Room A-220 Parkview Campus
The Doctor of Philosophy in Paper and Imaging Science and Engineering is designed to prepare engineers and 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 imaging technologies.
This is a research-intensive degree, based on fundamental scientific and chemical engineering 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 imaging science and engineering 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 Admission and Orientation, Graduate Admissions or from the Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging. International students should contact the Office of International Student Services 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 must have completed a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to paper and imaging 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 Doctoral Studies 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 Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging 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 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.
Graduate College policy requires that all doctoral students complete at least thirty 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 6200 and 6500, the student may be able to satisfy all the requirements and competencies with fewer than thirty 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 Imaging Science and Engineering must be fulfilled:
30 hours of course work beyond the master’s degree
Since applicants must have a master’s degree, it is expected that applicants will have finished at least twenty-four hours of foundation course work at the graduate level, exclusive of seminars and research. At the discretion of the Doctoral Studies Committee, applicants may receive credit toward the doctoral course requirements for up to twenty-four hours of course work germane to paper science and engineering at the time of admission to the program. Such graduate level foundation course work may include, as examples, paper physics (PAPR 6600), papermaking (PAPR 6500), pulping and bleaching (PAPR 6980), environmental engineering (PAPR 6930), digital printing (PAPR 6210), and ink technology (PAPR 6200).
The required courses PAPR 6200 (Paper, Printing, and Ink) and PAPR 6500 (Advanced Paper Processes) 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 Doctoral Studies Committee to ensure readiness for the research or after admission by the Dissertation Advisory Committee to remedy deficiencies revealed by the Level I qualifying exams.
Demonstrate competency in two research tools
Two research tools chosen in consultation with the Dissertation Advisory Committee from the following four options:
- Reading proficiency in one foreign language other than English at the course level of 4010 (with a grade of “B” or better).
- Statistics and experimental design at the level of MATH 5670 (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, or engineering at the 5000-level or above and approved by the student’s dissertation committee.
All students seeking a doctoral degree in paper and imaging 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 Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging. The Level I qualifying exam is a written exam that will test a doctoral student’s general knowledge of paper and imaging science at the level of a person who has completed a master’s degree in Paper and Imaging Science. The Level I qualifying exam will include information and topics related to paper chemistry and processing, inks and imaging, unit operations, 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 and within the specified time limit or the student will be dismissed from the doctoral degree program.
Full-time enrollment on campus for at least four semesters.
Workshop (6 hrs)
Completion of at least one University-sponsored TA training workshop and completion of six hours of PAPR 7130: Teaching Practicum. The first three credits of PAPR 7130 will be earned by observing a faculty member teach a class and by preparing to teach that course under the guidance of a graduate faculty member. The second three 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 6 credit hours of graduate level courses in place of PAPR 7130.
Research Seminar (6 hrs)
Completion of at least six hours of PAPR 7250, Research Seminar. 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.
Graduate Research (6 - 10 hrs)
Completion of six to ten hours of PAPR 7350, Graduate Research. The objective of this requirement is to ensure that the student prepares a thoughtful, coherent research plan for the dissertation under the guidance of the Dissertation Advisory Committee.
Complete and successfully defend a dissertation.
Completion of at least twelve hours of PAPR 7300, Doctoral Dissertation. 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. 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 four journal papers based on the doctoral research and judged by the Dissertation Advisory Committee as 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.