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Degree Programs

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program

The field of polymers is highly dynamic and interdisciplinary, and our Ph.D. program in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst naturally reflects that perspective. We provide both a broad-based and fundamental introduction to all the major polymer subfields as well as individualized courses of study. Flexibility in the curriculum, particularly in the second and subsequent semesters, allows students to undertake basic coursework in related disciplines (chemistry, biochemistry, physics, or engineering) and/or more specialized coursework in polymers. Although some students enter the program with previous polymer experience, either academic or industrial, a polymer background is not required. The PSE department's collection of polymer instrumentation is one of the largest in the world, a feature that permits doctoral students to gain unusually broad experimental proficiency during their thesis research. The Degree Requirements section of this website gives a detailed description of the formal requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

Admission Requirements:

  • A B.S. or B.A. in chemistry, physics, materials science, biophysics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, bioengineering, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, and related fields
  • Undergraduate coursework in the following: organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, mathematics (preferably through ordinary differential equations). Laboratory experience in chemistry. Courses in at least three of the following: solid state or condensed matter physics, mechanics of materials, materials science and engineering, statistical thermodynamics, analytical chemistry, polymer science and engineering

The Master of Science Degree Program

While we certainly accept students that already have MS degrees in any field that is relevant to studies in our program, the Polymer Science and Engineering Department is primarily a Ph.D. granting program. Terminal M.S. candidates are admitted only under special circumstances.