The Bachelor of Science degree in packaging is a technical and science based program incorporating every aspect of packaging, from materials and processes through systems development and testing. Laboratories are an integral component in the majority of packaging undergraduate courses, providing students with hands-on experience. Further knowledge can be will by students in concentration areas in Packaging Science or Packaging Value Chain Management on specific topic areas. An internship experience is a highly recommended part of the Packaging program.


Packaging Curriculum Guide

Note: this curriculum is in effect for all students who entered the Packaging Program in FALL 2016 or later. For students who started the program in Summer 2016 or before, please refer to the curriculum guide labeled as such on the main Undergraduate information page.

All packaging majors must complete a core curriculum consisting of 11 packaging courses which accounts for 35 of the 120 credits   required for the degree, and includes more than 100 hours of practical laboratory experience. Core courses include studies in the following areas:

  • Technical principles for packaging
  • Packaging career preparation and skills
  • Materials (glass, plastic, paper and metals in packaging)
  • Computer applications
  • Packaging processes & systems
  • Distribution dynamics
  • Design and prototyping
  • Life Cycle Analysis & Environmental impacts
  • Economic Factors of Packaging


Nine credits in packaging electives are required and are earned through coursework or participation in the internship or overseas study programs. Students in each concentration have ONE required elective: Packaging Science concentration students will take either Medical or Food Packaging; Packaging Value Chain Management will take Packaging Value Chain. Students in either concentration can take the other’s required elective as one of their options.

Other elective credits include:

  • Packaging for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
  • Environmental issues
  • Virtual Package Design
  • Packaging laws and regulations

Required Business Coursework
All students will need to complete either Introduction to Marketing or Introduction to Supply Chain Management (MKT 327 or SCM 304).

Science and Math Requirements
As a technical program with a heavy science focus, the School of Packaging has rigorous science and math requirements. All students must complete

  • General Chemistry 1, General Chemistry 1 lab, and Survey of Organic Chemistry
  • Physics I and II (meets MSU ISP requirements)
  • Calculus I and II
  • Statistics
  • Microbiology or Food Safety (meets MSU ISB requirements)

Concentration Areas

Students will need to select a concentration area in either Packaging Science or Packaging Value Chain management upon reaching junior standing and receiving their admission into the Packaging program. Each concentration area requires 9 credits outside of packaging coursework, with all classes at least at the 200 level, and at least one course at the 300 level or above. These courses MAY NOT be double counted to meet other requirements of the packaging program, but MAY be used to also complete requirements for a minor (as allowed by the department offering the minor). Note: some classes may have prereqs not listed here, discuss with your advisor.

Packaging Science:

  • BMB 200: Introduction to Biochemistry (4)
  • CE 221: Statics (3)
  • FSC 211: Principles of Food Science (3)
  • FSC 325: Food Processing: Unit Operations (3)
  • FSC 342: Food Safety and HACCPP (3)
  • FSC 401: Food Chemistry (3)
  • FSC 421: Food Laws and Regulations (3)
  • FSC 440: Food Microbiology (3)
  • MMG 201: Fundamentals of Microbiology (3)
  • MMG 301: Introductory Microbiology (3)
  • MMG 302: Introductory Lab for Allied Health Microbiology (1)
  • STT 464: Statistics for Biologists (3)
  • STT 465: Bayesian Statistical Methods (3)
  • *Other coursework as approved by the department*

Packaging Value Chain:

  • EC 301: Intermediate Microeconomics
  • EC 302: Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • EC 360: Private Enterprise and Public Policy
  • FI 320: Introduction to Finance
  • GBL 323: Introduction to Business Law
  • MGT 325: Management Skills and Processes
  • MKT 327: Introduction to Marketing
  • SCM 303: Introduction to Supply Chain Management
  • FIM/ABM 222: Agribusiness and Food Industry Sales
  • FIM 335: Food Marketing Management
  • FIM 220: Food Product Marketing (has a prereq of ABM/FIM 100)
  • ABM 225: Commodity Marketing I
  • ABM 425: Commodity Marketing II (preq of STT 200, 201, or 315 and ABM 225)
  • *Other coursework as approved by department*


Admission as Freshman or Sophomore

Incoming freshmen are admitted to MSU and to the School of Packaging lower division by the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships using procedures, forms and standards set up by that office. Students below junior standing (56 credits) currently at MSU may change their major to Packaging at any time by going to the NSSC office corresponding to where they live or by filling out the online form at Students are STRONGLY encouraged to contact Aaron Tucker at for advising after changing their major to Packaging. Students who declare packaging as their major prior to reaching 56 credits will be automatically reviewed upon reaching junior status, and must meet all upper division admission requirements at that time.

Admission to the School of Packaging Upper Division

Admission to the upper division requires that the student has completed Chemistry 141, Mathematics 133, Physics 231 with a minimum of a 2.0 in each course, AND a 3.0 cumulative GPA over all coursework completed at MSU. Students who have already declared their major preference as Packaging prior to reaching 56 credits will be automatically reviewed for admission; there is no application required. IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED STUDENTS RECEIVE A 2.0 IN MTH 132 BEFORE PROCEEDING TO MTH 133.

The School of Packaging does NOT offer probationary acceptance. Packaging students will be automatically reviewed upon final grades being received (Wednesday after exams), and will be notified of their admissions via confidential message through STUINFO within one week of final grades being reported. Students will receive an email notification of this message from Please do NOT ignore this message!

Students not accepted will need to change their major out of Packaging within 10 days of notification, or a dean’s hold will be placed on their records. Non-admitted students will be dropped out of all packaging courses. Students may request readmission once requirements are met.  You must meet the requirements for the semester for which you are requesting readmission, NOT the previous semester.

Students who have already reached junior status in another major, but would like to change their major to Packaging, should contact Aaron Tucker at These students must meet the above requirements prior to being able to officially change their major to packaging. Junior-level and above students wishing to change their major after the last drop date with no grade recorded of each semester will have their request held until final grades are received.

Admission to the School of Packaging as a Transfer Student from Another Institution

Students wishing to transfer to the School of Packaging from a community college or university must first go through the MSU Admissions office transfer application. The admissions office will determine if students meet eligibility requirements to be accepted to both MSU and the School of Packaging. Students who will be transferring in with greater than 42 credits must have completed the equivalent of MSU’s CEM 141, MTH 132 AND 133, and PHY 231 to be accepted into the program. Students transferring in with less than 42 credits will not need to have these requirements completed for admission. 

For More Information and to Schedule an Advisor Appointment, please contact: 

Aaron Tucker, MA
The School of Packaging
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1223
Phone: (517) 355-9580

Schedule an Advisor Appointment

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