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Graduate Certificate Program in Plastics Processing

Build leadership skills in plastics engineering with UMass Lowell's online four-course Graduate Certificate in Plastics Processing.

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UMass Lowell's Graduate Certificate in Plastics Processing

As the plastics processing industry experiences steady growth UMass Lowell's 100% online Graduate Certificate in Plastics Processing will prepare you to meet the increased demand for professionals in this field. This program is ideal for individuals who have a bachelor's in engineering or science and want to gain a competitive career advantage through advanced knowledge of plastics processing. All credits earned 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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One of the Most Affordable Tuitions in the Nation

The Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell is an internationally recognized leader in plastics education.

Career Outlook

14,290
Jobs (2022)
+1.8%
% Change (2022-2023)
$152.4K/yr
Median Earnings
1,261
Annual Openings
Source: Lightcast (2023) Target Occupations in New England
"UMass Lowell is among the nation's leading centers for plastics technology, and its Plastics Engineering program...is helping to push new boundaries of how these versatile materials are used, produced and processed."
— The Boston Globe

Key Takeaways

  • Gain an understanding of the theoretical principles and engineering practices associated with developing new plastic products
  • Understand the impacts of screw design and processing parameters on the conveyance, melting, devolatilization, and mixing with single screws and compounding with twin screw extruders
  • Master design practices for products produced by conventional and advanced injection molding processes
  • Review common plastics manufacturing processes, including extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, and rotational molding

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

- 4 Courses / 12 Credits

Course Descriptions

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.5500 Processing with Elastomers (3cr)

This course covers the basics of elastomer processing. Topics include mixing, Rheology, extrusion, injection molding, compressing molding, and curing as it applies to elastomers.

PLAS.5550 Medical Device Processing (3cr)

Critical analysis of current methods of medical device manufacturing, focusing on processing and performance considerations. Includes discussion of different production methods, material selection considerations, biocompatibility, leachables and extractables, device sterilization, and sterile packaging.

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.

PLAS.6780 New Developments in Polymer Manufacturing (3cr)

This course explores advanced concepts and new developments in polymer manufacturing. It is designed for students with prior courses and/or experience in polymer 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.

Summer 2024 Tuition

Cost Per Credit Cost Per 3-Credit Course*

Graduate

Online $600 $1,800
Online Business1 $655 $1,965
Online Education2 $470 $1,410
Online 7000-Level Education $655 $1,965
Select Online Nursing M.S. courses3 $750 $2,250
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*Tuition is priced on the listed credit hour unless the contact hour is different. Tuition is then based upon the listed contact hour.
1Applies to ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST and POMS courses.
2Applies to EDUC courses excluding 7000-level courses.
3Applies to NURS.6510, NURS.6511, NURS.6512 and NURS.6513 courses.

Additional Costs

Term Registration Fee $30
Returned Check Fee $30
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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