Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Packaging Science BS

Program Overview

The packaging science major prepares students for employment in areas such as package development, sales, purchasing, structural design, production, research, and marketing. The major was developed as a result of a close and long-established relationship between the packaging industry and RIT. This multi-billion-dollar industry exhibits dynamic growth and provides employment for thousands of professionals with wide-ranging skills and expertise.

The Packaging Science program at RIT is one of the most unique and respected in the country. One of only a handful in the nation to offer the program, the discipline provides students exposure to laboratory experience and real-life problem-solving. Embedded in the program is the required full-time co-op within a company. RIT is the only institute in the country that requires all Packaging Science students to experience this opportunity. This allows students to develop their professional skills, expand their real-world experience, and most importantly broadens their industry contacts. Graduates are rewarded with highly developed skills, extensive materials background and initiative knowledge of their application.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science


  • Approximately 180 students are enrolled in this program

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Co-op is mandatory for this program.
  • Minimum co-op requirement: 10 weeks in summer, 15 weeks in fall or spring
  • Co-op availability: Summer through spring

Salary Information

Co-op:     $20.00                    $10.40 - $31.25
Full time:                                $63,600

Student Skills & Capabilities

  • The program emphasizes the application of fundamental concepts, theory, innovation, critical thinking and communication on practical problems  Studies in packaging science include examining the procedures for developing new, improved packages; testing the physical and chemical properties of materials; and learning structural design by making and testing sample containers in the department’s advanced testing facility.  Students also learn the industry’s legal aspects, as well as economic, energy and environmental considerations in packaging development and production.
  • In conjunction with their packaging science education, students complete course sequences in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and liberal arts.  Students receive a broad general education as well as expertise in packaging science.
  • The Master of Science degree is comprised of 3 components: packaging core courses, thesis research or project, and elective credit.  The curriculum is flexible enough to meet the needs of professionals who have been in the field for a number of years, and is suitable for those students who wish to pursue a graduate program immediately upon receiving a BS degree.

Equipment & Facilities

The extensive facilities include a state-of-the-art packaging dynamics lab, modern computer lab, packaging attribute assessment lab, and the American Packaging Corporation Packaging Innovation Center.  Students learn to perform packaging evaluations and report results.

Job Titles

Packaging Engineer, Packaging Designer, Product Engineer, Packaging Scientist, Packaging Engineering & Merchandising Manager, Package Engineering Technician, Packaging Sales, Structural Designer, Packaging & Display Sales, Packaging Development Engineer, Packaging Project Management Engineer, Display Services Specialist

Significant Points

  • Typical responsibilities involve developing packaging systems for a variety of products.
  • Engineers develop primary, secondary and tertiary packaging systems, develop packaging specifications, select materials, improve package quality and support new product launches in food and beverage, pharmaceutical or consumer products companies.
  • The ability to work with other engineers in a team environment is very important.

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

American Packaging Corp. Becton Dickinson BIC Cooper Vision Estee Lauder Mattel/Fisher Price GlaxoSmithKline Hasbro Henkel Johnson & Johnson L’Oréal Merck & Co Mondelez International Menasha Pepsi-Cola Rich Products SC Johnson & Son Teleflex Incorporated Unilever West Pharmaceutical

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career. We will make every effort to help you succeed. Call our office and ask to speak with Shauna Newcomb, the career services coordinator who works with the Packaging Science program. For your convenience, you can access information and services through our web site at
Shauna Newcomb, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5472
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603