Information for Prospective Master's Students

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 Science, Electrical and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics.

The Robotics Master of Science In Engineering (M.S.E.) program offers a balanced and flexible academic curriculum that cuts across multiple departments. 


Robotics Master's FAQs



Application Information (*Submatriculation & Internal Transfer/Dual MSE Request information below)

All applications for engineering graduate programs are submitted online and details on application requirements may be found here. Applicants for master's and doctoral programs must have obtained a bachelor's degree from an accredited School or University prior to intended matriculation date. In addition, Applicants to the Master of Science in Robotics program are expected to have a strong academic background in computer science, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering.

The Deadline for the master’s program application is February 1. In addition, there is no Spring application Cycle.

Learners who have paid for and completed the Robotics MicroMasters series on edX may attach their final certificate to their ROBO MSE application. If accepted into the ROBO MSE program, the MicroMasters courses are equal to 3 CUs of Advanced Standing credit, which means that students are only required to take seven credits on campus. Please visit the Penn Engineering Online Learning website for more details.

All materials - test scores, recommendations, etc. - should be submitted when the application is submitted or shortly thereafter. Submission of standard GRE scores is required - our GRE Institution Code is 2888 and if a Department Code is required, please use 1699.  The Subject GRE is not required. The computer-based GRE General Test is acceptable at this time. Information about the GRE may be found at

Transcripts, OFFICIAL GRE & TOEFL scores issued by ETS, letters of recommendation, etc. are required to complete the application dossier - all materials for the application should be submitted electronically. IELTS score results must be mailed to the Graduate Admissions Office, as Penn Engineering does not receive electronic IELTS scores.

All applications are reviewed, and applicants notified of the decision, as expeditiously as possible. It is not possible to evaluate a candidate's potential for admission to the graduate program until the entire application - transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement, test scores, etc. - has been received.

Admission is competitive. Admission statistics can be found here; this will give you an idea of what is expected of applicants.

* There is no departmental funding available for master's candidates.
* Research duties are usually handled by research fellow doctoral students.
* Teaching assistant duties are generally met by PhD students participating in a Teaching Practicum.

You may explore alternative funding sources here and visit this link for information about employment opportunities. See "Payment" for more information.

Submatriculation and Accelerated Master's Application Information

Full details on the Submatriculation and Accelerated Master's Process through SEAS may be found here. The internal submatriculation application form may be found here. In addition to the Penn Engineering requirements undergraduate applicants must 1) include a personal statement (1 page or less) along with their application; 2) have a minimum cumulative STEM GPA of 3.2 in order to apply. Your application form and personal statement may then be submitted to Charity Payne, in Levine 459, to start the review process.

The external submatriculation (4+1) process and information may be found here.

Robotics MicroMasters

Please note that submatriculants are not eligible to use the Robotics MicroMasters certificate towards their degree per the Graduate Handbook.

Internal Master's Transfer & Dual Master's Request Information

Due to the high demand we are unable to automatically accept transfer or dual masters requests from students in other Masters programs at Penn. Students who are interested in applying to the robotics masters program from other programs at Penn will be afforded an opportunity to be considered as part of the regular admission process with the deadline of February 1st. Please note that acceptance to the robotics program is highly competitive and that there are typically many more applicants than places available. Applications will only be accepted after 1 semester is completed in your current program at Penn.

For those that wish to apply: 1) Permission will need to be given to access your original graduate application to Penn 2) Updated materials such as personal statements, resume, letter of recommendation, etc may be submitted as well to complete your application 3) The petition to transfer form may be found hereOnce the form is signed by your current program, please submit the form and any additional documents to Joy McManus in Levine 459.


Information regarding positions obtained by graduates can be found on our alumni page and a select list is below.
General information about the University of Pennsylvania may be found at:

The modern expert in robotics and intelligent systems must be proficient in artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, control systems, kinematics, and dynamics, as well as the design, programming, and prototyping of robotic systems. Our flexible program offers the breadth and depth needed for this type of interdisciplinary training.  Features of the program include:

  • Course instruction, advising, and master’s thesis supervision by world-renowned robotics faculty.
  • A total of ten courses in the areas of artificial intelligence, robot design and analysis, controls, and perception, with advanced electives and an optional master’s thesis project.
  • Access to state-of-the-art experimental facilities in the GRASP Lab and opportunities for research projects in robotics and related fields. 
  • Participation in weekly GRASP seminars and lunches highlighting cutting-edge advances in robotics research and education.
  • Professional networking with peers in industry and academia, an ideal preparation for doctoral studies in robotics and related fields.

The Robotics M.S.E. requirements consist of a total of ten courses–at least three foundational courses and five technical elective courses, and at most two general elective courses, as well as an optional thesis project. All course descriptions can be found below:

What Should I Expect After Graduation?

The Robotics Graduate Program prepares our students to be tomorrow's innovators, leaders, and visionaries. Our MSE graduates have obtained a wide range of positions in industry and continued in doctoral studies. Below are some examples of where our graduates are now:


  • Bosch Research
  • Bossa Nova Robotics
  • Lockheed Martin
  • NASA-JPL (Pasadena, CA)
  • Robotic Research, LLC
  • Skydio
  • U.S. Marines


  • Duke University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Virginia

Summer Career Experiences Survey 2016


More resources are available at the CIS Grad web page -

Questions -