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Master’s Degree Programs in Transportation and Logistics Management Overview

Majors Overview February 4, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in transportation and logistics management and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and certification choices.

Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Transportation and Logistics Management Overview

The pursuit of a master’s degree, typically a Master of Science (M.S.), in supply chain management or transportation and logistics management can benefit a student interested in a career as a distribution manager. Schools also offer Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees with supply chain management specializations.

These programs are devised to teach students about supply chain processes in domestic as well as global systems. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school; in some programs, the undergraduate degree must necessarily be in business administration. Voluntary professional certification is available to graduates of logistics management or transportation master’s programs.

Master’s Programs in Transportation and Logistics Management

Different schools offer master’s degrees in transportation and logistics management under different titles; these include the Master of Transportation and Logistics Management and the Master of Science (M.S.) in Transportation and Logistics Management. Various schools have similar degree requirements, and students enrolled in these programs are typically required to complete 30-36 credit hours.


Courses in supply chain management and global logistics management are in nearly every degree program in this area. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Computers and technology for logistics and transportation
•Managing transportation in the United States
•Similarities and differences in transportation techniques
•History of transportation
•Transportation logistics and planning
•Designs and objectives in transportation methods

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2014, distribution, transportation, and storage managers, including logistics managers, brought in an average annual wage of $93,180 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, these professionals are expected to see a job growth of 10% (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certifications Choices

Professional certification from the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) and the Association for Operations Management (APICS) can help enhance professional opportunities. Two main certifications, namely, the Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CFPIM) and the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), are available through APICS.

Some requirements for earning the ASTL’s Certification in Transportation and Logistics (CTL) may be waived for holders of either of these credentials. Qualification criteria for the CTL typically require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree; thus, a prospective student may decide to earn this credential before pursuing a master’s degree program.

Master of Supply Chain Management Programs

Coursework of comprehensive supply chain management programs may incorporate the curriculum usually included in logistics management programs to augment marketing and customer relations coursework. Students enrolled in these programs are required to cover about 36 credit hours of classes.


Enrollees in supply chain management courses become adept at monitoring logistics systems and analyzing and evaluating supply chains. Electives may be available in information technology, international trade, and distribution management. Core coursework may commonly cover topic areas such as:

•Strategic acquisitions
•Distribution and transportation
•Information systems
•Supply chains management
•Data decision models
•Strategies and designs for supply chains

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose from a broad array of career options around the world in various industries. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Distribution center or fulfillment supervisor
•Transportation coordinator or manager
•Consultant for supply chains and logistics
•Acquisitions or purchasing manager
•Supply chain software manager

Continuing Education and Certifications Choices

Many organizations offer certification options to holders of a master’s degree in transportation and logistics management; several other certification options may be available to holders of a supply chain management degree. APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), a prestigious certification that interested individuals can earn by passing an exam. A points system of professional development is used to allow renewal of the certification every five years.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs with Supply Chain or Logistics Management Specializations

There is greater emphasis on financing, accounting and marketing in MBA degrees in Supply Chain or Logistics Management than in the other degrees cited in this article. Students enrolled in these programs learn about the best ways of transporting goods while considering customer service, cost efficiency, and punctuality. Several business courses that apply to supply chain management and international logistics may also be in the program.

Education Requirements

Enrollees in some MBA degree programs are required to hold undergraduate degrees in business administration or to demonstrate that they are competent in core business aspects. Holders of non-business degrees and individuals needing particular course credits to begin the MBA program’s classes may have to complete bridge courses (offered on campus or online) as compensation for a lack in prior business coursework. About 36-60 semester hours are required to be completed, varying in accordance with whether students have sufficient applicable work experience or an adequate background in business courses.


Coursework varies greatly by the program, particularly in the weight given to the supply chain and logistics work. Supply chain and logistics principles are dealt with in courses, along with the application of advanced management topics to the field. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Supply chain software
•Supply chain management seminar
•Techniques for business research
•Management operations for supply chains
•Inventory management for supply chains
•Global sourcing
•Designing business processes for supply chains

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Operations Analyst
•Product control manager
•Warehouse Manager
•Fleet operations manager
•Receiving and shipping manager

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