Master of Science in Lean Manufacturing Online

Master of Science in Lean Manufacturing Online

The Only Program of Its Kind in North America – Developed in Partnership with General Motors

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

Lean Manufacturing Fast Facts

Make an impact right away - our Learn Today-Use Tomorrow philosophy combines theory with practice, allowing you to apply your classroom learning directly to the job.

  • $965 per credit hour – Financial aid and military benefits are available for qualified applicants
  • 100% online, 40 credit-hour curriculum – Seven core courses plus your choice of one of the following three-course graduate certificates: Global Leadership, Lean Principles for Healthcare, Operations Management, Management & Leadership, Foundation of Data Science, Supply Chain Level I or Supply Chain Level II
  • Finish in as few as 18 months
  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • Multiple intakes per year – Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer
  • Become well-versed in Six Sigma and lean enterprise development, value stream mapping, Pareto charts, fishbone diagrams, etc
  • Two Degrees in Two Years – Earn a second master’s degree with only 5 additional courses to further boost your credentials and increase your competitive edge. Choose from MBA, MS Operations Management, or MS Engineering Management.

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Dave L

“The quality and the expertise of the professors and the faculty and the staff - everyone here at KUO really exemplifies what I believe the future of education needs to be. I found that it was almost exactly like being on campus. I could drop the professor an email, set up a time to meet, and have really in-depth conversations.”

Dave L, MSLM + MBA, 2022

About Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is a continuous improvement process that took root in the manufacturing world, with a significant presence in the automotive industry. The lean approach embodies a commitment to the relentless pursuit of efficiency and quality. It has seamlessly integrated Six Sigma concepts to bolster its range of methodologies.

The core principle of Lean Manufacturing revolves around minimizing waste while maximizing value and emphasizing a streamlined process that eliminates unnecessary steps and resources. This holistic approach, honed through years of application in industries such as automotive manufacturing, has transcended its origins to find applications in various sectors, offering a robust framework for organizations to thrive and continually improve their operations.

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.

Our curriculum includes:

  • Latest research and Lean methods
  • Critical thinking about Lean and different ways it is/can be utilized
  • In-depth understanding of the impact of projects based on real-world situations
  • Real-world business situations, problems, and decisions
  • Enhanced teamwork collaboration, as well as enhanced focus on individual leadership training in the industry.

“The Lean Manufacturing Master’s Degree Program has gone through a major revision to provide our learners with the latest knowledge and skills in the discipline. Continuously evolving challenges and ever-changing needs of the industry and the business world necessitate a better grasp of lean manufacturing concepts, techniques, and tools. All of the courses in the program have been updated with the most recent literature, case studies, examples, discussion forums, assignments, and projects through a significant collaborative effort. The increased quality of the course materials as well as the rigor of the program, will sustain our learners through their professional journey to success.”
-- Dr. Gokhan Sarpkaya, MS Lean Academic Champion

Career Outlook for Lean Manufacturing

Participating in structured assessments, we proactively identify and address issues while harmonizing them with lean manufacturing principles. This involves the analysis of institutional data, prioritization of actions with stakeholder support, and a commitment to ongoing reevaluation to uphold quality standards in domains like customer service and quality control. These competencies in lean manufacturing equip individuals with problem-solving, data analysis, collaborative, and continuous improvement skills that are highly sought-after in the professional world, ensuring a competitive edge and facilitating career advancement. Those pursuing a career in lean manufacturing can work in various industries, including aerospace, agriculture, apparel, automotive, construction, consumer products, forestry, healthcare, government, sports, retail, service, and technology.

Salary Expectations for Lean Manufacturing Master’s Professionals

  • VP, Director, Manufacturing/Production/Supply Chain: $180,400
  • Corporate/Executive Management: $179,900
  • COO: $167,243
  • CTO: $167,243
  • VP, Director, Purchasing/Procurement/Sourcing: $157,750
  • R&D/Product Development Management: $131,917
  • Automotive Plant Manager: $125,694
  • Lean/Continuous Improvement Management: $124,500
  • National Service Director (or Executive Director): $124,500
  • Hospital Administrator: $114,118
  • Consulting/Education: $107,400
  • Quality Management: $100,375
  • Retail District Manager: $96,000

Sources: Glassdoor, Payscale,, ZipRecruiter

Option to Earn Two Degrees in Two Years

Kettering University Online is offering students the unique opportunity to earn an Online MBA, MS Operations Management or MS Engineering Management in addition to an MS in Lean Manufacturing with only FIVE additional courses. One Kettering degree provides a strong return on investment. A second Kettering graduate degree increases your marketability and skills while setting your resume apart in competitive STEM fields

Undergraduate degree with a background in the sciences, Data Science or Analytics, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, or Business Analytics preferred, but not required.

Kettering University Online – Master of Science in Data Science FAQs

What Are the Admissions Requirements?


MS in Lean Manufacturing Degree Online - FAQs

What are the admission requirements?

Domestic Students

  • An 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 - Indicate your reason(s) for pursuing a graduate degree at Kettering University
  • 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 Students

In addition to the Domestic requirements, international students also require:

  • 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 may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Our minimum score requirements are:

  • TOEFL: Paper-based: 550
  • Computer-based: 213
  • Internet-based: 79
  • IELTS: Minimum Band score of 6.0
What support will I receive?


Our knowledgeable and supportive Admissions Advisors help you understand KUO's program structure, mission, core values, and goals. They help you understand how the program you are interested in pursuing aligns with your career goals and assist you in preparing a strong file for the Admissions Committee.

Student Support

Online students enrolled with KUO receive individual guidance from a Professional Advisor. KUO is committed to helping you thrive as an online student —that is why we offer support from the start of your classes until graduation, ensuring you stay connected to the university.

How can I earn two degrees in two years?

We provide a unique option for you to enroll in just five extra courses to earn your online MBA, MS Operations Management, or MS Engineering Management. As a lean manufacturing professional, your business acumen will complement the technical skills you bring to the job every day.

Get your MBA as a second degree by taking just four additional courses
Get two master’s degrees plus your customized certificate to add weight to your resume
No need to complete a 2nd certificate course; get your 2nd master’s degree in record time

All courses need to be within 6 years.

Lean Manufacturing Master's Degree – Curriculum

Online Master in Lean Manufacturing – Core Courses


Online Master of Lean Manufacturing – Certificate Options

The Master of Lean Manufacturing Online curriculum includes 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

Plus, one of the following, according to your program:

  • MGMT 661 | Operations Management (non-MSOM programs)
  • IME 676 | Lean Six Sigma (MSOM program only)
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
  • 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


Earning your online Master's Degree in Lean Manufacturing from Kettering University Online you learn from expert faculty and gain the latest real-world knowledge and skills in lean principles. You graduate as part of an extensive alumni network with connections to notable organizations such as General Motors, Bosch, Boeing, Fisher-Price, Whirlpool, GE, and NASA. Engineer your future and engineer your success with the edge an MS in Lean Manufacturing from Kettering University Online can provide.

Connect with us — get your questions answered. Complete the form at the top of the page to download your program guide and schedule a time to speak with an Admissions Advisor.


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.