Robotics Engineering School and College Program Overviews

The field of robotics engineering involves the design, manufacture and use of movable, sometimes anthropomorphic, machines. Robotics engineering programs can be found at the associate's, master's and doctoral levels.

Essential Information

Degree programs in robotics engineering synthesize knowledge relating to mechanics, electronics and computer software to design and operate robotic devices with a variety of practical uses. In an associate's level program, students learn to operate and repair robotic machines, sometimes for a specific industry. Master's and doctoral programs in robotics focus on research and engineering theory for the development of robotics technology. Doctoral programs are rare, and the few that do exist often allow students to apply after earning a bachelor's degree, thereby combining their master's and doctoral work into one program. These programs may emphasize hands-on training with robotics.

  • Program Levels in Robotics Engineering: Associate's degree. Master's degree. Doctorate's degree
  • Prerequisites: Strong background in mathematics and science, high degree of manual dexterity, and previous mechanical experience for associate's program. Demonstrated mathematical aptitude, creativity and understanding of the natural sciences and prerequisite coursework in undergraduate physics and calculus for master's program. Bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field and letters of recommendation for doctorate program
  • Program Length: 2 years for associate's degree. Program length for master's and doctorate's programs vary
  • Experiential Learning: Independent and collaborative research projects
  • Other Requirements: Thesis completion for doctorate's program

Associate's Degree in Robotics Engineering Technology

Associate's degree programs in robotics engineering technology teach students about operating and repairing robotic devices. Some programs focus on the robotics used in particular industries, such as shipping or manufacturing. Classes emphasize the technology use in several disciplines such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering. People who hold associate's degrees in robotics engineering technology often find entry-level careers in robotics repair, equipment operation or product manufacturing.

The coursework focuses more on the operational and technical aspects of robotics engineering than on theoretical concepts. The topics mentioned below are typically covered in robotics engineering technology associate's degree programs:

  • Industrial electrical circuits
  • Mechanical systems
  • Principles of robotics
  • Troubleshooting robotic devices
  • Automation controls

Master's Degree in Robotics Engineering

Robotics engineering master's degree programs usually include elements of related engineering disciplines and provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience designing robots. Programs often emphasize the application of computer engineering and computer science to the field of robotics. Students learn about creating robotic machines with real-world applications.

The curricula for most master's degree programs in robotics engineering focus on a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating theories and methods from several areas of engineering. Classes may include the following:

  • Robotics theory
  • Industrial applications for robotics
  • Mechatronic system analysis
  • Robotic kinematics
  • Artificial intelligence

Doctorate in Robotics Engineering

The doctorate degree program coursework in robotics engineering emphasizes the application of advanced theories related to computer software engineering, electronics and mechanics toward creating robotic devices. Students learn to use knowledge from these disciplines in order to solve complex robotics problems.

Students often complete both independent and collaborative research assignments. The subjects listed below are often covered in a doctorate program in robotic engineering:

  • Artificially intelligent robotics
  • Machine learning
  • Mathematics in robotic engineering
  • Cognition in robotics
  • Robotic sensors

Popular Career Options

Associate's degree programs in robotics prepare graduates for jobs repairing, maintaining and operating robotic equipment. Graduates often qualify for the following careers:

  • Robotic equipment troubleshooting technician
  • Machine controller
  • Quality assurance technician

Master's degree program in robotics provide students with solid foundations in research methodology and engineering theory, preparing them for many careers in the field. Students may choose to enter the careers listed below:

  • Robot designer
  • Robotics technology researcher
  • Robotics design project manager

People who earn doctorate degrees in robotics engineering have broad and deep knowledge of several engineering areas and are qualified for a range of careers. Some popular career options are noted below:

  • University professor
  • Robotics designer
  • Engineering researcher

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