FAQs for MS in RI Graduate students

Disclaimer: This is NOT an official guide. Neither me, nor CMU/RI nor any person associated with content on this page, is/are responsible for the outcome of using this information. You have been warned.

This FAQ is written to help students who have secured admission to the Masters in Robotics Program, CMU (NOT MRSD program at CMU).

This is NOT for HOW TO GET ADMISSION AT RI. If you send me an email asking a question which is clarified by information below, it just shows that you don't read too well. That being said, I am reasonably patient with queries.

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I mean the following by funding (a) Tuition reimbursement (b) Monthly stipend.

There are two ways in which MS students get funded -

Option 1: They get funding right from the first semester. This generally means that the student got an offer letter of funding with his acceptance OR that the student convinced a faculty (before he came to RI) to sponsor him. In both the cases the MS program is 24 months EXACTLY.

Option 2: They pay the fees for their first semester. They convince a faculty to sponsor them AFTER they come to RI. So they get funding from the 2nd semester. In this case the MS program is 12-16 months (depending on when you finish your thesis). RI doesn't have the option of students getting funded in the 1st semester AFTER they come to RI. If you want funding from the first semester itself you need Option 1.

Option 3: I am clueless about this. I am sure something exists. Suggestions welcome :)

  • Option 1 is rare (about 5-10% at the max) and you need to be able to convince professors. This does not mean you spam their inboxes. And at any rate, this does not mean that you can say "this MS student named Ishan gave me the idea to <blah>". Be reasonable!
  • Option 2 is pretty common. If you're very hard-working and it isn't a particularly bad year (for professor's project funds), you should get this.
  • MS students don't TA (at least I haven't heard of any MS in RI doing so)
  • University jobs may exist, but again I haven't heard of any MS in RI doing so. The MS program is VERY time consuming in itself.
  • The length of your MS program is decided at the time of entry and doesn't change (irrespective of funding). The duration can be changed in very rare circumstances.


The fees comes out to be about 19.5-20k $ per semester (subject to change. Check the website for updated figure). Living costs are about 800-1100$/month (if you are scant-reasonable in your wants). Add in a couple hundred dollars if you like to party.


All people end up getting a job. It is CMU! That is probably the last thing I would be worried about. All my friends (in Robotics/CS) never had any problems getting internships/jobs.

Additional Information

Check out a more general FAQ page I wrote: here


Thanks to the below mentioned venerable people

Date: 2013-01-31

Author: Ishan Misra

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