International trade and the global economy have dramatically changed the way organizations buy and sell products. The complex process of sourcing products from overseas and ensuring they are delivered on time requires a professional who is well versed in the logistics of moving goods across world markets. An online bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management prepares you for this challenging and lucrative career. As global business continues to increase, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% job growth rate in supply chain and logistics over the next decade, with a median annual salary of over $74,000.
Choosing a Program
Although supply chain and logistics programs vary in their specific requirements, they share many similarities. Most programs consist of 120 credits, usually completed within four years of full-time study. The curriculum includes a number of general core courses designed to reinforce the analytical thinking, communication, and language skills applicable to any field. Logistics programs also explore global business principles, economics, management, and aviation's impact on the global supply chain.
Key differences to consider when selecting a program include the number of available electives, and whether you would like to pursue a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Some supply chain logistics management programs require students to take logistics-related electives, while others allow for electives from any discipline. If there are non-logistics-related areas that you hope to explore during your college career, the latter may be a better choice. Also consider whether you prefer an education that emphasizes hands-on study or academic concepts; bachelor of science programs often end with a hands-on capstone project.
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Online Bachelor's in Supply Chain & Logistics Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Bachelor's in Supply Chain & Logistics Programs
1 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, Florida
Arguably the preeminent space and aviation university in the nation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University also offers a strong variety of business programs. One such program is the school's bachelor of science degree in logistics and supply chain management, which requires students to complete a total of 120 credits. ERAU operates physical campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, but the school offers the bachelor's in logistics and supply chain management completely online. As such, students never have to visit a physical campus.
Completion times in the program vary widely, as each student collaborates with the school to create a personalized online degree plan. Courses are primarily offered asynchronously, and each student receives one-on-one academic support and advising. The curriculum includes studies in areas such as business modeling, inventory management, and purchasing. Students complete both a 33-credit business core and a 21-credit supply chain management and logistics core in addition to general education requirements. The curriculum does not include a capstone experience. Each course lasts nine weeks. Upon graduating, students can pursue a master's degree in supply chain management or sit for possible certification exams, including the following: Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), Institute for Supply Management Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), and International Society of Logistics Certified Professional Logistician (CPL).
Transfer students meet one-on-one with an advisor to determine which credits are transferable. Students in bachelor's programs must earn their last 30 credits at ERAU and may earn a maximum of 18 credits from different institutions once enrolled at ERAU. Applicants must have earned a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, and submitting ACT or SAT scores is highly recommended, but not required.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
2 Northern Arizona University
Originally a regional university primarily serving the cities of Flagstaff and Yuma, Northern Arizona University now serves students nationwide through its distance learning programs. NAU's online bachelor of business administration program includes a number of different emphasis areas, including logistics and supply chain management. The program requires students to complete a total of 120 credits, which most students finish in four years -- or eight semesters -- of full-time study. The curriculum consists of a 36-credit business core, including studies in management, marketing, and effective business communication, in addition to 24 credits of supply chain management courses, such as green logistics and global finance. The curriculum also includes a mandatory fieldwork/internship experience, which serves as a capstone project. Students may complete the degree without ever setting foot in Arizona, but locally-based students may also complete the program through the blended learning option.
NAU's program is nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The program is particularly transfer-friendly, as students need only complete 30 credits of NAU courses. Students may transfer the remaining credits from other accredited institutions. The program is also flexible, as coursework in the program is offered asynchronously using the BbLearn platform. In addition, the program is affordable, offering the same per-credit tuition rate to online students whether or not they reside in Arizona. Once accepted, online students gain access to a number of resources to aid in their success in the online classroom, including online library resources, tech support, and tutoring.
Northern Arizona University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
3 University of Massachusetts-Amherst
The picturesque city of Amherst is home to the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts. In recent years, UMass's Isenberg School of Management has made its programs accessible to students outside of the Commonwealth. As a result of this process, the school's bachelor's in business administration degree - which includes an emphasis in operations and information management (OIM) - is now available completely online, with no visits to Amherst required. The curriculum includes a 12-course business core, including studies in corporate finance, management, and marketing, and an 8-course OIM core, which includes coursework in quality management, information and project management, and business intelligence and analytics. The curriculum does not include a capstone experience.
UMass delivers its coursework using its own online platform, which combines synchronous and asynchronous elements to maximize meaningful interaction between students and professors. Though UMass's OIM degree is a broader option than many comparable supply chain management offerings, many of the program's graduates go on to work in supply chain logistics management careers.
