Robotics Engineering

Autonomously controlled ground vehicle used for validation of control and estimation algorithms in the Hybrid Systems Lab.


The UCSC robotics engineering program prepares graduates for rewarding careers at the interfaces between electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. UCSC robotics engineering graduates will have a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of robotics and control, and the scientific and mathematical principles upon which they are built; they will be prepared for further education (both formal and informal) and for productive employment in industry.

The program objectives of the UCSC B.S. in robotics engineering are:

  1. Graduates who choose to pursue a career in industry, government, or academia will become successful engineers, scientists, or educators who demonstrate strong leadership, technical, and team skills, and a commitment to continuing professional development.
  2. Graduates who choose to pursue advanced degrees will gain admission to graduate programs and will be successful graduate students.

Degrees Offered

  • B.S.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • B.S. in robotics engineering
  • robotics and control designated emphasis (graduate minor)

Departmental faculty focus on multidisciplinary hardware and software research including embedded and autonomous systems, digital media and sensor technology, assistive technologies, and robotics. Students complete a senior design capstone course and choose either a corporate-sponsored project or their own. Undergraduates contribute to Computer Engineering Department research activities as independent study students, paid employees and participants in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)s.

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

Please see the current UC Santa Cruz General Catalog for a full description of the BSOE admissions policy.

Freshman Applicants: Once at UCSC, students will be accepted into the major based on grade-point average in selected lower-division mathematics, physics, and programming courses required for the major.

High School Preparation

It is recommended that high school students applying to the BSOE have completed four years of mathematics and three years of science in high school, if possible one year each of chemistry, physics, and biology. Comparable college mathematics and science courses completed at other institutions may be accepted in place of high school preparation. 

Information for Transfers

Transfer Applicants: Admission into the major is based on the student’s academic college record.  Transfer students seeking to major in robotics engineering must complete the following foundation courses prior to transfer:

  • Mathematics 19A-B, Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (two quarters)
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics 10, Mathematical Methods for Engineers I
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics 20, Mathematical Methods for Engineers II
  • Physics 5A/L, Introduction to Physics, and Physics 5C/M, Electricity and Magnetism
  • One transferable programming course (even if not articulated)

For a complete list of lower-division courses visit Additional articulated lower-division courses can be found at:


  • Assistive technologies
  • Control system design
  • Embedded system design
  • Remote sensing
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Signal/image/video processing

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.

Many students find internships and fieldwork to be a valuable part of their academic experience. They work closely with faculty and career advisers in the UC Santa Cruz Career Center to identify existing opportunities and often to create their own internships with local companies or in nearby Silicon Valley. For more information about internships, visit


BSOE students may wish to develop their cross-cultural competency, typically via the Education Abroad Program (EAP). Interested students must work very closely with the faculty and academic advisers in their major very early during the freshman or sophomore year to create a plan for transferability of coursework towards graduation. For more EAP information, visit

Awards, Honors, and Recognitions

Departmental faculty are focused on multidisciplinary research including embedded and autonomous systems, digital media and sensor technology, assistive technologies, and robotics. Many undergraduates contribute to research activities as independent study students or paid employees, for example as part of the National Science Foundation-funded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology,

Department Website

General Catalog Information

More Information

University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064