M.S. Degree Program - On-Campus

Overview - Packaging Master of Science On-Campus Program

The Master of Science degree in Packaging provides a broad education with specialized training in one of the areas of study listed below:

  • Product and/or package damage in the physical distribution environment
  • Barrier characteristics of packaging systems and materials
  • Quality preservation and storage stability of packaged products
  • Mechanical properties of packaging materials and systems
  • Distribution packaging
  • Packaging systems development and optimization
  • Medical/pharmaceutical packaging
  • Human factors in packaging
  • Environmental impacts of packaging
  • Recycling
  • Automatic identification
  • Packaging in business and marketing
  • or related areas

M.S. Curriculum

Core courses

The formal program for the M.S. degree consists of a minimum of 30 acceptable course credits. More than half of the program credits must be at the 800 level or higher.

Program options

In the Plan A thesis option, students must complete PKG 825, PKG 860, and either PKG 805 or PKG 815. Thesis credits (PKG 899) must equal at least 6 but not more than 8. The remaining credits can be taken from approved courses at the 400 level or higher from packaging or other departments (excluding PKG 432, 492, and 493).

In the Plan B non-thesis option, a final examination is required. Students must complete PKG 825, 815 and 805, along with at least 3 additional credits of 800-level packaging courses, excluding PKG 890 and 899. At least 16 credits in PKG courses and at least 16 credits at the 800 level or above are required. The remaining credits can be taken from approved courses at the 400 level or higher from packaging or other departments (excluding PKG 432, 492, and 493).

Graduate students are required to participate in the school's seminar program, including presentation of thesis research.

Collateral courses

Students who do not have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in packaging must enroll in core undergraduate packaging courses (or alternatively PKG 801, 803 & 804), in addition to completing the regular M.S. requirements.

M.S. Program Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in packaging or a related field
  • 3.0 (B) grade point average in last two years of undergraduate program
  • One year of college physics
  • One year of college chemistry, including introductory organic chemistry
  • One semester of calculus
  • Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Three letters of recommendation

Admissions to the on-campus MS program are limited. For full consideration, the application for admission, the application fee, and all required documents should be received no later than January 15th for the following fall semester. International students are encouraged to apply as early as possible or at least by the January 15th deadline.

International students whose native language is not English must also submit test scores demonstrating adequate knowledge of the English language.

Students may begin their graduate programs only in the fall semester (late August) except in unusual circumstances.  Prospective students should read the School of Packaging Graduate Student Handbook for information about the M.S. On-Campus Program.

Links to Information and Forms:


For More Information Contact:

Dr. Maria Rubino
Graduate Advisor and Professor
The School of Packaging
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1223
Telephone: 517-355-0172
Fax (517) 353-8999
E-mail: mariar@msu.edu


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