We have a package for you at UW-Stout — the bachelor of science degree in Packaging. This package leads to interesting, challenging, and rewarding careers in package printing; business and sales; foods and packaging; package graphic design; manufacturing and quality management; or package design, research and development.

The packaging career field involves the use of materials, methods, design concepts and machinery to develop and produce the packages that protect and preserve a product, help market the product and instruct the consumer in its proper use. Virtually every product, whether grown or manufactured, must be packaged so that it reaches the consumer in an acceptable condition. With the quantity and variety of products produced in the world, it is easy to understand that packaging is a dynamic, multibillion dollar industry in need of well-educated men and women.

More people are employed in packaging operations and the directly related support industries than any other industry. On the basis of gross domestic product, packaging is the third largest industry in the United States and is expanding. Projected personnel requirements indicate that the demand for packaging professionals will significantly exceed the number of future graduates, and starting salaries are very impressive!

UW-Stout is one of only a few schools in the United States (and the only school in the UW System) that offer a B.S. degree in Packaging. The program combines general education with technical and professional studies. You will have an opportunity to apply theory to real problems. Through laboratory and co-op work experiences, you will apply the principles of science, mathematics and communications skills.

Several factors make UW-Stout an ideal location for the Packaging program-our heritage, faculty and instructional laboratory facilities. Throughout its history, UW-Stout has developed technical programs to meet the needs of business and industry. These programs have focused upon the direct application of technical knowledge to the solution of practical problems.

Our specialized staff has developed a curriculum to prepare graduates to work with both traditional and emerging materials, manufacturing processes and technologies.

Our resources include a highly successful cooperative education program and the Stout Technology Transfer Institute, a nationally recognized center that assists industry in solving problems. As you progress toward graduation, both will provide opportunities to learn through on-the-job experiences while still enrolled at the university.

Preparing for UW-Stout

Students in the Packaging program must have an aptitude for communication skills, the sciences and mathematics. We encourage you to take as many upper-level math, chemistry, physics, writing and speech courses in high school as possible.  Early development of computer skills is also very helpful.

Starting Out

Industry's packaging problems are not only technical in nature. They are also social and economic. Packaging professionals must therefore have a broad education.

The first two years of the program includes English composition, speech communications, and other general education offerings as well as calculus, chemistry, physics, computer applications and foundation packaging courses.

As You Progress

The trend in the packaging industry is to hire employees who can function in more than one area at career entry. UW-Stout's Packaging program recognizes this trend by offering the student the opportunity to select an "emphasis" which includes course and lab work beyond the technical core of the program. Students can select from several emphasis areas; package graphic design, package printing, manufacturing/quality, business/sales, foods/packaging, or package design, research and development.

An off-campus co-op experience in the packaging industry of at least six months is strongly encouraged. Today's employers show a preference for the graduate who has completed at least one co-op.

Student professional organizations offer another opportunity to learn outside the classroom setting. The UW-Stout student chapter of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) helps packaging program students begin "networking" with their professional colleagues.

Entry Positions

The packaging industry seeks qualified professionals with a broad-based career entry education. A B.S. degree in Packaging can lead to positions with local, national or international firms. Entry level is determined by several variables, including the emphasis selected, work experience, personal contacts, grade point average and economic cycles.

The employment rate for graduates from the school year 2015–16 was 98 percent with the average starting salaries averaging at $58,000.

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