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Developing Master's Program in Logistics & Transportation

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Innovative Graduate Programs and Methods, Developing Master's & Ph.D. Programs and Graduate Teaching Assistants

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

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Paper Authors


MD B. Sarder University of Southern Mississippi

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Dr. Sarder is an associate professor and graduate program coordinator of the Logistics, Trade and Transportation program at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). He is also an assistant director of the center for logistics, trade and transportation. At the USM, he revamped his program by developing as many as fourteen new courses, implementing hands on experience in courses, and delivering online courses for distant students. Dr. Sarder is very active in engineering and technology education research. He has published three book and more than seventy articles in various areas of industrial engineering. He is actively involved with professional society activities including IISE and ASEE. He is the editor in chief of the International Journal of Logistics & Transportation Research and serving on the editorial board for several other journals.

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Logistics & transportation is one of the fastest growing discipline in the U.S. and around the world due to the important role of logistics in businesses. Nowadays, companies compete logistically compared to traditional view of providing superior products or services. Companies cannot attain competitive advantage unless their logistics and transportation professionals, irrespective of their functional orientation and current job responsibilities, fundamentally understand the dynamics of how products move from one place to another. A well designed graduate program in this area can produce graduates who can handle the job. The issue is that the number of graduates in this field is not meeting the current industry demand. Many U.S. Universities have recently developed and are planning to develop graduate degree programs in this area. This research (funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation) analyzed the need and identified best practices in logistics and transportation graduate education.

In developing a master’s program in logistics & transportation, one of the key is to identify existing programs related to this area and know what (best practices) makes them successful. Lessons learned from those programs can provide great insights to sustain the program. In the process of developing a master’s in logistics, trade and transportation, we conducted a comprehensive analysis in identifying similar programs in the U.S. While compiling a comprehensive list of thirty two Universities, we contacted them either by phone or email in order to provide responses to our survey questions about their graduate level logistics & transportation degree programs. At the time of this writing, twenty of these Universities have provided responses to those survey questions. Of the 20 Universities who responded 7 mentioned online learning and flexible class options as a benefit to working professionals. 6 cited location as a benefit to their program. 9 stated that their relationships with government organizations and major corporations are a large benefit. 2 stated that the reputation and legacies of their Universities was a big benefit to students. In general, it seems that the structure of graduate level programs in logistics & transportation are focused on working professionals and built around a focused curriculum. This focused curriculum means that most of these programs can be completed in 2 years or less. Another trend noticed was that most of these programs are non-thesis Masters programs, with only a few requiring a capstone project. Although not conclusive from this data we can see that in general, the graduate degree programs offered in logistics & transportation have a heavy focus on workplace readiness by encouraging interaction with relevant corporations and by helping working professionals to further advance their careers in the logistics & transportation fields.

Sarder, M. B. (2016, June), Developing Master's Program in Logistics & Transportation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26765

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