Advisor: Paul D. Fleming
Room A-233 Parkview Campus
The Doctor of Philosophy in Paper and Printing Science is designed to prepare scientists for performing advanced research or for teaching at the university level. The emphasis of the program is on paper making processes, paper coating, paper recycling, and graphic and printing science technologies.
This 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. Close supervision of the research will be maintained by the student’s Dissertation Advisory Committee and, particularly, by the chair of that committee. Some formal course work, much of it possibly accepted from course work completed to achieve a master’s degree, is required to prepare for and support an original research problem chosen by the student in consultation with the Dissertation Advisory Committee. However, the degree is awarded for the attainment of knowledge of the paper and printing science disciplines and for original research; the degree is not awarded for accumulation of course credits. Thus, the key component of the program is the Dissertation Advisory Committee’s careful and continuous mentoring of the student to develop necessary skills and knowledge to support advanced research.
Application materials may be obtained from the Office of Admissions, Graduate Admissions or from the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering (ChP). International students should contact the Office of International Services and Student Affairs for the appropriate materials and information.
All applicants must meet the general admissions requirements for the Ph.D. specified by the Graduate College. In addition, the applicant is strongly encouraged to have completed a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to paper and printing science with a minimum 3.25 grade point average. The Graduate Record Examination, General Test, is required of all applicants, as are at least three letters of recommendation and a letter describing the applicant’s research interest. International students must also submit the TOEFL scores.
Admission determinations will be made by the department’s Graduate Committee and will take into consideration the student’s previous academic training and record of achievement, the GRE score, the recommendations provided in letters from three referees, and the information about the proposed area of study described in the letter of interest.
The Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering offers opportunities for financial assistance of doctoral students through graduate assistantships and fellowships. Information concerning these opportunities is available from the department’s graduate advisor or from the Graduate College.
Following a student’s admission to the program, the ChP department’s graduate advisor will be the student’s temporary advisor until the dissertation advisory committee is formed, typically within one year of the student’s commencement of the program. With the assistance of the graduate advisor, the student will select a chair of the dissertation advisory committee and, in consultation with the chair, the student will form an entire dissertation advisory committee, comprising at least three members. After the chair of the dissertation advisory committee is chosen, primary responsibility for the student will be transferred from the graduate advisor to the chair. The graduate advisor, however, will continue to monitor the student’s progress and assist the chair of the dissertation advisory committee to ensure prompt compliance with all University and program requirements.
After admission to the doctoral program, a student must complete a total of 60 graduate-level credit hours, excluding the dissertation, beyond the bachelor’s degree, or a total of 30 graduate-level credit hours, excluding the dissertation, beyond the master’s degree. Graduate College policy requires that all doctoral students complete at least 30 hours of course work, exclusive of the dissertation, at WMU after admission to the doctoral program. However, in this research-based degree program, if an exceptionally well prepared student enters the program having satisfied one or more of the research tools and/or has completed PAPR 5301, the student may be able to satisfy all the requirements and competencies with fewer than 30 hours. Upon formal petition by the chair of the dissertation advisory committee and the graduate advisor and with the chair’s submission of a program of study that indicates the student’s satisfaction of all requirements and competencies, the dean of the Graduate College may waive that requirement. Such waivers must be sought and approved on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to the requirements of the Graduate College, the following requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Paper and Printing Science must be fulfilled:
30 hours of course work beyond the master’s degree
Since applicants are encouraged to have a master’s degree, it is expected that applicants will have finished at least 24 hours of foundation course work at the graduate level, and six hours of thesis research. At the discretion of the department’s graduate committee and with approval of the Graduate College, applicants who have earned a master’s degree may receive credit toward the 60 credit hours of doctoral course requirements beyond the bachelor’s degree and excluding the dissertation, for up to 24 hours of foundation course work germane to paper and printing science at the time of admission to the program, and credit for up to six hours of thesis research. Such graduate-level foundation course work may include, as examples, mechanics and optics of paper and fibers (PAPR 6600), pulping and bleaching (PAPR 6980), and nonimpact printing (GPS 6210).
Students must also complete the following:
These courses may already be included in the 24 hours of foundation course work from a master’s degree program.
And one of the following courses:
The selected course can be counted as one of the required research tools, and may already be included in the 24 hours of foundation course work from a master’s degree program.
Additional Program Information
The required courses must be completed with at least a grade of “B,” if not previously elected in a master’s program as described above.
