Online M.S. Degree Program

Online Master’s Degree:
The 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.

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.

The formal program for the MS online degree (Plan B non-thesis) must satisfy the following minimum requirements:
Required core courses:
PKG 827  – Polymeric Packaging Materials (3 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

Plan B Examination:
A final examination is also required during the last semester of the program. See 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:
School of Packaging Graduate Student Handbook (Ph.D., MS Online and Oncampus):  HANDBOOK_Updated_2015June10_FINAL_PDF.pdf
Description of Courses (Master’s level courses are 800 level):
Tuition and Fees (Resident and Non-Resident, Lifelone Education and Online Masters):
Applying to Graduate School: 
Course Schedules:

Links to forms:
MS Program Plan: Program Plan
Packaging 890-Directed Studies in Packaging form: Packaging 890 Form

MARYLAND Residents
The U.S. Department of Education requires an institution offering distance education programs to acquire authorization from the states in which it operates.   Specific regulations vary from state to state.   Michigan State University is not seeking authorization in Maryland.  Students whose resident  address is  in  Maryland at the time of application for admission to Michigan State University are not eligible to apply to MSU online programs.

Michigan State University is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.