MicroMasters® Program Basics
arrow_drop_down What is the MITx MicroMasters program credential in Supply Chain Management? ¶
The MITx MicroMasters program credential in Supply Chain Management is a standalone certification program offered by MITx that is designed and administered by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL) and supported by the MIT Office of Digital Learning (ODL).
The MITx MicroMasters program credential consists of five intensive online courses covering all aspects of logistics and supply chain management along with a virtual or in-person, proctored comprehensive final exam. It is important to also note that the MicroMasters program is NOT a degree-granting program nor is it a guarantee of admissions to MIT or the SCM graduate program.
It is a separate stand-alone professional certificate offered by MITx and delivered by edX. Read more or enroll on edX here.
More information on the full 10-Month Supply Chain Management Master's program is here.
arrow_drop_down What are the five online courses required for the MITx MicroMasters program credential in SCM? ¶
There are five online courses required to complete the MITx MicroMasters program credential in SCM:
- CTL.SC0x - Supply Chain Analytics
- CTL.SC1x - Supply Chain Fundamentals
- CTL.SC2x - Supply Chain Design
- CTL.SC3x - Supply Chain Dynamics
- CTL.SC4x - Supply Chain Technology and Systems
To be eligible for the MicroMasters program credential, you must earn a Verified Certificate in each course. Read more about verification here. Once you pass all five courses as a paid verified learner you will be invited to the CFx Comprehensive Final Exam (see below). Upon successful completion of the CFx you will earn the credential.
arrow_drop_down How are the courses delivered? ¶
All course content, practice problems, exams, reading materials, and external links are delivered through the course platform on edX. After you enroll, the course is delivered on a weekly, instructor-paced schedule.
Every week at 15:00 UTC, beginning on the course start date, you receive course materials and instructions for each week. A full course syllabus, expected deadlines and course requirements are released in the first orientation week of each course called "Week 0".
All course instruction is pre-recorded. Any instructor interaction takes place within the course forums or using the course email. Many of our courses feature "live events", when instructors and guests appear live on video for interactive sessions.
Midterms and final exams are released for one week, usually on week six and twelve respectively. Once you open an exam you have between two and four hours to complete it, depending on the exam. All deadlines within the course also occur at 15:00 UTC.
If you have never taken a course on edX you can try Demo_x.
arrow_drop_down How do I enroll in the credential, and do I need to have an undergraduate degree? ¶
There is no formal enrollment in the MicroMasters program credential. Instead, you should enroll for free in each individual course as your schedule permits. Course enrollments are open to anyone, anywhere with an internet connection. There are no pre-requisites or undergraduate degrees required to enroll. Given that these are graduate-level, analytical courses, we suggest you have a grasp of algebra, probability, and statistical concepts, along with curiosity and the willingness to learn. Key Concepts taught in the courses are available here (pdf download).
In order to complete the credential, you do need to enroll as a verified learner in each of the courses and the comprehensive final exam (CFx). In our courses, the deadline to pay the course fee to Verify is at the end of the third week of each course. Read more about course verification on edX here.
You may also Verify to pursue the entire MITx MicroMasters Program Credential in SCM program at one time within 24 months. Read more here.
arrow_drop_down Do I need to be a verified learner to earn the MITx MicroMasters program credential in SCM? ¶
Yes. If you are interested in the MITx MicroMasters program credential - you must successfully pass and receive a Verified Certificate in each of the five SCx courses (CTL.SC0x, CTL.SC1x, CTL.SC2x, CTL.SC3x, and CTL.SC4x). Learn more about verified certificates here. After completing the five courses you will be invited to the next Comprehensive Final Exam (CFx) which you need to pass in order to receive the credential. Read more about the CFx here.
arrow_drop_down How much does the MITx MicroMasters program credential in SCM cost, and is there financial aid? ¶
The cost to take each course is US$200. The cost to sit for the Comprehensive Final Exam is $200. The overall cost of the five course plus the final exam is US$1200.
EdX may provide discounts for online courses only. You can learn more and find out if you qualify here.
arrow_drop_down When will the next SCx course be run? ¶
The next runs of each course are always listed here on this FAQ in the right-hand sidebar. You can download a pdf schedule here. All course enrollment, midterm and final exam deadlines are at 15:00 UTC on the date of the deadline.
arrow_drop_down How much time should I expect to spend on the courses and credential? ¶
Each course in the MITx MicroMasters program runs 13 weeks. The first week, called week 0, is introductory and there are no assignments. Midterms usually take place in week 6 and finals in week 12. We expect learners to invest between 6 and 12 hours per week during a course.
We expect it will take between 14 and 18 months to complete all five courses and final exam.
arrow_drop_down Is there any way to reduce the time needed to take and pass the five online SCx courses? ¶
No. To earn the MicroMasters Program Credential you need to successfully earn a verified certificate in all five SCx online courses when they are scheduled and then, pass the comprehensive Capstone Final Exam offered twice per year. The courses are on an instructor-paced schedule rather than self-paced, so there is no way to reduce the time to complete them.
arrow_drop_down May I take an SCx course out of order even if I have not taken its prerequisite? ¶
We strongly recommend that you at least start with SC0x. We have noticed that people who first complete this foundation course, fare better in any subsequent course. With that said, the answer is still yes. The prerequisites for each course are only recommendations on the level of material that will be covered. They are not enforced requirements. We recommend that you look at the Key Concepts Document (pdf) for each of the prerequisite courses listed to make sure you are comfortable with its content.
