According to a 2016 article in Investopedia, the four major industries where robots are changing the game are manufacturing, health care, public safety and the military, and the mining industry. Examples of successful use in these field include a 60% savings in production cost and the protection of human life! Most Americans will never be exposed to assembly line robots, or have a robot dropped into a hostage situation for risk assessment. But they may be familiar with the multitude of robots for use in homes that have been slowly gaining popularity. Robots for home use include vacuums (Roomba by iRobot), gutter cleaning bots (Looj by iRobot), litter box cleaning, security robots (Agent oo7 by MobileRobots, Inc.), and alarm clocks that drive away before you can push snooze (Nanda Clocky)!
What is Robotics?
Robotics is the conceptualization, design, construction, operation, and use of robots and the computer systems that control them. The field is interdisciplinary with roots in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science but the knowledge base also stretches into areas like design and psychology. The main goal of creating robots is to develop machines that can substitute for human activity. Because of the cost of building these machines, current applications are mainly for situations dangerous to humans, like bomb deactivation, or in manufacturing where the cost of the investment can be quickly returned.
There any many types of robots designed for specific tasks, but they all contain the same core elements. The must have a mechanical construction (mechanical engineers) or a “body”; they contain electrical components (electrical engineering) to power and control them; and they contain computer programming code (computer science) that tells the robot what to do in a given situation. These three components must work together seamlessly for the robot to function. While there are many institutions researching robotics in their departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science, there are few that have comprehensive, dedicated Robotics Departments.
Should I become a Roboticist?
A roboticist is a person that conceptualizes, designs, builds, programs, and experiments with robots. If you are interested in robots – then the answer is probably yes! But, Roboticist is not yet a job description in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so we examined the three fields that are most likely to employ roboticists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the Mechanical Engineers occupation to grow 9% between 2016 and 2026, the Electrical Engineers occupation to grow 7% between 2016 and 2026, and the Software Developers to grow an astounding 24% between 2016 and 2026! These projections make robotics a fast-growing field compared to all occupations, which are projected to increase only 7% in the same period.
The Value Colleges Top 50 Master’s in Robotics ranking considers only regionally accredited reputable college and universities. We rank programs based on three factors:
- Cost (current IPEDS data)
- Reputation (current overall QS ranking)
- Success (average alumni salary)
In addition to these three metrics, we examined the degree specificity and the school’s robotics research opportunities. By taking these all metrics into account, VC determines which schools are most likely to provide a healthy return on a graduate’s investment of time, work, and money. These are the Robotics degrees that show the best combination of job market pull, educational excellence, and real-world returns. Since many schools do not yet have specific Robotics departments or Robotics degrees, some judgments were made using the comprehensive picture of the school, department, and degree.
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California is commonly known as “Cal Poly Pomona.” The public university is one of two polytechnic schools in the California State University system and is located about thirty miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the greater L.A. metro area. The institution was founded in 1938 and currently enrolls around 24,000 undergraduates. Cal Poly Pomona has a highly regarded engineering department and provides 1 of every 14 engineers in California. Pomona was ranked #31 in the U.S News 2018 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities West.
Cal Poly Pomona offers a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) with a Control and Robotics Systems option through the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department. The program provides students with a solid breadth of advanced foundation courses and also focused knowledge relevant to their fields of specialization through advanced elective courses. Students enrolled in the Control and Robotics Systems option take classes in matrix methods, signal processing, and random processes. The Cal Poly Pomona’s University motto is Instrumentum Discipline, meaning the “tools of teaching” or “the construction of instruction,” and reflects the university’s hands-on approach of learning by doing. One unique feature of the engineering curriculum is almost all classes have an accompanying lab class. The labs are used to reinforce material covered in lectures and provide students with hands-on experience with real circuits and systems. In addition to coursework, students participate in research projects that attempt to solve contemporary engineering problems using innovative approaches. Recent Mechatronics and Robotics graduate research include the man-machine interface through a voice-activated wheelchair and biologically inspired research in exoskeleton for disabled people. The engineering department has created the Research Facilities, Laboratories, Student Projects, & Faculty Expertise Booklet that details the department’s student projects, faculty, research, and lab facilities.
Cornell University is a private research institution established in 1865 in Ithica, New York. The school has the unusual distinction of being an Ivy League university, a federal land-grant institution of New York State, and a partner of the State University of New York designated by the New York state legislature to receive ongoing public funding.
Through the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell offers a one year Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering with a specialization focus on Dynamics, Controls, & Robotics. The interdisciplinary program helps students to develop a high level of competence in engineering science, current technology, and engineering design and prepares them for professional employment after graduation. Students pursuing the specialization focus on Dynamics, Controls, & Robotics and take classes in Mechatronics, Autonomous Mobile Robots, Systems Engineering, Nonlinear Vibrations, Model-Based Estimation, Multivariable Control Theory, and Applied Dynamical Systems. Robotics research at Cornell spans multiple departments and focuses on different aspects of creating and controlling robots such as mechanical design, dynamics, perception, control and decision making. Robotics at Cornell is where students can work with a variety of robots including aerial robots, snake robots, home assistant robots, autonomous cars, humanoids, and evolutionary robots. The areas of current research study include human-robot interaction, planning, perception, control, and learning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or M.I.T., is a private institution founded in 1861 that focuses on technological and scientific research. The school is small with an annual undergraduate enrollment of approximately 4,500 students. Located outside Boston in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the university’s annual research budget is over $650 million. MIT’s highly ranked School of Engineering offers many opportunities for graduate students interested in robotics. However, the school’s graduate programs are not for the faint of heart. The expectation of an MIT graduate student is they will change the world.
The MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (SMME), one of nine degrees offered through the MechE graduate program. The project-based curriculum focuses on solving problems and gaining real-world experience. Research opportunities are available to MIT graduate students with world-class faculty using cutting-edge labs and facilities. Notable MIT robotics groups and labs include the Robot Locomotion Group and the Biomimetic Robotics Lab dedicated to building machines with extraordinary agility and efficiency. The Field and Space Robotics Lab, the Robotics Team engineering the robots of the future; and the Personal Robots Group that focuses on developing the principles, techniques, and technologies for personal robots. The MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab and other numerous robotics groups can be found at Robotics @ MIT
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is a public university located about 45 minutes from Detroit in one of the best college towns in America – Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school was founded in 1817 and has an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 29,000 students. The University of Michigan has a reputation for excellence in scholarship, research, and innovation, and it is no surprise the school has created a unique approach to robotics education. Michigan Robotics, housed in the College of Engineering, brings together roboticists from the mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science disciplines under one department. By working together, students and faculty share problems, solutions, and accelerate the development of new robotics capabilities. Michigan Robotics offers degrees at both the Masters level and doctorate level.
