The objective of the Robotics Ph.D. Program is to educate a new breed of multidisciplinary researchers in the area of robotics. This supports the expressed mission of Georgia Tech to provide education in “technology and technologically-related disciplines and interdisciplinary areas” and to recruit and educate outstanding students who will provide “leadership in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology.”
The program includes coursework and a strong multidisciplinary research component. Teaching needs are served by the commitment of current full-time faculty in the home units: Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Computing, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Georgia Tech has over 30 faculty actively engaged in robotics research.
The Georgia Tech criteria used in determining each applicant’s eligibility for consideration includes: (1) evidence of award of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent (prior to matriculation) from a recognized institution and graduation in the upper quarter of their class; students must show evidence of preparation in their chosen field sufficient to ensure profitable graduate study; (2) for international applicants, satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Students enroll for the Robotics Ph.D. Program through one of the participating units which will be their home unit: Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, College of Computing, Electrical and Computer Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering. They will indicate that they are applying for the Robotics Program through that unit by marking a check box. As minimum requirements the students must satisfy all of the specific admission requirements of the home unit.
Final admission decisions will be made by the Robotics Ph.D. Program Committee in coordination with the home units. They will be based on a combination of factors, including academic degrees and records, the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores, and relevant work experience. Also considered is the appropriateness of the applicant’s goals to the Robotics Ph.D. Program, their expected abilities in carrying out original research, and the faculty research interests. Particular efforts will be made to recruit women and members of underrepresented minority groups.
The minimum requirements for each student in the Ph.D. program in Robotics are:
- Completion of 36 semester hours of courses with a letter grade in:
- A new course CS/AE/ECE/ME 7785, Introduction to Robotics Research (3 semester hours).
- Three foundation courses, each selected from distinct core areas: Mechanics, Controls, Perception, Artificial Intelligence, and Autonomy (see below for the foundation courses), (9 semester hours).
- Three targeted elective courses, each selected from the same three core areas used for the foundation courses (see below for core courses), (9 semester hours).
- Two new courses CS/AE/ECE/ME 8750 and CS/AE/ECE/ME 8751, Multidisciplinary Robotics Research I and II (6 semester hours).
- Three courses outside the major area to provide a coherent minor in accordance with Institute policies (9 semester hours).
- A maximum of two classes (6 semester hours) at the 4000 level may be used to satisfy the 36 semester hour requirement.
- Passing a comprehensive qualifying exam with written and oral components .
- Successfully conducting, documenting, and defending a piece of original research culminating in a doctoral thesis .
Prior to completing all of these requirements Georgia Tech defines the Ph.D Candidate milestone. Admission to candidacy requires that the student:
- Complete all course requirements (except the minor);
- Achieve a satisfactory scholastic record;
- Pass the comprehensive examination;
- Submit and receive approval naming the dissertation topic and delineating the research topic.