arrow_drop_down What are the key concepts covered in each course? ¶
The Key Concepts for all courses are continually updated here (pdf download)
arrow_drop_down May I take two SCx courses at the same time? ¶
Course instructors advise strongly against taking two courses at the same time. Graded assignments and exams often overlap. The weekly time to actively learn the concepts is estimated at 8-12 hours per week, though many learners report some weeks taking much more time.
arrow_drop_down May I use two or more different accounts for the SCx courses? ¶
No! Each edX student should have a single edX ID (username and email account) that must be used in the five SCx courses and also in the final capstone exam. In fact, using two different edX accounts within the same course are grounds for expulsion from the course.
arrow_drop_down May I repeat a course for a better score? ¶
Yes, you may repeat a course as many times as you wish. In order for a course to count toward the MicroMasters Program Credential, the passing course must be taken as an I.D. verified learner. Verification fees are not transferrable across courses.
arrow_drop_down What else do I need after passing the courses, to earn the MITx MicroMasters program credential in SCM? ¶
You need to successfully pass the proctored Final Capstone Exam in order to earn the MicroMasters Program Credential. The Capstone exam covers material in all five of the five courses.
arrow_drop_down Can I enroll in all the courses in the program at one time? ¶
Yes. You can enroll in all five courses and comprehensive final at one time from the program home page here. Program enrollment must be completed within 18 months. Please visit the following pages at edX to learn more. How do I enroll? and, How do I complete a course with multiple sections?
arrow_drop_down How long will a course remain valid for the CFx? ¶
Courses remain valid to sit for the CFx for up to five years. This means that you have up to five years from the time you pass your first course as a verified learner to take the Comprehensive Final Exam.
Comprehensive Final Exam
arrow_drop_down NOTICE - CFx proctor software not compatible with Mac Mojave 10.14 ¶
Please be advised, the proctoring software used by edX for our Comprehensive Final Exam is currently incompatible with the latest Apple operating system, macOS Mojave (version 10.14). You will be unable to take a proctored exam on Mojave 10.14. Please do not update your operating system if you plan to take the February 2019 exam.
arrow_drop_down What is the comprehensive final exam (CFx)? ¶
The CFx is the Comprehensive Final Exam for the MicroMasters program in Supply Chain Management. To qualify for the CFx a learner must have completed and passed all five SCx courses as an ID verified learner, using the same username.
The exam consists of two 120-minute tests, Exam I and Exam II. Once a learner begins Exam I, they must complete both exams within 12 hours. Virtual test takers will use the Software Secure proctoring software to be virtually proctored through edX. See the "When will the next course be run?" FAQ for updates to the exam schedule. Course staff will notify and enroll qualified learners when they become eligible.
arrow_drop_down What will the CFx be like? ¶
Virtually proctored learners will take the exam from their own computers and be able to open each section of the exam for two hours. When offered, physically proctored learners will take the exam from their own computers at a designated testing center and be proctored in person by center staff.
The exam is designed to test broad learning across the five courses. The questions are designed according to the limitations presented in the exam: limited time, no additional software, and limited accessibility. The main purpose is to test your understanding of the key concepts from all five courses. Questions will be a mix of multiple choice, fill in the blank, and short answer. A score of 60% will be considered passing.
arrow_drop_down How do I enroll in the CFx? ¶
All eligible learners who have successfully passed the five SCx courses will be automatically enrolled in an upcoming CFx five to six weeks in advance. We will notify all enrollees and you will see the CFx from your edX dashboard. The course contains practice materials and a test of the proctoring software.
- If you do not wish to take the exam, simply do nothing and you will be un-enrolled before the exam opens.
- If you wish to sit for the exam, you should verify and pay the course fee by the deadline in your dashboard.
- To ensure you receive all notifications regarding the CFx, please connect your edX profile to your MITx profile here by visiting your MITx dashboard.
arrow_drop_down When is it offered next? ¶
The CFx will be held twice annually. It is offered 22-25 February and 13-16 September in 2019. You can review the annual course schedule here.
arrow_drop_down What is a proctored exam? ¶
A proctored exam is a supervised exam taken online (or sometimes in person). Though the CFx will be given primarily online, the course team reserves the right to offer an in-person option. A proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process. A proctor is a liaison between edX and its students to ensure that testing is done under fair and secure conditions. The proctor’s main responsibilities include verifying a government-issued photo ID, monitoring learners during the exam to ensure they do not use unauthorized aides, and ensuring learners follow the instructions outlined by the instructor.
arrow_drop_down Why do we need a final exam if we passed all the courses? ¶
The CFx is designed to assess your ability to synthesize and apply the learning from all five SCx courses.
Whether you intend to earn the MicroMaster credential or continue on to pursue an in-person program, the credential is designed to be equivalent to one semester of work in the MIT SCM on-campus program. In order to meet application requirements for competitive admission to the MIT SCMb and to other universities that accept the credential for campus credit, the course offers one final assessment in the CFx.
arrow_drop_down What will I need for the exam? ¶
- A government-issued photo ID that clearly identifies you by your full name, and that can be used to confirm their identity
- A computer that meets all system requirements to use the edX platform and has been tested with the virtual proctoring software. (Sample proctored trial tests are offered in advance of the CFx)
- You can download the Key Concepts from all five courses document here. Download pdf here. There will be a separate copy of this pdf that you will download once you open your exam. The link above is a study copy only.
- Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc blank documents. (no additional software will be required or allowed for the CFx)
- You will be allowed the use of one of three approved translators. Google https://translate.google.com/; Youdao http://fanyi.youdao.com/; or Bing https://cn.bing.com/translator.
- Your computer calculator will be allowed
- You will be allowed a two-sided blank piece of paper and pen or pencil
arrow_drop_down What do I need to be aware of with virtual proctoring software? ¶
- Computers used for virtual proctoring must comply with these system requirements.
- For virtual test takers, Windows XP and Microsoft Surface laptops, and mobile devices or tablets do not work with the virtual proctoring software. Please find an alternative to use for the CFx.
- Students will not need software other than Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc.
- More details on virtual proctoring can be found at the edX student guide.
- Download a pdf of Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions here.
arrow_drop_down Where is the proctored exam? ¶
The CFx is offered virtually via the edX platform. Most people will take the CFx virtually from their own computer. Eligible learners will be notified of the exam schedule and testing centers several months before a scheduled exam. Currently, CFx testing centers are limited to the MIT SCALE Network. All exams will have a virtually proctored option.
arrow_drop_down How should I prepare for the comprehensive final? ¶
To prepare for the exam, you can review past courses through Quick Questions, Practice Problems, and Graded Assignments. You can use the five-course Key Concepts document in the handouts available during the exam.
arrow_drop_down Will there be a practice exam? ¶
The only practice exam offered for the CFx is to test the proctoring software on your system. When you become eligible and are enrolled in the CFx you will receive practice problems, recitations and instructions on allowed materials.
arrow_drop_down How long will my completed courses remain valid toward the CFx? ¶
Courses you passed as a verified learner remain valid toward taking the CFx for up to five years. The MicroMasters programcredential remains valid towards any application for the SCMb program on campus for up to three years.
arrow_drop_down What if I have a disability-related request regarding accessing a MicroMasters program course or exam? ¶
If you have a disability-related request regarding accessing a MicroMasters program course or exam, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible.
Blended SCM Program and University Credit
arrow_drop_down What are the two paths to earning a SCM graduate degree from MIT? ¶
The SCM program at MIT awards the Master of Engineering in Logistics (M.Eng. Logistics) degree. There are two paths that students can take to earn this degree:
- Traditional (SCM) – requires 10 months of full-time residence with matriculation in August and graduation in May.
- Blended (SCMb) - on-line (completion of the MicroMasters Program Credential) and requiring just over one semester-in-residence (January to May).
Both programs require 78 course credits plus a 12 unit Research Thesis. Detailed information and admission requirements are available here.
arrow_drop_down What is the Blended Master's in Supply Chain Management (SCMb)? ¶
The blended master's program refers to a new option that is being developed by MIT that would allow learners to combine the MITx MicroMasters program credential with one+ semester at MIT Cambridge, USA or Zaragoza, Spain. The MicroMasters program credential requires a learner to successfully pass five rigorous online courses in supply chain management and also pass a proctored comprehensive final exam. Learners with the MITx MicroMasters program credential in SCM and an undergraduate degree can then apply to MIT to the blended SCM master’s program. This new program would require the successful applicant to come to MIT for January through May to take courses on campus for graduation at the beginning of June. All SCM students (including SCMb) will have two choices of degree.
- Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management (MASc-SCM) is designed for students who want to take a job in industry or consulting upon graduation.
- Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management (MEng-SCM) is more research-focused and is designed for students who wish to continue on in research or pursue a PhD.
arrow_drop_down What is the admissions schedule for the SCMb? ¶
Applications for the SCMb program will open in early spring once a year and close in April. Admissions decisions will be announced in May. There is one admission cycle per year. The blended SCM cohort comes to campus in the spring term to matriculate in January and graduate in June.
arrow_drop_down Are SCMb students part of the SCM program and how many will be admitted? ¶
Yes. Students admitted to the SCM program through either the traditional or blended paths are part of the same program. Each student in each SCM program (Cambridge or Zaragoza) will belong to a cohort of 30-40 students during the entire duration of their course work.
arrow_drop_down What will my semester at MIT look like as an SCMb student? ¶
The blended cohort will have a combination of courses designed and run just for them as well as courses taken alongside other MIT SCM students. The full-time semester will be exceptionally intense, as students will have to pass 36 units of classwork and also complete a 12 unit research thesis during their in-residence period. Students will matriculate at MIT during the January Independent Activities Period (IAP) to get oriented, meet the other student cohorts, and earn some credit. They will continue through May and present final theses before graduation in June.
arrow_drop_down What are my chances of being admitted to the Blended SCM Program if I am an average performer in the online classes? ¶
Doing better in the online SCx courses will increase your chances of gaining admittance to the SCMb at MIT. However, please note that simply having high grades will not guarantee admission – we look at all aspects of an applicant. This includes SCx scores, writing capability, work experience, life experience, etc.
arrow_drop_down If I aspire to enroll in the Blended SCM Program, what should be my % target in the SCx courses? ¶
The individual test scores are just one component in the admissions decision to the SCMb Program. In addition to the scores, we will look at the whole person - their experience, their potential, their ability to write and speak, etc. So, we recommend that applicants try to enjoy the five online courses and do their best. We do not simply accept the top students with the highest sum of scores.
arrow_drop_down Along with the five SCx classes and the exam, are there any other requirements in order to be eligible to go on campus? ¶
Yes. Applicants need to be admitted to the program! Earning the MITx MicroMasters Program Credential does not guarantee admission. It does allow us to look at a more expanded track record for each applicant. Additionally, in the application process, applicants will need to submit some additional material – such as, transcript of an undergraduate degree, a resume, an essay, and a thesis project proposal. See the Blended Master's program page for more information.
arrow_drop_down What TOEFL score do I need if I am from a non-English speaking nation? ¶
IELTS or TOEFL Test Results Minimum score required: 7.0 (IELTS) or 100 (TOEFL) Applicants from non-English-speaking nations must offer evidence of written and oral proficiency in the English language by taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). To request a waiver (directly in the online application), you must meet the following criteria: Received an undergraduate degree (4 years) from a U.S. University or College OR Attended both primary and secondary schools taught in English.
