A Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics is a degree that offers you the chance to explore a range of industries. You’ll receive an education in how companies operate on a global scale and learn about everything from consumer behavior to logistics management. More than just learning theory, you’ll have the opportunity to work on practical projects that will help you develop the skills you need to be a successful supply chain leader, executive, or educator. This guide will introduce you to the types of doctorate programs in supply chain management and logistics, the requirements, and potential careers for someone with this degree.
What is a Doctorate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics Programs?
With a Doctorate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics (SCM/L), you’ll learn about things like consumer behavior and logistics management. Students interested in this degree typically have a passion for logistics and supply chain management and want to make a difference in the world of business. SCM/L doctorate programs are designed for students interested in working in academia or leading supply chain management in various industries. Students can expect to take courses in business, operations research, marketing, and quantitative methods. In addition to classroom coursework, students are also required to complete a dissertation or thesis on a topic of their choosing related to SCM/L.
Professionals looking to make a career change into SCM/L or those who want to teach at the university level may find that a doctorate is the next step in their career. Earning your Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics can also open doors to various executive positions in this field.
Types of Supply Chain Management and Logistics Doctorates
Many types of doctorate programs focus on SCM/L, so it’s important to find one that fits your needs. You can choose from a variety of specializations, such as:
- Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management: This program focuses on the strategic and operational aspects of supply chains, from planning and procurement to delivery and final consumption. In addition, it teaches students how to optimize supply chains through data analysis and modeling.
- Ph.D. in Logistics: A Ph.D. in Logistics is a degree that helps you learn about how companies operate on a global scale. The Ph.D. in Logistics program is designed for students with solid work experience who can commit to a full-time program with the goal of an academic career in research and teaching supply chain and logistics. The coursework covers a broad range of topics, including theory development and research methods.
- DBA in Supply Chain Management and Logistics: The DBA in SCM/L is a graduate program that covers fundamental business subjects with a concentration on supply chain research and management. This degree is suited to students who wish to work as supply chain executives.
There are also many other specialty Ph.D. programs in Supply Chain Management and Logistics available.
- Ph.D. in Operations Management: This program is designed for students who want to work as operations executives or consultants. A Ph.D. in Operations Management will teach you about how businesses operate and how to optimize operations to improve performance.
- Ph.D. in Global Supply Chain: This Ph.D. will focus on the management of global supply chains, and you’ll learn about things like cultural differences and international logistics. You’ll also learn about how to conduct research in a global setting.
- Doctor of Engineering (DE) in Logistics: A DE in Logistics is a degree that helps you learn about how companies operate on a global scale. The coursework covers a broad range of topics, including theory development and research methods.
- Ph.D. in Supply Chain Engineering: This Ph.D. will teach you about the design and optimization of supply chains. The program is perfect for students with a background in engineering and offers an interdisciplinary approach, allowing students to explore a variety of topics in the field.
- Ph.D. in Supply Chain Analytics: A Ph.D. in Supply Chain Analytics will teach you how to use data analytics to improve supply chain performance. The program provides students with a strong foundation in quantitative methods and research skills that can be used in a variety of industries.
DBA vs. Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics
Both the DBA and Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics programs will teach you about the research and management of supply chains. However, there are a few key differences between these programs:
|Program||DBA Supply Chain Management and Logistics||Ph.D. Supply Chain Management and Logistics|
|Program Length||3 Years||3-5 Years|
|Careers||Executive, Consultant||Professor, Author, Research|
- The DBA in SCM/L focuses specifically on professional and real-world applications, while the Ph.D. focuses on theory.
- The DBA in SCM/L is designed for students who want to work in the supply chain industry, while the Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management is designed for students who want to work in academia or research.
- DBA programs are designed for working professionals, while Ph.D. programs are full-time.
- DBA programs typically take less time to complete (three years), while a Ph.D. is expected to take three to five years.
- Expect 60 credit hours to complete a DBA program and more than 90 credit hours for a Ph.D. program.
Most Ph.D. programs in Supply Chain Management and Logistics will take three to five years to complete. Students can expect to work on a variety of tasks while enrolled in a doctorate program in supply chain management and logistics. They will usually be required to take classes, complete research projects, and write a dissertation.
To be accepted into a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics program, prospective students must have a master’s degree from an accredited institution. Additionally, they will need to have a minimum GPA and must submit GRE scores. Some programs may also require that students have work experience in the field of supply chain management and provide the following:
- Master’s degree from an accredited institution
- Professional resume
- Letters of recommendation
- GRE or GMAT scores
- Statement of purpose
- Application fee
- Financial guarantee form
- TOEFL scores (international students)
- Relevant background experience
The curriculum for a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics will vary from school to school. However, most programs will offer a variety of courses that will teach you about the research and management of supply chains. Credit hours for a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics will vary, but you can expect to complete a minimum of 90 credit hours.
Here are some of the courses you can expect to take in this program:
- Supply Chain Management Theory
- Strategic Sourcing
- Logistics Management/Systems
- Business Analytics
- Supply Chain Strategy
- Organizational Research Methods
Dissertation and Final Exam Requirements
Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics Programs typically will require you to complete a dissertation. In addition to your coursework, you’ll likely have to pass an oral examination and defend your dissertation in front of a committee.
- Write a Dissertation: Dissertations are a common requirement for students earning a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. A dissertation is typically around 100-120 pages long. An example of a dissertation may be: “A Study of the Relationship Between Lean Manufacturing Practices and Supplier Performance.”
- Defend your Dissertation: To complete your dissertation, you’ll need to choose a topic, develop a research proposal, gather data, and write a dissertation. You will then need to defend the dissertation in front of a committee. The committee will usually consist of three to five members, including a chairperson. The committee will ask you questions about your research and dissertation. You may also have to answer questions from an audience.
- Oral Exam: Oral examinations are also a common requirement for students earning a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. To pass your oral examination, you’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject matter and your ability to think critically about the topic.
- Final Exam: In addition to completing a dissertation and passing an oral examination, you may also be required to complete a final exam. The final exam will test your knowledge of the material covered in your Ph.D. program in Supply Chain Management and Logistics.
What Can You Do with a Doctorate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics?
When choosing a doctorate program in SCM/L, it’s important to consider what you hope to gain from the experience. A doctorate can provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in various fields, including academia, research, and logistics management. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can do with a doctorate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics.
Possible career paths:
- Professor or Lecturer: A doctorate program in SCM/L can prepare you for a career in academia, teaching undergraduate and graduate students about the research and management of supply chains.
- Research Scientist: Doctorate programs can also help you get a job as a researcher, where you would research numerous aspects of supply chains and logistics. This could lead to being published in professional publications.
- Supply Chain Executive: Earning a doctorate in SCM/L can help you pursue a job as a supply chain executive, where you would oversee the supply chain operations of an organization or company.
- Consultant: SCM/L doctorate programs can also prepare you for a career as a consultant, where you would help companies improve their supply chain operations through various projects.
A doctorate in supply chain management and logistics can prepare you for a career in a variety of fields, including academia, research, logistics management, and consulting. With a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management and Logistics, you’ll have the skills and knowledge necessary to work in various positions where you would manage different aspects of the supply chain. So, if you’re interested in a career in logistics and supply chain management, a doctorate in supply chain management and logistics may be the right choice for you.