Programs of Study

Undergraduate Programs

UMass Lowell has the largest and most well-established Plastics Engineering Program in the country. The Plastics Engineering Department offers the following undergraduate degree and minor: 

Plastics are widely used in the manufacture of products that we use in our daily lives. The companies that manufacture these products have a need for engineers that understand how plastics materials behave so that these products can be designed, tested and manufactured. This program is designed to prepare the graduate for a professional career as a Plastics Engineer. The curriculum provides a sound basis in mathematics, chemistry and process engineering, plus a full study of plastics materials, properties, physics, engineering sciences, product design, plastics manufacturing and computer aided engineering. It includes sufficient flexibility for further specialization in areas of individual interest. Undergraduates may join the nation’s very first student chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) chartered back in 1959. 

Since the Plastics Engineering program started in 1954, more than 2,000 graduates have been employed by companies throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Major plastics producers and end users recruit annually on campus. Most job openings are in manufacturing, product and process development, technical service and marketing. Some graduates go into research, consulting and teaching. 

Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering

The primary objective of the Plastics Engineering Program is to provide a well-rounded basic level engineering education that prepares our graduates to be readily employable professionals in a lifetime career of plastics engineering.  

The curriculum provides a sound foundation in basic sciences, engineering disciplines and communication skills along with a detailed study, including a laboratory experience, of plastics materials, properties, processing and design.  The curriculum aims to foster professionalism, ethics and safety.

The department maintains the highest standard of academic excellence in plastics engineering, and maintains a caring environment for students of diverse backgrounds. The Plastics Engineering Program Educational Objectives (PEOX) listed below allow graduates to secure and develop the following post-graduation skills:  

  • PEO1   Graduates are expected to position themselves as readily employable professionals within all fields of plastics engineering, from plastic (polymer) synthesis, material characterization, product design, mold design, troubleshooting and technical service in the field of plastics engineering. 
  • PEO2   Graduates are expected to position themselves as project/team leaders, with developing skills to advance within management levels in the commercial plastics industry. 
  • PEO3   Given the program’s deep outreach measures to alumni within the Plastics Engineering Community, our graduates are expected to maintain contact with the Plastics Engineering Program and that they continue to report and advise on the educational requirements within the field of plastics engineering. 
  • PEO4   Graduates are expected to become team leaders within the global plastics engineering community and to be able to lead and respond to global changes in the field of plastics engineering. 
  • PEO5   Graduates are expected to be well-positioned to consider their need for advanced degrees in the field of plastics engineering, other engineering disciplines, marketing, business administration, medical and intellectual property law. 
  • PEO6   Graduates are expected to adapt to emerging issues in plastics engineering, related to globalization of the plastics industry, environmental concerns and the importance of developing sustainable and reusable resources.

For detailed information about the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering degree, please use the following link to the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog: Requirements for a B.S. in Plastics Engineering 

Minor in Business Administration

Many engineers become managers of people and projects.  As a result, it is important for engineers to have an understanding of business practices. The Department of Plastics Engineering has worked closely with the Manning School of Business to develop an optional, streamlined business program. Students  pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering have the option of attaining a minor in business administration.  

For detailed information about the requirements for the minor in business administration, please use the following link to the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog: Requirements for a Minor in Business Administration

B.S./M.S. Degree

In order to encourage outstanding undergraduate students to continue their studies toward an advanced degree, the College of Engineering offers a program of accelerated study, which leads to a Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering and a Master of Science in Plastics Engineering. Students taking full advantage of the combined program ordinarily finish the M.S.E. degree in their fifth year of study.  

For detailed information about the requirements for the B.S./M.S. in Plastics Engineering, please use the following link to the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog: Requirements for a B.S./M.S. in Plastics Engineering