Best Robotics Schools

Updated on January 12, 2024

At a Glance

  • MIT, CMU, and UMichigan are among the top robotics schools in the U.S.
  • Georgia Tech and UPenn offer renowned robotics research and education opportunities.
  • UT Austin, Northwestern, JHU, UC Berkeley, and Cornell also have excellent robotics programs.

Robotics is a rapidly growing and exciting field at the intersection of engineering, computer science, and cutting-edge technology. As robots become more advanced and integrated into society, there is huge demand for graduates with robotics skills and knowledge. Here are 10 of the top robotics schools based on academics, research, facilities, graduation outcomes, and more.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Location: Cambridge, MA

Rating: 10/10

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Avg SAT: 1520

Tuition: $53,450

Avg Salary: $126,000


MIT is world renowned for science and engineering with exceptional robotics research and degree programs. The MIT Robotics Club hosts competitions and students have access to state-of-the-art labs. Graduates are highly sought after by top tech companies and startups.

Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 15%

Avg SAT: 1490

Tuition: $57,119

Avg Salary: $108,000


CMU’s robotics program is ranked #1 in the US for grad schools by US News. Undergrads can study robotics through computer science or engineering degrees. The Robotics Institute has pioneered innovations in AI, automation, and cognitive robotics.

University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Avg SAT: 1480

Tuition: $52,200 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $93,500


Michigan offers top robotics programs across engineering disciplines. Students get access to labs filled with the latest robots and equipment. Graduates have a strong job placement rate at major companies like Tesla, GM, Ford, Apple, and Boeing.

Georgia Twech

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Avg SAT: 1470

Tuition: $33,346 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $85,500


Georgia Tech is a leader in robotics research. Undergrads can join the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines to build robots and compete. There are also international research opportunities in places like Japan and Singapore.

University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Avg SAT: 1510

Tuition: $57,360

Avg Salary: $130,000


UPenn offers renowned robotics research and education opportunities. Students have access to innovative facilities at the GRASP Lab to enhance robotics knowledge. Graduates are highly skilled in control systems, machine perception, and autonomous systems.

University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin, TX

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 32%

Avg SAT: 1350

Tuition: $38,826 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $93,800


UT Austin has highly ranked engineering programs featuring robotics. Students can join the Longhorn Robotics team to get hands-on experience and compete in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition. Graduates have excellent job prospects at tech companies.

Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, IL

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Avg SAT: 1500

Tuition: $56,232

Avg Salary: $69,800


Northwestern offers strong mechatronics and robotics research opportunities through its McCormick School of Engineering. Undergrads can access prototyping labs and work with faculty on innovations like robotic prostheses and haptic devices.

Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, MD

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Avg SAT: 1510

Tuition: $55,350

Avg Salary: $72,500


Johns Hopkins has excellent robotics research happening across various departments. Students can get involved with groups like the JHU Robotics Club to both learn and compete in major contests and events.

University of California, Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, CA

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Avg SAT: 1425

Tuition: $44,044 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $86,200


UC Berkeley offers renowned electrical engineering and computer science programs with concentrations in robotics. Cutting-edge research happens through groups like the Hybrid Robotics Lab and AUTOLAB. Graduates have strong job prospects in CA’s tech sector.

Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, NY

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Avg SAT: 1495

Tuition: $59,316

Avg Salary: $93,500


Cornell hosts innovative robotics research across various science and engineering departments. For undergrads, there are project teams like Cornell Robot Soccer and opportunities to access advanced labs. Graduates are highly skilled in control systems, mechanics, and software.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What majors should I choose if I want to study robotics?

The best majors for studying robotics include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, and computer engineering. Some schools also offer dedicated robotics engineering programs. Whichever you choose, make sure the degree has concentrations, electives, research, or projects focused on robotics.

Can I study robotics if my undergraduate major isn’t engineering?

Yes – you can study robotics through graduate programs even if your bachelor’s degree is in physics, mathematics, or a similar technical field. Some background in programming is helpful. Make sure to take electives related to robotics hardware and systems where possible.

How important are hands-on robotics projects for getting a job?

Very important. Employers want to see that you have practical experience building, testing, and improving robots. Get involved with robotics clubs and teams at your university. Working on contests like robotic vehicle competitions also looks great on your resume.

What companies hire robotics engineers and scientists?

Major tech companies with robotics divisions like Amazon, Apple, Boston Dynamics, Google, Tesla, and Samsung hire lots of robotics talent. Other key employers include aerospace, defense, manufacturing, and automotive companies making autonomous technologies.

Can I get involved with robotics research as an undergraduate?

Absolutely. Look for research opportunities at your university’s robotics and engineering labs. Many professors and graduate students welcome undergrads to help out with their projects. Getting published or co-authoring conference papers will make you very competitive for grad school or jobs.

What should I focus on if I want to work in humanoid or assistive robotics?

Customizing your coursework and research towards particular robotics domains is wise. For humanoid/assistive areas specifically, make sure to build skills in kinematics, control theory, tactile sensors, computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and human-robot interaction.

Is a graduate degree required to become a robotics engineer?

It’s not strictly required, but more and more employers prefer candidates with a Master’s or Phd in robotics or a related engineering field. Graduates with advanced degrees qualify for the most exciting research and development roles driving future innovations.

Are coding and programming important for robotics?

Absolutely critical. While you don’t necessarily need to be a computer science expert, you will need strong programming abilities with languages like C++, Python, ROS, Matlab, and Linux. Taking additional computer science courses on data structures, algorithms, and AI can also be helpful.

Some of the hottest robotics domains include autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars, drones/UAVs, collaborative robots working alongside humans, robot prosthetics and exoskeletons, soft robots made of flexible materials, swarm robotics with lots of mini-bots, and AI-powered robot assistants.

How competitive is it getting into top robotics graduate programs?

Admissions can be quite competitive, but a stellar academic record goes a long way – aim for a high GPA overall and especially in your technical courses. Relevant research and project experience is also key. Strong letters of recommendation from advisors are also important for admissions.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.