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Packaging, Identities and Systems Design, MS

Graduate, MS
Graduate Communications Design
School of Design


The MS in Packaging, Identities and Systems Design, a degree first offered in 1966, educates students from diverse cultural, professional, and educational backgrounds in design thinking, technical skills, collaborative abilities, academic knowledge, and managerial competence. While focusing on creative problem-solving, the curriculum is industry-oriented. Graduates enter the professional world with an outstanding body of work, prepared to become innovative leaders in the field of package design.

The MS in Packaging, Identities and Systems Design is an initial master’s degree that offers students structured courses on the decision-making process for new product and package development, featuring direction in package design, typography, brand development, marketing, structural packaging, packaging technology, fragrance packaging, and the business aspects of the package industry.

The MS in Packaging, Identities and Systems Design is a full-time program with classes offered during the day as well as some evenings for the convenience of students. A minimum of 48 credits, completed within two years of study, is required for the MS Packaging, Identities and Systems Design degree. Students accepted typically hold undergraduate degrees in graphic design or related design fields, such as industrial and interior design, architecture, fine arts, and media arts. We also welcome applicants from non-design fields including communications and journalism, business, liberal arts, and the sciences. Up to 6 credits of qualifying courses may be required for applicants who do not meet all entrance standards but whose applications indicate a strong aptitude for graduate study. A portfolio review is required for admission.

The MS in Packaging, Identities and Systems Design program educates students in creative discipline, technical skills, collaborative abilities, academic knowledge, and managerial competence. The comprehensive capstone thesis project demonstrates professional competence and includes extensive research, project formulation and production, and process documentation.

Plan of Study

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes of the MS Packaging, Identities and Systems Design degree:

  • Apply contemporary design processes, methods, tools, and technologies toward sustainable solutions that address social and environmental concerns, and build capacity to adapt and augment these skills throughout their lives.
  • Achieve competency in exploring and expressing inclusive and universally accessible design solutions across two, three, and four dimensions by continuously evaluating the impact of design decisions on local and global resources and communities.
  • Gain the capability to research, identify and ethically incorporate current sustainability practices in material use, distribution, life cycles, earth ecologies, and social practices.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of a wide range of design theories and histories within their socio-economic context, and direct that expertise toward both applied and theoretical frameworks.
  • Develop humility, social sensitivity, and cross-cultural competency to provide strategic leadership that takes into consideration a plurality of perspectives within a multidisciplinary professional or academic environment.