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Penn State’s Undergraduate Supply Chain Program Again Tops Gartner’s 2018 Rankings

08/02/2018 By

Pennsylvania State University’s supply chain program has once again taken the top spot in Gartner’s 2018 rankings of the top 25 undergraduate supply chain programs in North America.

But other rankings have seen some shuffling. Rutgers University and Auburn University were ranked second and third this year, while Michigan State University’s supply chain program, previously ranked second, has fallen to the fourth spot.

There have also been a number of new entrants since 2016, the last time Gartner published its Top 25 list. These include Northeastern University (10th), Texas Christian University (14th) and the University of Arkansas (15th).


In compiling the rankings, Gartner evaluates programs according to three criteria: industry value, program scope and program size. Industry value and program scope are both weighted 40% towards the overall ranking, while program size accounts for 20%. Penn State received the highest possible score in the industry value and program size categories.

Industry value is determined by average starting salary, undergraduate internship participation, “best” mentions in SCM World’s Top Supply Chain Universities and recruit mentions. Program scope refers to the number of attributes taught, and program size is represented by the number of full-time professors and students.

Notable Trends

Over the past few years, the percentage of supply chain students participating in internships has dramatically increased. Many programs, such as the ones at Rutgers and Auburn, require students to participate in an internship or cooperative education program, better known as a co-op.

While in 2014, less than a quarter of programs required their students to participate in an internship, in 2018 about 37.5% can boast a 100% internship participation rate. The percentage of programs with less than 50% internship participation has decreased from nearly half in 2014 to 12.5% in 2018.

Another notable trend is the increase in the number of programs offering supply chain IT and analytics courses. In 2011, there were only 11 undergraduate programs offering analytics. In 2018, this number has shot up to 49.

Today, students typically take courses in finance, sourcing, delivery, planning, and performance management and analytics in order to complete an undergraduate degree in supply chain.

See the full program rankings for yourself.