Pandemic to provide real-world lessons for new UK Master’s in Supply Chain Management

For Haoying Sun, an assistant professor of supply chain management at the University of Kentucky, COVID-19 highlights the growing importance of managing the global supply chains efficiently and effectively.

This fall, Sun plans to incorporate lessons learned from the pandemic into the classroom as the Gatton College of Business and Economics launches a new degree program — a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management.

“We are proud to launch the first and only program of its kind in Kentucky,” Sun, who also serves as program director, said. “The degree will offer students training toward a career now at the center of critical conversations about how to fix disruptions in the global supply chain.”

Throughout the one-year, 30 credit-hour program, students will learn how to use business application software to assist decision making in a global supply chain setting.

Whether it’s analysts trying to determine lead time and reallocate inventory, warehouse managers scheduling workforces or front-line operations specialists trying to meet the shift of consumer demand — data analysis skills and evidence-based decision making are crucial.

"There has never been a better time to develop supply chain professionals than right now," Simon Sheather, dean of Gatton College, said. "Beyond the recent focus on global supply chain disruptions in areas such as food, medicine and technology, more large and small businesses are making strategic supply chain investments to innovate and stay competitive."

"Many of the class activities will involve real-world supply chain challenges, so we can teach students to apply analytical, critical and logical reasoning skills to solve problems that supply chain professionals are facing right now,” Sun added.

The new program is designed to prepare students for various professions in supply chain management:

  • business operations specialist
  • general and operations manager
  • industrial production manager
  • logistician
  • operations research analyst
  • purchasing manager
  • transportation, storage and distribution manager

Gatton College is partnering with major companies, including Alltech, Brown-Forman, Lexmark, Tempur Sealy, R.J. Corman, Toyota and Valvoline, among others, to provide students with supply chain management-related projects. 

“If you want to be part of the solution to some of the biggest issues facing our global markets, then supply chain management is the right program for you,” Sun said.

Applications for Fall 2020 are being accepted until July 24. GMAT and GRE requirements are currently being waived for 2020 applicants due to COVID-19 disruption to the testing centers.

Scholarship and teaching assistant opportunities are available to selected students along with a “Financing Your Future: Graduate Business Education” webinar Tuesday, May 19. For more information, please visit the Gatton College website or contact Haoying Sun. The Gatton College of Business and Economics has additional graduate programs that can be found here.