This is your comprehensive digital program guide where you will find all the information you need regarding Kettering University's 100% online MS in Lean Manufacturing.

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MS-LM Program Brochure

MS-LM Program Brochure

Online MS in Lean Manufacturing

Kettering University Online is proud to be the only school globally to offer a lean manufacturing master’s degree, made possible because of our partnership with General Motors. Lean Manufacturing applies Lean principles and practices, Six Sigma philosophy, and other tools to solve organizational challenges, reduce and eliminate waste and create a more efficient process, effectively reducing time, cost, and errors.

The Only Program of Its Kind – Developed in Partnership with GM

  • Make an immediate impact with our Learn Today-Use Tomorrow philosophy that provides the opportunity to apply your classroom learning directly to the job
  • Customize your degree with a choice of graduate certificates in: Global Leadership, Lean Principles for Healthcare, Operations Management, Management and Leadership, Data Science, Supply Chain Level I and Supply Chain Level II
  • Explore the opportunity to earn two degrees in two years. With potentially as few as four courses, add a second degree in MS in Engineering Management, MS in Operations Manufacturing, or your MBA. 
  • Complete your courses 100% online and with no GMAT/GRE requirement, so you can get started right away and finish in as few as 18 months

Why Choose Kettering’s Lean Manufacturing Master’s Degree over a Certificate?

Instead of acquiring skills solely on the job and tailored to a specific role, our approach is to equip you with the ability to apply lean manufacturing principles across various professions. The journey begins with a foundational understanding of assessing and enhancing quality in different processes and contexts. This is followed by a data-driven process that enables the identification of actionable steps for improvement.

Important Dates


Application deadline: June 18, 2024


Next Start: July 1, 2024


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Fast Facts

Program Features
  • 100% online
  • Multiple start dates per year
  • 40 credits; 10 courses
  • No GRE, GMAT or application fee
  • Earn your choice of Graduate Certificate along the way, increasing your marketability, qualifications and career potential
Admission Requirements
  • Undergraduate degree with 3.0 on a 4.0 grading system, or the international equivalent (85 overall grade point average on a 100-grade-point scale.)  A 2.5-2.99 GPA will be considered on a provisional basis.
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three Professional Letters of Recommendation (one must be from a supervisor)
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited U.S. university or an international equivalent
  • Up to 8 hours of transfer credits may be available
  • No GRE or GMAT is required
International Admissions Requirements

In addition to the Domestic requirements, International requirements also include:

  • International students are required to submit educational documentation to an evaluation service such as Educational Perspectives, which is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). This will be at the expense of the student. Kettering University undergraduate students need not submit their Kettering transcripts but are required to submit transcripts from any other university.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not earned a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), MELAB (offered by the University of Michigan), or complete level 112 at an approved ELS center. Please have official scores sent to Kettering University’s Office of Admissions, Code 1246. Photocopies will not be accepted.

Our minimum score requirements are:

  • TOEFL: Paper-based: 550
  • Computer-based: 213
  • Internet-based: 79
  • IELTS: Minimum Band score of 6.0
  • MELAB: 76
Accreditation & Rankings

Kettering is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The MS-LM program is nationally recognized for academic excellence.

  • #6 Best Regional Universities Midwest - U.S. News and World Report 2022-2023
  • #12 Best Colleges for Veterans - U.S. News and World Report 2022-2023
Cost & Financial Aid

Tuition Cost is $965 per credit hour - financial aid and military benefits are available to those who qualify.

About Kettering University

Kettering University is a national leader in experiential STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, integrating an intense academic curriculum with applied professional experience. Through this proven approach, we inspire students to realize their potential and advance their ideas by combining theory and practice better than any institution in the world.



This course is an introduction and integrated overview of contemporary global manufacturing operations. The focus is on the importance of agility and the introduction of lean concepts in business and manufacturing. Instruction will emphasize the application of attitudes, skills, and knowledge required of managers, supervisors, team leaders, and manufacturing professionals in a cross-functional and cross-cultural manufacturing environment. Topics include a brief historical overview of global manufacturing, and a strong emphasis on process re-engineering. Students are required to use the concepts from the class to analyze their own work environment.


Students examine techniques to maximize production efficiency and to maintain control over each step in the production process. DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control), the structured problem-solving methodology, provides the framework for the course.


This course begins with an overview of the theory and application of lean production systems. Systems thinking and business dynamics are presented along with contemporary lean thinking principles, lean enterprise development, and value stream mapping. Specific emphasis will be devoted to modern enterprise improvement techniques such as Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints, and Business Process Reengineering.


This course covers topics in quality assurance including an introduction to quality and quality philosophy, statistical methods of quality improvement, the concept of variation and its reduction, statistical process control, and acceptance sampling. In this course, students will make extensive use of statistical software.


This course addresses a critical issue facing organizations in the design of a competitive and low-cost manufacturing operation. The intent of this course is to survey the basic techniques of methods design, work measurement, business process analysis, and ergonomics. The student will be expected to solve complex problems encountered during the design, analysis, or operation of a facility that produces goods or services.


This course is intended to provide the operations professional with an understanding of the data typically available within a manufacturing or service environment, and how to use information derived from such data employing a lean paradigm to improve operations. The course covers basic financial accounting, activity-based metrics, trend analysis, decision making and linking operational decisions to strategic considerations.


Students should take this course as one of their last two core courses. The focus of this course is on a business-focused, project-oriented perspective applicable to the integrated operating environment. Project Management tools and techniques, recognized as part of the body of knowledge by the Project Management Institute, are examined in detail. The Final Project is designed to enable students to apply project management concepts, and techniques to ensure application of lean principles to a process or service.

Earn Your Choice of Certificate Along the Way

The Master of Science in Lean Manufacturing Online curriculum includes the above 7 core courses plus your choice of one of the 3-course graduate certificates listed below.


  • Global Leadership: MGMT 679 | Leadership, MGMT 649 | Ethics and Leadership, BUSN 689 | Organizational Behavior
  • Operations Management: MGMT 619 | Project Management, MGMT 609 | Technology Management, MGMT 661 | Operations Management
  • Lean Principles for Healthcare: IME 656 | Engineering for Healthcare Systems, HMGT 609 | Healthcare Management, plus your choice of (SCM 610 | Foundations Supply Chain Management OR IME 676 | Lean Six Sigma)
  • Management and Leadership: MGMT 620 | Business Communication and Presentation, MGMT 621 | Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace, plus your choice of (MGMT 622 | Organized Labor and Management Relations OR MGMT 649 | Ethics and Leadership)
  • Supply Chain - Level I: SCM 610 | Foundations Supply Chain Management, SCM 611 | Collaboration Supply Chain Management, SCM 612 | Customer Relationship Management
  • Supply Chain - Level II: SCM 613 | Supply Chain Logistics, SCM 614 | Procurement and Risk Management, SCM 615 | Supply Chain Planning
  • Foundations of Data Science: COMM 601 | Communicating About Data, MATH 650 | Statistical Methods for Data Science, CS 641 | Foundations of Data Science


Connect with Your Advisor

Feel confident choosing Kettering University. Schedule an appointment with a dedicated advisor who will answer any question you may have, guide you through the application process and discuss your personal, professional and academic goals.