Abstract The gelation point is an important property of polymers undergoing crosslinking when subjected to high energy radiation. This point is generally determined by viscometric and solubility methods or by mechanic measurements. When crosslinking and discoloration take place simultaneously, gelation doses can be determined spectrophotometrically. In this work it is demonstrated that the gelation dose of poly(vinyl acetate) can be determined by simply recording the u.v.-vis. spectra of the solutions of γ-irradiated polymer. The reliability of the method is verified by viscometric and solubility measurements.