The Robotics Masters (MS) degree program requires completion of 30 credits of coursework including 3 to 6 credits of directed study. The Michigan Robotics program has three main subdisciplines or technical areas – sensing, reasoning, and acting. These areas are also the three paths for graduate study. As students produce functioning robots, these areas converge. Robotic Sensing of the environment uses external agents, and internal body information to determine state information and includes the topics of computer vision and signal processing. Robotic Reasoning uses the information to make decisions for guidance, control, and localization and includes machine learning, planning, multi-agent coordination, and artificial intelligence. Robotic Acting enables a robot to locomote or interact with the environment by producing motion or other outputs and includes control, kinematics, dynamics, mechanical, bio-mechanical systems design, manipulation, real-time systems. Michigan graduate students pursue a wide variety of robotics research topics. Specific focus areas of the department include autonomous vehicles, human-robot interaction, legged locomotion, manipulation, manufacturing, cooperative robots; perception, and rehabilitation robots. Robotics student teams are a favorite among graduate students and offer an opportunity to meet peers and learn new skills. (Mars Rover, Solar Drones, and M-Fly)
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is a private institution founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin. It has an annual undergraduate enrollment of 10,000 students and is located in the city of Philadelphia. With Franklin’s lifelong interests in innovation and invention, UPenn was intended to bring scientific education to the American colonies, and though all of Franklin’s Enlightenment-era dreams didn’t make it, his spirit lives on in UPenn’s dedication to the most up-to-date, paradigm-shifting research.
The University of Pennsylvania offers a Master’s Degree in Robotics (ROBO) through the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Penn’s ROBO master’s program, sponsored jointly by three university departments – Electrical and Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and Computer and Information Science – is administered by one of the top robotics research centers in the world, the GRASP Lab. This world-renowned robotics engineering degree for graduate students educates students in the science and technology of robotics and provides a foundation further graduate studies or for employment in a variety of industries. The ROBO program attracts students from a variety of educational backgrounds, including engineering and computer science. The only must-have for applicants – a passion for robots! The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception Laboratory (GRASP Lab) research page provides detailed information about projects, people, resources, news, and opportunities in robotics at UPenn.
Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus
The Georgia Institute of Technology, known as Georgia Tech, is a public institution founded in 1885 to bring scientific education and the Industrial Revolution to the post-Civil War South. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the school has an annual enrollment of around 21,000 total students. Well known as one of the nation’s leading research universities, Georgia Tech provides technologically based education and has many nationally recognized programs.
Students interested in robotics can find two programs at Georgia Tech – one online and one on-campus. Georgia Tech’s innovative Master’s of Science in Computer Science at the Georgia Tech College of Computing allows students to specialize their degree, through eleven possible specializations, to fit their academic and professional goals. The Specialization in Computational Perception and Robotics offers students a depth of knowledge in robotics. Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS) lets students earn a degree from home, on their own schedule, and for a total cost of about $7,000. Students in the OMS CS program can further customize their degree with one of our four specializations. The robotics elective courses offered in the Specialization in Computational Perception and Robotics provide students with a depth of knowledge in robotics. The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) is an interdisciplinary research institute where robotics researchers, educators, and students from across campus can collaborate on robotics research.
University of California-Santa Barbara
The University of California—Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a public institution founded in 1909 with an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 21,500 students. The school is located on the California coast about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The scenic campus overlooks the Pacific Ocean, nestled between Highway 101 and the town of Santa Barbara. The UCSB College of Engineering consistently ranks as one of the best engineering schools in the world. With a student-to-faculty ratio of one to ten, the school offers students close academic mentorship. UCSB Engineering is one of the most successful public-private research environments, frequently partnering with outside institutes for research, and houses close to thirty research centers and institutes on campus. The focus on interdisciplinary research fosters a culture of innovation committed to developing new technology in the region, state, and the world.
The UC Santa Barbara Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MS ECE) with a research focus in Communications, Control & Signal Processing (CCSP). Control systems research studies how to manipulate the behavior of a system or robot to produce the desired outcome. The multi-disciplinary Center for Control, Dynamical Systems, and Computation (CCDC) coordinates the interdisciplinary research on control systems at UCSB. The Robotics Laboratory develops new controls for autonomous robot locomotion. Specific areas of research are supervised autonomy, legged locomotion, multi-limb mobility (e.g., climbing), dexterous skating, and lower-limb exoskeletons.
Columbia University was founded in 1754 by royal charter of King George II of England. It was originally named King’s College and is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The school’s main campus is in New York City on the upper west side of Manhattan, in the neighborhood of Morningside Heights.
Columbia University in the City of New York offers a Master of Science in Computer Science (MS CS) with a Vision, Graphics, Interaction, and Robotics Track. The program was designed for students who wish to grow their understanding of computer science. The location of Columbia University, in the heart of New York City, provides students with ample access to career opportunities with multiple companies and industries. MSCS Students must satisfy breadth requirements and then choose a track for the depth requirement. The Vision, Graphics, Interaction, and Robotics Track focuses on Computer Vision and Computer Graphics but also includes courses in Robotics, Machine Learning, and User Interfaces. Robotics research areas include Manipulation and grasping, Interactive or Human-in-the-Loop robotics, Dynamic simulators and virtual environments; and Perception and modeling.
University of California-Santa Cruz
The University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) is a public research institution founded in 1965. UC Santa Cruz is known for its astronomy and marine science programs and considered a research powerhouse. The 2,000-acre campus, located in the small beach town of Santa Cruz, has over 25 miles of hiking and jogging trails and many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
UCSC awardes a high percentage of engineering graduate degrees to women and is an excellent choice for female engineers. The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) offers Masters of Science Computer Engineering (MS CE) with a Robotics research specialization area through the Jack Baskin School Of Engineering. After taking core courses in computer architecture and algorithms, students move on to their area of specialization. Students choosing the robotics focus area study autonomous vehicles, sensor fusion, exoskeletons, medical robots, and biomolecular control. After completing all the course requirements, students take an oral qualifying exam and write a dissertation. Full time and part-time study are available, and the degree can be earned in one to two years. Faculty members from the computer engineering department carry out joint research projects with the applied mathematics and statistics, computer science, electrical engineering, and computational biology faculty members. Research includes Robotics And Control and Communications, Signal & Image Processing.
Duke University is often referred to as the Harvard of the South and was established by a collection of Quakers and Methodists in 1838. Currently, this elite university has its picturesque East and West campuses in Durham, North Carolina, one point of what is known as the Research Triangle. They have an additional campus that acts as a Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina. The Duke Endowment was put into place in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke, an industrialist in tobacco and electric energy, who wanted to honor his father, Washington Duke. They are known for having the seventh-largest research expenditure in the country, and 32 of their professors made it on Thomas Reuters 2014 list of Highly Cited Researchers.
