Top Robotics Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Robotics is an interdisciplinary field that combines study of mechanical engineering, computers and business. Find out more about three of the top schools that offer graduate degree programs in robotics. Find out what makes these schools stand out, including degree options and school rankings.

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School Overviews

In graduate programs in robotics, students pursue advanced coursework and research in topics related to computer science and engineering, among other topics. Master's degree programs in robotics typically provide preparation for practical application in the field, while doctoral programs emphasize theoretical concepts for those interested in academia or research careers.

Three nationally ranked schools, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Colorado School of Mines, offer graduate studies and research opportunities in robotics technologies. Each school provides different approaches in robotics study, giving you options based on your specific interests. Each school was recognized by U.S. News & World Report for academic excellence.

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh

School Highlight: In addition to the Master's and Doctoral programs offered by the Robotics Institute, CMU also offers an interdisciplinary program at the University's Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, and a joint MD/Ph.D. in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, both of which are open to students interested in robotics.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was named the best graduate computer science program by U.S. News & World Report in 2014. CMU's Robotics Institute opened its doors 30 years ago and offers many robotics research opportunities. Graduate students at CMU have several degree programs to choose from, including:

  • Master of Science in Robotics - This is a 2-year program that provides general instruction in the field and prepares students for further doctoral study.
  • Master of Science in Robotic Systems Development - Designed for those currently working in the field of robotics, this professional master's program is geared toward early-career students looking to learn business skills to advance a career.
  • Master of Science in Robotics Technology - Also a professional master's program for students experienced in computer systems and/or software engineering, the robotics technology track provides theory and practical instruction in robotics.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Robotics - The Ph.D. program is a 5-6 year program that trains students to work in research and development that impacts the future of robotics.

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

School Highlight: Prospective robotics students at the University of Michigan can study and possibly intern at Michigan's Artificial Intelligence Lab.

U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor's graduate-level mechanical engineering program #6 for 2016. Michigan offers a Master of Engineering (M.E.) and Ph.D. in Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles. The programs are interdisciplinary with a focus on engineering and is geared toward students who want a career in commercial or military automotive robotics. Coursework includes digital image processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and mechatronics.

Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO

School Highlight: The school has an interdisciplinary Center for Automation, Robotics, and Distributed Intelligence.

At Colorado School of Mines, graduate students who are interested in robotics can earn a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering. One of the four focus areas within the mechanical engineering department is robotics, automation, and design. Students who choose this subfield learn about the design, development, and optimization of autonomous systems. For 2016, Colorado School of Mines was ranked #55 among graduate engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Graduate Robotics Programs

Here are some more well-regarded universities with graduate-level educational offerings in robotics:

College/University Name Location Distinction
Florida International University Miami, FL The Robotics and Automation Laboratory is available for student research projects
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA Has received several National Robotics Initiative grants
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA Robotics students operate satellites in cooperation with NASA
University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA Ranked #23 among graduate engineering schools for 2016
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA The GRASP Robotics laboratory has 25 workstations for around 100 faculty members and students
University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Students can complete a robotics track as part of a master's or Ph.D. in computing or engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA First college in the U.S. to offer undergraduate and graduate robotics engineering programs

Students who are looking for graduate-level education in robotics can find specific programs in the field at top universities as well as excellent training opportunities within broader mechanical engineering programs.

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