Program Overview

The computer you're looking at right now. The buttons on your clothing. The pens you write with. The soda bottle you drink from. All of these things are made of plastic. There is almost no aspect of modern life that is not dependent on plastic. It's easy to see why talented, knowledgeable, well-trained plastics engineers are in high demand. If you want to be a part of an industry that has worldwide impact – now and in the future – plastics may be the right fit for you.

As a graduate of UW-Stout's Plastics Engineering program, you'll be able to pursue a career in:

  • Materials science
  • Product design
  • Research and development
  • Mold and/or tool design
  • Failure analysis
  • Process simulation
  • Quality sciences
  • Experimental design
  • Manufacturing

The Plastics Engineering program is a calculus-based program that progresses from solid foundations in mathematics through analysis and design. The program emphasizes lab activities and student engineering design projects, with a particular focus on plastics materials and processing.

Your Competitive Edge

Your preparation will give you a competitive edge, so you can help bring the region's plastics industries to the forefront of the field in the design, development, and manufacture of plastic products. UW-Stout offers the only undergraduate Plastics Engineering program in the UW System.

Program Mission Statement

The Plastics Engineering program prepares pragmatic plastics engineers who will respond aggressively to the changing needs of the global marketplace, apply research and theory in the development of marketable products and efficient processes, and design with an awareness of the realities of manufacturing and the needs of society. This preparation is enhanced through extensive hands-on laboratory learning experiences.

Preparing for UW-Stout

You must have an aptitude for science and mathematics as a foundation for success in this program. We encourage you to take as many upper level math and science courses in high school as possible, including mathematics through algebra and trigonometry, physics and chemistry. Early development of computer skills is also very helpful.

Entrance Options

UW-Stout has transfer agreements with UW Colleges and several Minnesota pre-engineering programs. With proper planning, you can transfer to the Plastics Engineering program without a loss of credits.

Starting Out

The first two years of the program include English composition, communication and other general education offerings, as well as mathematics, physics and engineering fundamentals.

At the end of your sophomore and/or junior year you will complete a paid, off-campus plastics industry co-op opportunity. The average hourly wage for Plastics Engineering co-ops during the 2013-2014 academic year was $16.15/hour. Toward the end of your program, you'll integrate all your previous coursework into capstone courses involving advanced product design or independent research.

Entry Positions

Plastics engineers are uniquely suited to meet the needs of many industries. The ability to tackle materials and processing issues in a wide range of plastics industries provides you with considerable flexibility in your choice of employment.

Located in West Central Wisconsin, UW-Stout is an hour east of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. A large number of companies in the region have a demonstrated need for plastics engineers. In 2015–2016,  100 percent of graduates were employed within six months, and the average starting salary was $56,000 per year.

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ABET - Engineering Accreditation Commission

UW-Stout's Plastics Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.