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Graduate Certificate Program in Plastics Engineering Fundamentals

Build your plastics engineering credentials and advance your knowledge of polymeric material systems and their effective use at UMass Lowell — an internationally recognized leader in plastics engineering education.

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Earn Your Plastics Engineering Certificate Online

The Graduate Certificate in Plastics Engineering Fundamentals is designed to provide engineering professionals, such as mechanical engineers involved in the manufacturing or design of parts, with the plastics background they did not receive in their undergraduate education. This four-course online certificate covers the fundamental concepts of plastics materials, processing and design.

This certificate program is open to students that have earned a bachelor's degree in science or engineering. The courses in this certificate may be applied to UMass Lowell's Master of Science in Plastics Engineering.

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Complete in 9 Months

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No GRE Required

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One Success Leads to Another

Apply credits from lower credentials to higher ones. Our programs are designed to build upon themselves:

UMass Lowell offers several graduate certificate programs that can be counted towards UMass Lowell's Master of Science in Plastics Engineering.

Curriculum Outline

- Required Courses: 2
- Electives: 2

Course Descriptions

PLAS.5030 Mechanical Behavior of Polymers (3cr)

Topics covered in this course include linear viscoelasticity, creep, stress relaxation, dynamic behavior, hysteresis, stress-strain response phenomena, principles of time-temperature superposition, rubber elasticity, failure and fracture mechanisms for polymers, and the effect of additives on mechanical behavior. Real life design examples are used to demonstrate the topics and concepts as much as possible.

Requirements:

Pre-Reqs: MECH.2110 Engin. Mechanics, MECH.2150 Plastics Process Engin. Lab I, MATH.2340 Diff Eq.s or MATH.2360 Engin. Diff Eq. or Grad. career students. (Pre-reqs are enforced only for undergrad plastics engineering students).

PLAS.5060 Polymer Structure Properties & Applications (3cr)

Relationships between polymer structure (chemical composition, molecular weight and flexibility, intermolecular order and bonding, supermolecular structure) and practical properties (processability, mechanical, acoustic, thermal, electrical, optical, and chemical) and applications.

Requirements:

26.202 pre-re or Grad Career.

PLAS.5180 Plastics Product Design (3cr)

This course reviews the theoretical principles and the engineering practice associated with the development of new plastic products. The course focuses on design practices for products that will be produced by conventional and advanced injection molding processes. Topics include design methodology, plastic materials selection, design for manufacturing, computer aided engineering, mechanical behavior of plastics, structural design of plastic parts, prototyping techniques, experimental stress analysis, and assembly techniques for plastic parts.

Requirements:

26.211 Engineering Mechanics, 26.218 Introduction to Design or Graduate career students. (Pre-requisites are enforced only for undergraduate plastics engineering students).

PLAS.5440 Advanced Plastics Materials (3cr)

This course reviews the historical developments of polymeric material systems, commodity, engineering, biodegradable, and high performance thermoplastics. Topics include their synthesis, structure, properties, and applications and there is also an overview of typical additives that are used to modify the properties of plastics. Knowledge of general and/or organic chemistry is recommended as a prerequisite for this course. .

Requirements:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

PLAS.5760 Advanced Mold Design (3cr)

This course provides an integrated approach to mold engineering which includes the interrelationships of polymeric materials, engineering principles, processing, and plastics product design. Major topics include cost estimation, mold layout and feed system design, cooling systems, structural design considerations, and ejector system design. Analytical treatment of the subject matter is given based on the relevant rheology, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow and strength of materials.

Requirements:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

PLAS.5780 Advanced Plastics Processing (3cr)

This course reviews the common plastics manufacturing processes, including extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, and rotational molding. After the review, the course focus shifts to the impacts of screw design and processing parameters on the conveyance, melting, devolatilization, and mixing with single screws and compounding with twin screw extruders. This course also includes an overview of die designs, multi-shot and gas assist injection molding, film stretching and methods for heating and cooling in plastics processing.

Graduate Certificate Requirements

Students enrolled in graduate certificate programs through UMass Lowell must complete all courses indicated in the curriculum outline. Students may complete the certificate program at their own pace by registering for and successfully completing one or more courses each semester, depending upon his/her personal time constraints. Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.000 with no more than one course grade below B to receive the certificate.

Online courses meet throughout the year during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see Calendar for details). Online students generally log into their online course website one or more times per week to retrieve lectures and assignments or to participate in a chat session. Online students should expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week engaged in course-related activities for each course. For more information on online courses, visit our online program home page .

Completing a Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate certificate courses must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.000 grade point average and no more than one course with a grade below B. Once all courses for a graduate certificate have been completed, students must complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form. Students must submit their clearance form to their coordinator. The coordinator will apply them in SIS, Graduation Tracking.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition at UMass Lowell is typically half the cost of private colleges, and our online tuition is among the lowest in the nation. Tuition for online programs offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same whether you live in-state, out-of-state or outside of the U.S.

Spring 2024 Tuition

Cost Per Credit Cost Per 3-Credit Course*

Graduate

Online $585 $1,755
Online Business** $655 $1,965
Online IT and Engineering*** $600 $1,800
Online Education $470 $1,410
Online Education for Ed.D. and Ph.D. $500 $1,500
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*If the number of contact hours exceeds the number of credits, tuition is calculated by multiplying by the total number of contact hours.
***Applies to CHEN, CIVE, EECE, ENGN, MECH, PLAS and MSIT courses.

Additional Costs

Term Registration Fee $30
Late Fee $50
Graduate Engineering and Business Degrees and Certificate Applications $75

Please note: Tuition and fees are subject to change.

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Apply

For Graduate Certificate Programs, Please Submit:

  • An application
  • An application fee*
  • An official transcript indicating a completed bachelor's degree. If your bachelor's degree is from outside the United States, you may be required to take the TOEFL examination.
  • No Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for graduate certificate programs

F1 student visas are not issued for this program. Applications can be completed and submitted at any time during the year. Your application will be processed as soon as all admission materials have been received. You may apply to more than one certificate program but can only take 12 credits maximum before enrolling in an advanced degree. Learn more about specific application requirements for your program of interest.

*There is a $75 application fee to apply to this graduate program.

Count Your Graduate Certificate Toward a Master's Degree

Credits earned from a graduate certificate may be used toward a related graduate degree.

Graduate Program Admissions Requirements

Admission to all graduate programs at UMass Lowell is contingent upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree. In many cases, applicants may register for a course before formally applying to the program; however, students requiring financial aid may want to wait until they have been formally accepted into the program to ensure that their course(s) will be covered. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

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Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

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