Home Department Differences

As there is often confusion as to which departmental requirements a Robotics student must complete over the course of his or her Ph.D, RoboGrads has collected the requirements pertaining to students in each home department that participates in the Robotics Ph.D program. They are as follows (as of January 8, 2015): 

All departments

  • Must take RCR in-person ethics training class (PHIL 6000) within first year
  • Must complete RCR online CITI training (www.citiprogram.org); read 14 modules online and answer questions
  • Satisfy ROBO curriculum courses
  • Submit program of study (first semester) - remember to pick ROBO focus areas (Controls, Mechanics, AI, Perception, HRI) instead of home department focus areas
  • Take ROBO quals (end of second year) and ignore your department’s quals.
  • Follow ROBO proposal instructions (formatting, committee formation)
  • Follow GT Institute dissertation instructions
  • Must spend at least two full-time semesters in residency at Georgia Tech, especially while working on dissertation research (unless granted a permit to research in absentia)


International students

  • Other than individual home department differences, international students should take care that they register for at least 12 credits of coursework / research each semester to maintain full-time F1-student visa status
  • Maximum credits allowed: 21 for Fall and Spring and 16 for summer
  • It is not mandatory to enroll in the summer semester, and international students will not lose their full time F1 student visa status if not enrolled over the summer
  • In the first-semester and last-semester (for MS Students), there is an option to apply for reduced course-load, in which case, less than 12 credits are fine for maintaining full-time F1-student visa status
  • If you have any doubts, please contact Office of International Education (OIE) : info@oie.gatech.edu


  • No Seminar or TA requirements
  • To keep track of milestones, students need the AE Graduate Coordinator’s signature before and after Robotics PhD Proposal and Defense, but not for Robotics qualifiers
  • Take ROBO quals, not AE quals
  • Current AE Graduate Coordinator : Jechiel Jagoda (jeff.jagoda@aerospace.gatech.edu)
  • Additional point of Contact: Dr. Karen Feigh (karen.feigh@gatech.edu)



  • Must complete 2 semesters of TA (will be involved in a matching process initiated by the grad program admins)
  • Must complete 2 years (4 semesters) of the BME seminar course
  • Take ROBO quals, not BME quals
  • Notify Shannon Sullivan of completed milestone (quals, proposal, dissertation)
  • Point of Contact: Shannon Sullivan: shannon.sullivan@bme.gatech.edu


  • Two mandatory semesters of TA (not paid - you have to still be funded through your RA)
  • Take ROBO quals, not CoC quals
  • Submit annual Ph.D review self assessment and be reviewed under the Ph.D Review process (see http://www.ic.gatech.edu/current/phdreview)
  • Starting second year, students are expected to submit at least one publication to a peer-reviewed venue per year (acceptance not required)
  • Point of Contact: Jessica Celestine: jcelesti@cc.gatech.edu



  • Do not complete any ECE seminars
  • Take ROBO quals, not ECE prelims
  • Special dissertation hours consideration: Need to get an override request for a “restricted class permit”  to sign up for ECE 9000 from ECE office since ROBO is not listed as a major to allow for dissertation hours.
  • Points of Contact : 
  1. Torrence, Tasha M  - tasha.torrence@ece.gatech.edu
  2. Staiculescu, Daniela - daniela@ece.gatech.edu
  3. Trappier, Jacqueline D - jacqueline.trappier@ece.gatech.edu



  • Take ROBO quals, not ME quals
  • Must complete 3 semester hours of ME 7757 (Teaching Practicum) before semester in which Ph.D is received
  • ME department recommends registering for maximum credit hours each semester (21 in fall and spring, 16 in summer); students register for the courses they plan to take (typically 6-9 credit hours) and register for ME-9000 (Dissertation research with their advisor) for the remaining hours
  • Point of Contact: Wayne Whiteman : wayne.whiteman@me.gatech.edu