TOEFL Code: 3514--MIT Undergrad & Grad. No department code needed.
IELTS: Choose “MIT Graduate Admissions” as reporting option; no code is required.
arrow_drop_down How will having the MicroMasters Program Credential in Supply Chain Management change the admissions process for the SCM full-time graduate program? ¶
Having the MicroMasters program credential provides the admissions committee with significant insight into a student’s capabilities through the completion of five online courses and the comprehensive final exam. Therefore, applicants with the credential are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores. This is sometimes referred to as “inverted admissions.” Also, if admitted, students with the MicroMasters program credential may opt to complete the SCM program in just over one semester (January to May) in-residence. Applicants opting for the one semester in residence option, however, will need to submit additional material including a resume (for both work and educational background), an essay, and a proposal for their research thesis project.
arrow_drop_down How long will the MicroMasters program credential be honored for application to the blended program? ¶
We will honor completed MicroMasters Program Certificates for up to three years after their issue as valid in an application to the Blended Supply Chain Master's Program.
arrow_drop_down Does the Blended Master's of SCM qualify me for OPT enrollment? ¶
At this time, due to the limited time spent and credits earned on campus, the Blended Masters does NOT qualify graduates for OPT enrollment.
arrow_drop_down How much does the Blended Master's of SCM cost and is there financial aid a available? ¶
To earn a Blended SCM Masters degree, a candidate must first earn the MicroMasters program credential. To earn the credential all courses must be completed as a verified learner at a fee of US$150 per course. There will also be a cost (estimated at $600) to take the proctored comprehensive final exam for the credential. Therefore, the total cost for the MITx MicroMasters program credential will be US$1350.
The tuition for the Blended SCM Masters degree at Cambridge has not been set yet, but will likely be somewhat more than 50% of the tuition for the 10-month SCM Masters degree (currently at US$65,446 plus student life fee and medical insurance). Living expenses vary by student. The MIT International Student Office recommends a budget of US$2,690 per month for single students.
- Estimated Cost for MicroMasters program credential: US$1350-$1550
- Estimated Tuition for the Blended SCM Degree: US$45,000*
- Estimated Living Expenses: US$13,450 ($2,690/mo. for five months)
*MIT tuition is adjusted annually. By 2017, this amount may be higher
The tuition for the Blended SCM Masters degree at Zaragoza 17.700€ (10900€ Academic Fees and 6900€ Other Tuition Costs) plus living expenses. Living expenses vary, depending on your living style and whether students live alone, with roommates, or have a family. Currently, a budget of 600€ per month is recommended for single students.
At this time there is no financial aid available through the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. Limited scholarships may be available for students from Arab League nations through the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program. You can learn more here.
arrow_drop_down Is the MITx MicroMasters program credential transferable to other university for credit? ¶
Yes, it will not only be MIT that will grant credit, there are also a number of universities offering credit for MITx MicroMasters programs.
Once you receive the MITx MicroMasters program credential, you can apply to these Master’s programs; upon acceptance, your MITx MicroMasters program credential will translate into credits toward the Master’s degree, allowing you to accelerate the completion of your graduate studies at one of these universities. To find out which universities are offering credit, please visit here.
arrow_drop_down Will MIT add more credit pathway schools in the future? ¶
Yes, we continue to work with universities globally to grow the pathway credits for MicroMasters program credentials. Please continue to visit our website for updates.
arrow_drop_down What if a learner has a desired school for Master’s program but not currently on our pathways list? ¶
We would love to know and to perhaps build a credit pathway with this school. Please connect with us at email@example.com.
arrow_drop_down How do I find a capstone project? ¶
You should identify a need or challenge that could actually be addressed. This may come from your professional or personal background. Some 2017 SCMb students shared short reflections on how they found their projects here in this pdf.
Credentials & Certificates
arrow_drop_down Will I earn a separate certificate for each course or just one for the entire MicroMasters Program Credential? ¶
You will receive an individual Verified Certificate for each SCx course that you pass as a verified student. Read more about course certificates here. Students passing the Comprehensive Final Exam, after completing all five SCx courses, will receive a MicroMasters Program Credential certificate. View a sample certificate here.
arrow_drop_down Does completion of the MicroMasters Program Credential guarantee admission to the MIT Supply Chain Management Masters Graduate program? ¶
No, completing the MicroMasters program credential is one component. There are other requirements for the application to the SCMb. Review details here.
arrow_drop_down How do I earn a Verified Certificate? ¶
To earn a verified certificate for an online course, you need to pay the fee and verify for the course within the first four weeks and then successfully complete the course. The verified certificate costs $200 per SCx course to administer and requires you to verify your identity using a webcam and a government-issued ID, so employers and schools know that you, and only you, completed the course work.
arrow_drop_down Which institution issues the verified certificate? ¶
Certificates are issued by edX under the name of MITx and are delivered online through edx.org.
arrow_drop_down Is it sufficient to keep a "pass" grade in the course, or will the bar for achieving the MicroMasters program be higher than merely pass? ¶
The passing grade for each course is independent of the MicroMasters program credential. A pass is a pass. The specific grade is set by the instructor and is usually 60% to pass. When applying to the MIT graduate program, we will use the actual scores in the admissions process – but that is independent of earning the MicroMasters program credential.
arrow_drop_down How do I share my course certificate or MicroMasters program credential with employers and schools? ¶
Add the individual course certificate, or MicroMasters program credential in the education, certifications or accomplishments section of your resume or CV. If you wish to add the MicroMasters credential abbreviation to your title, use MM SCM.
