What is Packaging Science?
Design, engineering, innovation, science, research and business are integral parts of the UF Packaging Science program.
It’s more than just a question of ‘paper or plastic?’. Whether it’s bagged, boxed, or wrapped, virtually every modern industry relies on packaging science and technology to contain, protect, preserve or enhance the value of its goods as they hustle from factory to customer.
Unique package designs and decoration entice customers to buy new products. Packaging materials and new technologies help preserve freshness and provide protection from damage and tampering. In short, products cannot effectively reach the consumer without packaging. It's the nation's third largest industry!
The Packaging Science curriculum offers students a solid foundation in the pure sciences (biology, chemistry, physics and math), along with skills in core engineering courses. Packaging related courses include food packaging, distribution and transport, materials and computer tools for packaging. Students learn to apply fundamental engineering principles to real-world packaging challenges. Students must meet requirements in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.The PKS Academic Learning Compact identifies the skills students should acquire if they follow the course of study.
The UF PKS bachelor’s degree program is one of only a handful of college programs helping to fill the increasing demand for graduates in this $100 billion+ industry. Many students participate in paid industry internships during their undergraduate program and graduates are employed as packaging engineers at top companies including Kraft, Campbell's, Estee Lauder, Johnson and Johnson, Cryovac, Anheuser Busch, and Schwan Foods. Starting salaries average over $45,000/year.
The Packaging Industry needs graduates with expertise in package engineering, graphic design, printing and marketing, warehousing and distribution, raw material production and distribution, conversion of raw materials into usable forms, and post-use recycling, reuse, conversion to energy and/or disposal.
Since virtually every product needs packaging, engineers must design and develop packages and packaging materials that will protect a variety of products during transportation, handling, storage, and use. Packages must be able to withstand vibration, temperature, impact, humidity, and other external forces. Packaging Science Engineers help to insure that products stay safe from contaminants, arrive on store shelves in one piece, and are tamper and theft resistant.