SCO 2950: Tracing the Global Supply Chain

Undergraduate Global Enrichment in China


This course is based on the concepts, principles and techniques for managing global supply chains. SCO 2950 emphasizes decision-making in global supply chain strategy through hands-on experiential learning as students follow selected products back up the supply chain from local retail operations and distribution centers, to logistics operations, to deconsolidators, to Los Angeles port operations, to Shanghai port operations, to raw materials suppliers.

Program schedule

The class begins with the end of the supply chain and retail location site visits.  Local site visits include retail operations, warehousing, transportation and logistics, plant operations at companies such as Best Buy, C.H. Robinson, Target, and General Mills.

Two week travel. Two components for travel include domestic site visits and international site visits. International travel is to Shanghai, China. Site visits are made to warehouses, production facilities, and raw material suppliers in China.  Domestic travel is to Los Angeles to study Long Beach Port Authority Terminal operations and the process of moving materials through the port. Site visit is made to a deconsolidator operation where containers are split up into shipments for warehouse/retail locations. 

Application and Admissions

To apply, please visit the Apply page. Students will be charged a $50 application fee. The application cycle starts on March 1 and the priority deadline is April 3. Applications for programs that do not fill by the priority deadline will be accepted on a rolling basis until full. Applications will be reviewed and students will be informed of their status within 4 weeks of the priority deadline.


This program is open to University students in good academic standing, with a GPA of 2.5 at the time of application or instructor permission. SCO 2950 is designed as a pre-cursor for SCO 3001. Preference will be given to Carlson School students.

Location details

The course consists of local site visits prior to domestic/international travel. The local site visits are conducted at production facilities, distribution centers, logistics operations, and retail locations in the Twin Cities and surrounding area. The domestic/international travel components are based on experiential learning going back up the supply chain to production facilities and raw materials suppliers in the country of origin. The program first travels to Shanghai for site visits at logistics providers, port and production facilities in China.  The program concludes in Los Angeles, California with visits to the Los Angeles port and deconsolidation facilities.

Housing and Food

Students stay in conveniently-located hotels and will share a room with one or two classmates of their same gender. Because networking and community-building are key parts of the program, students will not have the option of a single room. Guests are not permitted during the program. Breakfast daily, a welcome dinner, and a closing dinner are provided.


  • 20-30 University of Minnesota undergraduate students
  • SCO 2950 is meant to be a pre-cursor for SCO 3001

Pre-departure Classes

Friday mornings 8:30-11:30am during Fall B-Term

Academics and credits

  • 4 credit
  • Grading is A-F basis

Academic term(s)


Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad. University of Minnesota students are eligible for education abroad scholarships. Please see Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information.

Cost estimate (Summary)

These estimates will vary based on student preference and exchange rates. All details subject to change based on economic and international factors. Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad programs.

Cost table

2017-2018 Tuition for 4 academic credits (included in the 13+ credit tuition plateau)$0
Program Fee (including group flight, lodging, program events, Chinese tourist visa, breakfast daily, two group meals, and int'l health insurance*)$5,300
International airfare between Minnesota and China (included in Program Fee)$0
Passport and Photos$145
Hotel Accommodation (included in Program Fee)$0
Daily Living Expenses (local transportation, incidentals, internet, laundry, cell data plan)*$475
Meals (lunch and dinners not included in Program Fee)$350
*Additional $25 domestic baggage fee for Los Angeles-Minneapolis flight
*Students should also maintain their U.S.-based health insurance plan while abroad.

Program Manager

Lauren Dickinson


Steven Huchendorf


Short-Term January

Degree level







Los Angeles