Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Curriculum 223 (DL) and 224 (Resident)


Advance your skills in one of the fastest trending,
in-demand, and defense relevant technology sectors.


  • Students interested in advancing their careers in the fields of unmanned vehicles (UxVs), robotics, and autonomous systems will be well suited for this certificate program.
  • Resident and non-resident U.S. military officers and U.S. government civilians, particularly practicing engineers within the Naval Research and Development Establishment. 


  • Provide foundational knowledge to begin working on NR&DE
    topics in robotics and autonomous systems
  • Focus on uniquely relevant defense (NAVSEA/NAVAIR) examples and
    applications, e.g.,
    •  Sensor integration
    • Mission-centric
  • Combine NPS expertise in distance learning and hands-on education.
  • Foster collaboration and alignment across NR&DE


  •  Baccalaureate degree in engineering or closely related field.
  •  Experience with computer programming.
  •  Command/company endorsement.


  • Typically four quarters, online, with two one-week travel periods for hands-on labs. (All travel is currently on-hold due to COVID.)  
  • Two annual student start dates:
    • Summer (July), applications due by the end of March, and
    • Winter (January), applications due by the end of September.
      See NPS Academic Calendar for specific dates.
  • Students participating in academic programs at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) may incur service and/or employment  obligations to their home command.




The Robotics Engineering graduate certificate provides:

  • Technical concepts and skills necessary to understand, design, and operate robotic systems.
  • Faculty-led instruction plus hands-on (lab and collaborative) activities.
  • Flexible and self-paced learning experiences.
  • Challenging opportunities to apply knowledge to defense-related problems and contexts.
  • Career advancement and an added credential for practicing engineers.



The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) offers the Graduate Certificate Program in Robotics Engineering. This highly-relevant, four-course online program helps DoD professionals advance their careers and become leaders in the emerging fields of unmanned vehicles (UxVs), robotics, and autonomous systems. Students will also gain hands-on lab experience during scheduled on-site visits to Monterey, CA.

ÔÇťAdvances in A.I., autonomous control systems, advanced computing, big data, learning machines... ...are leading us toward great human-machine collaboration."

                                                                                                       -- Mr. Robert O. Work, Former Deputy Sec.of Defense


Foundations Sequence

ME3420 Computational Foundations for Robotics (3-2)
1st Quarter (Summer or Winter)

This course prepares students for future engineering coursework at NPS. If offers a hands-on introduction to foundational computational concepts and development practices employed in the engineering of robotics and autonomous systems. Topics include both general purpose programming and intermediate techniques specific to robotics, e.g., component-based development, event-based programming, cyber-physical interface, and real-time execution.

EC4310 Fundamentals of Robotics (3-2)
2nd Quarter (Fall or Spring)

This course presents the fundamentals of land-based robotic systems covering the areas of locomotion, manipulation, grasping, sensory perception, and teleoperation. Main topics include kinematics, dynamics, manipulability, motion/force control, real-time programming, controller architecture, motion planning, navigation, and sensor integration. Several Nomad mobile robots will be used for class projects. Military applications of robotic systems will be discussed.


PC3014 Intermediate Applied Physics Laboratory (3-4)*
3rd Quarter (Winter or Summer)

This course continues with the instrumentation and signal processing topics begun in PC2013. Included are: controllable oscillators and RF modulation/demodulation techniques, basic electrical noise sources, device damage and failure modes, elementary digital logic gates and Ics. Also included are an overview of relevant microcomputer topics, such as digital encoding schemes, analog and digital interfacing, and serial communications and networking. At the discretion of the instructor, hands-on projects incorporating the course material, may be assigned. Typical projects are: in-air sonar systems, radio receivers and transmitters, and opto-electronic communications links.

AE4820 Robotic Multibody Systems or Elective (3-2)*
4th Quarter (Spring or Fall)

This course focuses on the analytical modeling, numerical simulations and laboratory experiments of dynamics and control of autonomous maneuvering of robotic multibody systems. Students learn about robotic manipulation on fixed and moving bases. Applications include orbiting spacecraft, underwater, surface, ground and airborne vehicles.

*Applications courses may be substituted for a variety of other courses across campus, pending availability and demand.


Brian Bingham
Associate Professor, MAE Department

More information on NPS Distance Learning (DL) programs