MS Polymer Science

M.S. in Polymer Science


You may apply online by clicking here, or on the button below. If you have corrections to your information (particularly your e-mail address) after you have submitted your application, please contact the Graduate School at Note: All communication regarding the status of your application will be sent via e-mail. Thus, it is important that we have your most up-to-date email address.

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Please note that ALL application materials, forms, reference letters, and scores must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions rather than to the Polymer Science program. Graduate applications to the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering are reviewed on a rolling basis until February 15th. It is highly encouraged that non-U.S. citizens complete their applications by December 15th in order to meet visa approval timelines. The Polymer Science program admits for Fall semester only.


Requirements for admission into the Polymer Science program are as follows:

  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • TOEFL score (for international applicants)
  1. A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of:
    • 3.00 or higher overall on a 4.00 scale; or,
    • 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale for work completed in the last two years; or,
    • 75 or higher overall on a 100 point scale.
      • Students coming from foreign universities not offering letter grades must receive a "First Class" grade or equivalent.
      • Students accepted for admission into M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Polymer Science on average have GPA's well above 3.50 on a 4.00 scale.

  2. Official transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School from each college or university attended (except The University of Akron). Official transcripts must be sent to The University of Akron Graduate School, Leigh Hall, Room 515, Akron, Ohio, 44325-2101.

  3. NOTE: GRE scores are currently waived until further notice.

  4. Three letters of professional recommendation are required. The letters must reference that the applicant has a strong potential to excel in course work and carry out independent scientific research. Reference letters should preferably be uploaded via the Apply Online system. Letters by the referees should be on their official institution/company letterhead. Letters of recommendation that are not on official letterhead or which are without signatures will be disregarded and may delay the application being reviewed. Letters of recommendation should be e-mailed to or faxed to 330-972-6475 or mailed in hard copy directly to the Graduate School at the address indicated below.

  5. A Statement of Purpose (personal essay) should also be emailed to or faxed to 330-972-6475 or mailed in hard copy directly to the Graduate School at the address indicated below.

  6. All first year doctoral students are required to serve as teaching assistants. For international students, the Polymer Science program requires the TOEFL. You must achieve a 23 or higher on the speaking portion of the TOEFL and an overall test score of 79 or higher. While the University may accept IELTS scores solely for admission purposes, please note that at the department level admission with funding requires the TOEFL with the minimums previously mentioned.

  7. We do not fund master’s students, either domestic or international.


The general requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees as well as course descriptions in Polymer Science are described in the current University Graduate Bulletin (see index for Polymer Science - course prefix 9871). These requirements are set by the Graduate School. The specific departmental requirements listed in the bulletin are set by the Department of Polymer Science. The combined requirements of the Graduate School and Department of Polymer Science represent the minimal standards for the attainment of a particular degree. As such, they do not adequately describe the concern of the DPS faculty that graduate programs also be tailored to each student's background and research interests. Consequently, there are additional requirements and procedures that both the department and the research advisor impose beyond those described in the Bulletin.

Currently, to achieve the M.S. in Polymer Science, a student must complete:

  • 30 Total Credits = (16 core course credits; 8 elective credits; 6 research credits); formal seminar; pass 1 cumulative exam; pre-thesis written review; final written thesis; computer proficiency
  • A public discussion referred to as a departmental "formal seminar" is required which reviews the literature pertinent to the research problem.
  • Pass 1 Cumulative Exam - exams are given on a monthly basis (except June, July, August, and December)
  • A pre-thesis written review of the literature will be submitted to the advisor and thesis reader for a grade in advance of the completion of the thesis (submission the fall of the second year for FT students). The written thesis must exhibit the advanced level of understanding of the principles of polymer science that was developed in the courses and in specialized research reading.
  • Final Thesis describing the research in a scholarly manner.
  • Foreign Language Requirement - Satisfy the foreign language requirement for the master’s degree by meeting the requirements of Plan C. This is satisfied with computer proficiency, which is met by completing 9871:613 Polymer Science Laboratory which is part of the core curriculum.
  • Attendance and participation is required in seminar-type discussions scheduled by the department.

Core Courses

  • 9871:601 Polymer Chemistry (4 cr.)
  • 9871:607 Seminar in Polymer Science (1 cr.)
  • 9871:613 Polymer Science Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • 9871:631 Physical Physics I (4 cr.)
  • 9871:674 Polymer Characterization (2 cr.)
  • 9871:685 Intro to Biomacromolecules (2 cr.)

Elective Courses

8 credit hours of elective courses appropriate to each student's area of interest. Any science, math, or engineering graduate level course is acceptable with the approval of the research advisor.

Research (Thesis) Requirement

6 credit hours: an independent, original, and scholarly research investigation is required for the M.S. degree. It must be submitted to the Department of Polymer Science as a research thesis in the form specified by the UA Graduate School Guidelines for Thesis and Dissertations. It will then be considered and accepted or rejected by the student's research professor and the faculty reader. Then the thesis must be approved by the Chair of the Department, the Dean of the College, and the Dean of the Graduate School.

General Requirements

Residency Requirements – There are no formal residency requirements for the master’s degree. A student may meet the degree requirements of the Graduate School and Polymer Science through either full- or part-time study.

Enrollment Requirement – A master’s student may meet the degree requirements of the Graduate School and Polymer Science through either full- or part-time study.

Time Limit – All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within six (6) years after beginning graduate-level coursework at The University of Akron or elsewhere. An extension of up to one year may be granted in unusual circumstances by the dean of the Graduate School upon written request by the student and recommendation by his/her advisor, the director of the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, and the college dean.


Questions regarding admission or the application process may be directed to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Leigh Hall, Room 515
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-2101
Phone: 330-972-7663
Fax: 330-972-6475

Sarah Thorley
Coordinator of Academic Programs
413 Polymer Engineering Academic Center
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-0301
Phone: 330-972-8845