robotic hand

Master of Science in Robotics

An Interdisciplinary Approach to an Ever-Evolving Field

The Master of Science, MS, in Robotics degree program at Northeastern looks at this fundamentally interdisciplinary field from three connected angles: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. Through a technically challenging curriculum, hands-on learning, and industry co-op placements, master’s in robotics students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the algorithms, sensors, control systems, and mechanisms used in robotics to help you stand out in the field and make transformative impact on society.

Innovative Curriculum - MS in Robotics

Students with academic or career backgrounds in computer science or mechanical or electrical engineering are well suited to this program, and will take advanced core courses in all three areas. You can further specialize your degree with flexible electives in areas such as:

  • Mechatronic systems
  • Manipulation
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Sensing and navigation
  • Mobile and field robots
  • Medical robotics
  • Machine learning

Upon graduating with your robotics degree, you’ll be prepared for engineering or management jobs in the growing field of robotics, or to progress into a doctoral degree in robotics or related multidisciplinary areas across Computer Science and Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

Our classes incorporate direct interaction with a variety of robotic systems, including:

  • An autonomous Lincoln MKZ car
  • Multiple deep-rated autonomous underwater vehicles
  • Dozens of unmanned aerial and ground robotic systems
  • commercial and research manipulators
  • Biologically inspired robots

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Robotics at Northeastern is an important and multidisciplinary undertaking. Your academic home as a robotics student is at our Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC), a 220,000-square-foot a hub for collaborative research and innovation. You’ll have access to high-quality and state-of-the-art equipment in a number of advanced laboratories and research centers, such as the Institute for Experiential Robotics, and the Kostas Research Institute Aerial facility. The robotics lab in ISEC is more than 12,000 SF dedicated to robot fabrication, testing, and prototyping. It has more than $1 million of robots including collaborative manipulator arms, drones, human support robots, field robots, and more.

[Listed by concentration]

  • Mechanical Engineering Concentration
    • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering/scientific/quantitative problems.
    • An ability to explain and apply engineering design principles, as appropriate to the program’s educational objectives.
    • An ability to produce solutions that meet specified end-user needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
    • An ability to recognize the tools/principles needed for understanding robotic and control systems by merging electrical and mechanical engineering, and computer science.
  • Electrical Engineering Concentration
    • An ability to recognize the tools/principles needed for understanding robotic and control systems with a multidisciplinary approach that combines Electrical  and Mechanical engineering, and Computer Science.
    • An ability to understand system level design of that complex software and hardware that is used to build robotic systems that include a variety of asynchronous sensors and actuators.
    • An ability to understand the theoretical principles underlying localization, mapping and planning to build, design and deploy a variety of robotic systems ranging from fully autonomous to remotely operated systems.

Over 15 graduate certificates are available to provide students the opportunity to develop a specialization in an area of their choice. Certificates can be taken in addition to or in combination with a master’s degree, or provide a pathway to a master’s degree in Northeastern’s College of Engineering. Master’s programs can also be combined with a Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate. Students should consult with their faculty advisor regarding these options.


Students in the MS in Robotics program have three concentrations from which to choose, mechanical engineering (ME), electrical engineering (EE) and computer science (CS).

Note: Students in each concentration (ME, EE, CS) are subject to the policies and processes of the concentration’s respective department/college. 

Mechanical Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Computer Science

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership

Students may complete a Master of Science in Robotics in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Students must apply and be admitted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires fulfillment of the 16-semester-hour-curriculum required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership, which includes an industry-based challenge project with multiple mentors. The integrated 33-semester-hour degree and certificate will require 17 hours of advisor-approved robotics technical courses.

Experiential Learning

Northeastern combines rigorous academics with experiential learning and research to prepare students for real world engineering challenges. The Cooperative Education Program, also known as a “co-op,” is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a Co-op Program for Graduate Students. Through this program students gain industry experience in a wide variety of organizations, from large companies to entrepreneurial start-ups, while helping to finance their education.

Recent robotics co-op partners include:

  • Toyota Research Institute
  • Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory
  • Google
  • Apple
  • NIO Robotics
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • General Dynamics – Bluefin Robotics
  • iRobot
  • Boston Dynamics

James Meyers, MS, electrical and computer engineering, is conducting robotics research working on a jet powered kayak and doing obstacle avoidance.

Program Goals

Educational Objectives

After completing the MS in Robotics program at Northeastern, you will be equipped with an interdisciplinary skill-set that can evolve over time to suit your changing research and career interests, as well as an ever-evolving industry.

Career Outlook

According to a report by McKinsey*, the economic impact of advanced robotics by 2025 could be between $1.7 and $4.5 trillion. The Boston area is a hub for robotics research and industry—including Amazon Robotics, Boston Dynamics, Teradyne, and Bluefin Robotics—and Northeastern is proud to play a large role in educating tomorrow’s leaders in this emerging area.


    Academic Advising

    The Academic Advisors in the Graduate Student Services office can help answer many of your questions and assist with various concerns regarding your program and student record. Use the link below to also determine which questions can be answered by your Faculty Program Advisors and OGS Advisors.

    Admissions & Aid

    Ready to take the next step? Review degree requirements to see courses needed to complete this degree. Then, explore ways to fund your education. Finally, review admissions information to see our deadlines and gather the materials you need to Apply.

    Recent Student News

    Co-op and Research Puts Student on Robotics Career Path

    Xavier Hubbard, M’23, robotics, completed a co-op at Venca Robotics and conducted research as part of his master’s project. Academics, combined with the experiential learning and job experience, helped him land a job as a robotics engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

    Robotics Student Researching Autonomous Vehicle Solutions

    Robotics graduate student Srinivas Peri, MS’24, is completing a six-month co-op at TWT Science & Innovation in Germany, where he is researching and developing autonomous vehicle solutions.

    Computer engineering graduate student Rui Luo operates the robot that will be entered into the September 2021 semifinals of a $10 million global robotics competition.

    Creating a Human Avatar in Remote Locations

    A group of Northeastern University students led by MIE Assistant Professor Peter Whitney, has made it to the semifinals of the global Avatar XPrize competition which aims to create an avatar system that can transport human presence to a remote location in real-time.

    reflection of a robot on computer screen

    NU Team PARIS Wins in Phase 1 of American-Made E-ROBOT Prize

    A Northeastern faculty and student team was awarded a $200K prize as a finalist for Phase 1 of the U.S. Department of Energy’s American-Made Challenges E-ROBOT Prize. In Phase 2, up to four teams (from the 10 finalists) will receive a $500K award. The team’s submission proposed development of a Precise Air-sealing Robot for Inaccessible Spaces (PARIS). The Northeastern team is advised by ECE Associate Professor Taskin Padir, CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane, and ECE Distinguished Professor Carey Rappaport.