Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, BS

Bachelor of Science in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (987001BS)

Polymer Science and Engineering is a versatile field of study. Polymers are used in industries ranging from aerospace to medicine, plastics, and rubber. Polymer scientists and engineers work at the intersection of chemistry, physics, biology and engineering to develop material solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. They invent new materials, optimize processes, and model the physical behavior of macromolecules.

The undergraduate program in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering teaches students fundamental problem-solving skills, analytical techniques and design, and provides hands-on laboratory experience. The curriculum builds a strong foundation in polymer science, polymer physics, and polymer engineering with opportunities to specialize in sustainability, processing, or biomaterials.

Akron is the “Rubber Capital of the World” and has a more than a 100-year history in the development of rubber, tires, and other polymeric materials.  Students in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering benefit from industrial collaborations with local polymer-focused companies, state-of-the-art processing facilities, and a wealth of research opportunities. Students interested in technical solutions to sustainability, materials science, processing, soft-matter physics, and biomaterials will find this an exciting program.

Requirements for Admission

All students who meet the minimum requirements for admittance into The University of Akron and intend to major in engineering or engineering technology are accepted into the College of Engineering and Polymer Science and welcome to begin study towards their intended major. Students must show success in key classes early in the program curriculum before they gain full admission to the program and approval to take classes in the third year of the curriculum and beyond.

The following information has official approval of The School of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering and The College of Engineering and Polymer Science, but is intended only as a supplemental guide. Official degree requirements are established at the time of transfer and admission to the degree-granting college. Students should refer to the Degree Progress Report (DPR) which is definitive for graduation requirements. Completion of this degree within the identified time frame below is contingent upon many factors, including but not limited to: class availability, total number of required credits, work schedule, finances, family, course drops/withdrawals, successfully passing courses, prerequisites, among others. The transfer process is completed through an appointment with your academic advisor. 



General Education Requirements *15
Required General Education Courses9
Math and Science Requirements33
Required Courses in Major60
Total Hours126

General Education Courses

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree must complete the following General Education coursework. Diversity courses may also fulfill major or Breadth of Knowledge requirements. Integrated and Applied Learning courses may also fulfill requirements in the major.
Academic Foundations12
Mathematics, Statistics and Logic: 3 credit hours
Speaking: 3 credit hours
Writing: 6 credit hours
Breadth of Knowledge 22
Arts/Humanities: 9 credit hours
Natural Sciences: 7 credit hours
Social Sciences: 6 credit hours
Domestic Diversity
Global Diversity
Integrated and Applied Learning
Select one class from one of the following subcategories:
Complex Issues Facing Society
Review the General Education Requirements page for detailed course listings.
Total Hours34

Required General Education Courses 

Specific courses that must be taken for the speaking and writing General Education requirements
ENGL:111English Composition I3
ENGL:222Technical Report Writing3
And one of the following two courses to fulfill the requirement in oral communication
COMM:105Introduction to Public Speaking3
or COMM:106 Effective Oral Communication
Total Hours9

Math and Science Requirements

MATH:221Analytic Geometry-Calculus I4
MATH:222Analytic Geometry-Calculus II4
MATH:223Analytic Geometry-Calculus III4
MATH:335Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations3
PHYS:291Elementary Classical Physics I4
PHYS:292Elementary Classical Physics II4
CHEM:151Principles of Chemistry I3
CHEM:152Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory1
CHEM:153Principles of Chemistry II3
CHEM:263Organic Chemistry Lecture I3
Total Hours33

Required Courses in Major

PSPE:100Introduction to Polymers3
PSPE:201Introduction to Polymer Science3
PSPE:202Introduction to Polymer Engineering3
PLYS:265Organic Polymer Chemistry Laboratory2
PLYS:340Polymer Characterization Fundamentals3
PLYS:403Polymer Chemistry3
PLYS:404Polymer Physics3
PLYS:405Polymer Science Laboratory3
PLYE:101Tools for Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering2
PLYE:321Polymer Fluid Mechanics3
PLYE:324Quantitative Polymer Analysis3
PLYE:330Polymer Thermodynamics3
PLYE:333Polymer Thermodynamics Laboratory2
PLYE:451Polymer Engineering Laboratory3
PLYE:422Polymer Processing3
PLYE:496Senior Design Project I3
PLYE:499Senior Design Project II3
CHEE:121Chemical Engineering Computations2
or CORE:105 Corrosion Engineering Computations
CHEE:200Material & Energy Balances4
CHEE:321Transport Phenomena3
Total Hours60


