Paper Science and Paper Engineering


Career Opportunities

Graduates of programs in paper science and paper engineering work as process engineers or research scientists or in sales or technical service. Opportunities are also available with suppliers of chemicals and equipment used in papermaking.


Program Description

The Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging at Western Michigan University offers undergraduate programs in chemical engineering, paper science, paper engineering, and imaging.

The department also offers a master's degree in paper and imaging science and engineering and a doctoral degree in paper and imaging science and engineering.

Students in the imaging program have a choice of two majors: The paper science major emphasizes courses in chemistry, paper properties, and paper conversion. This program leads to a bachelor of science degree. With a few additional courses, students may get a second major in chemistry.

The paper engineering major emphasizes courses in unit operations and in engineering and process design. As an engineering student, you may elect to emphasize either pulp and paper processes or environmental processes. The paper engineering programs leads to a bachelor of science in engineering (paper) degree.

Paper science and paper engineering programs share many courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and pulp and paper manufacturing. You will also study general education subjects and will practice communicating your ideas orally and in writing.

All degree programs in the department require that you work at least one summer in industry.



Western Michigan University is the only campus in the world with both paper and printing "pilot plants." Students benefit from the opportunity to get hands-on experience in pulping, papermaking, and printing. They also rub elbows with industry representatives who use the pilot plants for research and testing.



To enter the paper science or paper engineering program, you should have completed in high school at least three and a half years of college preparatory mathematics, including trigonometry, and two years of basic science such as physics and chemistry. If you lack some of this background, you may select courses at WMU to help you succeed in the program. Transfer credit from other colleges and universities will be granted for courses that satisfy WMU's requirements.



Students in paper engineering must complete WMU's pre-engineering program for the department, which ensures that you take the right sequence of courses and are ready for upper-level courses. Unlike many other schools, Western does not set quotas for admission to engineering programs; students who fulfill the requirements of the pre-engineering program are admitted to the program of their choice.



Admission to the University is processed by the Office of Admissions and Orientation. Write the Office of Admissions, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 or call (269) 387-2000.



An academic advisor will work with you to ensure that you take the right sequence of courses and get maximum benefit from your studies at Western Michigan University. To make an appointment with an advisor, call (269) 387-2775.


Financial Aid

Information about financial assistance such as scholarships, employment opportunities, loans, and grants is available from the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. Write Student Financial Aid, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 or call (269) 387-6000.

Merit scholarships, supported by the paper industry and offered through the Paper Technology Foundation, are available for Michigan and out-of-state students in the paper science and paper engineering programs. Depending on academic preformance, all or part of the tuition will be paid for students receiving scholarships. For more information, call the Paper Technology Foundation at (269) 387-8799.



Career Services helps WMU students and alumni in job search planning. Call (269) 387-2745.


For More Information

For more information about imaging, write

Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging
McCracken Hall
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
or call (269) 387-2775.