Pioneering approach for offering the convergence MS degree in mechatronics and associate graduate certificate

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



College of Computing


Mechatronics is an essential foundation for the expected growth in automation and manufacturing. There is a demand for graduate education in Mechatronics as the landscape of engineering programs has changed in the past decade, shifting from traditional degrees leading directly to closely aligned positions in industry, to preparing individuals with advanced technical competencies capable of engaging in interdisciplinary research and industry applications. The proposed MS degree in Mechatronics and Associated Graduate Certificate at Michigan Tech have a flexible structure. The MS degree consists of five distinct pathways allowing students from technology, traditional engineering, community colleges, other institutions, and industry representatives to pursue an advanced degree in this emerging field. Students enrolled in the program have three graduation options: coursework, research with thesis, and internship with industry and report options. Existing graduate certificates (~15 credits) are designed around advanced controls, digital electronics and mechatronics systems with little or no emphasis on automation or industrial robotics. The graduate certificate in Mechatronics at Michigan Tech is designed to address this by focusing on industrial robotics, automation and controls. Job descriptions from Tesla, Ford, Fanuc, GM, and many other automation companies call for a specific knowledge of Fanuc robots and PLCs. Thus, the core courses for the certificate are Realtime Robotics Systems and Advanced PLC. Additional certificate courses emphasize electrical, mechanical and cybersecurity aspects. In the previous publications, the authors have already provided the details on the developed MS Degree in Mechatronics and therefore the main focus of this article will be on the Graduate Certificate in Mechatronics and its unique structure.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference University of New Mexico, Albuquerque