Advance your understanding of theory and practice in plastics materials, design, and processing.

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The Master of Science in Plastics Engineering offers professional training designed to provide the opportunity for the study of more advanced theory and practice in plastics materials, design, and processing. The Department also offers graduate training in rubber and elastomer technology, medical plastics, and sustainability. This graduate program also is designed to broaden the background of experienced professionals to help them keep up with the latest fundamental developments in the field. 

Non-thesis Option

The 33 credit hour non-thesis M.S.E. degree program is intended for full-time students interested in advancing their knowledge and for part-time graduate students working full-time jobs as practicing engineers. Students enrolled in the non-thesis M.S.E. Plastics Engineering option must complete a total of 33 course credits.

Thesis Option

M.S.E. Plastics Engineering can students opt for the 30 credit hour thesis option M.S.E. degree program. Students who have enrolled in the thesis option Plastics Engineering M.S.E. program must complete at least 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits.

Bachelor's-to-Master's Option

The accelerated Bachelor's-to-Master's program makes it possible to complete both a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree in Plastics Engineering in as little as five years. You can apply during your junior or senior year. Once accepted, you can take graduate level coursework and count the credit towards both your undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Graduate Certificates

UMass Lowell also offers Graduate Certificates in Plastics Engineering.


Students enrolled in the M.S.E. program must complete:

  • Core courses – the thesis option requires three core courses (Advanced Plastics Materials, Advanced Plastics Processing, and Graduate Polymer Laboratory), while the non-thesis option requires six core courses (Advanced Plastics Materials, Advanced Plastics Processing, Graduate Polymer Laboratory, Mechanical Behavior of Polymers, Polymer Structure Properties and Applications, and Plastics Product Design).
  • The four courses required for a graduate concentration in materials, design, processing, or medical plastics design and manufacturing. 
  • For the non-thesis option, one additional courses of their choice. For the thesis option, one additional course of their choice and six thesis credits. 

For more information including course listings and degree pathways, visit the Graduate Catalog.

Graduate Master’s Co-op

The Department of Plastics Engineering participates in the Graduate Master's Co-op Option in Engineering. For detailed information about the Master's Co-op Program, additional eligibility criteria, curriculum requirements, important dates, and application process, please see the Graduate Catalog Engineering Co-op page.

Admissions Requirements

All Applicants

  • B.S. in Plastics Engineering or a related engineering or science field
  • Pre-requisite math requirements of Differential Equations
  • Official transcript from previously earned degrees

For questions about the program, please contact:
Associate Professor Amy M. Peterson, Ph.D.
Associate Chair for Master’s Studies

International Applicants

  • Students for whom English is not a national language must also submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

See the Graduate Catalog for detailed requirements of the program. 

Visit Graduate Admissions for more admission requirements and process.

Tuition & Financing


Cost Per Credit: $844.99* 
Total Tuition (based on 30 credits): $25,350*
Total Tuition (based on 33 credits): $27,885*

Out-of-state/International Students

Cost Per Credit: $1,499.44* 
Total Tuition (based on 30 credits): $44,983*
Total Tuition (based on 33 credits): $49,481*

*These estimated graduate charges are for the 2021-2022 academic year. These prices are subject to change by vote of the UMass Board of Trustees.


Research Assistant Positions

The Department of Plastics Engineering has a limited number of Research Assistant positions (R.A.) available for full time master's Plastics Engineering students. R.A. positions (either "full time" or "half time") are awarded by individual faculty who conduct funded research. Accepted students must correspond with the individual faculty to inquire about R.A. positions. It is recommended that applicants interested in obtaining R.A. funding should send a letter and resume to faculty who have similar research interests.

For more information on tuition and financing, visit Costs & Aid for Graduate Programs.

Why Study Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell?

Plastics engineering student Kevin Hines

"I want to make a contribution to the industry."

Kevin Hines hopes to put his engineering skills to work designing state-of-the-art materials for the plumbing and heating industry.

Flexible Programs

Both the thesis and non-thesis options are open to full time and part time students. Many of the courses required for these programs are offered at night so that engineers working at local companies can take advantage of the programs.

Two male UMass Lowell students wearing hard hats while working in a Plastics recycling lab.

Co-op Opportunities

graduate engineering co-op experience offers an opportunity to apply knowledge in new, authentic contexts. Co-op participation at the graduate level is voluntary, and most students seek out the professional experience to deepen their education and develop new skills.

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