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The Master of Industrial Distribution program is a four-semester, part-time, online learning graduate program designed for working professionals. | Image: Master of Industrial Distribution

In 2001, the late Dr. Daniel Jennings ‘86 started an online Master of Industrial Distribution program at Texas A&M University designed for individuals in leadership roles to further their education and careers while working full time.

“Most people thought it had little chance for success,” Jennings had said.

Twenty years later, the Master of Industrial Distribution (MID) program boasts over 700 graduates and is part of the top-ranked online graduate engineering program in the state of Texas. MID currently has 103 enrolled professionals from 12 states and three countries.

Built upon the oldest and largest undergraduate distribution degree in the nation, the 21-month online lockstep program focuses on business-to-business sales, customer experience, operations, supply chain management, and profitability of distributors and manufacturers in industrial channels.

“The MID program at Texas A&M was a tremendous experience and certainly helped me transition from active-duty military service to the private sector,” said 2001 MID graduate Thomas Tomberlain, sales manager of industrial products for BNSF Railway Company. “The staff, faculty, fellows and former students were and are the reason for the program’s great success.”

The flexible program is structured with online classes, two week-long residencies on the Texas A&M campus, and a global and capstone project that offer real-world industry experience.

Phil Evans ’01, an inaugural graduate of the MID program, shared his thoughts on the impact that his degree had on his personal and professional lives. “I’ve not only received a hard return on investment in terms of professional relationships and career development from my MID experience, but the soft benefits of my Aggie spirit born and curated over time has been the most rewarding,” said Evans.

Speaking about the program content, Dr. F. Barry Lawrence, Leonard and Valerie Bruce Chair Professor and program coordinator of the industrial distribution program, said, “The MID program in its 20 years has evolved into a program that brings academic excellence and industry specialization for student development.”

MID faculty include academic faculty and industry leaders who co-teach each course, allowing students to learn not only academic theories, but also relevant and practical applicability within industry.

“The MID program is considered a unique and premier program of its kind in the nation,” said engineering technology and industrial distribution department head Dr. Reza Langari. “The quality of the faculty, the selective nature of the admissions process and a continued effort to ensure the MID curriculum is up to date and relevant have made this program a star among distance education professional master’s programs. I expect even greater accomplishments by the MID team and its graduates in the years ahead.”

“The MID program is used by many companies to develop and retain their top talent,” said Dr. Bharani Nagarathnam, associate director of the MID program. “The capstone projects have the potential to bring significant value to a student’s employer.”

In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, the MID program offers both academic and industry experience that prepares students for future success without sacrificing or postponing their professional careers.

“I hope the program can continue to grow, educate and help people to excel both professionally and in their daily lives,” said Jennings. “Education is the key to all success.” 

For more information on the MID program, visit mid.tamu.edu.