Top 10 US supply chain management courses

By Harry Menear
We explore the top 10 undergraduate supply chain programmes in American universities, according to a Gartner study. Programmes are evaluated based on...

We explore the top 10 undergraduate supply chain programmes in American universities, according to a Gartner study. Programmes are evaluated based on ‘Programme Scope’, a measure of the number of attributes taught by the course; ‘Industry Value’, based on internship participation, starting salaries, and media presence; and ‘Programme Size’, taking into account both the number of students enrolled and the number of full-time professors.

The goal is to establish a ranking based on both undergraduate courses, and industry impact of graduates. The average starting salary for undergraduates is $55,749, rising to $61,590 for the top 10. Average career placement at graduation is 76%, rising to 93% three months later.

10.  The University of Wisconsin Madison has a total student enrollment of 43,338 as of 2016, with 17 enrolled in the supply chain management programme. Seven of these students are international, with fewer than half being Wisconsin residents. UWM’s course focuses on Logistics, Procurement, and Marketing courses, with opportunities to specialise further in Product Development, Operational Analytics, and Service Operations Management. The average starting salary for graduates in 2014 averaged $53,000, with the average internship salary was $2,800 per month, placing it below the national average.

Enrollment Stats:

Course Overview:


9. The University of Western Michigan enrolled 23,914 students in 2014 and its Integrated Supply Chain Management Programme graduates 85-95 students annually. The programme was the first of its kind to integrate business and engineering courses in 1992. Software Advice ranked the programme at second in the United States in 2015 for its emphasis on technology, software, and quantitative tools. The ISM curriculum focuses on product assurance, managing and improving supply systems, and productivity techniques, as well as offering courses on international business law. In 2016, 93% of ISM graduates achieved full-time employment within three months, with salaries ranging from $55,000 to $60,000.

Course Overview:


8. The Ohio State University’s student enrollment in 2016 was 66,046, with 15.5% majoring in Business at the Fisher College of Business. OSU’s supply chain management course is closely linked with logistics, with six available logistics classes out of 15, two of which are mandatory. 85% of supply chain management/logistics students leave OSU with internship experience. Graduates have an average income of $52,295, putting it slightly below the national average.

Course Overview:


7. The University of South Carolina, in Columbia, enrolled 33,772 students in 2015. USC’s supply chain management programme is ranked joint-second by Gartner for programme scope, and joint-third for programme size. The programme focuses heavily on Lean systems, Six Sigma methodologies and business re-engineering process improvement approaches, logistics, and management. Undergraduates also have an opportunity to apply these skills by means of a Capstone consulting project. The average graduate earns a salary of $57,070, above the Gartner average.

Course overview:


6. Gartner ranks The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, joint first in the US for programme size, accounting for both full-time students and teaching staff. It is also joint-second for industry value. GIT’s supply chain management course places emphasis on management, engineering, and logistics. Students participate in the Capstone project, identifying and solving real world industry problems in conjunction with external sponsors. Upon graduation, Georgia Institute of Technology students earn upwards of $55,000 with a Bachelor’s degree in business.

Course overview:


5. Rutger’s Business School enrolled 68,942 students last year, with 726 undergraduates studying supply chain management. The college awards over 150 scholarships a year for supply chain management students. The programme’s participants have also placed first and third in the Rutgers Ten Plus Supply Chain Case Dual Challenge and Sam M. Walton College of Business International Graduate Logistics Case Competition, respectively. Rutger’s supply chain management programme has a yearly internship placement rate of over 95%, and counts IBM, Johnson and Johnson, Verizon among its internship opportunities. According to a 2012 Bureau of Labor study, Rutgers supply chain management graduates earned a median salary of $78,000.

Fact sheet:


4. Arizona State University had an attendance of 71,946 in 2016, with 620 studying supply chain management in 2013. Gartner’s study ranks ASU joint-second in programme size and industry value, and joint-third for programme scope. Arizona state’s programme is also one of the top three upward movers on the Gartner list since 2014. The programme is run through the W.P. Carey Business school, and emphasises a diverse curriculum, as well as extracurricular involvement in over 45 business clubs and organisations. Graduates typically earn between $40,000 and $60,000. Corporations that commonly recruit from ASU include: Exxon, Intel, General Electric and Motorola.

Course Overview:


3. The University of Tennessee’s supply chain management programme is ranked first in the United States for programme scope, and is joint-second for programme size, graduating over 250 students in 2015. The programme maintains its third-place position overall in the Gartner rankings from the 2014 survey. In addition to broad-focus general studies over the first two years, the UTK course (hosted by the Haslam Business College) specialises in Information Management, Human Resource Management, and International Business. Chad Autry, head of the department of marketing and supply chain management, claims: “Our faculty puts out relevant, innovative research and teaches students to make an impact after graduation.” Graduates in Supply Chain Management earn a mean salary of $52,000 per annum, with a comparably low full-time employment rate of 55%.

Course Overview:

Employment figures:


2. Michigan State University enrolled over 39,000 undergraduates in 2017, with over 8,000 students at the Eli Broad College of Business. Supply Chain Management undergraduates comprise 44% of the student body. The programme is ranked first by Gartner for Industry Value and is joint-first for Programme Size. The MSU Supply Chain Management programme provides a curriculum focused on manufacturing operations, purchasing, transportation, and physical distribution into a unified programme. The Programme achieved a 100% internship placement rate in 2017, with an average base salary of over $6,000 per month. Broad College graduates have an 85% employment rate post-graduation, and the mean salary for Supply Chain Management graduates is over $101,000 per annum, placing the school far above the national average.


1. Pennsylvania State University enrolled almost 100,000 students in 2015 and accepted over 600 students into its Supply Chain & Information Systems programme in 2014. Gartner ranks the programme joint-second for Industry Value and Programme Scope, and joint-first in the Programme Size category. Established in the 1950s, PSU has evolved “from a post-World War II focus on the logistics of transportation, warehousing, and inventory management, to a broadened view incorporating sourcing and distribution, to a holistic vision of supply chain as an end-to end collaborative enterprise.” Classes still provide increased focus on logistics frameworks, but also explores statistical analysis and leadership techniques. As of 2016, graduates experienced an 86% employment rate, with an average salary of over $59,000, beating the national average.


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