Princeton University

The Certificate Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems is designed for Princeton undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing careers or graduate education in three general areas:

New industries and organizations depend increasingly on the interplay between engineering, computing, and the life sciences. Innovations and inventions require multi-disciplinary approaches and entrepreneurship, as well as grounding in theory and practice, in topics that may not be covered by a single department. The program offers an integrated set of core and elective courses, introducing students to fundamental concepts, providing depth in specific fields of interest, and setting the stage for further achievement. Students are encouraged to expand their experience through summer internships with companies, government agencies, and university laboratories.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to juniors and seniors at Princeton University who have a satisfactory background in mathematics, science, and computing. Students should have successfully completed:
A student planning to earn the program certificate should complete the Student Profile as early as possible and no later than the mid-point of the fall term of his or her senior year.

Program of Study

A concentrator in this program must satisfy both program and departmental requirements. The program for each student is worked out by the student and his or her departmental adviser. The program requirements are as follows:

1. All students must take six courses, including three core courses and three electives. To qualify for the certificate, a minimum grade average of B- in the six program courses is required. In some cases, a course can fulfill both a certificate program requirement and a regular departmental requirement (contact program director for details).

Core Courses (one from each group)

Laboratory (1)

Control Systems (1)

Cognition, Language, and Decision-Making (1)

Elective Courses (maximum of two from the same department to satisfy the requirement)

2. A senior independent work project or thesis whose topic is relevant to the program and acceptable to the program committee must be completed and presented to the committee. A minimum grade of B- for the project or thesis is required to qualify for the certificate.

3. Close collaboration with faculty is expected. Program students are expected to demonstrate strong academic performance. Program courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis unless that is the only grading alternative for the course.

4. Program students must fill out the Student Profile form at the beginning of each year in which they are members of the program. This is especially important during the senior year to assure that requirements for the certificate will be met by the end of the year.

Seminars on Robotics and Intelligent Systems

Seminars of interest to an undergraduate audience are announced to all interested students. Typical topic areas include: Advanced students are encouraged to attend regularly scheduled departmental seminars to further enrich their understanding of the field.

Typical Undergraduate Independent Research Projects

Undergraduate projects usually are undertaken for Independent Work or Senior Thesis credit, and opportunities exist for summer and work-study projects. These projects typically last for one or two academic terms, although they may extend over greater periods of time. Students work closely with faculty and staff members, and they have access to sophisticated computers and experimental facilities while conducting their independent research. Topics for past and future projects include the following:

Chemical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Computer Science

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Operations Research and Financial Engineering



Atypical Undergraduate Independent Research Project

The Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering Team (PAVE) has developed autonomous vehicles for the DARPA Grand Challenge events and the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. The PAVE team members are undergraduates drawn from several departments. Their lead faculty adviser is Alain Kornhauser, Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering and member of the Robotics and Intelligent Systems program committee.

 CLICK HERE to see descriptions of THESIS AND INDEPENDENT WORK PROJECTS that have been suggested for the 2010-2011 academic year.

 STUDENT PROFILE: Princeton University Students CLICK HERE to let us know of your interest in the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Program.


Tools and Concepts

Libraries and Technical Report Servers

Simulation, Instrumentation, and Robot Kits

Programs, Organizations, and Contests

Robotics and Intelligent Systems Program Committee, 2010-2011

For more information, please contact one of the following faculty members:
Last updated August 10, 2010.
Copyright 2010 by Robert F. Stengel. All rights reserved.