Additional course work required will be determined at the time of admission by the department’s graduate committee to ensure readiness for graduate level course work or the research program. Additional course work may also be required to remedy deficiencies revealed by the Level I qualifying exams. These courses would be determined by the department’s graduate committee in cooperation with the student’s dissertation advisory committee.
All students seeking a doctoral degree in paper and printing sciences from Western Michigan University must successfully complete the Level I and Level II qualifying exams, following the qualifying exam guidelines developed by the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering. In preparation for the qualifying exams, students without a sufficient background will be required to take PAPR 5000. The Level I qualifying exam is a written exam that will test a doctoral student’s general knowledge of paper and printing science at the level of a person who has completed a master’s degree in paper and printing science. The Level I qualifying exam will include information and topics related to paper chemistry and processing, inks and imaging, and experimental design. A student must successfully complete the Level I qualifying exam by the end of their first year of enrollment in the doctoral program. A student who does not successfully complete the Level I qualifying exam after two attempts will be dismissed from the doctoral degree program.
The Level II qualifying exam is an oral defense on the proposed dissertation research topic area, the dissertation proposal itself, and questions on graduate-level course materials. During the Level II qualifying exam, the student will demonstrate through oral discussion that they possess an acceptable knowledge of their area of chosen research and other graduate-level topics, in addition to defending their dissertation proposal. A student must complete the Level II qualifying exam within twelve calendar months of their successful completion of the Level I qualifying exam. A student must complete the Level II qualifying exam within two attempts or the student will be dismissed from the doctoral degree program. In preparation for the Level II qualifying exam, students will register for their first three credit hours of PAPR 7300. Successful completion of the Level II qualifying exam will allow the student to continue with research needed to fulfill the remaining 12 credit hours of PAPR 7300, as will be discussed.
Full-time enrollment on campus for at least four semesters.
Demonstrate competency in two research tools
Two research tools chosen in consultation with the dissertation advisory committee. All students will select a statistics or experimental design course (item 1) plus at least one other research tool from the remaining options:
- Statistics and experimental design at the level of STAT 5650, STAT 5670, STAT 5680, or IEE 5160 (with a grade of “B” or better).
- Reading proficiency in one foreign language other than English at the course level of 4010 (with a grade of “B” or better).
- Computer modeling and simulation expertise at the level of CS 5810 (with a grade of “B” or better).
- One or more courses in biology, physics, chemistry, packaging, or engineering at the 5000 level or above and approved by the student’s dissertation committee.
If some or all of the research tools credit hours are included in the 24 hours of foundation course work, students will select up to six credit hours of graduate-level elective courses, not including PAPR 7300, in consultation with the dissertation advisory committee.
Teaching Practicum (3 hours)
Completion of at least one University-sponsored TA training workshop and completion of PAPR 7131 and PAPR 7132. The PAPR 7131 course will be completed by observing a faculty member teach a class and by preparing to teach that course under the guidance of a graduate faculty member. PAPR 7132 credits will be earned by having primary responsibility for teaching one course under the guidance and supervision of a member of the department’s graduate faculty. In consultation with their dissertation advisory committee, students may substitute up to six credit hours of graduate-level elective courses, not including PAPR 7300, in place of PAPR 7131 and PAPR 7132.
Research Seminar (3 hours)
Completion of at least three hours of PAPR 7250. The objective of this requirement is to participate in discussion of recent research findings that may be used in the student’s research and to gain practice in the presentation of research results.
Complete and successfully defend a dissertation (15 hours)
Completion of at least 15 hours of PAPR 7300. The objective of this requirement is to ensure that the student carries out the research and prepares the dissertation under the guidance of the dissertation advisory committee. The student must successfully defend the dissertation and have the dissertation approved by the dissertation advisory committee and by the graduate dean. In order to receive credit for the first three hours of PAPR 7300 for which they register, the student must successfully complete the Level II qualifying exam. The student, with approval of the dissertation advisory committee, may choose between two dissertation options.
- Option 1: The student will present a traditional comprehensive dissertation and two journal papers based on the doctoral research and judged by the dissertation advisory committee to be ready for submission to an identified, refereed journal. These must be submitted with an introduction, review of relevant literature, and a summary explaining the significance of the research.
- Option 2: The student will present at least three journal papers and at least one conference paper based on the doctoral research and judged by the dissertation advisory committee as ready for submission to an identified, refereed journal and a refereed conference. These must be submitted with an introduction, review of relevant literature, and a summary explaining the significance of the research.