Duke University offers a variety of avenues into the cutting-edge world of Robotics and research, including their Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, with a concentration in Robotics. Students who engage in this concentration have the opportunity to work with internationally renowned faculty and be on the front lines of global research, with a future of training future leaders and innovators in the field. The programs at Duke feature flexible curricula, enabling students to tailor their education to their own specialties, and align their interests with other disciplines. There are several project-based courses that give students pathways to participating in groundbreaking research.
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California in Los Angeles is a private institution founded in 1880. One of the West Coast’s most iconic and influential institutions, USC helped create the modern Los Angeles with its professional programs, connections to government and industry, and cutting-edge research. The university’s internationally recognized Viterbi School of Engineering offers fifty-eight masters programs and thirteen doctoral programs designed to provide education and research rooted in real-world needs.
USC Viterbi School of Engineering offers a general Master of Science in Computer Science (General) and also a Master of Science in Computer Science with eight possible specializations, including Intelligent Robotics. Students studying the Intelligent Robotics specialization will focus on robot design, construction, operation, and application, and also learn about the computer systems used for robotics control, sensory feedback, and information processing. Students have the option to include a master’s thesis conducted in collaboration with industry. Robotics research and learning opportunities are available at the USC Robotics Research Laboratory that is involved in several collaborative projects between the Interaction Lab and Robotics Embedded Systems Lab (RESL), along with a variety of individual projects within each of the labs. Current notable RESL research areas include Aquatic Robotics, Multi-Robot Systems, and Perception & Manipulation.
Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, the steel tycoon turned philanthropist, Carnegie Mellon University is located in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While its original intention was to provide affordable education to Pittsburgh’s working class, Carnegie Mellon grew over the 20th century into one of the world’s foremost private research universities, known far and wide for professional education and scientific research. The school is a private institution with an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 6,600 students.
The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute opened in 1979 with the goal of making the school the predominate robotics research facility on the planet. Led by professors Raj Reddy and Angel Jordan the decades that followed realized numerous successes in robotics development. Today Carnegie Mellon offers research-driven a Master of Science in Robotics (MSR) degree through the Robotics Institute. The program brings together the interdisciplinary areas of robotics research into one location (the Robotics Institute) and focuses on preparing students to be leaders in future robotics research and development. The degree requires core course work and research resulting in a thesis and presentation. The MSR will prepare students for research continued studies in a Ph.D. program. Research and class courses are emphasized equally, ensuring students attain a breadth and depth in robotics. Students may customize depth areas to areas of interest to research topics like Robotic Vision, Machine Learning, or Human-Robot Interaction.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
The 936-acre campus of University of Wisconsin at Madison lies along the southern shore of Lake Mendota. The public university was founded in 1848 and has an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 32,000 students. Widely considered the finest public university in the Midwest, UW Madison has established itself as the region’s primary home for leadership in professional education and STEM research. UW Madison is well known for its excellent academic programs and affordability, and the College of Engineering was ranked #20 by U.S. News in the 2018 Best Engineering Schools.
For students who don’t want to build robots but want to learn about robotics applications in manufacturing and production, UW offers a Masters in Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering (MS MSE) both online and on-campus. The program teaches students the cross-functional expertise required to run manufacturing from the “shop floor to the boardroom.” The curriculum lends from both the College of Engineering and the Wisconsin School of Business and is designed to help students prepare for the future changes in the manufacturing industry using advanced technologies, software, and automation. The program includes courses in engineering and business and prepares students for the organizational roles like senior manufacturing engineer or operations manager. Students receive training in advanced automation, robotics, quality, lean, supply chain, sustainability, and data analytics. Students are exposed to both practical problems through strong university-industry partnerships and cutting-edge theoretical concepts through university research in theoretical aspects of manufacturing systems. Interested students will want to check out the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab at UW which focuses on the research investigation on the human-centered robotics topics of manufacturing, medical robotics, and haptics.
University of Washington-Seattle
The University of Washington (UW) is a multi-campus university with campuses in the cities of Seattle, Tacoma Bothell, and a world-class academic medical center. The institution offers 314 academic programs and 606-degree options. The school takes pride in its affordability and accessibility with 35% of the 2017-18 in-state freshmen students at the Seattle campus entering as first-generation college students. With its location in Seattle, U-Dub has both influenced, and been influenced by the growth of the tech economy, from computer science to entrepreneurship to artificial intelligence and robotics.
The Electrical Engineering Department and the University of Washington (UW) offers a Masters in Science in Electrical Engineering: Systems, Controls, & Robotics (Robotics Option). The program offers courses like Models of Robot Manipulation and Sensor Systems. Robotics and controls research at UW focus on surgical and bio-robotics, haptics, network control systems, and smart cities. Researchers conduct interdepartmental collaboration with the departments of computer science, engineering, bioengineering, and the UW Medical Center, and participate in research for the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. Researchers have developed “human-like skin” for robots and researched treatment for a tremor disorder. A plethora of research opportunities are available at UW with the Robotics Group. Campus robotics labs include the Personal Robotics Lab, the Robotics and State Estimation Lab, the Human-Centered Robotics Lab, the Movement Control Lab, the Sensor Systems Lab, and the Neural Systems Lab!
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is generally referred to as UMASS, and is the flagship campus for the commonwealth. Located in the beautiful Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, the campus is just one and a half hours from Boston, and 175 miles from New York City. They are public institution with a heavy focus on research. They have over 6,000 graduate students enrolled and many dynamic graduate programs to choose from. They are also home to The College of Information and Computer Sciences, which has five related Labs and Centers, including: The Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics, and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval.
The College of Information and Computer Sciences at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst offers a Master’s of Science degree program in Computer Science. There are two unofficial tracks, which include the professional track, geared towards students who are not intending on pursuing a PhD, and therefore have intentions of deepening their skills for the professional field. There other track is research oriented, and is geared towards students hoping to pursue further graduate study upon completing their masters education. Both tracks, however, have many opportunities to engage with the Robotics, Computer Vision, and Graphics research at UMASS, where deep engagement with robotic research is supported. The Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics.
Yale University is an Ivy league school located in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third oldest institution of higher learning in the country. One of the fourteen distinct schools at Yale is the School of Engineering and Applied Science, which engages an interdisciplinary focus in the sciences while continuing to develop cutting-edge technologies and research. Yale also offers students in the sciences access to the GRAB Lab (Grasping & Manipulation, Rehabilitation, Robotics, and Biomechanics). Students and faculty conduct robotic manipulation and biorobotic research at this site, which relates to prosthetics and human grasping and manipulation, among other themes.
Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science offers unique graduate study opportunities, for students to engage in a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. There are four distinct foci in which students can choose to specialize, including Robotics and Mechatronics. An average of six students enter the program per year, with close to 30 graduate students in residence at a time. A primary focus of the program is developing students independence and creativity, fostering their ability to undertake original research. Graduate students have the opportunity to apply to the GRAB Lab team and must show a strong record of work in fields closely related to Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a private institution founded in 1876. The school has an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 6,100 students and is located in Baltimore, Maryland. Known as America’s first research institution, Johns Hopkins is world renowned for innovation in technology. Historically, Johns Hopkins name has been synonymous with the university’s highly ranked medical school, but that discounts JHU’s monumental contributions to other STEM-related fields like computer science and engineering. Johns Hopkins’ Medical Robotics and Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems program combines both.
