Breaking News

UA adding bachelor’s in polymer science and polymer engineering

The University of Akron is adding a bachelor’s degree in polymer science and polymer engineering, the first to be offered at a public university in Ohio. 

Polymer programs at Akron have historically been the source of international draw and recognition for the university, but it has always been graduate level study. 

The new program comes two years after the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering was downgraded to a school within the newly merged College of Engineering and Polymer Science, causing alumni to worry it would lose its prestige and recruiting power. 

Craig Menzemer, who has been serving as an interim dean of the merged college since its inception and was recently appointed its first permanent dean, said the addition of the polymer undergraduate program was the next natural step for the school. 

“We have a very, very strong graduate program, and the issue becomes why wouldn’t you have an undergraduate program,” Menzemer said. “I think that’s just a natural extension of what we’re doing.”

Craig Menzemer, dean of the University of Akron's College of Engineering and Polymer Science.

The program will start in the fall with two introductory courses: tools for polymer science and polymer engineering, and introduction to polymers. The major will add upper-level classes as students move up through the 126-credit program, which also will have heavy math and physics requirements. 

Students will be able to specialize their major through electives in sustainability,  processing or bio materials.

Current students could transfer into the new major if they aren’t too far along in their degree track in another study, Menzemer said.