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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Programs in Distribution and Material Management

Majors Overview June 6, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in distribution and material management and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Information on Distribution and Material Management Programs

No school offers master’s degree programs specifically in distribution and material management. However, master’s degree programs in organizational management and supply chain management are offered at many schools. These may lead to a Master of Science (M.S.) in Supply Chain Management or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Organizational Management with a specialization in supply chain management.

Admission criteria for either program require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree as well as some relevant work experience. Students enrolled in a master’s degree program gain the management and leadership skills necessary for progressing beyond entry-level positions. Coursework covers topic areas such as distribution, logistics, and inventory control, apart from business skills such as finance, negotiation, and strategic thinking.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Organizational Management Specializing in Supply Chain Management

Students enrolled in the Master of Arts (M.A.) programs in Organizational Management develop the advanced leadership and management skills necessary for succeeding in the business world. With a specialization in supply chain management, program graduates can expect to become adept in distribution, logistics, materials management, production, and inventory control.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and a GPA of at least 2.0, though different schools may have different GPA requirements. Schools may also require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and letters of recommendation. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam may be a requirement for individuals who are not native English speakers.


Program graduates can expect to have adept management and advanced leadership skills. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Organizational behavior
•Problem solving
•Strategic thinking
•Decision making
•Supply chain management

Career Choices

While an undergraduate degree would suffice for entry-level careers, graduates of the MA program can seek higher-level occupations. They may seek to become entrepreneurs or aim for upper-management positions in industries such as:

•Human resources
•Raw material acquisitions

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Supply Chain Management

Students who seek the advanced skills necessary for succeeding as managers of complex global and national supply channels would benefit by enrolling in this program. Students learn about managing the life cycle of products starting from raw material through to delivery aimed at reducing waste and increasing efficiency.

Educational requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, meet a GPA standard of 2.5, and submit letters of recommendation and proof of relevant work experience. Holders of bachelor’s degrees in areas other than business may be required to complete prerequisite courses.


Coursework covers every facet of the supply chain, in addition to the development of logistics and management skills. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Negotiation skills
•Managerial economics
•Materials management

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek various upper-level occupations in the business world, including:

•Management analysts
•Logistics consultants
•Operations research analysts
•Purchasing agents
•Industrial production managers

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 27% has been predicted for operations research analysts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During the same period, the best employment opportunities are expected to be enjoyed by holders of a master’s or doctoral degree in operations management or supply chain management, among other related fields. In 2012, operations research analysts brought in an average annual wage of $72,100 (BLS).

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