Academic Course Catalogs

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Master of Science in Supply Chain Management

ISM approved Master of Science in Supply Chain Management

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) and approved by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), the web-based Master of Science in Supply Chain Management (MS-SCM) is designed for high-performing managers and executives who have an established track-record of success in one or more of the functions included in supply chain management. Participants gain advanced expertise needed to help their sponsoring firms progress to world-class supply chain management status, with significant improvement in their firms’ profitability.

At the completion of this program, students who have mastered the curriculum will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the principles of world-class supply chain management;
  • Identify gaps between their organization’s processes and world-class processes;
  • Apply project management practices to one or more such gaps;
  • Demonstrate success as an ethical leader in supply chain management; and,
  • Demonstrate teamwork and team leadership skills.

The 36-unit MS-SCM program is offered online in a lock-step, cohort-based format and requires 26 months for completion. There is a two month break between Year I and II. This break allows students time for reflection and rejuvenation. The delivery format employs a blended approach to learning, whereby students spend 11 days on campus per year and complete the remainder of the instruction via online learning. The regular online interaction makes it possible for students to interact with their instructors and fellow students in a user friendly manner. Students often make deeper connections with their online colleagues than in a bricks-and-mortar classroom.

Year I encompasses an 18-unit curriculum that integrates the three legs of supply chain management: supply management, logistics, and operations. Year II, which requires an additional 18 units, expands on these principles adding emphasis in law and ethics, leadership, organization change management, supplier development, global supply management, finance and marketing. Both phases are designed to blend proven concepts with contemporary best practices found in successful businesses and governments throughout the world.

Integrative Project

The custom focused integrative project is the cornerstone of both phases. The project in Year I addresses a gap between best-in-class practices as developed in the coursework and current practices at a sponsoring organization. The advanced integrative project in Year II requires students to apply knowledge gained in coursework in leadership, change management, and ethics to a real-world gap between world-class practices and a sponsor’s practices.

The sponsored project provides the link between theoretical and applied learning. In addition to the learning resulting from successful project execution, sponsoring organizations receive a positive financial return on their tuition investment. Individuals who are not sponsored by their firms or who do not have internal executive-level support for the integrative project are afforded an opportunity to undertake a project at a nearby firm (usually a small business) or a master’s thesis. An assigned project supervisor facilitates these students in fulfilling the requirement of the integrative project course.

Learning Portfolio

Many experiences in business and life in general are spontaneous and sudden, giving little time to learn from what has been experienced. The opportunity for retained learning increases when experiences are recorded. In addition to providing the student with a record of his or her learning, portfolio-based learning provides a student’s employer with an easy-to-review compilation of the learning process.

A portfolio is a collection of a student’s experiences and achievements during a period of educational activity. A portfolio can contain a log or diary, record of events, project reports, project research, audits and evaluations, papers students have read, observations and reflections, video of consultations, and case descriptions and analysis. Many of the courses incorporate a reflective learning component that is added to the learning portfolio.

Admission Requirements

Basic admission requirements include:

  • Minimum two years work experience in a relevant supply chain management position
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Additional screening related to the assessment of academic competence is typical of that found for entry into most business graduate degree programs
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum two years work experience requirement, or have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or less, may be required to submit a GMAT score

In addition, candidates will be expected to provide:

Two letters of recommendation from the applicant’s supervisor, a colleague, direct report, or university professor;
Statement of Purpose – a short essay reflecting the applicant’s personal and professional objectives and expectations for the program;
A résumé describing work experience to date; and
College or university transcripts (officially sealed) from each college or university attended
International students who possess an L-1 (business visa) may apply.

Course Requirements

Year I

MSCM 551 Supply Chain Management (3)
MSCM 552 Operational Processes (3)
MSCM 553 Logistics and Supply Systems (3)
MSCM 554 Strategic Cost Management (3)
MSCM 555 International Negotiations (3)
MSCM 558 Project Management Principles (2)
MSCM 559 Integrative Project (1)

Year II

MSCM 571 Leadership and Ethics for Supply Chain Managers (3)
MSCM 572 World-Class Supplier Development (2)
MSCM 573 Organization Change Management (2)
MSCM 574 Global Supply Management (1)
MSCM 575 Law, Ethics, and Contracts for Supply Chain Management (2)
MSCM 576 Finance for Supply Chain Managers (1)
MSCM 577 Marketing in a Supply Chain Management Context (1)
MSCM 578 Value Network Management (3)
MSCM 599 Advanced Integrative Project (3)

Courses and Seminars


Examines the challenges of integrating the members of an organization’s supply management system. Such improvements reduce time-to-market and improve quality and the inflow of technology from the firm’s supply base, thereby increasing market share and profitability. These improvements also result in reductions in the total cost of ownership for purchased materials, services and equipment. Addresses supply management’s role in: social responsibilities; buyer-supplier relationships; ethics; cross-functional teams; quality, price, and cost analysis; methods of compensation; total cost of ownership; the development of requirements; acquisition of services and equipment; outsourcing; global sourcing; post-award activities; and legal issues.


