• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    6–8 hours per week
  • Price:

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  • Course Type:
    Instructor-led on a course schedule


This course also requires a basic understanding of chemistry, biology, physics, and willingness to learn new concepts and work with others. Persons who are lacking part of the academic prerequisites can succeed in this course, but will need to put forth additional effort. Must have a basic understanding of chemistry.

Above all, a strong work ethic and committed desire to learn are critical for succeeding in this course.

About this course

Skip About this course

During this course, you will examine the fundamental concepts that are the foundation of polymer science and engineering and gain an appreciation of the field’s complexity and multidisciplinary nature. This course is designed for civil and environmental engineering disciplines, but content and lessons also will benefit students from other science and engineering specialities. Simplistically, designing, manufacturing, and utilizing materials that contain polymers combine the tools of chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus and is an ever expanding field with its scope expanding daily.

Through this course, you will be provided an understanding of fundamental chemical, physical, and thermal characteristics of polymeric materials, basic understanding of material characterization methods, and degradation modes and mechanisms. Students are encouraged to include their undergraduate and graduate level research experiences as well as work experiences into this course.

Students who complete this course will have knowledge pertinent in the polymer science and engineering field as well as knowledge applicable to the disciplines of chemistry, biology, environmental science, toxicology, material science, and public health.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Explain the properties of polymer materials.
  • Recognize the performance differences between polymeric materials.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of polymers for engineering applications.

Meet your instructors

Andrew Whelton
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Purdue University

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Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.