TU offers new accelerated dual degree track in supply chain management

By Laura Braddick on Sept. 10, 2018

Towson University students can earn bachelor's and master's degrees in supply chain management in as little as five years with new offering.

Study supply chain management at Towson University
Towson University assistant professor Dr. Natalie M. Scala (left) leads a new dual degree program in supply chain management.

Towson University is now offering a unique program for students to earn two degrees in an efficient pairing.

Students looking for increasingly in-demand business careers can earn both their bachelor's degree in project management and business analysis and a master's degree in supply chain management in less time through the new combined B.S./M.S. program offered by the College of Business and Economics.

Advanced technologies and automated systems are reshaping supply chain management careers. Companies' need for purchasing, procurement and logistics roles are shrinking. They are now looking for experts who can design and manage complex supply chain systems using specialized software.

"Data analytics are an essential for organizations and demand for professionals with these skills will only increase. Furthermore, supply chains are playing an even more critical role, even in service economies: products and services must be sourced quickly, cheaply, and securely," said assistant professor Natalie M. Scala, Ph.D., the new director of graduate programs in supply chain management.

Scala brings over 10 years of experience in industry and academia, as well as a wealth of contacts, to the director’s role.  She continues to consult to defense clients and also has industry experience with electric utilities.  Her research interests focus on military applications and cybersecurity, and she has been published in top journals such as Decision Analysis, Group Decision and Negotiation, and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.  She assumes the director role from Tobin Porterfield, Ph.D., who worked to launch and then build Maryland’s first graduate degree in supply chain.  Porterfield assumes the role of department chair in the College of Business and Economics. 

The B.S./M.S. program provides a seamless transition to graduate school for College of Business and Economics students. Students work towards their undergraduate degree in business administration with a concentration in project management and business analysis. During their junior years, students apply for the combined program, and once accepted, begin taking graduate level courses in supply chain management during senior year that count toward both degrees. With a proper academic plan, most students can complete the program and earn both degrees in five years.

Driven by industry demands, both the M.S. in supply chain management and combined B.S./M.S. program focus on preparing graduates for new careers that are still evolving. With courses and capstone projects taught by professors like Scala, who have both extensive academic and industry experience, students learn the skills through hands-on, experiential learning.

"Graduates of this program will have a solid and innovative business education coupled with specialized knowledge in procurement, sourcing, analytics, and other components of the supply chain," Scala said. "They will be able to seamlessly transition into exciting positions within the Greater Baltimore region and beyond."

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: World-Class Development Center.