All applicants to the program should note that UMass's OIM degree is a completion program. As such, applicants must have completed at least 27 credits of college coursework (typically general education requirements) with a minimum GPA of 3.0. However, once students are accepted, UMass aims to provide them with as much support as possible. The school offers academic advising and encourages membership in relevant professional organizations. In addition, all online students receive the same per-credit tuition rate at UMass regardless of their state residency.
The University of Massachusetts is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE).
4 Murray State University
A regional university that primarily serves the southwest portion of Kentucky and its surroundings, Murray State University also offers a number of distance learning programs. These online degree options include the school's bachelor of science in business program, which includes an area in logistics and supply chain management. This particular logistics and supply chain management degree requires students to complete 120 credits, including 20 credits of business courses and 27 credits of supply chain and logistics management courses. These courses include studies in broad areas such as business ethics and statistics in addition to more specific disciplines such as international transportation and process management. The program primarily uses interactive television to deliver this coursework synchronously. Though online students may take courses at Murray State's regional campuses, there are no official in-person requirements in the curriculum. The program -- including both the on-campus and online versions -- is nationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
All applicants who wish to earn their online bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management at Murray State should note that the degree is a completion program. As such, online students must complete their general education requirements and prerequisite courses - such as basic accounting and business principles -- elsewhere and apply to transfer to Murray State. Students must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25 in these prerequisite courses to earn admission to Murray State. Once accepted, students can complete the business and supply chain management cores and earn their degree in three semesters.
Murray State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
5 Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida
A Catholic-affiliated school based in the eponymous city of Saint Leo, Florida, Saint Leo University has a long history of effective distance education. In fact, the liberal arts-oriented university offered programs to military members during the Vietnam War. Nowadays, one of the school's strongest online programs is its BA degree in business administration, which includes a specialization in logistics. The program requires students to complete a total of 120 credits, which most students complete in four years. The curriculum includes a 24-credit logistics core, featuring coursework in project management, transportation and distribution management, and quality improvement. Students must also compile a logistical portfolio of case studies as a capstone experience, which concludes in an executive presentation. Students can earn certain general education credits by taking exams instead of completing courses.
Perhaps the most unique element of studying logistics and supply chain management at Saint Leo is the school's Catholic affiliation. The curriculum includes core courses with titles such as “The Creative Life,” “The Human Mosaic,” “The Reflective and Spiritual Life,” and “Is Evolution True? Your Inner Fish.” Though Saint Leo does not hide its Catholic orientation, the school also strives to allow students to make up their own minds, serving students of all faiths and offering coursework in world religions.
Saint Leo's logistics program is primarily offered asynchronously. The program is nationally accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. All students in the program pay the exact same per-credit tuition rate regardless of location.
Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
6 Bellevue University
Named for the city in which it is located (Bellevue, Nebraska), Bellevue University has always focused on providing professional education to working adults in the community. Distance education is a logical extension of that goal, and Bellevue now operates numerous online programs. One of the school's strongest online programs is the BS degree in supply chain, transportation, and logistics management. Bellevue's offering is a completion program, accepting only students who have already earned an associate degree or 60 college credits. However, Bellevue's program is unique in that it runs on an accelerated cohort model. Those students -- who, ideally, have additional shared experience in supply chain management -- progress together through 49 credits of courses in 72 weeks. Those 49 credits include studies in decision making, global logistics, and fiscal management, in addition to a capstone course that includes a public research presentation. Students enrolled in the online accelerated cohort program never need to visit campus in Nebraska, although students have the option to participate in an on-campus accelerated cohort if they wish.
All students in Bellevue's supply chain, transportation, and logistics management program receive the same per-credit tuition rate, even if they reside outside of the state of Nebraska. There are no minimum GPA or standardized test requirements for admission to the bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management program, as students need only have completed an associate degree or 60 credits.
Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
7 Park University
Based in the outskirts of Kansas City in Parkville, Missouri, Park University has offered distance learning programs for over twenty years. In addition to its central campus, the school operates satellite centers in Phoenix, Oklahoma City, and 41 other cities nationwide. While students have the option of taking courses at any of Park's campuses, they can complete the school's bachelor of science in logistics program online, with no in-person classes required.
Students in the program must complete a total of 120 credits to earn their logistics and supply chain management degree. This usually takes students about four years to accomplish. Of those 120 credits, 66 are major credits, mixing foundational business courses in accounting, economics, and statistics with more specifically logistics-related coursework in quality control, transportation management, and purchasing. The curriculum does not include a capstone experience. Park personalizes each degree path for each student, and the school delivers most coursework asynchronously.
Upon graduating, students are prepared to pursue various industry standard supply chain management/logistics certificates from various professional organizations, including American Production and Inventory Control Society, Institute for Supply Management, and American Society of Transportation and Logistics. In order to earn admission to Park, students need only have completed a high school education. Transfer students must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in their college coursework. All online students pay the same tuition rate whether or not they reside in Missouri.
Park University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission HLC).
8 Ohio Christian University
Affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union, Ohio Christian University has evolved from a small, regional Bible college to a major distance education provider. The school has seen rapid growth in recent years. This growth is directly tied to distance education, as 63% of the school's undergraduate students and 75% of the school's graduate students are enrolled in distance education courses only.
One of the school's strongest online offerings is the bachelor's in business program, which includes a concentration in logistics management. The program requires students to complete a total of 120 credits. The curriculum consists of a business core -- which includes coursework in industry standard areas like financial management, business law, and ethics -- in addition to the four-course logistics management concentration, which includes coursework in transportation systems, warehousing, and strategic procurement. The curriculum does not include a capstone, and OCU delivers its online coursework asynchronously. Each online course lasts five weeks.
One unique aspect of taking online courses at OCU is the school's Christian orientation. In addition to the business core and logistics management concentration, students earning their degree at OCU must complete a core of Bible/Christian worldview coursework. As such, students who attend OCU should be cognizant of the fact that they will be studying more than supply chain management and logistics.
In-state and out-of-state students enrolled at OCU pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their residency status.
Ohio Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
9 Athens State University
Based in Athens, Alabama -- located just outside of the larger city of Huntsville -- Athens State University is primarily a two-year senior college, offering completion programs and graduate programs in three areas: education, arts and sciences, and business. As such, students who apply to the 124-credit BS program in logistics and supply chain management must have already earned certain general education credits and prerequisite business credits in accounting and statistics. Once enrolled at Athens State, students complete 65 credits of business and supply chain management coursework, including studies in operations management, management of change, and enterprise systems. The program's curriculum does not include a capstone experience or any in-person requirements.
Upon graduating, students can work as global logistics managers, materials planners, or supply chain managers. This logistics and supply chain management program is regionally accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs. As Athens State is a senior college and the logistics and supply chain management degree is a completion program, all applicants must have completed either an associate degree or 59 credits of college coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0. As the school strives to make college affordable for as many students as possible, students enrolled in online programs at Athens State are able to pay the same tuition rate as Alabama residents, regardless of their location.
Athens State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
10 Florida State College at Jacksonville
A member of the Florida College System, Florida State College at Jacksonville operates four physical campuses throughout Florida's First Coast region. Originally a community college, FSCJ now offers enough four-year bachelor's degree programs to earn the “state college” designation. One such program is the online bachelor of applied science degree in logistics, which students nationwide can complete without ever setting foot in the Sunshine State.
FSCJ's bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management is unique for three primary reasons: it is a completion program, it is accelerated, and the degree that students earn is a bachelor's in applied science (BAS). Since the program awards a completion degree, applicants must have already earned an associate degree or 60 credits of college coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to earn consideration for admission. Since the program is accelerated, students can earn their degree within 20 months -- or five terms -- of full-time study. The 78-credit supply chain management curriculum, which includes coursework in industry standard areas such as inventory management, transportation, and logistics technology, is fairly similar to curricula in other supply chain management and logistics programs, despite its BSA designation. Including prerequisites and general education coursework that students transfer to the program, the curriculum consists of a total of 120 credits.
Though out-of-state online students at FSCJ pay a higher per-credit tuition rate than Florida residents, they still receive a discount from typical non-resident tuition rates.
Florida State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
Online Bachelor's in Supply Chain & Logistics Careers
An online logistics and supply chain management degree opens the door to a number of dynamic and lucrative opportunities. Logisticians, purchasing agents, and purchasing managers analyze inventory and coordinating buying and selling from a wide range of vendors to consumers all over the world.
Logistician: Logisticians work in a fast-paced environment to maintain the supply chain. That system that includes the acquisition, allocation, and delivery of products from the vendor to an organization, and, eventually, to the consumer. Logisticians must develop and maintain strong relationships.
- Median Annual Salary: $74,170
- Projected Growth Rate: 7%
Purchasing Agent: Purchasing agents buying the products and services that their organizations use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and oversee quality control. They also perform detailed inventory analyses to make sure their organization's top products are always in stock.
- Median Annual Salary: $64,850
- Projected Growth Rate: -3%
Purchasing Manager: Some duties of purchasing managers overlap with those of purchasing agents, but managers function in a supervisory role and perform more complex tasks. Purchasing managers also travel to tradeshows and conferences to build or maintain supply chain relationships.
- Median Annual Salary: $64,850
- Projected Growth Rate: 6%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics