The Carlson School’s Master of Science in Supply Chain Management (MS SCM) program debuted as the sixth best in the nation, according to a ranking released by Gartner.

Gartner, a global research and advisory firm, evaluated 30 programs across 46 eligible universities throughout the country to compile its list of the “Top 25 North American Supply Chain Graduate University Programs, 2018.”

This was the first time the Carlson MS SCM program was eligible for the list. Now entering its third year, the program is ranked among programs that have existed for decades.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the top supply chain programs in the country,” says Kate Reigel, MS in Supply Chain Management Professional Director. “We strive to provide the best education possible to our students, and I’m pleased to see our program ranked alongside the best.”

In its report, Gartner writes, “The University of Minnesota shot to No. 6 on the strength of its curricula, applied experience, high average salary, and industry practitioner votes from its network.”

Gartner evaluated the programs based on a composite score of three categories—program scope, industry value, and program size—with the Carlson School’s program earning high marks across the board. The Carlson School’s MS in Supply Chain Management was the highest debut of any school in the rankings.

The program, which launched in August 2016, was created to meet the demand for supply chain leaders. In designing the program, the Carlson School partnered with senior supply chain executives from major multinational companies headquartered in the Twin Cities and anchored the program around capabilities that would help companies develop, attract, and retain supply chain management talent.

That industry-informed curriculum focuses the program on five key areas that are imperative for professionals in the industry: leadership, strategic orientation, analytics, global perspective, and social responsibility.

“Working alongside our corporate partners allows us to ensure our curriculum is up to date and addressing supply chain challenges that companies are facing right now,” Reigel says.

This one-year, intensive program caters to working professionals with predominantly in-person evening courses, in concert with online classes and condensed courses on select weekends. Students complete the 32 credit program throughout the fall, spring, and summer semesters together as a cohort, which begins in August each year.

One key aspect of the program that sets it apart is that students can complete the program in only one year and continue to work while earning their degree.

“This connection between what is learned in the classroom and what is performed at work the next day allows students to test new ideas in real time.,“ explains Karen Donohue, Academic Director of the MS in Supply Chain Management program and Board of Overseers Professor.

Students also take part in leadership development coursework throughout their entire year in the program. These classes, along with coaching from leadership experts, help students learn how to lead others, lead beyond boundaries, and continue growing as a leader long after graduation.

Students learn in a cohort format, meaning students take all required courses together with the same group of professionals. 

“Over the course of the year, students develop into a close-knit network of supply chain leaders who continue to keep in touch and learn from each other after graduation,” Donohue says.

View the full list of the top 25 supply chain graduate programs.