Examines operational processes of the supply chain form acquisition of materials through conversion to physical distribution of goods and services. Topics include workflow systems, inventory systems, quality systems, production systems, logistics systems, cost estimation, optimization, and continuous improvement. Common business processes and business skills addressed include: production planning, workflow scheduling, cost estimation, resource allocation, work methods design, inventory management and continuous improvement methods.


Provides an understanding of the supply chain dynamics and analytical methods used to analyze, plan, and manage supply chain operations. Topics include: e-commerce; supply chain problems and issues; analytic techniques and applications used to address supply chain planning and management; and a comparative foundation of current industry applications, their benefits and limitations.


Investigates the highly dynamic, timely, and little understood area of cost management in the supply chain. Promotes cost reduction as a critical tool in competitive business strategy redirecting emphasis from price to the total cost of ownership. Identifies costs throughout the supply chain system and methods of measuring costs and determining cost drivers. Develops written strategies on reducing or managing costs.


Addresses the art and science of negotiation with the “science” learned through readings and the “art” learned through experience gained in simulated negotiations. These negotiations frequently are set in a foreign country, exposing participants to nuances of conducting business abroad. These mock or simulated negotiations are conducted both online and during the residence sessions held on campus.


The integrative project is a core element of the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management. The ability to apply project management knowledge, tools and principles to the effective execution of process improvement or system implementation projects is central to modern supply chain management. This course provides students with the foundational capabilities required to be effective project managers in a supply chain context. Topics addressed include team formation, team sponsorship, and team governance, developing charters, project management, quantifying financial impacts, and presentation skills.


Each candidate identifies a sponsor-based supply management or supply chain-related project to complete during Year I. Projects are approved by management of the sponsoring organization and the Director, SCMI, and have the potential of contributing significantly to the sponsor’s bottom line. The project may be conducted in a team environment if the project value exceeds the combined tuition of the team members.


Addresses leadership to build collaboration in supply chains. Students will learn to: identify forces that support or destroy collaboration, discover ways of discerning the perceptions of others, uncover attribution errors, create an arsenal of ethical strategies, identify areas where new human alliances need to be created, and build a learning journal. Topics addressed include foundations of ethical leadership, diversity and inclusion, comparative leadership and management, international cultural context of leadership, leadership in a team-based context, and leadership and the learning organization.


Supplier development consists of the process and activities that a buying firm undertakes to improve a suppliers’ performance and capabilities to meet the buying firm’s supply needs. Buying firms use a variety of activities to improve supplier performance including: assessing suppliers’ operations, providing incentives to improve performance, instigating competition among suppliers, and working directly with suppliers, either through training or other activities. Topics addressed include strategic perspectives, supplier development process, supplier development enablers, barriers to supplier development, and world-class supplier development.


Supply chain management organizations support the overall objective of a smooth flow of quality products, services, and information to optimize end customer satisfaction. This course focuses on organizational change in relationships, structures, communications systems, and culture. Topics addressed include business process reengineering, diagnosing change, managing change, change leadership, organizational and culture behaviors, organizing for change, and change implementation.


World class supply management requires active participation in the global marketplace. While many processes and practices are the same nationally and globally, many nuances exist when dealing with a global supply base. This course addresses these nuances, with a strong focus on cultural issues. Topics addressed include global management perspectives, supply channels, direct suppliers, currency exchange and payment, socio-economic and political alliances, and cultural issues involving social justice.


Ethics, diversity, and legal issues are of paramount concern to organizations that operate in today’s global environment that pits supply chain against supply chain. Proactive companies recognize that striving for diversity and maintaining ethical policies and actions help enable world-class supply chain management. Topics addressed include diversity suppliers, protecting the physical environment, workplace values, ethics in business, contract formation, and the legal context of supply chain management.


Supply Chain Managers require knowledge of finance to enable analysis of projects, justification for proactive investments, and estimation of supply chain costs. Topics addressed include the motivators of finance professionals, time value of money, net present value, internal rate of return, working capital management, financing inventory, financing capital equipment, international finance, hedging, and options.


The course introduces marketing in the context of effective management of the firm’s supply chain. Supply chain managers require knowledge of marketing in order to develop, evaluate, and implement effective supply chain strategies. Topics addressed include the motivators of marketing professionals, the marketing environment, life cycle strategies, marketing segmentation, marketing intelligence, product design, branding, packaging and services, and international marketing.


This course begins by analyzing present day relations between customers and their suppliers at all levels. It then addresses the theories and mechanics involved in the development and management of buyer-supplier alliances. The third phase of the course addresses the complex nature of buyer-supplier networks, supply families, and virtual corporations. Students will learn about strategic sourcing, public sector sourcing; subcontract administration; developing and managing buyer-supplier alliances; and developing and managing networks, supply families, and virtual corporations.


The advanced integrative project is a sponsor-based, supply chain-based project. Projects are approved by management of the sponsoring organization and the director of SCMI and have the potential of contributing significantly to the sponsors’ bottom lines. The projects may be conducted in a team environment if the project value exceeds the combined tuition of the team members. Topics addressed include team formation, developing charters, project management, quantifying financial impacts, and presentation skills