Gartner Names Penn State as Top Supply Chain Undergraduate Program

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Gartner recently announced its list for top supply chain undergraduate programs in North America. At the top sits Pennsylvania State University, followed by Michigan State University — supply chain programs that have received top nods in various rankings in recent years. The two schools also tied for first place the last time Gartner released its Top 25 list back in 2014.

For the biennial report on top supply chain undergraduate programs, Gartner evaluates the school’s program scope, size and its industry value. In all, 51 institutions participated in the 2016 analysis. Rounding out the top 5 schools on the list is University of Tennessee, Arizona State University and Rutgers University, taking third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

When it came to program scope, specifically, which accounted for 40% of Gartner’s overall scoring system, the University of Tennessee received the top spot. Marquette University and Penn State took second and third in this category, respectively. For the industry value category, which like program scope, accounted for 40% of overall evaluation, Michigan State was at the top, followed by Penn State and Arizona State. Regarding program size, Georgia Institute of Technology was the largest, with Michigan State University and Penn State falling into second and third, respectively. Program size accounted for 20% of the evaluation score.

Key Trends

Beside overall rankings, the Gartner report also identifies some key trends among undergraduate supply chain programs, such as more curriculums expanding beyond purchasing and logistics. For instance, three out of four supply chain undergraduate students with take formal coursework in technology and analytics. Nearly all will take finance and accounting courses, too, according to the report. This is similar to the ratios in the 2014 report, however.

Noteable Changes

What has changed in the last two years is enrollment in supply chain undergraduate programs, growing an average of 43% among the top programs. According to Gartner, more U.S. and Canadian universities are offering supply chain majors or rebranding existing programs focused on logistics, transportation and operations research as supply chain programs. Yet Gartner recommended chief supply chain officers to take a close look at these rebranded programs when looking for internship or recruiting partnerships.

Even though the name of the program has changed to ‘supply chain,’ the curriculum may still reflect a more narrow view,” Gartner said in its report.  

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