MS Degree Requirements
The M.S. program in Robotics Engineering requires 36 credit hours of work. Students may select a non-thesis option, which requires a 6-credit capstone design/practicum, or a thesis option which requires a 9-credit thesis. All entering students must submit a plan of study identifying the courses to be taken and a prospective project topic before the end of the first semester in the program. The plan of study must be approved by the student’s advisor and the RBE Graduate Program Committee, and must include the following minimum requirements:
1. Robotics Core (15 credits)
- Foundations (6 credits)
RBE 500 Foundations of Robotics
ME/RBE 501 Robot Dynamics
- Computer Science: 3 credit hours selected from the following courses:
CS 509 Design of Software Systems
CS 534 Artificial Intelligence
CS 546 Human-Computer Interaction
- Electrical and Computer Engineering: 3 credit hours selected from the following courses:
ECE 502 Analysis of Probabilistic Signals and Systems
ECE 503 Digital Signal Processing
ECE 504 Analysis of Deterministic Systems
- Mechanical Engineering: 3 credit hours selected from the following courses:
ME 523 Applied Linear Control
ME 527 Dynamics
ME 623 Applied Nonlinear Control
2. Engineering Context (6 credits)
- Management: 3 credit hours selected from the following courses:
ETR 592 New Venture Management And Entrepreneurship
MIS 576 Project Management
MKT 563 Marketing of Emerging Technologies
OBC 511 Interpersonal and Leadership Skills for Technological Managers
OIE 546 Managing Technological Innovation
- Systems Engineering: 3 credit hours selected from courses prefixed by SYS at the 500 level or above.
3. Capstone / Thesis (6-9 credits)
- A 6 credit hour capstone design project/ practicum or a 9 credit hour thesis.
4. Electives (6-9 credits): Sufficient course work selected from courses at the 500 level or above with a prefix of RBE, CS, ECE, MA, ME, or SYS to total 36 credit hours. Courses at the 4000 level may also be taken as electives with the prior approval of the RBE Graduate Committee.
5. Only one of ECE 504 and ME 523 may count towards the Robotics M.S. Degree.
The M.S. thesis consists of 9 credit hours of work, normally spread over at least one academic year. A thesis committee will be set up during the first semester of thesis work. This committee will be selected by the student in consultation with the major advisor and will consist of the thesis advisor, who must be a full-time WPI RBE faculty member, and two other faculty members, at least one of whom is a WPI RBE faculty member, whose expertise will aid the student’s research program. An oral presentation before the Thesis Committee and a general audience is required. In addition, all WPI thesis regulations must be followed.
As an alternative to a research-based thesis, students may elect a project or practicum to include a design/research component in their graduate program. For an M.S. Degree in Robotics Engineering this can be accomplished by completing a 6 credit capstone design project RBE 598 or a practicum RBE 596. The capstone design project must be approved by the Robotics Engineering Graduate Program Committee and must demonstrate significant graduate-level work involving Robotics Engineering. The capstone design project must include substantial analysis and/or design related to robotics engineering and will conclude with a substantial written report.
A practicum provides students an opportunity to put into practice the principles that have been studied in previous courses. It will generally be conducted off campus and will involve a real-world robotics-engineering situation. Overall conduct of the practicum will be supervised by a WPI RBE faculty member; an on-site liaison will direct day-to-day activity. For a student from industry, the practicum may be sponsored by his or her employer. The project must include substantial analysis and/or design related to robotics engineering and will conclude with a substantial written report.
Students completing a capstone design project or practicum must deliver a public oral presentation to a committee consisting of the supervising faculty member and two additional WPI faculty members (in the case of a practicum, the on-site liaison and one additional WPI faculty member). Successful completion of the project or practicum will be verified by this committee.
Summary of Credit Requirements
|MS Thesis||MS Non-Thesis||BS/MS|
|Capstone Design / Practicum||--||6||6|
A student may petition for permission to use graduate courses taken at other accredited, degree-granting institutions to satisfy RBE graduate degree requirements. A maximum of 12 graduate credits, with a grade of B or better, may be satisfied by courses taken elsewhere and not used to satisfy degree requirements at other institutions. Petitions are subject to approval by the RBE Graduate Committee, and are then filed with the Registrar. Transfer credit will not be allowed for undergraduate-level courses taken at other institutions. In general, transfer credit will not be allowed for any WPI undergraduate courses used to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements; however, note that there are exceptions in the case of students enrolled in the BS/MS program.
A student with one or more WPI master’s degrees who is seeking an RBE master’s degree from WPI may petition to apply up to 9 prior credits toward satisfying requirements for the subsequent degree. Petitions are subject to approval by the RBE Graduate Committee.
Students who take graduate courses at WPI prior to formal admission to the RBE graduate program may petition to apply up to 9 graduate credits to fulfill the RBE graduate degree requirements. Once again, petitions are subject to approval by the RBE Graduate Committee.