procurement director and vice president of supply management in their previous jobs to qualify to become a supply-chain manager.