Polymer Science, Ph.D.

Ph.D. in Polymer Science

About the Degree

An interdisciplinary program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Polymer Science is administered by the Department of Polymer Science. Graduates from the main disciplines of chemistry, physics, the biosciences and engineering are guided into the appropriate courses of study and research in that field under the supervision of a faculty member. Research facilities of the Institute of Polymer Science are available for dissertation research. Students may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program upon screening of their qualifications and recommendation by the department chair and dean.

Students will study polymer chemistry, polymer physics, physical chemistry of polymers, lab techniques (synthesis and characterization), polymer technology, oral and written practice of thesis/dissertation, expertise in specialty areas. All students are encouraged to present their results at professional conferences, and to publish their research results in prestigious scientific journals.

Salary and Career Outlook

The PhD degree prepares you for a career in industry, government, or academia in a variety of disciplines. Major companies recruit our students, and alumni refer our students for openings in their companies, leading to a near 100% placement rate.

Average starting salaries range from $90,000 – $100,000, although they can differ depending on geographical area.

Why Akron?

As one of the world’s great academic programs, faculty and students engage one another, the polymer industry, and other academic peers to create a learning environment that leads to 100% job placement for its students, a steady stream of scholarly publications by students and faculty, high levels of government- and industry-funded research, and numerous faculty awards and honors. Faculty expertise within the Department of Polymer Science and the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is unparalleled in a region of the United States that is rich in polymer-related industries.

Our program offers a wide array of networking opportunities, access to many experts in their fields, diverse student and faculty bodies, state of the art equipment and facilities, opportunities to intern at various companies, many opportunities to interview with visiting companies, and opportunities to present at national conferences.

Recent graduates of the program are in jobs such as:

  • 3M- Applications Development Engineer
  • Omnova Solutions – Senior Scientist
  • Haliburton Energy Services – Senior Scientist          

Contact Information

Graduate Coordinator:    Melissa Bowman

                                               Goodyear Polymer Center, Room 339B



Graduate School:              Heather Blake

                                               Polsky Building, Room 467