9 credits of polymer and technical electives are required. At least 3 of these 9 credits must be from polymer electives. 9
Polymer Electives
PSPE:411Special Topics in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
PLYE:423Injection Molding and Mold Design
PLYE:424Additive Manufacturing with Polymers
PLYE:425Introduction to Blending & Compounding Polymers
PLYE:450Engineering Properties of Polymers
PLYE:497Honors Project
PLYE:498Research Problems in Polymer Engineering
PLYS:350Sustainable Polymers
PLYS:460Polymeric Biomaterials
PLYS:497Honors Project in Polymer Science
PLYS:499Research Problems in Polymer Science
Allowed Technical Electives
CHEM:264Organic Chemistry Lecture II
CHEM:154Qualitative Analysis
ECON:244Introduction to Economic Analysis
MATH:312Linear Algebra
STAT:401Probability and Statistics for Engineers
CPSC:200Programming for Data Science
CPSC:209Computer Science I
CIVE:202Introduction to Mechanics of Solids
CIVE:321Introduction to Environmental Engineering
Circuits I
and Circuits I Laboratory
ELEN:307Basic Electrical Engineering
BMEN:440Advanced Biomaterials
For no specialization, the electives taken do not need to include specific electives.
For a specialization in Sustainability the electives taken must include the following:
PLYS:350Sustainable Polymers
PSPE:411Special Topics in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
CIVE:321Introduction to Environmental Engineering
For a specialization in Processing the electives taken must include the following:
PLYE:423Injection Molding and Mold Design
PLYE:424Additive Manufacturing with Polymers
PLYE:425Introduction to Blending & Compounding Polymers
For a specialization in Biomaterials the electives taken must include the following:
CIVE:202Introduction to Mechanics of Solids
PLYS:460Polymeric Biomaterials
Total Hours9

Recommended Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
1st Year
Fall SemesterHours
MATH:221 Analytic Geometry-Calculus I 4
CHEM:151 Principles of Chemistry I 3
CHEM:152 Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory 1
ENGL:111 English Composition I 3
PSPE:100 Introduction to Polymers 3
PLYE:101 Tools for Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering 2
Spring Semester
MATH:222 Analytic Geometry-Calculus II 4
CHEM:153 Principles of Chemistry II 3
ENGL:222 Technical Report Writing 3
Social Sciences Requirement 3
Speaking Requirement 3
2nd Year
Fall Semester
PHYS:291 Elementary Classical Physics I 4
CHEM:263 Organic Chemistry Lecture I 3
CIVE:201 Statics 3
PSPE:201 Introduction to Polymer Science 3
MATH:223 Analytic Geometry-Calculus III 4
Spring Semester
PHYS:292 Elementary Classical Physics II 4
PLYS:265 Organic Polymer Chemistry Laboratory 2
PSPE:202 Introduction to Polymer Engineering 3
MATH:335 Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations 3
CHEE:121 Chemical Engineering Computations 2
Select one of the following: 0-3
Social Science Requirement (For Sustainability Specialization)  
CIVE:202 Introduction to Mechanics of Solids (For Biomaterials Specialization)  
No Course (For Processing Specialization or No Specialization)  
3rd Year
Fall Semester
PLYE:330 Polymer Thermodynamics 3
CHEE:200 Material & Energy Balances 4
PLYS:403 Polymer Chemistry 3
PLYE:333 Polymer Thermodynamics Laboratory 2
PLYE:324 Quantitative Polymer Analysis 3
Spring Semester
CHEE:321 Transport Phenomena 3
PLYS:404 Polymer Physics 3
PLYS:340 Polymer Characterization Fundamentals 3
Arts/Humanities Requirement 3
Select one of following: 3
PSPE:411 Special Topics in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (For Sustainability Specialization)  
Art/Humanities Requirement (For Processing Specialization)  
BMEN:300 Biomaterials (For Biomaterials Specialization)  
Social Science Requirement (For No Specialization)  
Select one of the following: 3
PLYS:350 Sustainable Polymers (For Sustainability Specialization)  
PLYS:460 Polymeric Biomaterials (For Biomaterials Specialization)  
Social Science Requirement (For Processing Specialization)  
Technical Elective (For No Specialization)  
4th Year
Fall Semester
PLYE:496 Senior Design Project I 3
PLYE:321 Polymer Fluid Mechanics 3
PLYE:422 Polymer Processing 3
PLYS:405 Polymer Science Laboratory 3
Select one of the following: 3
Arts/Humanities Requirement (For Sustainability Specialization or No Specialization)  
PLYE:425 Introduction to Blending & Compounding Polymers (For Processing Specialization)  
Social Science Requirement (For Biomaterials Specialization)  
Spring Semester
PLYE:499 Senior Design Project II 3
PLYE:451 Polymer Engineering Laboratory 3
Art/Humanities Requirement 3
Select one of the following three choices: 3-0
No Course (For Sustainability or Biomaterials Specialization)  
PLYE:423 Injection Molding and Mold Design (For Processing Specialization)  
Technical Elective (For No Specialization)  
Select one of the following: 3
CIVE:321 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (For Sustainability Specialization)  
PLYE:424 Additive Manufacturing with Polymers (For Processing Specialization)  
Arts/Humanities Requirement (For Biomaterials Specialization)  
Polymer Elective (For No Specialization)  
 Total Hours126