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Graduate Certificate Program in Plastics Engineering Fundamentals

Build up 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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Your Future in Plastics Engineering Fundamentals Starts Here

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

All of the courses in this certificate program may be applied towards any of the graduate degree programs offered through UMass Lowell's Department of Plastics Engineering.

Intended Audience

The Plastics Engineering Fundamentals Graduate Certificate is open to students that have earned a B.S. degree in science or engineering. This certificate program is particularly popular amongst engineers involved in manufacturing and those interested in pursuing graduate studies in plastics engineering.

For Additional Information

For specific questions regarding these plastics courses and the plastics certificate program, email onlineplastics@uml.edu.

Get a Head Start! Apply the Courses in this Certificate Towards a Master's Degree in Plastics Engineering

Students, especially international or out-of-state students, can take these online courses while living in their home country or state, leading to significant cost savings by reducing on-campus living expenses. For example, most full-time, on-campus students take 18 or more months to complete their M.S. in Plastics Engineering. A student taking four online courses could complete their M.S. degree requirements by spending only about 12 months at Lowell, since they would be able to transfer 12 credits from their online graduate certificate into the Master's Degree in Plastics Engineering. Also, the Plastics Engineering Department will waive the GRE requirement if you complete the certificate with a GPA of 3.5 or better.

Curriculum Outline

- Required Courses: 2
- Electives: 2

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 3.0 with no more than one course grade below B to receive the certificate.

Online courses meet 10 to 14 weeks each semester during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see Academic 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 3.0 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. Please submit your completed form to: UMass Lowell Registrar's Office, 220 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854-5129. Forms can also be scanned and emailed to thesolutioncenter@uml.edu.

The Benefits of Learning Online with UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell has built a solid reputation by offering one of the largest selections of online programs available through a traditional university. Courses are taught by full-time faculty who are experts in their fields, and by adjunct faculty who, as practicing professionals, bring real-world experience to online class discussions.

We are committed to providing you with high-quality, affordable online programs that make earning your degree or certificate more convenient than ever before. Our students have access to online course technical support 24x7, and our academic advisors are here to help you every step of the way.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined in the Graduate Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure Information.

Course Descriptions

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. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

MECH.2110, MECH.2150, MATH.2340, MA

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. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

26.202 pre-re or Grad Career.

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. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

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

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. . 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

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. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

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. 3 credits.
The course provides guidance about plastics manufacturing as an integrated system with broadly applicable analysis in three areas: 1) machinery, 2) controls, and 3) operations. The machinery topics include heating/cooling, hydraulics/pneumatics, electric drives, and sensors. The controls topics include signal conditioning, data acquisition, machine controllers, and related control laws. The operations topics include process characterization, process optimization, quality control, and automation. The course is developed to support plastics processing engineers and others involved with plastics manufacturing who are performing process development, research, and machine design. 3 credits.

Tuition & Fees

At UMass Lowell, we believe that students should have as much information as possible up front so they can make informed decisions before enrolling in a degree program or signing up for a course.

Tuition for UMass Lowell Online and Continuing Education students is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition is priced per credit. To calculate the tuition for a course, simply multiply the per-credit tuition by the total number of credits per course. Exception: If the total number of course contact hours is greater than the total number of credits, the per-credit tuition is instead multiplied by the total number of contact hours.

Fall 2019 Tuition

Per Credit / Contact Hour
Undergraduate Face-to-Face Courses and Audit $340.00
Undergraduate Online Courses and Audit (except Manning School of Business* Undergraduate Online Courses and Audit) $380.00
Manning School of Business* Undergraduate Online Courses and Audit $385.00
Graduate Online, On-Campus and Off-Campus Courses and Audit (except Manning School of Business* Online, MBA in Haverhill, Master's in Information Technology, Master's in Engineering Management, and Education Courses) $575.00
Manning School of Business* Graduate Online Courses $655.00
MBA Graduate Courses in Haverhill $655.00
Master's in Information Technology and Master's in Engineering Management** Online Courses $590.00
Graduate Education Online Courses $470.00
Cost per credit includes access fee (parking after 3 p.m. and access to Blackboard).

*Applies to courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST, POMS offered through the Manning School of Business
**Applies to courses with the following prefixes: CHEN, CIVE, EECE, MECH, PLAS offered through the Francis College of Engineering

Additional Fees

Registration Fee per Term (nonrefundable) $30.00
Late Fee for Nonpayment $50.00
Fee for Undergraduate Degree Application $60.00
Fee for Graduate Degree Application $50.00

Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.
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Registration

Current students can register using SIS Self-Service, while new students, who have not already applied and been accepted into a program, must use the Non-Degree Registration Form.

You may take courses without being officially enrolled in a certificate or degree program, but you must meet the particular course prerequisites. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. We recommend that you register early to reserve your place in class.

For more information, please visit our Registration Page.

New Students

If you have not already applied and been accepted to a program.

Current Students

If you have applied, been accepted and are currently enrolled in a program.

Questions:

Program Support:
Email: onlineplastics@uml.edu
Online & Continuing Education Support:
Email our Advising Center for assistance, or call 800-480-3190 and press 1 to speak with an advisor.


Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented within this website, the Division of Online & Continuing Education reserves the right to implement new rules and regulations and to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, locations, tuition and fees. Whenever possible, appropriate notice of such changes will be given before they become effective. In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

Applying into an Online Graduate Certificate Program

UMass Lowell Graduate Certificate Programs provide knowledge and expertise that are vital in today's rapidly changing workplace. In many cases, graduate certificate courses may be applied toward a master's degree at UMass Lowell. Most graduate certificates consist of four courses, for a total of 12 graduate credits. This is a great way to earn a graduate-level credential on the way to earning your master's.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Holders of an appropriate bachelor's degree

HOW TO APPLY?

Apply online or download an application at http://www.uml.edu/grad.

Application Fee is $50.00 for all applicants. NO Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for graduate certificate programs. Credits earned from a graduate certificate may be used toward a related graduate degree with the approval of the graduate program coordinator. Students who complete a graduate certificate with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better in a UMass Lowell graduate certificate program may be able to waive the GRE when applying to a related master's degree. Graduate Certificate Programs must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and with not more than one course with a grade below B. Courses completed for one certificate may not be used for other certificates. Once you have completed all of the courses required for your certificate, please complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form.

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 they have formally applied into 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. Please see our How to Apply tab for additional information and contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

Apply Online

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723.

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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