The MRSD program distinguishes itself by offering a quality education in the sciences and technologies of robotics through extensive hands-on laboratory and project work, coupled with invaluable experiences in project and business management. The goal of MRSD is to provide students with an experience unique from any other by teaching both the technical and business skills needed to succeed in the competitive technology industry. MRSD likely requires a higher level of peer engagement than other graduate programs, as students complete a 2-semester project in teams. Through a combination of classroom learning, hands-on projects, and an internship, students will graduate and enter the workforce at higher technical and/or managerial levels since they are armed with a comprehensive education and improved communication skills.
The RI MS program is a 2-year-long (4 semester) program, compared to the MRSD program, which is 1.5 years (3 semesters) in duration. The RI MS program consists of formal coursework and a heavy emphasis on research; students in the RI MS program must complete a written thesis based on their research topic. Students in MRSD engage in formal courses, project courses, and business seminars. Students in the MRSD program complete an 8-month-long systems-based project in teams of approximately 4 students.
Absolutely! MRSD welcomes applications from any and all interested and qualified candidates. We routinely consider and accept applicants from other countries. International students who are accepted to MRSD with the intention of matriculating are responsible for applying and receiving visas in a timely manner, and the Office of International Education (OIE) is always available to answer questions.
The MRSD program does not require certain minimum GRE scores, although successful applicants always earn a strong mark in the quantitative section. Test scores are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to evaluating a candidate. Applicants’ credentials are considered comprehensively, so no single aspect takes precedence over others. Candidates are considered holistically and as individuals with varying backgrounds and interesting experiences.
Non-native English speakers are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam to demonstrate language proficiency. The MRSD Admissions Committee typically seeks scores of 25 or higher in each TOEFL sub-category.
MRSD is a full-time program that consists of 3 semesters and an optional summer internship. The total program length is 16 months, starting in August of one year and ending in December of the next.
Carnegie Mellon uses units; one unit represents approximately one hour of work per week for the duration of the course. The MRSD program requires a total of 162 units for degree completion. This can be understood more thoroughly by visiting the Curriculum page.
MRSD is designed to be completed full-time in 16 months. Accepted MRSD students interested in completing the program part-time should contact the MRSD Program Office to discuss an exception. The Robotics Institute does not offer distance-learning, thereby requiring students to be on campus for all formal coursework. The MRSD program will not accept the enrollment of non-MRSD students in any of its core, project, or business courses (excluding 16-720 Computer Vision).
The companies listed here have consistently expressed interest in working with MRSD students. The MRSD Director & Manager help to facilitate internship placement by circulating a resume book each fall to the companies listed on the website and to other relevant industry contacts. Students are responsible for applying for positions on their own. Interviewing and negotiating terms & conditions of the internship (length, compensation, etc.) are also the student’s responsibility. The MRSD administration is happy to offer support and advice as needed!
MRSD does not offer financial aid. Accepted students are expected to be fully self-supported, covering tuition, fees, and any additional costs for room and board. Some students may be eligible to apply for financial aid through the university. More information can be found here, and it is also suggested to browse the Fellowships & Scholarships website.
Although not guaranteed, there are often opportunities to serve as a Teaching Assistant or a Research Assistant. These are paid, part-time positions that nicely complement students’ studies; hiring decisions are made by the course instructors and/or the faculty who supervises the lab.
Internships are typically paid, but this – among other relevant employment details – is always discussed between the student and the specific company hosting the internship.
Due to the variety of course content, university teaching levels, and the specificity of MRSD courses, the program will not accept any transfer credits.
The degree requirements for students in the MRSD Program consist of Required Courses and Business/Technical Electives. In order to be eligible for graduation, MRSD students must successfully complete the 162-unit curriculum as outlined on the program website. To be eligible for degree certification students are required to obtain a grade of B- or better in all Required Courses and a C or better in all Elective Courses. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The curriculum is rigorous, yet rewarding, and the MRSD administration support and encourage enrolled students throughout their entire graduate school journey.
Students are encouraged to use the services provided by CMU’s Career and Professional Development Center for assistance with career placement. The Robotics Institute frequently receives job postings from companies, and these announcements are promptly forwarded to students.
One of the main benefits of the summer internship is that the student has the opportunity to work for a company in their field of interest under favorable conditions. This is a tremendous opportunity for a student to showcase his or her potential, thereby dramatically improving their likelihood of being considered for a potential job opening at the respective company upon graduation.
Similarly to the process of seeking internships, a resume book is distributed to industry contacts who are seeking full-time employees relevant to the skills of MRSD grads.
The MRSD program offers substantial value to all graduates. The knowledge you gain throughout the 16 months in the MRSD program will set you apart from the competition. Your technical knowledge will apply to most high-technology industries. Learning business principles and critical thinking will allow you to manage a complete concept-to-project plan. The hands-on development techniques you learn will enable you to move projects from theory to reality and your team management skills will ease the transition from prototype to commercialization. Everything you learn can be immediately applied in a professional setting providing validation, exposure, and immediate financial return on your investment in the degree.
Please visit the Testimonials page to learn how recent graduates feel about the program.
It is highly recommended that students engage in a summer internship to obtain practical and applied work experience. Through the internship students can gain insight into a company, technical area or business segment, which will help guide future career focus and choices.Students choosing to complete a MRSD-relevant summer internship will be registered for 3 units of 16-991 “Internship”. The 3 units are counted towards the Technical Elective requirement and will factor into the 162-unit total required for graduation (thus allowing students who complete an internship the flexibility to take a 9-unit Technical Elective). Internships are expected to fall within the summer term as outlined by the University Academic Calendar. Interns will be required to submit a final end-of-internship report documenting the work that they carried out as part of their internship. The MRSD Program Director will review the reports and assign a Pass/Fail grade at the end of the summer term.
Note that the MRSD program is primarily a professional master’s degree, intended to provide a mix of technical and business training to better prepare students for careers in the business or start-up environment. The MRSD program should not be viewed as a preparatory degree program for a Ph.D. program, but rather as a stand-alone degree program for those primarily interested in a professional career track.
Admission to the MRSD program does not in any way signify admission to other RI graduate programs. Each of RI’s graduate programs (M.S., MRSD, MS-RT, Ph.D.) are separate and have their own admission criteria, selection processes and admission decisions. Students are welcome to apply for the RI Ph.D. degree program at any point in their career.