Your course certificate or MicroMasters program credential will have an identifying code that you can also share via hyperlink following these directions.
To add your course certificate or MicroMasters program credential to your LinkedIn profile, you may use the Education or Accomplishments sections of Linked In. Choose MITx as your certification authority under education or MIT CTL under accomplishments. Use these methods as examples (pdf download)
arrow_drop_down How do I obtain official transcripts of my work? ¶
The MITx MicroMasters program credential is a professional certification and does not offer academic transcripts. You can share your SCx course certificates and MicroMasters program credential from your edX dashboard following these directions. If you are applying to the MIT SCALE SCMr or SCMb programs, MicroMasters program in SCM staff will generate a summary of your work at the time your application is accepted and no additional action is needed on your part. EdX and its partner universities are currently working on a secure method to offer transcripts. More information will be available soon.
arrow_drop_down What is an X-Series certificate? ¶
The X-Series was the precursor to the MicroMasters program. Any learner who completed any SCx course prior to 1 January 2016 was eligible to earn the X-Series in SCM by completing SC1x, SC2x, and SC3x as a verified student before the end of 2016. We discontinued the X-Series when the MicroMasters program was announced in October of 2015. Only students who had earned at least one verified certificate at that time were grandfathered in and able to complete the series with the last run of SC3x completed in October of 2016.
arrow_drop_down What is group enrollment? ¶
Group enrollment is offered to any company that wants to enroll ten employees or more and can pay for their verified certificates in bulk, as a group.
arrow_drop_down How does group enrollment work? ¶
The MITx MicroMasters program team works directly with your company contact to set up group enrollment. A coupon code will be provided to your company, that you will distribute to your employees taking the course. Your employees will still have to create an edX account and enroll themselves in the course.
arrow_drop_down When do I enroll my group? ¶
Group enrollment opens as soon as the course opens on edX. We highly encourage you to enroll before the course starts. However courses remain open for enrollment during the first three weeks.
arrow_drop_down What is program enrollment? ¶
Program enrollment allows you to purchase the five courses and comprehensive final exam as one package at a 10% discount. Program enrollments must be completed within 24 months. Read more here.
arrow_drop_down CTL.SC0x - Supply Chain Analytics ¶
WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION TO SUPPLY CHAINS AND BASIC ANALYSIS: In this first week, we will provide an overview of supply chains. We will introduce some of the basic concepts and approaches of the discipline. We will also provide a review of the basics of analysis: models, algebra and mathematical functions. You will learn how to use descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive models in making supply chain decisions.
WEEK 2: PRESCRIPTIVE MODELING I: CONSTRAINED AND UNCONSTRAINED OPTIMIZATION: In this week we introduce optimization in the form of prescriptive models. You will learn when and how to use classic optimization techniques to find the minimum or maximum values of an unconstrained cost or profit function. You will also be introduced to linear programs (LPs) for constrained problems. LPs are the most commonly used models for decision making in supply chains. At the end of this week you should be very comfortable with how to formulate and solve LPs for a wide variety of different problem types.
WEEK 3: PRESCRIPTIVE MODELING II: IPS, MILPS, AND NETWORK MODELS: In this week we extend our discussion of constrained optimization to include integer programming (IP), mixed integer linear programming (MILP), and network models. You will learn how to use Integer and Binary variables to better represent real-life supply chain decisions, such as facility location, network design, production planning, etc. You will become adept at formulating, solving, and interpreting the results of LPs, IPs, and MILPs as well as gaining an understanding of basic network optimization methods to solve shortest path, traveling salesman, and vehicle routing problems.
WEEK 4: ALGORITHMS AND APPROXIMATIONS: In this week you will learn two approaches to problem-solving that are very common in supply chain management: algorithms and approximations. Algorithms are everywhere! You will learn the basic concepts of developing and deploying algorithms and will see how they are used in some fundamental supply chain applications, such as vehicle routing and inventory planning. Sometimes, however, exact solutions are unfeasible or unobtainable within the desired time. In these cases, approximation methods can be applied quite successfully. We will discuss and go into some detail on one approximation method for estimating costs of vehicle routing to illustrate the approach.
WEEK 5: PREP-WEEK: This is a prep week in which no new content or graded assignments will be released. It provides you with time to complete previous assignments and get ready for the Mid-Term next week.
WEEK 6: MIDTERM EXAM: The mid-term exam is a timed exam that covers all material presented to date. You have one week to complete the exam.
WEEK 7: MANAGING UNCERTAINTY: DISTRIBUTIONS AND PROBABILITY: In this week, we introduce the added complexity of uncertainty (or stochasticity) to our analysis. You will learn how to measure, model, and manage uncertainty and randomness within supply chains. You will become comfortable with a variety of continuous and discrete probability distributions that are widely used in supply chains, such as Normal, Uniform, Poisson, and others.
WEEK 8: STATISTICAL TESTING: This week is all about the statistical testing. You will learn how to conduct hypothesis testing. You will learn how to formulate, test, and analyze the results of various forms of tests that are widely used in practice.
WEEK 9: REGRESSION AND SIMULATION MODELS: Often times you will need to develop a model to better predict the future in order to improve planning. In this week you will learn how to develop econometric models, mainly ordinary least squares (OLS) linear regression, that use past history to better estimate the future. OLS regression is widely used to estimate future product demand as well as to better understand how different independent factors influence a dependent variable. In this week, you will not only learn how to build these econometric models, but also how to interpret and use them in practical scenarios. Regression is a predictive model that measures the impact of independent variables on dependent variables. We then cover simulation, which captures the outcomes of different policies with an uncertain or stochastic environment.
WEEK 10: QUEUEING THEORY AND DISCRETE EVENT SIMULATION: In this week you will learn the basics of queueing theory to help you better manage supply chain processes. Supply chains can be quite complex. The impact of one firm's decisions on another firm's costs, for example, are not always known ahead of time. In order to better describe these complex situations, we often use simulation models. Simulation helps us understand what an outcome will be given a set of inputs. It is very different from prescriptive (optimization) models that makes recommendations. In this week you will learn how to use and interpret the results of discrete event and Monte Carlo simulations.
WEEK 11: PREP-WEEK: This week is a prep week in which no new graded assignments will be released. We release a set of videos that discusses some real world implications and concerns involved with all of the models we have discussed so far. This is a very very light week - so you can get prepared for the final exam!
WEEK 12: FINAL EXAM: The final exam is a timed exam that covers all material presented to date. You have one week to complete the exam.
arrow_drop_down CTL.SC1x - Supply Chain Fundamentals ¶
WEEK 1: FORECASTING I - SEGMENTATION AND INTRODUCTION TO DEMAND FORECASTING: In this first week you will learn about the challenge of uncertainty and become comfortable with the concept of segmentation. You will also learn the fundamental concepts concerning forecasting and demand planning.
WEEK 2: FORECASTING II - TIME SERIES ANALYSIS AND EXPONENTIAL SMOOTHING: You will continue the examination of demand forecasting by becoming familiar with time-series analysis. Building on this, you will learn the basics of exponential smoothing - perhaps the most commonly used demand forecasting methodology. You will become comfortable including both level and trend into your forecasts.
WEEK 3: FORECASTING III - SEASONALITY AND SPECIAL CASES: In this week you will learn how to include seasonality (that is, a repeating pattern over a year, month, week, day, etc.) into your forecasts. It will become quickly apparent how exponential smoothing can handle this - and you will see where the complexity increases. You will also learn about some other techniques used for special cases, such as new product forecasting. This completes the demand forecasting portion of the course.
WEEK 4: INVENTORY MANAGEMENT I - DETERMINISTIC DEMAND: The inventory section opens up with the simplest inventory model: the Economic Order Quantity (EOQ). The EOQ assumes deterministic and constant demand and while this seems rather onerous, you will come to realize that the EOQ model is very useful and widely used in practice. You will learn the basics as well as how to handle special cases, such as discounts, lead times, and finite replenishment
WEEK 5: PREP-WEEK: This is a prep week in which no new graded assignments will be released. It provides you time to complete previous assignments and get ready for the Mid-Term next week.
WEEK 6: MIDTERM EXAMThe mid-term exam is a timed exam that covers all material presented to date. You have one week to complete the test.
WEEK 7: INVENTORY MANAGEMENT II - PROBABILISTIC DEMAND & SINGLE PERIOD MODELS: We now expand from our initial assumptions of deterministic and constant demand to allow for stochastic or random demand in inventory replenishment models. Starting with just a single time period, you will learn how to develop models that handle uncertain demand. You will master what is called the Newsvendor Model. While seemingly simple, you will see that it is the basis of virtually all more sophisticated inventory models.
WEEK 8: INVENTORY MANAGEMENT III - PROBABILISTIC DEMAND & MULTI-PERIOD MODELS: This week is spent developing and using the most common inventory policies in practice for both continuous (s,Q) and periodic (R,S) review situations. You will learn how to formulate models that either minimize costs or meet a specified level of service. You will also learn how service and costs relate to each other.
WEEK 9: INVENTORY MANAGEMENT IV - SPECIAL CASES AND WAREHOUSING: We will wrap up the section on inventory by showing some methods for applying these inventory models for multiple items and multiple locations at the same time. You will learn how segmentation can be used to differentiate how inventory is managed in different situations. You will also learn the basics of warehousing and material handling - the physical manifestations of all of our inventory policy models!
WEEK 10: TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT: This week you will focus on understanding the fundamentals of freight transportation from a global perspective. You will learn how to make routing decisions with multiple legs and demonstrate how this also applies to any mode selection. You will also learn how to handle uncertainty in lead-times and see how this relates back to inventory policies.
WEEK 11: PREP-WEEK: Again, this is a prep week in which no new graded assignments will be released. We release a set of videos that discuss some real-world implications and concerns involved with all of the models we have discussed so far. This is a very very light week - so you can get prepared for the Final Exam!
WEEK 12: FINAL EXAM: The final exam is a timed exam that covers all material presented to date. You have one week to complete the test.
arrow_drop_down CTL.SC2x - Supply Chain Design ¶
WEEK 0: OVERVIEW OF SUPPLY CHAIN DESIGN: In this week we will provide an overview of the course and introduce the concept of design. We will also provide a very quick review of the major concepts taught in SC1x.
