FAQ2018-11-30T09:31:49+00:00

FAQ

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I applied to both the Doctoral and Masters programs in Robotics, but only received an offer to the Master’s program. Does that mean I was not admitted to the Doctoral program in Robotics?
Correct. If you applied to both programs, and received an offer to the Master’s program, you were not admitted to the Doctoral program. Admission is very competitive for our graduate programs.
I was placed on the waitlist, what is the likelihood of being admitted?
Congratulations on being on our waitlist. We understand this is a stressful time for you and you are likely balancing offers from other programs and institutions. Know we will do our best to keep you updated about your status. We ask for first round admission offers to make a decision by March 31st so we can provide an answer to those on our waitlist in advance of April 15th.
Is there an open house for admitted MSR students?
While there is not a scheduled open house for admitted Masters students, you are welcome to visit the Robotics Institute on your own, at any time. You should first contact the faculty you are interested in meeting to make sure they will be available during your planned visit. This will help ensure your time on campus is as informative as possible.
Can I defer admission?
The MSR program typically grants an admission deferral for a max of one year. To request a one year deferral, the student must send a written request (email is acceptable) to the Program Manager, Barbara Jean (B.J.) Fecich no later than March 31st. Deferral of admission comes with the stipulation that by January 31st of the following year, the student will provide written confirmation and deposit to secure their spot in the program for the subsequent fall semester.
Upon completion of the MSR program, can I automatically be admitted to the Robotics Doctoral program?
No, to be considered for the Doctoral program you need to apply through the standard application process.
What jobs have MSR students have received upon completion of the program?
Some student elect to share their job information via the Robotics Institute Alumni page. Additional detailed job information is available via the Career and Professional Development Center.
Can I transfer courses or get credit for coursework taken at a different institution?
While we do not transfer courses taken at other institutions, you may request a core course waiver based on previous experience with course material. A course waiver requires the student to obtain approval from the teaching faculty member of the course. If the core course waiver is approved, the core course is waived and students select an additional approved elective course in its place. This maintains the required 84 units of coursework for the degree.
How do I find an advisor?
First year graduate students attend a week-long RI Orientation the week before fall classes begin. This contains departmental on-boarding, research overviews, departmental information and social/ community networking events. Masters students will be responsible for finding their own advisor and have until the end of October to do so. Since most of the Masters students are self-supported, it is important to find an advisor that, has the time to advise you, an advising approach that coincides with your personality and who has a project that you would be interested in working on.
Where can I find a listing of the Robotics faculty and their research interests?
Please refer to the listing of Robotics Faculty and Research Areas pages for details.
I was admitted without funding. Can I still obtain funding in the first semester or in the future?
As a Masters student you may not receive a research sponsorship or hourly wage (including a Teaching Assistantship) within the Robotics Institute during your first semester unless it is outlined in your offer letter. Offer letters may be updated through the March 31st accept deadline. If you already have a connection with a faculty research advisor in RI they must provide funding details prior to March 31st. This is a strict deadline with no exceptions.

Once you have connected with an advisor, it is relatively common for them to have some funding available in subsequent semesters, but again, there are no guarantees. If your advisor has funding it may begin your second semester.
What percentage of students receive funding (as a Research Assistant - RA) in subsequent semesters?
A percentage of MSR students receive funding for at least a portion of their program. The percentage of students funded varies greatly on the semester and incoming funding opportunities. There is no way for us to predict your chances of funding. Faculty have the option to fund 0-100% of a monthly stipend and/or tuition on a semester basis. It depends on your research advisor, the funding sources, project(s) you are working on and your skillset. We cannot predict if funding will become available during any part of your 24-month program. You should be prepared to be a self-supported Masters student throughout the duration of the program.
Are there Teaching Assistantships (TA) available?
While there are a few Teaching Assistantships (TA) available, it is not encouraged unless you have taken the course here at CMU; even then, it’s challenging to balance research, course work, a personal life, and being a TA. You are eligible for an RI TA position beginning in your second semester. Most MS-Research students do not consider being a TA a viable option. If English is not your first language you would also need to take the ITA test to demonstrate adequate language and communication ability prior to be hired as a TA.
What is the cost of living, and other expenses, that I need to take into account when planning financially?
Tuition: $43,430 Living Expenses: $20,855 Supplies/Fees: $2,212 Health Insurance: $2,340 Total: $69,689 Dependents: Spouse - $8,472, First Child - $6,384, Additional Children - $4,176 * Aside from tuition, the rest are estimates provided by the Office of International Education for incoming fall 2018, actual cost may vary. If you require an I-20 or DS-2019 you must provide proof of financial support for the first academic year of study.
What is the deadline to send the International Student Information (ISI) Form to the Office of International Education (OIE)?
There is not an explicit deadline for you to mail the required documents. However, your Certificate of Eligibility will be sent to you within four-six weeks of receipt of all necessary documents. Packages containing incomplete or insufficient information will not be processed. You should plan accordingly and act as promptly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays. We anticipate a rather lengthy visa acquisition process this year.
May I extend the program / I-20 longer than 24 months?
No, unfortunately, we cannot extend the length of the program or the date on your I-20/visa documentation. You must complete all Master’s degree requirements within 24 months.
If English is not my first language are there opportunities to improve?
Yes, CMU has an Intercultural Communication Center (ICC) devoted to assisting the international CMU community with their English skills. They offer a variety of workshops and other programing throughout the year. These opportunities are especially helpful, and recommended, for international students with a speaking score of 24 or below on the TOEFL exam. Your first opportunity to participate in ICC activities is prior to the start of the fall semester with a one week, Language Bootcamp, in August. Space is limited and there are fees associated with registration. Additional information about their programs and workshops is available online: http://www.cmu.edu/icc/languagetraining/index.shtml
If you have additional questions, please contact the MSR Program Manager, Barbara Jean (B.J.) Fecich, at barbarajean@cmu.edu.