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Course content

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The MS degree in packaging science is designed to meet the needs of professionals who are employed in the field or students who wish to pursue a graduate program immediately upon earning a bachelor's degree.

Plan of study

The program requires the completion of 36 credit hours comprised of six required core courses, elective courses, plus a thesis or project. Faculty advisers assist students in selecting the thesis or project option and the corresponding plan of study is approved by the graduate program chair.

- Elective courses

All elective courses are approved by the student’s adviser and must meet degree requirements. In certain circumstances, with pre-approval by the graduate adviser and where individual need indicates appropriateness, a limited number of upper-level undergraduate courses may be used to fulfill elective credit. Students, with adviser permission, may include independent study as part of their elective credits. However, independent study may not be used toward the required packaging core course work. Courses selected for elective credit can be combined to create special areas of focus with program chair approval.

- Thesis/Project/Comprehensive Exam

The thesis option requires 6 credit hours and develops and tests a hypothesis by scientific method and is grounded in a theoretical framework. Individuals who can capture, interpret, and apply information by this method can add value to their roles as contributors in the workplace. The thesis option is for students seeking to pursue careers that offer a greater opportunity for further research or advanced study in the field of packaging science. It is meant to provide depth of study, emphasizing the research process. The thesis option is by invitation only.

The project option is 3 credit hours and has a practical, application-oriented grounding in literature. It is considered secondary research or the compilation of existing information presented in a new way. The project option is for students who desire advanced study in packaging science, but who do not intend to pursue a research career or further studies beyond the master’s level. Students choosing the project option are required to complete one additional elective course.

The comprehensive exam option is 0 credit hours and allows students to complete an exam in place of a thesis or project. Students who choose this option take two additional elective courses.

The student’s graduate committee makes the final decision regarding the proposal idea and whether it meets the program’s requirements as a graduate project or thesis; or if a student is best served by completing the comprehensive exam.

Admission requirements

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required. However, in cases where there may be some question of the capability of an applicant to complete the program, applicants may wish to submit scores to strengthen their application.

Students who do not have an equivalent bachelor’s degree in packaging science will be evaluated and the appropriate undergraduate bridge courses will be prescribed. These courses may not be used for credit toward the MS degree.

Applicants are required to have one semester of physics (mechanics focus), one semester of calculus, one year of chemistry (including organic chemistry), statistics, and basic computer literacy.

Students who do not have an equivalent bachelor’s degree in packaging science will be evaluated and the appropriate undergraduate bridge courses will be prescribed. These courses may not be used for credit toward the MS degree.

Additional information

- Advising

Students are appointed an academic adviser who works with the program coordinator to develop a program of study. Students follow an outlined curriculum to complete their degree requirements and, with adviser approval, choose packaging electives to enhance their career objectives. Students choose a faculty adviser with approval from their program coordinator for their thesis or project. The faculty adviser guides the student on topic choice and works with the program coordinator for approval and timely completion of the thesis or project.

Visit the Packaging Science MS page on the Rochester Institute of Technology USA website for more details!




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