Watch Now

Gartner releases Supply Chain University Top 25 for 2020

Attracting top graduates will require redesigning internships and onboarding for remote work, research analysts say

Photo credit: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Global research and advisory firm Gartner on Wednesday released its 2020 Supply Chain University Top 25, showcasing the best in North American undergraduate and graduate education.

The top three undergraduate programs, in order of ranking, were the University of Arkansas,* Rutgers University and Penn State.

The top three graduate programs, in order of ranking, were Penn State, the University of Tennessee and Georgia Tech.

The rankings were based on three categories of criteria: program scope, industry value and industry size. 

In 2020, formal global content as well as diversity and inclusion measures were added to the scoring process.

Sixty-seven universities participated in the survey rankings, 59 eligible for undergraduate programs and 50 for graduate programs.

Gartner’s list of the top 25 supply chain undergraduate programs for 2020

In a webinar accompanying  the release of the lists, Gartner analysts Dana Stiffler and Carolyn Chumakov identified some of the 2020 curriculum, placement and salary trends. 


The average starting salary for undergraduates is $58,569, up from $56,973 in 2018.

In the top 10 undergraduate programs, the average salary clocks in at $63,067, up from $61,654 in 2018.


— Ninety-two percent of graduates are placed within three months of graduation.

— Seventy-four percent are placed at or before graduation.


Popular areas of focus included customer management, project management and governance.


Twenty-four percent of professors in the top 25 were female and 30% were minorities.

Graduate program winners


The average salary for a supply chain MBA is $91,949, up from $88,935 in 2018.

The average salary for a Master’s in Supply Chain Management is $85,879, up from $83,066.

Of the top 10 schools, MBAs average well above $100,000.


— Forty-five percent of students are already employed and plan to continue to work for their employer post-graduation.

— Forty-two percent secured a new job prior to graduation and 18% were employed within three months after graduation (average totals will exceed 100%)


— Forty-seven percent of students were ethnic minorities, and 40% were women. International enrollment declined by 5%.


To attract graduates from high-performing schools, Stiffler and Chumakov recommended supply chain organizations re-evaluate and calibrate partnerships based on their geographic focus, supply chain strategy and maturity, and value proposition.

They also suggested companies redesign internships, onboarding, and management practices for remote and distributed work, as well as highlight their organizations’ role in pandemic response and recovery and what they are doing to keep employees safe.

*Matt Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas, is the featured guest on FreightWaves’ Midday Market Update on Thursday at noon EDT.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Linda Baker.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected]