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Purchasing and Contracts Management


Purchasing and contracts management programs prepare people to direct how a firm buys, stores, and sells supplies to other firms. Sometimes this program is called supply chain management.

Purchasing and inventory management programs prepare people to direct sales between firms. Students learn to negotiate contracts and work with vendors. They also learn about audits and inspections.

Purchasing and contracts management programs include topics such as:


A few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in purchasing and contracts management. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

In many other schools you can take courses in this subject within a major in another business field such as business management.

Some universities offer graduate degrees in purchasing and contracts management. One option is to specialize in this program while earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to MBA programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. Your bachelor's degree may be in purchasing and contracts management or in some other business field. In some cases you can enter an MBA program with a bachelor's in a non-business field. In that case it helps to have some business course work and business work experience.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

The undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

In addition, to prepare for a career in purchasing and inventory management you probably will want to take some of the following courses in a bachelor's or MBA program:

Graduate Program Courses

A list of common requirements for the MBA is below:

Things to Know

Business courses often focus on cases drawn from real life. Students sharpen their analytical and problem-solving skills by examining situations that businesses have encountered.

Business courses in high school can be useful preparation for a career in purchasing and contracts management. Your high school transcript needs to show that you are preparing for a demanding college-level program.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Central Washington University - Lynnwood

Shoreline Community College

Spokane Area

Gonzaga University

Tacoma Area

Central Washington University - Pierce County

West Side Area

Western Washington University