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Introduction to Polymer Materials

This course will introduce students to polymer materials and how they are used. Students will learn about key synthetic organic and inorganic polymers, plastics, natural polymers, sustainability and recycling of polymers. The common production, properties and use of the polymers in different fields, like medicine, aerospace and computers, will be discussed. This 9 week, in-person course will cover a broad scope of polymers to help novices to the field of material chemistry understand to usefulness and diversity of polymers.

Course Benefits:

  • Define polymers and their properties and be able to recognize them in the everyday world
  • Describe the difference between thermoplastics and thermosets
  • Know what resin identification coding (RIC, the small symbols that appear on some plastic products) stands for, and why are they useful in recycling
  • Be familiar with the common synthesis and properties of polymers, including the RIC polymers
  • Implement common modifications of polymers to obtain desired properties for specific uses  
  • Understand the use polymers in different fields including medicine, aerospace and nanotech

Course Typically Offered: Spring and Fall

Prerequsite: General knowledge of biology and chemistry would be advantageous but not required.

Next Step: After completing this course, consider taking EE-40176 Semiconductor Materials and Processing to continue learning.

Contact: For more information about this course please email


Course Number: EE-40180
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)