Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Polymer Engineering


The Graduate Certificate Program in Polymer Engineering provides specialized formal education for working engineers and scientists. Those enrolled in the program will

  • Learn the fundamentals of polymer science and engineering.
  • Extend their knowledge of current polymer research topics.
  • Maintain technical competitiveness by broadening their polymer expertise.
  • Earn a graduate certificate that documents their professional advancement.

Wayne State University provides gainful employment disclosures for certificate programs that are eligible for financial aid. Download the gainful employment disclosure for the Graduate Certificate in Polymer Engineering here.


Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, chemistry, or physics. A total of 12 credits, six in required courses and six in electives, with a grade of B or better, must be completed to earn the certificate.


Candidates are required to take six credits of required courses: CHE/MSE5350 and CHE/MSE5360.

CHE/MSE5350: Polymer Science (3 Credits).

Fundamental relationships between chemical structure and physical properties of high polymers. Basic structures, states and transition of polymer. Polymerization reactions and processes. Molecular weight, viscous flow and mechanical properties of polymers.

CHE/MSE5360: Polymer Processing (3 credits)

A detailed analysis of polymer processing. Rheology of polymers, flow in tubes, calendaring, extrusion, injection modeling, fiber spinning, and coating.


Candidates will be required to take six credits from among the following courses. At least one course must be at the 7000 level or higher.

CHE/MSE5600: Composite Materials (3 credits).

(co-requisite: CHE/MSE5350)
Introduction to physical understanding of composites: fiber and polymer matrix properties, interfacial adhesion, manufacturing, elastic and strength properties of unidirectional and random laminas. Other topics: various performance properties and plastic design applications.

ME5720: Mechanics: Composite Materials (4 credits).

Analytical modeling of micro-mechanical and macro-mechanical behavior of composite materials. Stiffness, strength, hydrothermal effects, laminate analysis, viscoelastic and dynamic behavior. Experimental characterization of mechanical behavior.

CHE/MSE7330: Polymer Rheology (3 Credits).

(prerequisite: CHE/MSE5200 or 7200 or equivalent fluid mechanics)
Flow behavior of Polymer liquids; methods of measuring fundamental rheological parameters using viscometric devices; predication of material propertied from theoretical principles. Correlation between theoretical and experimental results.

CHE/MSE7350: Polymer Solutions (3 credits).

(prerequisite: CHE/MSE5350)
Thermodynamics and phase equilibria of polymer solutions. Configurational and frictional properties of polymers in solution. Experimental techniques for measuring static and dynamic properties of polymers in solution.

CHE/MSE7380: Polymer Kinetics (3 Credits).

(prerequisite: CHE/MSE5350)
Polymerization kinetics of various types of reactions, including polymerization and co-polymerization, polymer reactor design, batch and continuous stirred tank reactors, developing techniques and spectroscopic methods.

The following courses will be counted as certification credits when the subjects is relevant to polymer science. A maximum of three credits combined total of CHE/MSE/ME 7990 or 8960 can be taken.

CHE/MSE7990: Directed Study (1 to 3 Credits).

Library investigation of an approved project in polymer engineering. Independent study, conferences with faculty advisor, and preparation of a comprehensive written and oral report.

CHE/MSE/ME7995: Special Topics (1 to 3 Credits).

Graduate seminar on advances subjects in polymer engineering. Topic will vary.

CHE/MSE/ME8960: Research (1 to 3 credits).

Library and laboratory investigation of an approved proposal for an advanced polymer research project. Conferences and periodic oral progress reports. Comprehensive project report upon completion.


Member of the Industrial Advisory Committee represent major polymer suppliers and users. The Committee periodically reviews this certificate program to maintain its dynamic nature and relevance to state-of-the-art industrial practice.


Candidates for the Certificate Program must apply for admission to the WSU Graduate School. Applicants should submit the University's Application for Graduate Admission (Form 10-491A) to the degree program of their choice. The Graduate certificate in Polymer Engineering may be elected as an independent program, or concurrently with graduate study for the MS degree in Materials Science and Engineering or Chemical Engineering. If no master's degree is desired, the applicant should check "Non-Degree' and insert the words "Graduate Certificate Program in Polymer Engineering" on the form. Undergraduates and visitors may enroll in individual courses, but will be ineligible to earn the Certificate without admission to the Graduate School.


Please contact

Zhiqiang Cao, Assistant professor
Director of Polymer Engineering Graduate Certificate Program.
E-mail: zcao@wayne.edu
Telephone: 313-577-3121