Paper and Printing Science Graduate Programs

Western Michigan University’s graduate programs in paper and printing science provide leading-edge opportunities in the applications of nanotechnology, printing and ink development methods, recycling, paper mill operation control engineering, process control and instrumentation, printing and chemical manufacturing.
WMU is internationally recognized for its outstanding papermaking, coating, fiber recycling and printing pilot plant facilities. Ongoing industrial research partnerships and graduate student internships in industry exist with these programs.
The Master of Science in Paper and Printing Science (M.S.) is designed to provide theoretical, laboratory and pilot plant experiences which are basic to the development of professional competence in pulp, paper and printing science.
The department has leadership in the areas of flexo, offset and gravure printing, recycling and deinking, papermaking, computational fluid dynamics and coating. It is internationally recognized in the fields of gravure, printing, printed electronics, paper coating and barrier coating.
Its laboratories and equipment are the most complete of any similar academic institution featuring a complete recycled fiber pilot plant, paper machine, high speed puddle and metered size press coater, cylindrical laboratory blade and rod coater and gravure, flexo, offset, screen and digital printing presses. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.
The Paper and Printing Science Accelerated Graduate Degree Program allows WMU seniors to begin accumulating as much as 12 credits (four courses) toward the completion of a master’s degree while completing their bachelor’s degree. Students pay undergraduate tuition rates for these courses. Does this need to be on here since the focus is on those looking for grad programs, not necessarily those already enrolled as undergrads?
The Doctor of Philosophy in Paper and Printing Science (Ph.D.) prepares scientists for performing advanced research or for teaching at the university level. The emphasis of the program is on papermaking processes, paper coating, paper recycling, printed electronics and other graphic and printing science technologies.
The Ph.D. program is a research-intensive degree, based on fundamental scientific and chemical principles; the emphasis is on learning techniques for advanced research, the production of such advanced research and the reporting of the research.

Teaching, Research and Program Focus Areas

Graduate degree programs are designed to provide theoretical and laboratory experiences which are basic to the development of professional competence. New product and process development is at the core of our faculty research efforts, including printed electronics, 3-D printing of manufactured articles, novel inks and specialty paper coatings.
WMU’s laboratories and pilot plants are the only ones in the world at an academic institution that makes paper, prints it and recycles it to paper again.

Industry Highlights

Throughout the past more than 60 years, graduates have successfully placed with some of the highest starting salaries in the limitless and cutting-edge fields of engineering.


Financial support for graduate assistant engaged in teaching or research is available annually. The department has approximately 30 graduate students enrolled at any point in time, with more than 70 percent receiving some support.


Domestic Application Deadlines
Fall: February 15
Spring: September 15
International Application Deadlines
Fall: February 15
Spring: August 1
Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering
(269) 276-3500
Dr. James R. Springstead
Associate Professor, Graduate Coordinator