Current Graduate Students

Information for Current School of Packaging Graduate Students. For more information on Graduate Education, got to the Registrar's website at Registrar Academic Programs Graduate Education

Time Limits

  1. Academic Program Plan (MS) and Grad Plan (PhD)
    1. PhD - Program plan must be completed electronically through GradPlan by the end of the student’s second semester
    2. Comp Exam – Per the School of Packaging guidelines, Comps must be taken by the beginning of the student’s third year in the program, unless the student’ guidance committee requests an extension due to special circumstances, and the Graduate Committee approves that extension.
    3. MS (Plan A and Plan B) – Complete the Academic Program Plan form with your major professor (Plan B) or committee (Plan A) before the completion of 13-degree credits earned
  2. Annual Progress Report – All SoP Graduate students must complete and submit the annual progress report to their major professor by March 31st of every year.
  3. MS Plan B Final Exam – the Plan B final exam is due to Dr. Maria Rubino, Graduate Director, by the 12th week of the semester you plan to graduate. Topic should be chosen in agreement with the Graduate Director, Dr. Maria Rubino. See the School of Packaging Graduate Handbook for guidelines.
  4. Program deadline (also see "Extensions" below)
    1. PhD - 8 years
    2. MS - 5 years
  5. Application for Graduation 
    1. Submit the Application for Graduation by the first week of the semester you expect to graduate.
    2. If you are graduating Summer semester, apply by the first week of Spring semester.
    3. Both Spring and Summer applicants will be included in the Spring Commencement Ceremonies
    4. Be sure to indicate that you want your name printed in the commencement program booklet.
    5. Get the Application for Graduation at the Registrar's Office site
    6. Your name does not need to be included in the commencement program booklet in order for you to walk in the ceremony.
    7. If you do not graduate as planned
        1. Fill out a new Application for Graduation
        1. Visit the Registrar's Office site for more information, or at or 517-355-3300
  6. Dissertation and Thesis submission through ProQuest – deadline date can be found on the Upcoming Events page on The Graduate School webpage at

Time Limit Extensions

  1. Program Completion Time Limit
    • The PhD program time limit is 8 years; the MS program is 5 years. Time starts with the first course counted towards your degree (including MSU courses, Non-MSU courses, and MSU Lifelong Education). For a possible extension, you must talk with your major professor.
  2. PhD research credit limit is 36. If 36 will be exceeded, talk with your major professor about a possible extension.


  1. In order to be considered full-time for academic purposes, students must carry the minimum number of credits per semester or summer session. For a list of minimum/maximum credits for graduate students and graduate students with assistantships, go to Maximum and Minimum Credits
  2. For both Plan A and Plan B, the student must be registered at MSU during the semester in which the examination or evaluation is administered (see Maximum and Minimum Credits). This requirement may be waived if the examination is administered during the summer session immediately following a spring semester during which the student was registered and/or prior to a fall semester in which the student will be registered for at least 1 credit.
  3. PhD students must be enrolled in at least the minimum of 1 credit the semester they defend, including summer.
  4. Comp Exam - Students must be registered during the semester(s) in which they take comprehensive examinations (see Maximum and Minimum Credits). This requirement may be waived if the examination is administered during the summer session immediately following a spring semester during which the student was registered and/or prior to a fall semester in which the student will be registered.Student must be enrolled in the minimum credits
  5. Students can defend up to the day before classes start for the next semester and are not required to enroll again. If they miss the deadline for awarding of the degree, they will need to apply for graduation again in the subsequent semester, but they do not need to enroll. So, if student doesn’t meet the deadline, the student will be denied for graduation, but since student will have defended, student only has to reapply for graduation and will not need to enroll.

Student Desks

PhD, Master's Plan A, and students with assistantships will be assigned a desk in the Packaging Building as space allows. Desks and the surrounding areas are to be kept clean. Do not change your desk without prior permission from the Graduate Secretary. Do not use an unassigned desk as these desks may be cleaned (items tossed or sent to MSU Surplus) without prior notice.


Master’s Academic Program Plan – Plan A and Plan B

Ph.D. Report of the Guidance Committee Form - This form is for reference only; all Doctoral plans must be entered electronically through GradPlan

MS Academic Program Plan Change form – This form must be completed and approved for all changes to the approved MS Academic Program Plan. Do not complete a new Academic Program Plan form.

Note: PhD GradPlan changes – Student completes changes electronically using GradPlan; it is then automatically routed for approvals.

PKG 890 Form – Independent study

PKG 490 Form – Independent study

Travel Funding Application Request to the Graduate School

Laboratory Checkout Form

MSU Enrolled Student Volunteer form

Progress Report/Annual Evaluation – Required for all graduate students -Due annually March 31st

Dual Enrollment Form 


School of Packaging Current Graduate Handbook

Description of Courses and Course Schedules -

Apply to Graduate -

OISS (Office for International Students and Scholars)

The Graduate School GradPlan and guide go to

The Graduate School Theses and Dissertation Submission Information go to