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):  SoP_Grad_Handbook_2015_2016.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




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




Applicants or students enrolling in any course or program shall be notified if graduates of the program in which they are enrolling qualify to sit for any licensure, licensure exam, third party certification, third party certification exam, or similar credential related to the program’s field of study. This notice shall be clearly stated and given regardless of whether or not the license, certification, or other credential is required for entry into the student’s chosen field of study or occupation. The notification shall be in writing and signed or otherwise acknowledge by the student.




Professional Licensure. Michigan State University has not determined whether online or hybrid courses or programs meet the requirements for professional licensure outside the state of Michigan. Applicants or students need to contact the applicable licensing board(s) in the states they wish to purse licensure before seeking admission or beginning study in a course or program.