WEEK 1: BASIC SUPPLY CHAIN NETWORK DESIGN: In this first week, Network Flow models are introduced and solved using spreadsheets. We then introduce the Facility Location problem and show how to formulate and solve it using Mixed Integer Linear Programs (MILPs).
WEEK 2: ADVANCED SUPPLY CHAIN NETWORK DESIGN: In this week we combine the Facility Location problem with the network flow models to formulate and solve larger Network Design problems to include facility capacity, level of service, inbound and outbound transportation, etc. We use the model to solve and test the sensitivity of the assumptions in a larger case study. We also discuss advanced topics in network design to include modeling multiple products, multiple echelons, and multiple time periods. Flexibility and robustness are also discussed.
WEEK 3: PRODUCTION PLANNING: This week we move from network design to working with internal (and external) manufacturing partners. We present the Fixed Planning Horizon model and solve it to develop optimal production plans. We then introduce and demonstrate the use of Bill of Materials (BOM), Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems, and Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP) systems.
WEEK 4: SALES & OPERATIONS PLANNING AND DISTRIBUTION STRATEGIES: In this week the Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process is presented and discussed. We also present different distribution strategies and discuss how e-commerce has affected the design of distribution networks.
WEEK 5: OFF-WEEK: This is a week off. It is a chance for you to catch up on your graded assignments and to review the previous material. In this week we also address practical concerns involved with running a network design project.
WEEK 6: MIDTERM EXAM: The Midterm exam covers all of the material from weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4. The objective is to ensure mastery of Network Design, Production Planning and Distribution Channel Strategies. It will be a timed exam, available during one week, but once you start the exam there is a limited time to complete it.
WEEK 7: SUPPLIER MANAGEMENT: Professor Yossi Sheffi kicks off the module on supplier management by providing an overview of the sourcing and procurement functions within a firm and gives insights into how different approaches can be applied depending on the situation. Professor Sheffi continues the discussion on supplier management by presenting optimization based procurement. He also shows how these powerful techniques can be used in practice.
WEEK 8: SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE I: Jim Rice will draw the connections between supply chains and accounting. He will provide a brief interview of the major accounting concepts relevant to supply chains to include Activity Based Costing (ABC), Working Capital, and the Cash-to-Cash conversion cycle.
WEEK 9: SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE II: Dr. Jarrod Goentzel continues the discussion on supply chain finance by introducing discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis. He will demonstrate how to use DCF analysis in capital budgeting and justifying supply chain investment decisions.
WEEK 10: SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE III AND ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN: We wrap the course up by discussing and demonstrating how to design the supply chain organization itself. We also introduce a case study. At the end, we spend some time summarizing and synthesizing the concepts taught throughout the course.
WEEK 11: OFF-WEEK: This is a week off. It is a chance for you to review the course material.
WEEK 12: FINAL EXAM: The final exam covers all of the material in this course. The objective is to understand how all of the models, concepts, and approaches fit together. It will be a timed exam, available for one week, but once you start the exam there is a limited time to complete it.
arrow_drop_down CTL.SC3x - Supply Chain Dynamics ¶
WEEK 1: Introduction to Supply Chain Dynamics: In this first week we will provide an overview of the supply chains as complex systems. We introduce the idea of complexity and we identify five main drivers of supply chain complexity.We will also introduce the basic idea of a simple process, and illustrate the core characteristics of capacity, variability and flow. We then demonstrate how different buffering strategies as inventory, time or capacity can be employed in supply chains. We finish the week showing how to use process analysis tools to examine, critique, design, or redesign supply chain processes used in practice.
WEEK 2: Introduction to System Dynamics: In this lesson, we will introduce some of the core concepts of the discipline known as System Dynamics and illustrate how these relate to supply chains. We will review the basic components of system dynamics, what it is, how to apply it, and how to use models to understand it. We go over various approaches to visualize system complexity. We then move into a discussion on modeling the systems. Throughout the course of the lesson, we build a “toolbox” for system dynamics which includes causal loop diagrams, behavior over time charts, stock & flow diagrams, and models.
WEEK 3: Dealing with partners: Collaboration and Risk Contracts: In this week Dr. Chris Caplice introduces a week that reviews how to deal with partners. Caplice first outlines collaboration, including how the lack of collaboration can lead to significant impacts such as the bullwhip effect. Professor Yossi Sheffi then introduces and reviews supply contracts.
WEEK 4: Supply Chain Strategy & Alignment: In this week we introduce business and discuss the most common business strategy frameworks and methodologies. We focus on how supply chains need to align with the selected company strategy in order to enable it.
WEEK 5: PREP WEEK: This is a prep week in which no new graded assignments will be released. It provides you time to complete previous assignments and get ready for the midterm next week.
WEEK 6: Midterm Exam: The midterm exam will include multiple choice questions and problems that will cover the concepts review in the first four weeks of the course. The midterm will be open for one week, but it will be a timed exam, so you will only have a limited amount of time to complete it.
WEEK 7: Global SUPPLY CHAIN Management I: Dr. Bruce Arntzen presents an introduction to global supply chains and explains the challenges and opportunities of trading between countries. Trade agreements and optimization models of a supply chain are introduced this week.
WEEK 8: Global Supply Chain MANAGEMENT II: Dr. Bruce Arntzen continues the discussion of trade agreements. He reviews different approaches to setting up manufacturing and the motivation and challenges of the offshoring strategy. He illustrates current industry trends based on real examples.
