MS in Human-Robot Interaction

The official policies for this program may be found in the CS Department Bulletin. If there is any conflict between this webpage and the official policies, then the official policies have precedence.

The Department of Computer Science, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering each now offer an MS in Human-Robot Interaction.

Students in each department share a set of five required core courses, but other requirements vary. All core courses will be offered annually, so that one-year MS students will be able to take them within one year.

Master's degrees require a minimum of 30 credits and the fulfillment of at least 10 courses at the 100-level or above with grades of S (satisfactory) or at least a B-.

Computer Science-Specific Requirements


The Department of Computer Science offers two MS options to students in HRI: a course-based option and a thesis-based option. The course-based option can be completed within one year and requires students to complete 30 credits of courses. The degree will stipulate "non-thesis." 

To earn the stipulation "with thesis," the student must work with a mentor to perform research which will then be written into a thesis and defended. This is usually done during a second year, as the thesis can take one or two semesters to complete.


All HRI students are required to take HRI electives from a pool of approved courses. Below is the list of approved electives for computer science HRI students:

  • COMP 131: Artificial Intelligence (3 credits)
  • COMP 135: Introduction to Machine Learning (3 credits)
  • COMP 136: Statistical Pattern Recognition (3 credits)
  • COMP 150-AAA: Artificial Agents and Autonomy (3 credits)
  • COMP 150-CMCS: Computational Models in Cognitive Science (3 credits)
  • COMP 150-HRI: Human-Robot Interaction (3 credits)
  • COMP 150-NLD: Situated Natural Language Dialogues with Robots (3 credits)
  • COMP 150-NLP: Natural Language Processing (3 credits)
  • COMP 150-RML: Research in Applied Machine Learning (3 credits)
  • COMP 150-UIM: User Interfaces for Mobile Platforms (3 credits)
  • COMP 160: Algorithms (4 credits)
  • COMP 171: Human-Computer Interaction (3 credits)
  • COMP 250-AFI: Affective Interfaces (3 credits)
  • COMP 250-HCI: Human-Computer Interaction Seminar (3 credits)
  • COMP 250-MLS: Machine Learning Seminar (3 credits)
  • COMP 250-PBI: Physiological and Brain Interfaces (3 credits)


The thesis requires a commitment of two semesters total and is completely optional. Acceptance to the thesis track occurs after matriculation into the program and only with the support of a faculty advisor who is interested in supervising the thesis work. After finding a faculty member who is willing to work with you on a MS thesis, the faculty member can write to the CS Graduate Coordinator to request your change to the thesis track.

Computer science HRI master’s students writing a thesis are required to submit a thesis prospectus by the end of their first semester. The prospectus, which should provide a detailed description of research achievements and future plans, should be pre-approved by the thesis advisor. The prospectus will be vetted by the graduate committee, which will respond in writing to the student to provide the outcome.

The student's advisor will propose a committee to the faculty for approval. The thesis committee, chaired by the advisor, will include at least three faculty members, including one member from outside the Department of Computer Science (ideally, a faculty member associated with the HRI program). Upon completion of the research, the student must prepare a thesis and publicly defend it. The defense includes a 45-minute talk, open to the public, where the student presents their research. The public presentation must be advertised to the entire department at least one week prior to the presentation.


Advising of HRI MS students without a thesis requirement will be handled by a designated faculty or staff member. Thesis students will already have an assigned faculty advisor.

Foreign Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement in HRI.

General information on the BS/MS program:


Contact the program director, Professor Matthias Scheutz.