The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Engineering in Robotics (Robotics MSE) with a specialization in Medical Robotics and Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems. The close to perfect marriage of these two schools offers a unique opportunity for students interested in medical robotics. Students in the MSE Robotics program complete required core courses and then complete coursework one of six specialization tracks – Automation Science and Engineering; BioRobotics; Control and Dynamical Systems; Medical Robotics and Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems; Perception and Cognitive Systems; or General Robotics. One of the top robotics research labs in the world, the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) conducts advanced research with medical robots that includes image-guided surgical systems.
Stanford University is located in the epicenter of technological innovation, in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Founded in 1891, the school is one of the most prestigious universities in the country and takes great pride in the high level of research conducted at Stanford. The university, in the city of Palo Alto, has one of the largest academic campuses in the nation. Among the school’s notable research facilities is the globally recognized Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, founded in 1962, which has been at the center of AI research since the early beginnings of the discipline. The AI lab has many informal offerings, including a weekly reading group where participants can read and discuss topics such as machine learning.
Stanford University offers many research-oriented advanced degree programs including the Masters of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Research, which is appreciated for its interdisciplinary orientation. Students have many opportunities to focus their coursework and research on robotics. The program was designed for students interested in entering an avenue of the field of mechanical engineering as a practicing professional. There is no thesis required for this program. However students are invited to participate in research projects during their masters year, as long as they make arrangements with a faculty member to supervise their work. Students may apply to engage with the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory as part of their research.
Harvard University was founded in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher learning in the nation. The school is one of eight private Ivy league schools in the country. Within Harvard are 12 degree-granting schools, as well as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Enrolled at one time are close to 22,000 students, including undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Harvard is the home to the renowned John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which is a hotbed for interdisciplinary research and study. The faculty in this department are leaders and innovators in the dynamic fields of engineering. There are 943 undergraduates and 441 graduate students connected to the department.
Harvard’s own John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) believes in being at the front of modern research, and therefore, they take a nuanced approach by providing interdisciplinary flexibility, and therefore they do not have traditional academic departments. They also do not grant degrees based on specific research areas, though they do pursue their degree in one of the seven featured subjects: Applied Physics, Computer Science, Computational Science and Engineering, Data Science, Design Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Data Science and Engineering Sciences. Within this unique school of engineering is an entire robotics arm, where students can work with some of the top roboticists.
The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University (OSU) is a public institution founded in 1870. The school is in Columbus, Ohio and has an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 46,000 students. Nationally recognized for its quality programs and affordability, an education from Ohio State is considered one of the best values available. OSU offers more than one-hundred-sixty undergraduate majors and a nontraditional path in the Personalized Study Program in which students design their own major.
Ohio State offers a Masters of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MS ECE) with a concentration in Robotics. The program prepares students for technical leadership roles in industry, academia, and government with a breath of core classes and a choice of depth in a robotics concentration. The OSU faculty are known for their research in control systems in the Control Research Lab on campus. The electrical and computer engineering department features more than 25 laboratories that cover research in a variety of areas. Other campus robotics research labs include the Automotive Control Systems Laboratory, the Flexible Structures Laboratory, the Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory, and the Center for Intelligent Transportation Research.
University of Texas-Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a public university founded in 1883. With an annual undergraduate enrollment of 40,000 students, it is one of the largest schools in the nation. Known for its affordability and quality educational programs, UT Austin is considered the flagship school for the entire University of Texas system.
In the fall of 2015, the University of Texas started a Graduate Portfolio Program in Robotics that enables graduate students in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering the opportunity to obtain an official “certification of expertise” in robotics along with a Master’s degree from their home department. The robotics certification program highlights interdisciplinary skills, spans multiple disciplines, and expands the academic and research opportunities for graduate students studying robotics. The program promotes interdisciplinary interaction among students and aims to create a student-led research community in robotics. Portfolio program students receive multidisciplinary training in robotics by completing core coursework in the Department of Computer Science or the Department of Mechanical Engineering, attending robotics research seminars, and completing additional courses in participating departments. World-class robotics research at UT Austin is carried out by the Human Centered Robotics Lab, the Learning Agents Research Group, the Nuclear Robotics Group, the Personal Autonomoous Robotics Lab, the ReNeu Robotics Lab, the ReWire Robotics Lab, and the u-t autonomous Research Lab.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a private institution founded in 1865 as one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. WPI’s reputation as a research university of scientific excellence continually earns it accolades and top ranks. With an annual undergraduate enrollment of 4,400 students, the school is a small and close-knit community.
WPI offers a Master of Science in Robotics Engineering degree, a first-of-its-kind academic program. The school offers an on-campus program and an online program. Under the instruction of some of the most respected faculty in the country, students take advanced robotics courses and also create robots in the school’s state-of-the-art labs. The robotics foundation coursework is supplemented by engineering courses like project management or entrepreneurship. Students also have the opportunity to design capstone or thesis work in their chosen area of interest. Through the course of the Robotics Engineering program, students turn theory into practice as they build robots, create software to operate the robots, understand how robots communicate and study the real-world ethical implications of using robots in a human world. WPI fosters a hands-on learning experience that teaches students critical thinking skills through large-scale team projects. The school encourages an open and collaborative research atmosphere that allows idea sharing among students, and faculty that fosters a sense of community. Students in the Robotics Program work with faculty on a wide variety of robotics research topics. WPI faculty focus areas of current robotics research include Human–Robot Interaction and Interfaces, Computer Vision, Embedded Systems for Robots, Motion Planning and Control, Medical and Assistive Robots, Human Augmentation, Novel Sensors/Actuators and Robot Design, Soft Robots, and Multi-Robot Systems.
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University (NCSU) is part of the University of North Carolina system and is located in the state’s capital city, Raleigh, North Carolina. NCSU is a public institution known for its high level of research, and in fact is one of the corners in what is known as the Research Triangle, one of the world’s first planned scientific and industrial research centers. Called NC State for short, the school is the largest public institution of higher education in the Carolinas, with a total enrollment of over 34,000 students. Along with eight other universities, they are represented at the North Carolina Research Campus, which is a 540-acre biotechnology epicenter in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
North Carolina State University has an Electrical and Computer Engineering research department, which is the home to the Masters in Science Electrical Engineering degree program, with a specialization in Robotics, Mechatronics, Control, and Instrumentation. This course of study is perfect for those wanting to go into the complex fields of robotics engineering, and gain the foundations of mechanics and software, as well as electronic and computer engineering while finding a synthesis between the disciplines. NC State has many lab spaces where students can study and conduct research, including the Advanced Diagnosis, Automation, and Control Lab, The Advanced Transportation Energy Center, and the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center.
