PhD in Supply Chain Operations

The Department of Supply Chain and Operations was recently rated the top research program in the nation. This program trains scholars to conduct theoretically-grounded, methodologically-rigorous research that addresses relevant problems facing operations and supply chain managers within and across organizations that are embedded in global supply chains. The success of this program stems from its globally-recognized and widely-cited faculty. The program provides a uniquely rigorous and rewarding experience for students that prepares them for a successful research-driven academic career in PhD-granting business schools. 

Field-leading Research

Eleven tenure-track faculty bring diverse expertise to the department and publish their research in numerous leading journals. Faculty expertise spans various topics, including:

  • Behavioral Operations
  • Data Analytics
  • Design of Experiments
  • Emerging Market Operations
  • Empirical Research Methods
  • Environmental Operations
  • Global Supply Chain
  • Healthcare management
  • Humanitarian Operations
  • Management of Technology
  • Innovation and Knowledge Management
  • Process Improvement, Lean, and Six Sigma
  • Product Recalls
  • Public Sector Operations
  • Quality Management and Safety
  • Retail Operations
  • Service Operations
  • Socially Responsible & Sustainable Operations
  • Supply Chain and Operations Strategy
  • Supply Chain Coordination

About the Program


The University of Minnesota was one of the first schools in the United States to conduct empirical research in supply chain and operations. It is ranked 11th according to the UT Dallas Ranking for productivity in top-tier journals in Supply Chain and Operations for the years 2014 - 2018.

Juran Research Center

PhD students enjoy strong support from department faculty and regular interaction with distinguished speakers from around the world. Guest lecturers present at bi-monthly seminars and other events hosted by the department and it related research center, the Juran Research Center.


Graduates of the PhD program in Supply Chain and Operations have continued their teaching and research careers at Indiana University, Penn State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and other respected institutions.


Alumni Perspectives

Suvrat Dhanorkar

Suvrat Dhanorkar

"I was surrounded by faculty and staff who were always eager to help...every effort is made to make sure that the students are protected and nurtured, so they can focus on doing what they are expected to do - excellent research! The Supply Chain & Operations (SCO) Department has a prolific group of dedicated scholars, working on groundbreaking research with a widespread impact on business and society. From healthcare to manufacturing and from analytical modeling to data-driven empirical research, SCO faculty and PhD students work on a diverse array of problems that have direct relevance for practitioners. As I reflect back on my years in the program, it feels amazing to know how much the Carlson PhD develops your abilities as a thinker, scholar, and teacher."

Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management
Smeal College of Business at University Penn State

More about Suvrat Dhanorkar

Our Community

A Community of Scholars
The Supply Chain and Operations department offers a highly successful Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, which is ranked 6th by Gartner, and various MBA and undergraduate courses. PhD students are exposed to these curricula via teaching opportunities that will help jump-start their own careers in business education.

Collaboration with Industry
The Twin Cities area is home to a dynamic business community that includes 17 Fortune 500 company headquarters as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs. The Carlson School is closely connected with the local industry, providing many opportunities for research collaboration with industry partners. Our faculty engages with industry to conduct relevant, cutting-edge, problem-driven research. PhD students have a unique opportunity to engage in a vibrant ecosystem of problem-driven research where we bring together theory and practice.

In a Vibrant, Modern Metro
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul offer lakes, parks, bike trails, great dining, professional sports, world-class theaters and museums, and many other amenities. The Twin Cities are routinely ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States. The University's lively urban campus overlooks the Mississippi River, with convenient rail connections to both downtown districts and the airport.