The University of San Diego's supply chain management program was named as one of the top 25 online graduate business programs in the country, according to a list released this week by U.S. News & World Report.
The 26-month program, which offers a master's degree, ranked 23rd out of the 213 programs evaluated.
The magazine based its rankings on such criteria as admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. Its highest score was for student engagement, based on student satisfaction with the course and instructor's responsiveness.
Joel Sutherland, managing director of USD's Supply Chain Management Institute, said the school has worked hard to earn the recognition and has "aggressive plans to continuously improve."
The program, which was launched in January 2002, focuses on training professionals to develop integrated networks that efficiently design, produce and deliver goods and services.
Sutherland said the online program emphasizes collaborative learning and teamwork in the "virtual environment," an important skill for 21st century businesses.
"Industry has emphasized the importance of talent that is collaborative and can work well in team settings," he said.
Since its launch, the program has trained 220 professionals from a variety of industries, including high technology, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and energy. They spend 20 days on campus during the course of the program and complete the remainder of instruction online. Sutherland says the campus component gives the program a "high-touch" aspect that some purely online "high-tech" courses fail to provide.
The USD program was the first master's degree program to receive approval by the Institute for Supply Management, the largest supply management association in the world, as well as full accreditation from England's Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply.