Master's Degree Program

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Curriculum Information    Robotics Master's FAQs

The University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science offers a unique master's degree in Robotics (ROBO). This multi-disciplinary program is jointly sponsored by the Departments of Computer and Information ScienceElectrical and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics.

Housed and administered by the GRASP Lab, one of the top robotics research centers in the world, Penn’s ROBO master’s program educates students in the science and technology of robotics, vision, perception, control, automation, and machine learning. Our students hail from a variety of engineering, scientific, and mathematical backgrounds, united by a passion for robots and a desire to advance robotic technologies to benefit humanity.  Our program provides an ideal foundation for jobs in a variety of industries including robotics, aerospace, automotive, industrial automation and defense; it also provides a solid basis for further graduate studies.

A video overview of the Robotics masters program can be accessed here.

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are currently CLOSED. Applications for the 2021-22 academic year will open this Fall. 

If you are looking to apply for the Robotics Master's Program, please click here for the application portal and here for more details on the admissions process. There is a single application deadline on February 1, 2021 for the Fall 2021 cycle for ROBO. There is no Spring Admission Cycle.

Faculty Advising

Students are assigned an academic advisor from the distinguished members of the GRASP faculty. Applicants are encouraged to indicate a potential academic advisor in the personal statement section of the application. A program of study is developed with the academic advisor, who is responsible for monitoring the student's academic plan.


The Robotics M.S.E. consists of a total of ten courses and an optional thesis project. It includes coursework in:

  • Robotics and Automation
  • Control Systems Design
  • Machine Perception
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Learning in Robotics
  • Vision and Learning
  • Hybrid Systems
  • Motion planning
  • Mechatronics
  • Bio-mechanics

Students are required to take courses in at least three of the four foundational areas: Artificial Intelligence, Mechanism Design and Analysis, Perception and Control. Students are required to take at least 5 Technical Elective courses. Students are allowed 2 General Elective courses which can be taken from any technical field (egs. Mathematics, Computer Science, Electrical and Systems Engineering or Mechanical Engineering). Courses in other disciplines may be used as General Electives with the approval of the Robotics Program Director.


Students may pursue research and write a thesis on a suitable topic under the supervision of a GRASP faculty member (usually but not necessarily their academic advisor). The findings of the thesis should be made as a verbal presentation to the members of GRASP Lab. Research being conducted in GRASP Lab can be found here and may give you an idea of an area to focus.

The thesis must be prepared and submitted following the SEAS and University of Pennsylvania requirements as outlined here. The student's advisor and the ROBO program director will make the final approval of the thesis. Registration for two masters thesis credits counts towards two of the technical elective requirements. 

More resources are available at the CIS Grad web page -


Colleen Kennedy
Graduate Coordinator for ROBO
Advising Office: 459 Levine