center for robotics and embedded systems University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering


Graduate Study

Graduate students in the Computer Science Department are invited to pursue technical projects and research in the various Robotics Labs. The Computer Science Department offers both Masters and Doctoral Degrees specializing in robotics.

Masters Program in Intelligent Robotics
The MS program brochure is available in MS Word and PDF

PhD Program

As with any PhD pursuit, a student who is accepted into the PhD program in Computer Science can be advised by any one (or more) faculty in robotics, and pursue robotics research for his or her dissertation. PhD program admissions are done by having students apply to the department. An admissions committee decides who is accepted into the program, and those results are available twice per year, in spring and fall, allowing new PhD students to start either in September (most common) or in January of a given academic year. Only after students are accepted and ranked, faculty can contact them about doing research together.
Therefore, all students interested in pursuing a PhD in robotics at USC should apply as per above, and specify robotics as the area of research interest. Applicants are not expected to identify particular faculty members of interest, unless they wish to do so. The accepted robotics students will be considered by all robotics faculty.
If you wish to find out more about specific robotics laboratories and projects, please first go over the relevant web pages, and then contact the relevant faculty members. Keep in mind that the faculty members cannot tell you if you will be accepted into the program, but can certainly provide you with information about current and upcoming projects, etc.

Undergraduate Study

USC encourages undergraduate research. Undergraduate students can become involved in robotics research in several ways: 1) by being part of the USC Undergraduate Merit Research Program, 2) by taking directed research credit (CSCI/EE 499) from a robotics faculty member, and 3) if qualified, by participating in grant-funded projects in one of the robotics labs.
Most undergraduates working in robotics are Computer Science or Electrical Engineering majors, thus having the relevant background and interests, but students from other disciplines are welcomed as well, such as Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, or Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Undergraduate research in robotics is arranged through direct correspondence between the relevant robotics faculty member(s) and the interested students. Interested students are advised to first send email to the relevant faculty member who heads the lab of interest, and pursue the connection from there in order to visit the lab and look into possible projects. Students are advised to first look over the existing projects and be familiar with the options. Naturally, students with previous relevant robotics course work and/or research are best positioned for joining lab research.


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