For more than 60 years Michigan State University has been a leader in teaching, research and outreach focused on packaging containers, materials, their functionality and improvement. Established in 1952 (first as a discipline within the MSU Department of Forest Products, then, in 1957, as an independent school), the MSU School of Packaging (SoP) is the pioneer and leader in its field. As the first program of its kind, the SoP has a substantial track record of providing high quality undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education and conducting research that advances the science and technology of packaging. Key to the future success of the MSU School of Packaging is an overriding commitment to innovation, sustainability, and stewardship.


The mission of the School of Packaging at Michigan State University is to educate packaging professionals and to create innovative solutions that enhance or maintain product quality, increase efficiency and reduce waste. In doing so, we contribute to the economic development and quality of life of citizens within the State of Michigan and across the world through highly relevant educational experiences and cutting edge research. 


Our Work

Research: Throughout more than six decades of dynamic development, the MSU School of Packaging has built significant research expertise and earned national and international recognition in physical distribution and protective packaging. We continue to enjoy a worldwide reputation for leadership in this area, with computer applications in cushion design, fragility assessment, distribution dynamics and modeling of the physical environment. The school is also known as a leader in the areas of permeability and migration, shelf life, food packaging, product/package compatibility, tamper evidence and legibility. In more recent research, areas of focus are bio-based polymers, nanocomposites, pharmaceutical packaging, and packaging solutions for food quality and safety.

Collaboration & Industry Outreach: The MSU School of Packaging is uniquely positioned to create and disseminate valuable knowledge in packaging science and technology that empowers people around the world to make more informed decisions and enjoy improved quality of life. We maintain close ties to the packaging industry in numerous ways, including the School of Packaging Industry Advisory Council, the Packaging Alumni Association, Packaging Executive forums, company visits, etc. A great majority of our students interact with industry partners through their participation in paid internships as part of their studies. They are also exposed to the international packaging industry through MSU’s study abroad program, with packaging links to the UK, Japan, Sweden, Spain and other parts of the world. The School of Packaging's Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability has produced research related to packaging innovation and sustainable systems, resulting in positive environmental effects on the global footprint of packaging and related systems across the supply chain. In addition, the faculty members work in close collaboration with faculty members from related disciplines at MSU and with their industry counterparts in food science (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition), food safety (National Food Safety and Toxicology Center), engineering (College of Engineering), supply chain (Broad College of Business), and numerous other disciplines.

Academic Strength: More than half of all packaging graduates employed in the U.S. come from Michigan State. Our academic offerings include bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in packaging, as well as certificate programs and an on-line master’s degree aimed at mid-career professionals. We have conferred more than 10,000 academic degrees – the School of Packaging currently houses approximately 650 undergraduate and 30 graduate students and is known worldwide as the leading resource for developing package professionals.