Texas A&M University-College Station
Texas A&M University (TAMU) is a public institution established in 1876. It was Texas’s first public institution of higher education and was the first university in the nation to receive land, sea, and space grant designations. With the College Station campus home to more than 62,500 students, the university is one of the state’s flagship universities.
The Dwight Look College of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MS CE). The degree is a research degree and requires a thesis and a thesis defense. Students who complete the MSCE may file a Letter of Intent requesting admission to the Ph.D. program. TAMU’s engineering programs consistently rank among the country’s top public graduate programs. It school has twelve academic departments dedicated to providing a quality educational experience for its students. The college’s minority engineering, women’s, and honors programs are focal points in efforts to attract and retain students for engineering and science careers. Some of the current Computer Science and Engineering robotics research areas include Algorithms and Theory; Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Systems, Machine Learning; Natural Language Processing; Computer Vision; Human-Computer Interaction; Robotics; and Human-Robot Interaction. The Parasol Lab creates a uniquely favorable environment for multidisciplinary collaboration between systems and application developers.
Northeastern University was established in 1894, and has made a name for itself in the global sphere as an experiential research institution, committed to actively engaging in the world. While standing true to their firm commitment to diversity, Northeastern University is a highly competitive institution to achieve admission. However, once students who are highly curious, motivated, and talented, Northeastern ensures families that they will make every attempt to not allow economic status get in the way of students’ matriculation. There are nine colleges within the Northeastern umbrella, including the College of Computer and Information Sciences, and the College of Engineering.
One of the exciting hubs at Northeastern that exposes their commitment to innovation, is their Center for Robotics, which engages multidisciplinary exchange and learning, and connects to the interdisciplinary Masters of Science in Computer Science Program. Faculty bring various specialties to the table, giving students expert instruction in topics such as modeling and control, grasping, manipulation, computer vision, novel robot design, and manufacturing. Students will have opportunities to engage with instruction around artificial intelligence, computer-human interaction, game design, and theory, among other topics. Graduates of this program will be able to go into fields of software development, software engineering, full stack development, and consultancy, among many other avenues.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, many people know as Virginia Tech. The school’s main campus is located in the college town of Blacksburg, Virginia. Six additional satellite facilities are located throughout the state, as well as, a study abroad site in Switzerland. Virginia Tech is the state’s third-largest university with an enrollment of well over 30,000 students, and a wide variety of degree programs for undergraduate and graduate study. The school has a comprehensive College of Engineering that includes the innovative Terrestrial Robotics Engineering and Controls Lab, which has the latest technology to engage in groundbreaking research and practice of robotics.
Virginia Tech offers a Masters of Engineering Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering. The program is designed for professionals working in related industry or government fields and are interested in studying on a part-time basis. There are 30 credit hours required to complete this program. Before completion of the first semester, students must submit their detailed study plans to the graduate coordinator for input and advisement. Each study will have the opportunity to complete an engineering project and report. Students are expected to take six-course hours outside their discipline, which opens many doors for interdisciplinary exchange and creativity.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University spreads itself throughout five campuses throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. They are known for a variety of honors and recognitions, including being the 7th university in the country to produce Fulbright Scholars, as fourteen of their students were recipients of the prestigious award, giving them opportunities to research and teach abroad. Arizona State was ranked number one by the US News and World Report in Innovation, which is in line with all of their offerings in relation to the cutting edge technical fields of engineering and robotics. One of the gems you will find within the Arizona State umbrella is the Robotics and Intelligent SystEms laboratory, known as RISE. This hotbed of makerspaces and research is housed in the Polytechnic School of Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and under the direction of renowned Professor Wenlong Zheng.
Arizona State’s RISE is where a collection of researchers convene their work on modeling, control of unmanned vehicles, analysis, and control of robotics, along with networked multi-agent systems; it is also where one can study to achieve an affordable masters in Engineering with a focus on Robotics. This degree enables a hands-on project-based focus on robotics among other engineering concentrations that go beyond engineering in the traditional ways we have understood the discipline in the past. This department offers accelerated programming for students who are so inclined, one of which includes a Bachelors and Masters in Mechanical Engineering Systems and Robotics in a five year period.
Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois
Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is one of twelve unique schools within the larger university. It was originally founded in 1909, though Northwestern became a university it in 1851, with a United Methodist foundation. All of McCormick’s classes take place in what is called the Technological Institute, and is colloquially referred to as Tech. This building’s foundation was laid in 1940, and officially dedicated in 1942. The design of the building expressed architectural innovation, as it was created in the shape of two E’s back to back and unified with a joining structure. In 1996, the department created a core course called Engineering Design and Communication for all entering freshman wanting to engage in the discipline.
One of the exciting offerings from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering is their Masters of Science in Robotics (MSR) program. This program can be completed in one year, and is an interdepartmental endeavor, geared towards preparing engineers to engage with the groundbreaking fields of robotics. Students have the opportunity to be placed in a summer internship, giving them hands on experience. All research work is faculty led, and intimate learning environment is fostered with the 15-20 person cohorts, designed to garner peer support collaboration. There are many career options for graduates with this degree, and Northwestern is committed to helping students achieve their goals with their services, including the Northwestern Career Advancement Office.
University of California - Berkeley
University of California Berkeley was established as the flagship school of the ten University of California System. The school became a household name in the 1960s as the site that birthed the Free Speech Movement and contributed to the student led anti-Vietnam War Movement. Not only are they known for their leftist political voice, but have been front runners in research and innovation. Their undergraduate population is dominant, however, they have many master’s and doctoral programs that draw students from around the world. Their graduate programs are decentralized and students apply directly to specific programs. The school’s numerous research facilities on campus feature the highest level of technology for student innovation, including the Berkeley Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab.
Berkeley has many cutting-edge doctoral programs, and one that makes the list is their Master’s of Engineering and Computer Science with a concentration in Robotics and Embedded Software. The discipline was designed for graduates to immediately emerge into the professional world of engineering upon graduation, with many opportunities for a tailored curriculum for personal and professional goals. Berkeley is committed to creating leaders who understand the nuances of technical economic and social issues and their relation to technology. There are many spaces for students to convene their particular research interests, including Berkeley Laboratory for Automation and Engineering. The program can be completed in one academic year.
University of Colorado – Boulder
The University of Colorado at Boulder is the flagship institution for the University of Colorado system. Located in Boulder, Colorado, this unique school was established just 5 months prior to the state’s establishment into the union in 1876. The entire university is made up of nine distinct schools and colleges, one of which is called the Engineering Center, which is home to the largest geotechnical centrifuge in the country, and also ion-implantation and microwave propagation facilities, as well as various microscopes and structural analysis facilities. Students also have access to the on campus Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education.
