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TheInvisibleScienceof Packaging

How MSU's top-ranked School of Packaging is making life better and safer

When it comes to finding solutions for a better tomorrow, Michigan State University Spartans have been thinking outside the box—and designing better boxes—for more than half a century.

The first higher education institution in the world to offer a bachelor of science degree in packaging, MSU is home to the top-ranked School of Packaging, whose graduates account for more than half of all packaging professionals in the nation. The pioneer of the packaging science discipline is at the forefront of creating smarter, more sustainable packaging options for myriad items that are part of our everyday lives.

quote Packaging is the intersection of art and science. It is ubiquitous, but invisible.
–Laura Bix, professor of packaging quote

While often unnoticed, Spartan packaging advances make life noticeably better—from engineering containers that keep food fresh longer and bottles that keep medications secure to exploring intelligent packages that can issue safety alerts and using cognitive psychology to indicate how people interact with information labels.


Pioneering a discipline with global impact

•      Established as an independent school in 1957, the School of Packaging was the first of its kind in the country. Today, it’s the only school in the nation to offer a Ph.D. program in packaging. The school also offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, plus certificate and online master’s programs aimed at mid-career professionals.

•      MSU packaging alumni can be found working in major industries across the globe, from automotive and agriculture to food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Among their notable employers are Amazon, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, Kellogg Company, Dow Chemical Company, Nestle, General Motors, Ford, ConAgra Foods, Stryker and Unilever.


Collaborating with industry and academia

•      MSU’s School of Packaging collaborates with other U.S. universities and has become a model for many programs. MSU alumni have created and staff programs at universities across the country, including California Polytechnic State University, Rutgers, San Jose State University, University of Wisconsin, Rochester Institute of Technology, Clemson University and Indiana State University.

•      Researchers in the School of Packaging collaborate with a large number of groups across campus as well as other research universities, not-for-profit research centers and industry professionals, sharing valuable knowledge about food science and food safety, engineering, supply chain and many other areas.


Innovating for the future

•     MSU leads transformational research in the areas of bio-based polymers capable of replacing petroleum-based plastics, nanocomposites, active and intelligent packaging and medical packaging. Spartans also are known for developing innovative packaging solutions for improved food quality and safety.

•     The School of Packaging’s Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability has produced research resulting in innovation and sustainable systems, making a positive impact on the environment and the global footprint of packaging and related systems across the supply chain.





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