Olin Business School announces new degree in supply chain management

Master's degree will give students competitive edge in vital career sector

Calling it a “timely and exciting new degree program,” Mahendra Gupta, Dean of the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, announced the school will launch a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management (MS/SCM) specialized program in September 2009. The 12-month, 36-credit-hour program brings together faculty renowned for scholarly and consultative research in risk management and supply chain management; a cutting-edge curriculum and active collaboration with industry leaders and the supply chain issues they encounter.

Panos Kouvelis, Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations & Manufacturing Management and director of Olin’s Boeing Center for Technology, Information and Manufacturing (BCTIM) will direct the program. He says demand for expertise in supply chain management is growing as companies expand and compete in the global marketplace. The recession, Kouvelis says, has highlighted the crucial role supply chain management plays in corporate strategy. “The economic crisis has forced all companies to look at ways to better control their costs and renew their capabilities across their global supply chains. These days there is competition among supply chains, not just firms, and the better chains will win.”

Supply chains involve procurement, manufacturing, transporting and delivery of goods to and from multiple locations. Efficient management requires complex levels of coordination and a command of many different skills. Students in the new MS/SCM program will be required to take courses across the business school spectrum including finance, marketing, organizational behavior, operations and accounting. Kouvelis says this multi-disciplined academic foundation will be complemented by “a strong experiential component and increased interactions between faculty, students and corporate partners. The Boeing Center on Technology, Information and Manufacturing (BCTIM) will be deeply involved in managing the student projects with our corporate partners which is a unique feature of our program.”

The MS/SCM program is designed to appeal to students with undergraduate degrees in business, engineering, economics, mathematics or science. “This program is for those with an interest in managing complex systems with high levels of variability and uncertainty,” Kouvelis says. “The program applies equally to those interested in manufacturing or services such as healthcare or non-profit management such as humanitarian logistics organizations.” The specialized degree will also be available to students in the two year MBA program at Olin.

For complete details on the MS/SCM curriculum, requirements and application, go to http://www.olin.wustl.edu/academicprograms/MSSCM/Pages/default.aspx.

Editor’s Note: Professor Kouvelis is available for interviews. ISDN and VYVX lines for taped or live broadcast are available free of charge. Contact: Melody Walker, melody_walker@wustl.edu, 314-935-6325.