Online M.S. Degree Program

The Online M.S. program is designed to meet the needs of packaging professionals involved in all aspects of the industry as well as those with a general technology background. There is considerable flexibility in designing your degree program to fit your interests.  This Plan B (non-thesis) program requires completion of 30 credits and can be completed in about three years by averaging one course per semester including summer semesters. The time commitment for an online course averages 10 to 15 hours per week.

Admission Requirements

The basic admission criteria are identical for the on campus and online programs.  Those requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in packaging or a related field
  • 3.0 (B) GPA in the last two years of the undergraduate program
  • One year of college physics
  • One year of college chemistry, including organic chemistry
  • One semester of calculus
  • Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 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 program either in the fall, spring or summer semesters, though fall semester is preferred. For full consideration, the application for admission, application fee, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores, and other required documents must be received by the school at least two months prior to the anticipated first semester of enrollment.

Degree Requirement

The formal program for the MS online degree (Plan B non-thesis) must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

Required core courses

PKG 825  – Polymeric Packaging Materials (4 credits)
PKG 805  – Advanced Packaging Dynamics (3 credits) 
PKG 815  – Permeability and Shelf Life (3 credits)

Elective courses

Choices at the 400 or 800 level to achieve 30 credits within the following guidelines:

  • 12 credits in packaging at the 800 level or above, excluding PKG 888, 890, and 899
  • 16 credits in Packaging at the 400 level or higher, excluding PKG 432, PKG 492 and PKG 493
  • 16 credits in approved courses at the 800 level or above

Note: Courses can count in multiple categories.

Plan B Examination

A final examination is also required during the last semester of the program. See the School of Packaging Graduate Handbook for details.

Collateral courses

Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in packaging are required to complete the following or may show competency in these areas through waiver:
PKG 801 – Packaging Materials
PKG 803 – Packaging Distribution and Dynamics
PKG 804 – Packaging Processes
These courses do not count toward the 30 required program credits.

Informational links and forms

Note: Tuition for the On-line MS Program is listed under "On-Line Programs Special Program Fees"



Michigan State University will not be offering certain online programs to students based on their residence at the time of application for admission to Michigan State University - see State-By-State Summary


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



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