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As one of the fastest growing areas of technology, robotics engineering presents opportunities across a wide range of industries—including security and national defense, factory automation, healthcare, consumer products, customized manufacturing, and interactive entertainment. 

Through our pioneering Online MS in Robotics Engineering program—the first in the nation—you will advance your knowledge of the mathematical and mechanical frameworks needed to design safer and more efficient robotics systems and explore innovative ways of using robots to tackle and solve real-world problems.

New in 2018: an online specialization in Autonomous Vehicles. WPI continues its tradition of innovative robotics education with a brand-new suite of online courses on the future of personal transportation. This advanced concentration is available to candidates accepted into the M.S. in Robotics Engineering program, and pre-requisites apply. See below to learn more.

Program Highlights

  • Students master the fundamentals of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, mathematics, and mechanical engineering underlying robotic systems while studying advanced topics such as artificial intelligence, computer vision, wireless networking, and nanotechnology.

  • Courses are taught by WPI faculty members who are leading the way in developing new possibilities for robotic technology in health care, manufacturing, security, and emergency response.

  • Culminating capstone experience enables you to apply your knowledge to solve a real, practical problem in your workplace under the guidance of faculty and industry mentors.

  • Courses are delivered via live and self-paced virtual sessions that enable you to connect with our global community of highly-engaged faculty members, industry professionals, and peers.

Also available online: Graduate Certificates in Robotics Engineering

This degree is also offered on campus.
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Online Course Demo

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10 courses, 30 credit hours, including a capstone. The options listed below are specific to the ONLINE program and meet the overall degree requirements. You will work with a faculty advisor to develop a customized and relevant plan of study selected from the courses below. Additional courses may become available online and are available on-campus.

Thesis option: Currently, WPI’s online graduate programs do not offer a thesis option, as theses cannot be completed online. If you wish to pursue a thesis on campus, it is the student’s responsibility to find an advisor. Please note that depending on the project’s subject and timeframe, there might not be a faculty member willing or able to advise.

FOUNDATION (9 Credits)

*Requires RBE 500.

CORE (Minimum of 6 credits of additional RBE Courses)
  • MIS 576. Project Management
  • BUS 546. Managing Technological Innovation
  • SYS-courses with the prefix of SYS
ELECTIVES (9 credits)

9 credits from Science, Engineering, or Business


One of the central priorities in WPI’s educational philosophy is the application of academic skills and knowledge to real-world problems. With an advisor's guidance, students choose a robotics engineering project that offers substantive evaluation and application of the coursework covered in the program.

  • RBE 594. Capstone Project Experience in Robotics Engineering
    • The project-based course integrates robotics engineering theory and practice, and provides the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the Robotics Engineering curriculum.  The project is normally conducted in teams of two to four students.  Students are encouraged to select projects with practical significance to their current and future professional responsibilities.  The projects are administered, advised, and evaluated by WPI faculty as part of the the learning experience, but students are also encouraged to seek mentorship from experienced colleagues in the Robotics Engineering profession. (Prerequisites: Since the Capstone Project will draw on knowledge obtained throughout the degree program, it is expected that students will have completed most or all of the coursework within their plan of study before undertaking the capstone project).

  • Example of a capstone project from our Systems Engineering Department

MS in Robotics Engineering with Autonomous Vehicles (AV) Specialization*

*View a sample of course topics under development for this specialization here.  Courses listed with a course number are currently enrolling with the anticipation of new courses being added in 2019 and beyond. Prospective students can begin enrolling in available courses with the intent to follow the AV Specialization track. 

Course Schedule

  • RBE 500. Foundations of Robotics
  • RBE 501. Robot Dynamics
  • RBE 580. Biomedical Robotics (2 credits)
  • RBE 595 ST. Deep Learning for Advanced Robot Perception
  • RBE 595 ST. Deep Reinforcement Learning
    (every other year starting in AY 2019)
  • Additional RBE core courses as available
  • BUS 546. Managing Technical Innovation 
  • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering
  • RBE 500. Foundations of Robotics
  • RBE 501. Robot Dynamics
  • RBE 502. Robot Control
  • RBE 594. Capstone Project Experience in RBE
  • RBE 595 ST. Advanced Robot Navigation
  • RBE 521. Advanced Robotics – Parallel Walking Mechanisms (Also listed as RBE 595 Legged Robotics)

  • Other select courses from ECE, SYS, MA and ME

Course offerings are subject to change. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact us for the most up-to-date information.

For the rotation schedule of additional management and math courses, please click here​.

Software used in this program: Matlab/Simulink, Python, openCV, Theano 0.8 or later, NVIDIA toolkit with cuDNN Anaconda, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Corporation, TensorFlow, Keras​, Gym from Openai


What our students have to say

“Every teacher that I’ve had at WPI had a genuine care for the students. Everyone at WPI is a true believer in what they are doing. They are so passionate and enthusiastic about it, and it makes me catch fire about it, too.”

Xiaolin Zhen, Online M.S. in Robotics Engineering student and Gateway Scholarship winner. 


The MS program in robotics engineering requires an undergraduate or graduate degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics Engineering, or a related field from an accredited university. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

In addition, students should be able to demonstrate strong skills and a modest amount of course work (2-3 courses) in each of the following areas:

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical & computer engineering
  • Computer science

Students with backgrounds in other engineering or science disciplines will be considered based on their demonstrated skills in engineering and computer science.

This program assumes familiarity with an object oriented programming language (OOP), such as C/C++, Java, Perl, and/or Python. Students that lack or feel that they should refresh their programming skills should consider taking a suitable college course in an OOP language prior to enrollment. A working knowledge of Calculus, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra are also required. These mathematical foundations are critical for MatLab, system dynamics modeling and other topics explored in the MS robotics engineering curriculum.

After Graduation

With the demand for robotics engineers on the rise, graduates find employment opportunities across a variety of industries, including national defense, factory automation, healthcare, consumer products, and interactive entertainment.

Webinar: Open House

View our on-demand webinar to be introduced to our Robotics Engineering online graduate program. Get an overview of program logistics, what online learning looks like, the application process, and more!