Gain advanced knowledge and skills for technical management positions in the plastics industry, as well as for administrative positions in government and for teaching careers in colleges and universities.

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To receive additional information about this program, please complete the Request Information form.


The Doctor of Philosophy program in Plastics Engineering is designed to develop decision-making engineers with sound theoretical and technical research knowledge who are design- and development-oriented and who also have a firm background in engineering management. This interdisciplinary program encompasses study in materials, design, processing, mathematics, computer science, and management.


Required courses may include:

  • Characterization of Polymers and Plastics
  • Physical Polymer Science
  • New Development in Polymer Manufacturing
  • Structure Product Design
  • Plastics Processing Theory I
  • Numerical and Analytical Methods
  • Computer Aided Engineering and Design
  • Current Topics Plastics Seminar
  • Engineering Electives
  • Doctoral Research Dissertation

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

Admissions Requirements

All Applicants

  • Graduates with a B.S. in Engineering (e.g. Plastics, Mechanical, Chemical, Materials...) and high academic standing may apply for admission to the Ph.D. 
  • Technical graduates who do not have a B.S. in "Engineering" but have a science degree may request admission to the program with the understanding that they will also be required to take and pass the "Fundamentals of Engineering Exam" given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
  • Admission to the program will be based on review by the Graduate Admissions Office and by the Admissions Committee of the Plastics Engineering Department

See the Graduate Catalog for detailed requirements of the program. 

Visit Graduate Admissions for information on application process and requirements.

Tuition & Financing

For on-campus tuition and fees, please visit Graduate Students: Estimated Annual Tuition and Fees (2023-24, full time).

Why Study Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell?

UMass Lowell graduate Tehila Nahum

Groundbreaking Research

Tehila Nahum came to UMass Lowell to earn her Ph.D. in plastics engineering and conduct research with the university’s Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing, working with top faculty that developed novel superhydrophobic coating formulations.

A male UMass Lowell student poses next to a piece of machinery on her co-op at Sterilite.


The Ph.D. program in Plastics Engineering is primarily intended for full-time graduate students, however, some students take courses on a part-time basis. Many of the required courses are offered at night so that engineers working at local companies can take advantage of the program.


Teaching & Research Assistant Positions

Full-time doctoral students can be funded as half-time Research Assistants (R.A.s) and half-time Teaching Assistant (T.A.) in their first one or two years and full-time Research Assistants in later years. T.A. positions are linked to R.A. positions. R.A. positions are awarded by individual faculty who conduct funded research. 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.

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