Department Chair: David Hoagland
With more than 200 scientists and students and well over $24 million in instrumentation, the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the largest academic centers for polymer research in the world. We’ve granted over 600 doctoral degrees since the first doctorate was awarded in the department almost 50 years ago. Our flourishing research programs seek to expand the useful application of polymers to human needs. Our academic focus spans all aspects of the evolving polymer field, from synthesis to engineering and physics, and our department offers graduate studies only. Cross-discipline research is integral to our program and most often involves departments such as physics, chemistry, biology, and chemical engineering. PSE students and faculty participate extensively in collaborative research programs with other universities and at national laboratories. Our department is engaged in graduate teaching and research in polymer synthesis, characterization, morphology, rheology, physics, and engineering, with current emphasis in the areas of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and green technology. Our primary goal is to prepare skillful scientists and engineers to fill the need for polymer scientists and engineers in industry, government, and education. We host an average of 120 doctoral degree candidates and 45 postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists, and award 15-20 doctoral degrees each year. More than forty companies and government agencies fund our research and educational programs. All PSE students are research fellows, and many volunteer for teaching duties to prepare for careers in education.