MIT Supply Chain Management

Core Courses

SCM students are required to take the following core courses. Students must also meet two focus area requirements and complete a thesis.

  Required Courses  Offered in
 ESD.250 Analytical Methods for Supply Chain Management  Fall (August)
 ESD.260 Logistics Systems  Fall
 ESD.261 Case Studies in Logistics & Supply Chain Management  Spring
 ESD.262 Supply Chain Leadership  IAP (January)
 ESD.263 Thesis Seminar  Spring
 ESD.264 Database, Internet, & Systems Integration Technologies  Fall
 ESD.803 Introduction to Supply Chain Leadership  Fall (August)
ESD.S20 Business Writing Seminar  Fall


  Financial Analysis Focus
(one of the following)
 Offered in
 ESD.251 Supply Chain Finance  Fall
 15.011 Economic Analysis for Business Decisions  Fall
 15.521 Management Accounting and Control  Spring


  System Analysis Focus
(one of the following) 
Offered in
 15.871(4) System Dynamics  Fall and Spring
 ESD.71 Engineering Systems Analysis for Design  Fall


 ESD.THG SCM Graduate Thesis  Spring

ESD.250 Analytical Methods for Supply Chain Management (Fall)
Covers the primary methods of analysis required for supply chain management planning. The class solves various practical problems using simulation, linear programming, integer programming, regression, and other techniques. The work is primarily team based with a final exam. (B. Arntzen, T. Craig, S. Phadnis, R. Perez-Franco)

ESD.260 Logistics Systems (Fall)
Introduction to supply chain management from both analytical and practical perspectives. Stressing a unified approach, the course allows the student to develop a framework for making intelligent decisions within the supply chain. Key logistics functions are covered to include demand planning, procurement, inventory theory and control, transportation planning and execution, reverse logistics, and flexible contracting. Concepts explored include postponement, portfolio management, dual sourcing, and others. Emphasis is placed on being able to recognize and manage risk, analyze various tradeoffs, and model logistics systems. (C. Caplice, Y. Sheffi) (Prerequisite: permission of instructor)

ESD.261 Case Studies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Spring)
A combination of lectures and cases covering the strategic, management, and operating issues in contemporary logistics and integrated supply chain management. Includes: logistics strategy; supply restructuring and change management; and distribution, customer service, and inventory policy. (J. Byrnes) (Prerequisite: permission of instructor)

ESD.262 Supply Chain Leadership (IAP)
This course reinforces supply chain concepts covered in prerequisite coursework and develops management and teamwork skills. The focus is on practical rather than theoretical, tools, methodologies, and approaches that students will use throughout their supply chain career. The course includes guest lectures and a large-scale, team-based simulation game. The course is taught jointly with students from the MIT Global SCALE Network. (B. Arntzen)

ESD.263 Thesis Seminar (Spring)
The thesis process, technical writing, and executive summary. Seminar organizes students into groups for feedback. Meets intermittently throughout the term. Limited to Supply Chain Management (SCM) program students. (B. Arntzen, TBD)

ESD.264 Database, Internet & Systems Integration Technologies (Fall)
Survey of information technology covering database modeling, design, and implementation with an emphasis on relational databases and SQL. Internet technologies: http, html, XML, SOAP, security. Brief introduction to components and middleware. Introduction to design and implementation of multi-tier architectures, benchmarks, and performance. Data networking protocols and technologies. Students complete project that covers requirements/design, data model, database implementation, website, and system architecture. (G. Kocur)

ESD.71 Engineering Systems Analysis for Design
Covers theory and methods to identify, value, and implement flexibility in design, also known as "real options." Use of flexible designs is a game-changing approach that often leads to spectacular increases in expected performance (30% and more). The course covers these topics: definition of uncertainties, simulation of performance for scenarios, screening models to identify desirable flexibility, decision and lattice analysis, and multidimensional economic evaluation. Students demonstrate proficiency through an extended application of their choice. (R. de Neufville)

ESD.803 Introduction to Supply Chain Leadership
Designed to enhance students' ability to manage and lead in challenging times through a series of self-assessment instruments, case studies, and workshops. The objectives are to increase awareness of the their strengths and weaknesses as leaders, provide a battery of instruments and surveys to help the understand the way to operate in an organizational setting, and offer strategies and tips on how to leverage the their strengths and work on areas in need of development. (L. Hafrey, M. Holtman)

ESD.251 Supply Chain Finance
This course links supply chain management to the financial systems and objectives of the corporation. It emphasizes how the supply chain creates value for both the shareholders of the company and the stakeholders affected by the company’s operations. The sessions are a combination of lectures and cases from the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer perspectives that are rich with data. Topics include: supply chain valuation, activity based costing, cash flow projections, working capital management, trade finance. (J. Goentzel, James B. Rice, Jr.)

15.011 Economic Analysis for Business Decisions
Introduces students to the principles of microeconomic analysis used in managerial decision-making. Topics include demand, cost and surplus analysis, the behavior of competitive and noncompetitive markets, sources and uses of market power, and game theory and competitive strategy, with applications to various business and public policy decisions. Antitrust policy and other government regulations are also discussed. (J. Doyle)

15.521 Management Accounting and Control
Introduces participants to the language and methodologies of internal accounting practices. Topics include cost allocations, absorption costing, standard costing, transfer pricing, and performance measurement and evaluation. Major focus is on identifying which information is useful and which is useless and potentially misleading. (S. Keating)

15.871(4) System Dynamics for Business Policy (Fall or Spring)
Introduction to systems thinking and system dynamics modeling applied to strategy, organizational change, and policy design. Students use simulation models, management flight simulators, and case studies to develop conceptual and modeling skills for the design and management of high-performance organizations in a dynamic world. Case studies of successful applications of system dynamics in growth strategy, management of technology, operations, supply chains, product development, and others. Considers strategic issues such as business cycles, market growth and stagnation, the diffusion of new technologies, the misuse of forecasts, and rationality of managerial decision making and principles for effective use of modeling in the real world. (J. Sterman, and staff)