Polymer Engineering and Science, B.S.

Program Code: PES_BS

Entrance to Major

To be eligible for entrance to the Polymer Engineering and Science major, a student must have:

  1. attained at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average
  2. completed MATH 140 and MATH 141, CHEM 110, and PHYS 211 and earned a grade of C or better in each of these courses

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer and Engineering Science, a minimum of 130 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 112-113

27 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GWS courses, 6 credits of GQ courses, 3 credits of GS courses, 9 credits of GN courses.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CAS 100Effective Speech Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 112Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 113Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 210Organic Chemistry I3
CMPSC 200Programming for Engineers with MATLAB Keystone/General Education Course3
EDSGN 100SIntroduction to Engineering Design3
EMCH 211Statics3
EMCH 213Strength of Materials3
EMCH 315Mechanical Response of Engineering Materials2
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
IE 424Process Quality Engineering3
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 220Matrices Keystone/General Education Course2-3
MATH 231Calculus of Several Variables2
MATH 251Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations4
MATSE 202Introduction to Polymer Materials3
MATSE 445Thermodynamics, Microstructure, and Characterization of Polymers3
MATSE 447Rheology and Processing of Polymers3
PES 213Polymer Chemistry Lab2
PES 305Fluids/Heat Transfer3
PES 320Polymer Sustainability3
PES 323Rheology Lab2
PES 340Polymer Characterization2
PES 341Polymer Characterization Lab1
PES 351Polymer Processing Lab1
PES 365Processing for Polymer Product Performance3
PES 440Failure Analysis and Characterization3
PES 441Failure Analysis Lab1
PES 445W3
PES 460Polymer Formulation for Processing and Design3
PHYS 211General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 212General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
or ECON 104 Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Students majoring in Polymer Engineering and Science must complete a total of 12 credits (4 courses) of 400-level PES technical electives from the approved list. (Except where noted, courses taken to satisfy General Education requirements may not be used to satisfy PES technical elective requirements.)12

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.



Gregory Dillon, Ph.D.
Chair, Polymer Engineering, and Science and Professor of Engineering
213B Burke Center
Erie, PA 16563

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

 Polymer Engineering and Science, B.S. at Erie Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
EDSGN 100S*†3CHEM 112*†3
CHEM 110*#†3CHEM 113*†1
CHEM 111*†1MATH 141*#†4
MATH 140*#†4PHYS 211*#†4
ECON 102 or 104*3CMPSC 200*‡†3
ENGL 15*‡†3General Education Course (GA/GH/GS)3
 17 18
Second Year
CHEM 210*†3MATSE 202*†3
PHYS 212*†4IE 424*†3
MATH 251*†4MATH 231*†2
CAS 100*‡†3MATH 220*‡†2
General Education Course (GA/GH/GS)3EMCH 211*†3
 PES 213*†2
 17 15
Third Year
EMCH 213*†3MATSE 447*†3
MATSE 445*†3PES 351*†1
PES 365*†3PES 305*†3
PES 340*†2PES 323*†2
PES 341*†1EMCH 315*†2
PES 320*†3PES 446W*†1
Kinesiology1.5ENGL 202C*‡†3
 General Education Course (GA/GH/GS)3
 16.5 18
Fourth Year
PES 460*†3PES 448W*†1
PES 440*†3Technical Elective(s)3
PES 441*†1Technical Elective(s)3
PES 447W*†1General Education Course (GA/GH/GS)3
Technical Elective(s)3General Education Course (GA/GH/GS)3
Technical Elective(s)3Kinesiology1.5
 14 14.5
Total Credits 130

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

The global polymers market is growing—and so is the demand for polymer engineers and scientists. Polymers are needed in a broad variety of industries, including medicine, manufacturing, and sustainability.


Polymer Engineering and Science graduates work in a variety of industries. With a B.S. degree, they can work as polymer engineers, polymer scientists, process engineers, quality engineers, manufacturing engineers, product failure analysts, material engineers, and polymer test specialists. They are employed at organizations like GM, GE, Avient, Boeing, Shell, Abbott Laboratories, and the U.S. Department of Energy.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

With the hands-on research experiences you'll get while pursuing Penn State Behrend's B.S. in Polymer Engineering and Science, you'll be well-prepared for future academic pursuits. You'll build your resume, work alongside of established engineers solving real-world problems, and set yourself apart from your peers, leaving you ready to pursue an advanced degree.




242 Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center
5101 Jordan Road
Erie, PA 16563