WEEK 9: Risk Management & Resilience: Professor Yossi Sheffi explains the different causes of disruption. Based on the analysis of different examples and real cases, he classifies types of disruptions. He finishes the risk management and resilience lesson by discussing the lessons learned in the real cases presented and explaining how companies can improve their resilience and manage risk.
Week 10: Exogenous Factors: In this week we will wrap up supply chain dynamics with forces that influence the design and management of a supply chain. We will discuss a series of forces on the supply chain that includes regulation and law, natural & human resources, industry & society, and customers. To understand these forces, Dr. Alexis Bateman introduces an example through a palm oil case study.
WEEK 11: PREP WEEK: Again, this is a prep week in which no new graded assignments will be released. This is so you can get prepared for the Final Exam!
WEEK 12: FINAL EXAM: The final exam covers all of the material in this course, with special focus in the last four weeks. The objective is to understand how all of the concepts, tools, and techniques reviewed in this course fit together. The final exam will be open for one week, but it will be a timed exam, so you will only have a limited amount of time to complete it.
arrow_drop_down CTL.SC4x - Supply Chain Technology and Systems ¶
WEEK 0: Overview, Logistics & TFC : In Week 0 we will provide an overview of the basic rules and practices of managing large data sources. Additionally, we will introduce you to the Fresh Connection supply chain simulation game. This is a game that we will use throughout the course, starting on Week 1, to illustrate how different functions interact and how trade-offs can be made.
WEEK 1: DATA MANAGEMENT I: In this first week, we dive deeply into data modeling. You will learn the basics of relational models, including entities, attributes, keys, tables, and of course, databases. You will become familiar with Entity-Relationship Diagrams that describe the business rules through a combination of relationships and cardinality between entities. We will show examples of how to take real-world data and put it into fully normalized databases. We will finish up with a short review of client-server architecture. This week we will open The Fresh Connection Round 1, available for just one week!
WEEK 2: DATA MANAGEMENT II: In this week, you will become fully acquainted with how to use the Structured Query Language, or SQL. This is the language that allows humans (as well as other systems) to interact with relational databases. Through extensive examples, you will learn how to use SELECT, INSERT, JOIN, VIEW, and other statements. We will be using mySQL for these assignments, but you can use any database implementation that you are comfortable with.
WEEK 3: DATA MANAGEMENT III: In this week, we will introduce additional topics in data management. We will also provide a quick overview of the burgeoning field of Machine Learning. Building off of the data management skills mastered in weeks 1-2 and the first lesson of this week, you will learn how to set up and run both supervised and unsupervised learning techniques. We will be using the open source software package Orange (implemented in Python) for the machine learning lectures this week and next. Fresh Connection Round 2 is open this week.
WEEK 4: Machine Learning: In Week 4 we will dive more deeply into the field of Machine Learning. We will present examples of commonly used machine learning algorithms and some applications. Next, we will discuss methods to train and validate classifiers, and the trade-offs between classifier performance and overfitting.
WEEK 5: Week off (preparation for Midterm Exam): In week 5 we give you time to play TFC game! You will have once week to play Round 3. No new graded assignments will be handed out during this week. We will also offer a Virtual Field Trip to New York City, where learners can see a an application of machine learning to logistical problems at a real company.
WEEK 6: MIDTERM EXAM: The Midterm exam covers all of the material from weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4. The objective is to ensure mastery of data management techniques and methods. It will be a timed exam, available during just one week and once you start the exam there is a limited time (4 hours) to complete it.
WEEK 7: Supply Chain Systems I: ERPs & SC Modules: So far, we have discussed how large sets of data are managed. In this week, we take a specific look at supply chain systems starting with typical data structures and communication methods (such as EDI, XML, etc.). Building off of this, we will provide an overview of the traditional supply chain operational and execution systems, such as, ERP, MRP, TMS, OMS, and WMS. In addition to our lectures, we will feature interviews and discussions with industry experts.
WEEK 8: Supply Chain Systems II: Supply Chain Visibility and track & trace: In this week you will learn about track and trace systems and the importance of visibility in supply chains. Dr. Chris Caplice will introduce this topic and its application across industries. In the second lesson, Dr. Bateman will explore a case that will bring together many of the lessons you have learned in this course including how to work with big data, supply chain systems, platform interoperability, and track & trace in their interest of supply chain visibility. The graded assignment for this week will be proctored.
WEEK 9: Supply Chain Systems III: Software Selection, Implementation, and Challenges: In the first lesson, we will review how supply chain planning systems are used in practice. In the second lesson, we will review some of the challenges embedded in supply chain systems.
WEEK 10: Supply Chain & Technology Trends: In this week Dr. Caplice and Dr. Ponce will introduce current technologies and trends and discuss how they may impact supply chains, to include autonomous trucks and vehicles, delivery drones, mobile computing, additive manufacturing (3D printers), crowdsourcing delivery, robotics, and blockchain. We will conclude the week with a wrap-up of the course and the MicroMasters program series.
There will be no graded assignment for this week.
WEEK 11: Week Off (preparation for FINAL EXAM)
A free week to give you all a time to breathe! No assignment will be handed out.
WEEK 12: FINAL EXAM
The final exam covers all of the material in this course. The objective is to understand how supply chain systems and technologies work in practice; from data management to system integration. It will be a timed exam, available for just one week and once you start the exam there is a limited time (4 hours) to complete it.
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