Polymer engineering

Program benefits

The Graduate Certificate Program in Polymer Engineering provides specialized formal education for working engineers and scientists. Those enrolled in the program will:

  • Master the advanced subject material in polymer science and engineering.
  • Be able to identify, formulate, and solve problems in polymer science and engineering.
  • Know about emerging and frontier knowledge in polymer science and engineering.
  • Be able to communicate effectively in the field of polymer science and engineering.
  • Earn a graduate certificate that documents their professional advancement.

Wayne State University provides gainful employment disclosures for certificate programs that are eligible for financial aid. Download the gainful employment disclosure for the Graduate Certificate in Polymer Engineering.

Certificate program requirements

Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, chemistry or physics. A total of 12 credits, six in required courses and six in electives, with a grade of B or better, must be completed to earn the certificate.

Required courses 

Candidates are required to take six credits of required courses: CHE/MSE5350 and CHE/MSE5360.

CHE/MSE5350: Polymer Science (3 credits)

Fundamental relationships between chemical structure and physical properties of high polymers. Basic structures, states and transition of polymer. Polymerization reactions and processes. Molecular weight, viscous flow and mechanical properties of polymers.

CHE/MSE5360: Polymer Processing (3 credits)

A detailed analysis of polymer processing. Rheology of polymers, flow in tubes, calendaring, extrusion, injection modeling, fiber spinning, and coating.

Elective courses

Candidates will be required to take six credits from among the following courses. At least one course must be at the 6000 level or higher.

CHE/MSE5600: Composite Materials (3 credits)

(Co-requisite: CHE/MSE5350)
Introduction to physical understanding of composites: fiber and polymer matrix properties, interfacial adhesion, manufacturing, elastic and strength properties of unidirectional and random laminas. Other topics: various performance properties and plastic design applications.

ME5650: Surface Science (3 credits)

An introduction to the science and technology of surface phenomena, including surface structure, surface energy, surface diffusion, crystal growth and selected applications of technological importance.

ME5720: Mechanics: Composite Materials (4 credits)

Analytical modeling of micro-mechanical and macro-mechanical behavior of composite materials. Stiffness, strength, hydrothermal effects, laminate analysis, viscoelastic and dynamic behavior. Experimental characterization of mechanical behavior.

PHY6450: Introduction to Material and Device Characterizations (4 credits)

Lecture/laboratory; introduction to analytic and measurement techniques for characterizing and evaluating materials, especially for potential applicability in sensor and integrated devices. Techniques include diffraction and microscopy methods, electron spectroscopies, and electrical, optical and magnetic measurements.

CHM7060: Materials Chemistry and Engineering (3 credits)

Solid state structure and bonding. Crystallography, defects, and non-stoichiometry. Phase diagrams. Synthesis and properties of extended solids and nanomaterials. Molecular interactions and statistical physics of soft matter. Synthesis and characterization techniques of polymeric and colloidal material. Physical properties, phase behavior, self-assembly and ordering in synthetic and biological soft matter.

The following courses will be counted as certification credits when the subjects is relevant to polymer science. A maximum of three credits combined total of CHE/MSE/ME 7990 or 8960 can be taken.

CHE/MSE7990: Directed Study (1 to 3 credits)

Library investigation of an approved project in polymer engineering. Independent study, conferences with faculty advisor, and preparation of a comprehensive written and oral report.

CHE/MSE/ME7995: Special Topics (1 to 3 credits)

Graduate seminar on advances subjects in polymer engineering. Topic will vary.

CHE/MSE/ME8960: Research (1 to 3 credits)

Library and laboratory investigation of an approved proposal for an advanced polymer research project. Conferences and periodic oral progress reports. Comprehensive project report upon completion.

Industrial advisory committee

Member of the Industrial Advisory Committee represent major polymer suppliers and users. The committee periodically reviews this certificate program to maintain its dynamic nature and relevance to state-of-the-art industrial practice.

How to apply

Candidates for the certificate program must apply for admission to the WSU Graduate School. Applicants should submit the university's application for graduate admission (Form 10-491A) to the degree program of their choice. The Graduate Certificate in Polymer Engineering Program may be elected as an independent program, or concurrently with graduate study for the M.S. degree in materials science and engineering or chemical engineering. If no master's degree is desired, the applicant should check "non-degree" and insert the words "Graduate Certificate Program in Polymer Engineering" on the form. Undergraduates and visitors may enroll in individual courses, but will be ineligible to earn the certificate without admission to the Graduate School.

For more information

Please contact
Zhiqiang Cao 
Assistant Professor
Director of Polymer Engineering Graduate Certificate Program
Email: zcao@wayne.edu
Phone: 313-577-3121