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University Bulletin

Graduate Degree Programs

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, via Penn State Online

Program Home Page

Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems

454B Business Building

Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management Program
440 Business Building

Degrees Conferred:


The Graduate Faculty

  • Norman A. Aggon, M.B.A. (James Madison) Instructor of Operations and Supply Chain Management; Assistant Department Chair
  • Francis (Frank) L. Chelko, M.M.M. (Penn State) Instructor of Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Gary L. Gittings, Ph.D. (Penn State) Instructor of Supply Chain Management
  • Daniel Guide, Ph.D. (Georgia) Associate Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Terry P. Harrison, Ph.D. (Tennessee) Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems
  • C. John Langley, Ph.D. (Penn State) Clinical Professor of Supply Chain Managemen
  • Douglas J. Thoma,s Ph.D. (Georgia Tech) Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management
  • Evelyn A. Thomchick, Ph.D. (Clemson) Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management
  • John E. Tyworth, Ph.D. (Oregon) Professor of Supply Chain Management

The Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management (MPS/SCM) is awarded to students who demonstrate mastery of the knowledge, problem-solving competencies, and leadership skills that are critical to leading business transformation through integrated supply chain planning and execution. The program emphasizes problem-based learning coupled with integrative, collaborative learning experiences to develop the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities for effective supply chain management. Instruction is delivered on line and in a short course at an on- or off-campus location, so that working professionals will complete the degree as part-time students working largely or entirely, off campus.

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the professional MPS/SCM degree program must be admitted by both the MPS/SCM program and the Graduate School at The Pennsylvania State University. The Graduate School requires applicants to have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution earned under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State. Applicants whose first language is not English or who have received a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is not English must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) module and submit the results of that test with the application for admission. The TOEFL test is offered in different formats depending on location. A score of at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or 250 on the computer-based TOEFL must be attained. A minimum total score of 80, along with a minimum score of 23 on the speaking portion, is required for the Internet-based test (iBT). Information about the TOEFL can be obtained by writing to the Educational Testing Service, Box 6155, Princeton, NJ 08541-6155 or visiting their web site at Alternatively, a minimum composite score of 6.5 on the IELTS test is required for admission. Information about the IELTS can be obtained by contacting IELTS International, 100 East Corson Street, Suite 200, Pasadena, CA 91103 or visiting its Web site at (Opens New Window).

Additionally, the graduate program in Supply Chain Management requires:

  • A completed application for graduate study, including Graduate School application fee
  • A current resume, along with a statement of professional experience and goals. This statement of approximately two pages must describe the applicant's professional goals, experience, and responsibilities. The statement must also indicate why the applicant is applying to the professional MPS/SCM program at Penn State
  • One letter of recommendation relevant to the applicant's professional capabilities, such as preferably from the employee's immediate supervisor, which should address the applicant's readiness for graduate study
  • Official transcripts from all completed graduate and undergraduate coursework
  • An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, or grade average of "B": or better in graduate courses completed since the first bachelor's degree, with at least 6 credits of graduate courses completed to qualify under this option
  • Official Graduate Management Admission Test scores reported directly from the testing center to Penn State

A committee consisting of three SC&IS Department faculty meet once annually to review applications and identify applicants qualified for admission. Admissions decisions are based on a review of a complete admission portfolio, including an application, the statement of professional experience and goals, a current resume, official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended, the letter of recommendation, and GMAT scores. An applicant's credentials are compared to the standards set by other candidates in the current application pool. Approved applicants are admitted in time to enroll for the fall semester offerings that begin in early August.

Degree Requirements

Students earn the professional MPS/SCM degree by successfully completing 30 graduate credits in supply chain management courses and a high-quality professional paper as a culminating experience. All MPS/SCM credits must be earned in courses at the 500 level or above, including at least 6 credits at the 500 level. The professional paper demonstrates the student's ability to apply advanced supply chain management knowledge to a supply chain-related problem or situation in a way that makes a substantial contribution to the student's professional development. The program requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 and no course grade below a C. All requirements for the professional MPS/SCM degree, including acceptance of the professional paper, must be met within four years of admission to degree status. Students are expected to make continuous progress toward the degree. Leaves of absence, however, may be granted under exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

A maximum of 10 credits of high-quality graduate work completed at other accredited institutions may be applied toward the requirements for the professional MPS/SCM degree. However, credits earned to complete a previously completed professional or academic postbaccalaureate degree, whether at Penn State or elsewhere, may not be applied to a second postbaccalaureate degree program at Penn State. Approval to apply any transferred credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser or program and the Graduate School. Transferred academic work must have been completed within five years prior to the date of first degree registration at the Graduate School, must be of at least B quality (grades of B- are not transferable), and must appear on an official graduate transcript of an accredited university.

Prescribed Courses

530. Supply Chain Analysis (3)
594. Research Topics (3)
800. Supply Chain Management (4)
810. Transportation and Distribution (4)
820. Strategic Procurement (4)
840. Supply Chain Project Management (4)
850. Supply Chain Design and Strategy (4)
860. Supply Chain Transformation and Innovation (4)

Student Aid

Fellowships, traineeships, graduate assistantships, and other forms of financial aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.



Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2007

Blue Sheet Item #: 35-06-541

Review Date: 4/10/07