PhD Program

The WPI Ph.D. program in Robotics Engineering is one of the few doctoral programs in the world that allow students to specialize in robotics. The program is distinguished by the excellence of our faculty, the breadth of research topics, and our world-class research robots and facilities. Ph.D. students engage in research ranging from fundamental theory to real-world applications. WPI’s culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and emphasis on balancing theory with practice create an environment that encourages innovation and creativity.  

Students and faculty take advantage of virtually endless opportunities for research with colleagues across disciplines. Faculty affiliated with the program come from Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Social Sciences & Policy Studies, and Humanities & Arts, exploring a diverse array of research topics. In small, interdisciplinary research teams, robotics Ph.D. students are making exciting discoveries, forging technological breakthroughs, and exploring robotics solutions that have real-world impact.

Research Areas  

The robotics engineering program thrives on our diverse and interdisciplinary approach to research. See our current research areas here.

Life in the Robotics Engineering Program

The program provides students and faculty with an open, engaging, and friendly atmosphere that encourages collaboration and the sharing of ideas. Faculty members are responsive and accessible, with research labs and faculty offices in close proximity. There are also opportunities for interacting with other students, faculty, and staff outside of the lab, with many social events throughout the year. Students are supported by Women in Robotics Engineering (WiRE) and Rho Beta Epsilon, a student-run robotics honors society, which coordinates social events and provides opportunities for mentoring.

WPI’s beautiful 80-acre campus is located in a charming residential area of Worcester, Mass., recently voted one of the nation’s “most livable cities” by Affordable and accessible—less than an hour to Boston and 3.5 hours to New York—Worcester is home to more than a dozen colleges and universities and offers the rich and diverse cultural and social amenities of a great college town.

In the heart of the New England technology corridor, WPI’s location also offers rich opportunities for Ph.D. students. New England has emerged as the epicenter of the multi-billion dollar robotics industry, and WPI is well-connected with industry, both regionally and nationally. This provides Ph.D. students with opportunities for collaborative research with industry, internships, and rewarding careers.

Admission Requirements  

Students are eligible for admission to the program upon earning a BS or MS degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics Engineering, or a related field from an accredited university.  

To apply or learn more, visit our Graduate Admissions website

Due to the high quality of applicants to the Robotics Engineering program, admission is very competitive.


The graduate admissions committee in Robotics Engineering observes strict application submissions and completion of deadlines. If you would like to be considered for fall admission, your application must be submitted by January 1st and all credentials must be received by February 1st. For spring admission, your application must be submitted by October 1st and all credentials must be received by November 1st.