The University of Colorado at Boulder offers students an opportunity to achieve their Masters of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Robotics and Systems Design. This particular program was ranked by the US News and World Report as the 20th in Best Graduate School among public universities in the country for 2018. One of the exciting aspects about this course of study is that students are given the opportunity to participate in tier-one research with 48 faculty leaders. Research topics may include Robotics and Systems Design, Micro/ Nano Scale, Thermo Fluid Sciences, Air Quality, and Materials Science and Engineering.
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the region, founded in 1819. It is known as one of the 50 largest institutions for higher learning in the country with over 44,000 students in attendance each year. One of the ways large universities like this maintain success is by offering comprehensive programs within smaller colleges, like UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which is the home to the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. UC is also the home of The Center for Robotics research, which was created in 1983, as a vehicle to engage students and faculty in the up and coming discipline of robotics.
The University of Cincinnati offers a Masters of Engineering Program in Computer Science that offers a set curriculum, while also providing students the flexibility to seek the means for their tailored personal and professional goals. The course offerings are updated each year, but students always have access to coursework in Robotics and automation. The curriculum includes a capstone project where students can apply their skills and technical knowledge to a hands on experience. The program requires 30 credit semester hours. Students have the option of participating in an internship project as another experiential learning opportunity. This program enables students to work at the Center for Robotics Research.
University of Utah
The University of Utah is a public research university founded in 1850 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The school is the state’s flagship university, as well as, a space grant institution focusing on outer space-related research. The University of Utah is known as “the U of U,” or simply “the U,” and offers 100 undergraduate and 92 graduate degree programs.
The University of Utah offers a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with a Robotics Track. Students selecting the Robotics Track can choose a thesis or non-thesis option and take core courses, elective courses, and track specific courses. Robotics track courses include Motion Planning, System Identification, and Computer Vision. UT’s research strengths in robotics include Healthcare robotics, Bioinspired design and control, Manipulation and motion control, Locomotion, Flying, Ground, Precision positioning systems, Physical human-robot interaction (HRI), Micro/nanorobotics, Haptic interfaces, VR interfaces, and teleoperation. Utah has helped produced the world-famous Dextrous Hand and the Sarcos Dextrous Arm. The Robotics Center details the U’s robotics research, faculty, labs, and groups. Other facilities include the Design, Automation, Robotics, and Control (DARC Lab).
Florida A&M University/FSU joint
Florida A&M University (FAMU) is a public institution founded in 1887. Located in the hills of Tallahassee, FAMU is the only historically black institution in the State University System of Florida. As a land-grant university, FAMU firmly established its mission around engineering and the applied sciences, building a reputation for research and innovation. Today, FAMU stands as one of the top STEM-centered HBCUs in the nation. The school offers excellent value, especially for in-state students.
The Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Florida State University (FSU) combined FAMU-FSU College of Engineering offers a Master of Science (MS) in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Control and Robotics degree through the CISCOR. The Center for Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics (CISCOR) is a research center of Florida State University and Florida A&M University that researches three overlapping areas – Robotics, Control, and Intelligence. The graduate program emphasizes both basic and applied research. The four primary research areas are Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Structural Mechanics, Material Science and Engineering, and Control and Robotics. The degree requirements include coursework, research work at CISCOR, and submission of a thesis or dissertation. The multidisciplinary Graduate Program at CISCOR draws student from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Scientific Computing of FSU. Robotics research at CISCOR focuses on legged robots. Researchers design and model legged robots and are working on the development of planning technology that allows the robots to move through multiple terrain environments.
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis was established in 1853 and named after the nation’s first president, George Washington. Within Washington University are seven distinct undergraduate and graduate schools that cover unique disciplines including their comprehensive School of Engineering and Applied sciences. Within this innovative engineering school is the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering which has a long track record of scientific and engineering inquiry, with active engagement in research and academic programming. This department came to be in 1891, making it the second oldest of its kind in the nation. Currently, over 214 master’s students and 59 doctoral students are seeking degrees in this department.
The Washington University in St. Louis Electrical and Systems Engineering Program offers a Masters of Engineering Program in Robotics. This unique program prepares students to be at the frontlines of professional robotics engineering, and build on an undergraduate education in engineering or physical sciences. The degree program was imagined to be completed in one year and a half, though students have an opportunity to study on a part-time basis, and take more time to complete the coursework. Thirty course unit hours are required for degree completion, including mandatory classes: Robotics (Dynamics and Control), Robotics Laboratory, Linear Dynamic Systems, Control Systems Design, and Artificial Intelligence.
In 1839 The Newbury Biblical Institute was founded, and in 1869 the school was rechartered by the Massachusetts State Legislature to become Boston University. They remain a private research institution with its roots and foundation embedded in the Methodist Church, though they are considered nonsectarian. Within Boston University there are two campuses, the primary site, which is on 135 acres of land in urban Boston, sitting on the Charles River, and the 80 acre Medical Campus, situated in the historic southend neighborhood. The Boston University College of Engineering is a jewel of innovation within the larger institution, offering a variety of degree programs and engineering coursework that engages the field of robotics.
Within Boston University’s College of Engineering, students can achieve an affordable Master’s degree Specialization in Robotics. This specialization can be an addition to any masters degree program with the fulfillment of a minimum of eight specialized classes, which includes a list of exciting options. Within the eight are the two required courses Dynamic System Theory, and Vision Robotics and Planning. This program responds to the holistic needs of Robotics experts in a variety disciplines, including telemedicine and advanced prosthetics production. This degree specialization enables students to engage with coursework in biomedical, electrical, systems, and mechanical engineering. Graduates will be prepared to enter the fields of research as well as development.
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities is a public institution founded in 1851. The campus stretches across the two major cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and is thus known as “Twin Cities”. The institution is one of only five schools in the nation that can boast a medical school, a law school, an engineering school, an agricultural school, and a veterinary medical school on the same campus.
The University of Minnesota offer a Masters Degree in Computer Science (MCS) with a Robotics research area through the Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E) department. The program has three degree tracks from which a student may choose – a thesis based degree, a project based degree, and a coursework-only degree. The thesis and projects tracks allow students to focus research on topics like robotics. Students can choose a course of study that integrates research in computer science with applications in other fields like robotics. Students are encouraged to conduct research one of the many UM labs like the Center for Distributed Robotics, which operates a network of wireless robots. The graduate program offers coursework in theoretical and applied computer science and research opportunities in nearly all areas of computer science.
Oregon State University
Oregon State University is a public institution founded in 1868. The school is located about 90 minutes south of Portland in Corvallis, Oregon. The institution has an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 26,000 students and is Oregon’s largest public research university. Oregon’s burgeoning tech economy has led the state’s land, sea, sun, and space-grant university – one of just three in the US with all four designation – to become a national and global leader in computing, technology, and energy.
