Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program
The Robotics doctoral program is committed to preparing students to be world-class researchers, creating knowledge and artifacts that can impact our society. Graduates of the program will take a leading role in the research and development of future generations of integrated robotics technologies and systems. The program is inherently interdisciplinary, bringing together areas of research that would otherwise be spread across different departments or separate universities. Requirements for the degree include course work, a research qualifier, and submission of a thesis that describes original, independent research.
Doctoral students typically complete the program in five to six years. In the first two years of the program, students split their time between research and coursework. Upon completion of the coursework and other basic requirements (such as demonstrating writing and speaking skills, and TA’ing), students focus entirely on research, learning to work independently and collaboratively. Students are involved in every aspect of research – from initial problem formulation to the final publication of results. Research is conducted in the laboratories of the Robotics Institute under the supervision of faculty advisers and in collaboration with student colleagues. Students in the PhD program are awarded a yearly graduate fellowship, which includes tuition, activity fees, and a stipend, as long as they maintain good standing in the program.
The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition offers an interdisciplinary training program operated jointly with affiliated doctoral programs at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The affiliated programs include Robotics, Computer Science, Psychology, and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon, and Mathematics, Psychology, and the Program in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh.
The CNBC option for Robotics Ph.D. students allows them to combine intensive training in RI with a broad exposure to cognitive science, neural computation, and other disciplines that touch on problems of higher brain function.
Students must also be separately admitted to the CNBC program; they fulfill the same basic requirements as regular Ph.D. students in Robotics but have additional requirements to fulfill.