Oregon State’s College of Engineering, Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CoRIS) Institute offers two Masters Degrees in Robotics, a Master of Science and a Master’s of Engineering. CoRIS’s cutting-edge research has propelled Oregon State’s robotics program to international prominence. The CoRIS mission is to study the theory, design, development, and deployment of robots in both the physical world and virtual environments. Robots are the future society, and CoRIS actively seeks to shape policy by educating policymakers and the public about the myths and reality of robotics. CoRIS also fosters collaboration with disciplines that leverage robotic technology such as oceanography, forestry, agriculture, and atmospheric science. A collective effort by hundreds of robotics experts, the Robot Operating System (ROS) is a flexible open-source framework for writing robot software. Oregon State University is the proud primary hosting site for ROS.
Portland State University
Portland State University was founded in 1946, and is located in the Southwest Region of Portland Oregon’s downtown. Originally, the institution began in response to a need for World War II Veterans returning from Vietnam to engage with the world and enter civilian careers. Today the institution is known for research and innovation, as noted by the US News and World Report, who ranked them in the top 10 for the category of Innovation. Much of this reputation comes out of the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science, and their many disciplines, including Electrical and Computer Engineering. This specialized department is the home to multiple research labs and a variety of research activities. Some of the research spaces include the Biomedical Signal Processing Laboratory, and the Biologically Inspired Computer Lab.
Within the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State is the Comprehensive Masters in Science at Portland State University. There are two options for this program, which include thesis or coursework only, each of which require 45 credits. In order to maintain high quality and low student to faculty ratio, these programs have limited capacity and are competitive to get in. Candidates of interest should have a bachelors degree in either electrical or computer engineering, with a grade point average of 3.00 or higher. For students applying for the coursework only track, an advisor must approve a self-designed study plan.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaii at Manoa was established in 1907 with the intention of being a land-grant college integrating agricultural and mechanical arts into the curriculum. The campus is located on 320 acres of land close to downtown Honolulu. One of the exciting offerings of the institution is their affiliation with the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Consortium. This is a group of 14 colleges and universities, led by Georgia Institute of Technology. The programs engage students and faculty in at least five year long projects, carried out in teams that are made up of a faculty mentor, a graduate student, and undergraduates of all levels. The project is based on a theme which can include robotics.
Within the College of Engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa there is a Masters of Science degree program in Mechanical Engineering with a Concentration in Mechanics, Systems, and Controls. This is a research heavy program, giving students the tools to produce their own creative work, with the option of using the University space robotics club to apply space applications and technologies to their work and research. Students also have access to the on campus Autonomous Systems Lab to conduct research. All students in the program must effectively present a thesis and a pass a final oral examination or present a research report.
The Villanova University campus is located in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area in a town called Radnor, Pennsylvania. The school, founded in 1842, is connected to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, in alignment with their orientation with the Roman Catholic Church, and specifically the Saint Augustine Church. Villanova offers a comprehensive College College of Engineering, and within their broader umbrella students have access to the Innovations in Robotics Laboratory. This site is a hotbed for robotics exploration and research, where students have opportunities to study real-time implementation and control, infusion of robotics in education, and other avenues of inquiry such as rapid prototyping and automatic code generation.
Villanova University offers an extensive Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering program that can be achieved with full or part-time status. Full-time students complete the degree in as little as two years. One of the exciting features of the program is that many classes can be taken online through Villanova’s E-Learning Program, making it easy to participate in the program as a working professional. Many of the course offerings that can be tailored to students meet interests, including Robotics and Analysis Control. The enrollment cap on the program is 55 students, making it easy to collaborate and receive personal attention from faculty.
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public institution founded in 1874. The public engineering and applied sciences university is located in Golden, Colorado, and has an annual undergraduate enrollment of around 4,600 students. The Colorado School of Mines has numerous opportunities for students who want to work in the sciences. With its origins as, obviously, a mining school, CSM is rooted in applied sciences and engineering, the foundations of modern technology.
The Colorado School of Mines Mechanical Engineering Department offers the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a Robotics, Automation, and Design research area. The academically demanding program seeks to address real-world engineering problems. Robotics, Automation, and Design topics include the design of robotic hardware and software for automation systems tasks that require some level intelligence, autonomy, and decision making. Research in this division explores the science underlying the design process, implementation of mechanical and control systems to enable autonomy. Such control capabilities are built upon integrated mechatronic systems that enable pro-active system responses to its environment and current state. These capabilities are applied in applications such as advanced robotics and manufacturing systems. Mines has developed the Biomechatronics Research Lab where robotics engineering students can work on research projects, developing systems that could revolutionize the medical field.
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology was first initiated in 1885 in response to the needs of the region, which revolved around training for the largest local industry, mining. They have continued to evolve, offering coursework that is relevant to the trends of technology, science and engineering. Their campus is situated amidst the Black Hills of South Dakota in Rapid City. Much of their offerings feature small class sizes, affordability, STEM Academics, and significant personal attention. The unified mission of the university includes preparing leaders in the fields of science and engineering, while actively serving the region, the state and the country.
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology offers a well-rounded Master of Science in Computational Sciences and Robotics (CSR), giving students a pathway to careers in technical innovation. Students will gain the fundamentals of robotics, control communications, artificial intelligence, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Graduates of the program are great candidates for positions at NASA, commercial and military endeavors, design and intelligent autonomous systems. This program is not in isolation, as it is supported by other campus departments, such as Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mining Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. This program is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program.
University of Florida
The University of Florida sits on a spacious 2,000 acre campus in Gainesville, Florida and was first established in 1853. One of its many accolades is the Carnegie Foundation’s Classification of Very High Research conducted at the University. In 2018 they were also ranked by the US News and World Report as a tied ninth in the category of best public university in the United States. They have many opportunities for students to find their niche in research and technological endeavors, including academic disciplines and sites for which research can be conducted. The Machine Intelligence Lab is a space where students have opportunities to study robots and their development as autonomous and intelligent entities.
The University of Florida has many offerings within the comprehensive Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, including many graduate programs that engage Robotics. One of the graduate program offerings is the Electrical and Computer Engineering Specialization within the Masters of Science in Computer Engineering Program. Students have the opportunity to take coursework in Intelligent Systems, Machine Learning, and Robotics. Course work may also include Machine Adaptive and Deep Learning, Software Defined Radios, as well as Electromagnetism and Energy Systems. Through their studies and research, have access to the on campus Machine Intelligence Laboratory. There are many additional areas of specialization that engage similar learning in the dynamic realm of robots and artificial intelligence.
Vanderbilt University, informally referred to as “Vandy” by the students, is a private institution that was founded in 1873. Philanthropist, Cornelius Vanderbilt, a tycoon in the shipping and rail industries, gifted the institution enough money for a starter endowment. Though he never stepped foot in the south, Mr. Vanderbilt wanted to create institutional healing following the Civil War. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt is the home of the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics, which collaborates with institutions such as NASA, Boeing, and The U.S. Department of Defense. They also have a comprehensive School of Engineering, which has many program offerings for undergraduate and graduate students.
Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering offers many degree programs, including the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSc.CS) and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. All of the programs have an interdisciplinary backbone, inviting students to study topics such as artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual environments, real-time and embedded middleware, software engineering, among a plethora of other contemporary topics that engage the computer sciences. Students have access to state-of-the-art robotics lab spaces and technology to support their research and future career path. The work done at Vanderbilt has the potential to impact the fields of healthcare, defense, education, robotics among many other disciplines.
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) is notable the first public university west of the Appalachian Mountains. Established in 1794, when Tennessee was just a rugged frontier territory two years away from being accepted as a state, UTK is part of the University of Tennessee system and known as Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution. The Carnegie Foundation has also classified the University of Tennessee as a Doctoral University, a ranking of the highest research activity.
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville Tickle College of Engineering offers a Masters in Science in Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering with a Robotics & Automation Research Area. The program’s interdisciplinary engineering concentrations are designed to with the flexibility needed to meet the continuing education needs of working professionals currently employed in research and development, or for students requiring specialization in mechanics. UTK’s engineering research strengths are in bioengineering, sensing, and robotics as detailed at the Robotics, Engineering, Applied Continuum Mechanics, and Healthcare (REACH) laboratory.
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology was founded as a Vocational School in 1891. In 1910 the school took its current name and an orientation towards science and technology. The school is part of a small collection of Institutes of Technology in the country that direct their attention to the education of applied sciences and technical arts. One of Caltech’s featured departments is the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which is the home to the Comprehensive Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. This department is renowned for its interdisciplinary research, which fosters in students creative and computational thinking, as well as logical and analytical in relation to the cutting edge fields of engineering and technology.
One of the many exciting engineering programs offered by the California Institute of Technology is the Graduate Degree Program in Control and Dynamic Systems. A masters degree is awarded infrequently, as this program is designed for students in pursuit of a Ph.D. Applicants of the program should have an undergraduate degree in engineering, mathematics, science, or a field similar. In some cases, students may need to achieve specific engineering prerequisites. Students of the program will develop competencies in experimental techniques in dynamical systems theory and control, as well as, receive a broad mathematical foundation. Robotics research at Caltech can be found at the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) which promotes interdisciplinary research in drones and robots. Research studies control, sensing, vision, and other emerging areas.
New York University
New York University, sits in the heart of the global Big Apple, and like New York City itself, inside the doors of NYU you will find a world of top-notch innovation. One of the exciting schools within the larger university is the Tandon School of Engineering, which is known as the second oldest private institution of engineering and technology in the nation, founded in 1854. The campus of NYU’s Tandon School is located in what is known as an urban academic industrial park in the MetroTech Center of Brooklyn. This particular school beneath is a project birthed out of the merger between NYU and the Polytechnic Institute. The total enrollment within all of Tandon’s programming comes out to nearly 5,000 students.
Within New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering students can achieve a Master of Science degree in Mechatronics and Robotics within the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. Students are training in this program to be leaders in what is known as an “innovation economy.” Many aspects of robotics are stressed in this interdisciplinary academic undertaking, including industrious entrepreneurial and creative inquiry. Students engage in hands on projects to deconstruct control theory, mechanical engineering, uncertainty, and communication in engineered systems. Prospective students must have a bachelors degree with credentials that prove high academic achievement, and recorded experience in mechanical, electrical, or electronics engineering from a distinguished college or university.
Brown University is a private Ivy League University with a valiant track record in research. They were founded in 1764, when the state of Rhode Island was an English Colony, making it the seventh oldest institution of higher learning in the nation. In line with their many firsts, they were the first to welcome students regardless of their religious affiliation. Brown is known for forerunning research that is pertinent the currents of society, including initiatives such as The Humanities Centered Robotics Initiative (HCRI), that places the discipline of robotics at the center of the solution in navigating global humanitarian and societal issues. The research within this initiative includes legal, ethical, and economic questions about human-robot interaction, and the roles robots should play in our society.
Brown University’s Department of Computer Science offers a myriad of course offerings within the Masters of Science Degree, many of which can hold a keen focus on the evolving fields of Robotics. Each program can be crafted to engage the needs of individual learners and their career, as well as their defined personal goals. Students have many opportunities to engage their research within the Humans 2 Robots Lab, a space at the cutting edge of robotic innovation with an international reach. Some of their work includes childcare robots who help parents change diapers and medical robots who can check on patients. Students have access to 2500 square feet of Robotics testing space, and a variety of robots to engage in their research.
University of Maryland – College Park
The University of Maryland (UMD), College Park is a public research institution established in 1856. UMD is Maryland’s flagship university and a leader in research and innovation, receiving around $560 million annually in external research funding. The school’s proximity to the D.C. metro area offers students ample opportunities for recreation, internships, and employment.
UMD offers a Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE) with a specialization in Robotics through the Institute for System Research (ISR) at the A. James Clark School of Engineering. A recognized leader in systems research, the school houses a dozen research centers and institutes. The multidisciplinary MSSE graduate program, designed with collaboration from industry partners, melds the fields of computer science, engineering, and management. The MSSE program a research-oriented degree with a thesis and non-thesis option. After completing core courses, students have the opportunity to specialize in one (or more) of ten focus areas including robotics, which offers classes in AI Planning, Computer Vision, Robot Motion Planning, Planetary Surface Robotics, Design and Fabrication of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), and Control of Networked Robotic Systems. Full-time MSSE students are eligible for Graduate Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships. The Maryland Robotics Center is a treasure chest of research opportunities for robotics students. Current Research Areas include Medical Robotics, Cognitive Robotics, Social Robotics, Bio-Inspired Robotics, Miniature Robotics, Robotics for Extreme Environments, Unmanned Vehicle, and Collaborative, Cooperative, Networked Robotics.
University of Houston - Clear Lake
The University of Houston Clear Lake is one of four unique schools that make up the University of Houston System. They were established in 1971, in response to NASA’s announcement ten years prior that just off the shores of Clear Lake a Manned Spacecraft Center will be built, requiring graduate studies programming that would benefit space-oriented endeavors. The university fulfilled its mission, and continues to do so, as even today The University of Houston’s Robotics team is collaborating with San Jacinto College students as contestant in the NASA national contest; in this case they are working with insect colonies and their behaviors for complex problem solving.
The University of Houston at Clear Lake is the home to the Cullen College of Engineering, which offers a compelling Masters of Science Program Software Engineering, designed for students that hold an undergraduate degree in the computer sciences or related field. Graduates of the program are competitive candidates as software engineers for government, industry and beyond. Students have additional opportunities to engage in research in Gaming and Robotics Software, Software Project Management, or Software Development. This program may be taken as a partially online degree. Students granted entrance into the program must file a candidate plan of study with an assigned faculty member.