Kennesaw State Launches Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering, Master’s in Intelligent Robotic Systems

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 13, 2021


The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has approved two new degree programs at Kennesaw State University, including the University’s first engineering doctoral program. 

A Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering and a Master of Science in Intelligent Robotic Systems will be offered starting in Fall 2021.

“Having long been recognized as one of the state’s leaders in engineering education, these two degree programs will boost our academic profile and allow us to continue meeting the needs of one of the fastest-growing disciplines both here in Georgia and across the nation,” said KSU President Pamela Whitten. “I applaud the efforts of our faculty to develop these programs and look forward to further cementing our status as the institution where Georgia’s engineers are built.” 

The Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering degree program will allow students to work alongside top faculty researchers to generate innovative solutions to real-world problems. The program, which will be supported by all six departments currently housed in KSU’s engineering college will help students create a broader engineering foundation rooted in cutting-edge research, tying into the college’s overall mission of creating “comprehensive engineers.” 

In addition to research, the doctoral program will further reduce the talent gap in Georgia, where the need for engineers outpaces the need nationwide. With more than 5,000 students, KSU has the second-largest engineering college in the state and has the largest percentage of engineering graduates who remain in Georgia to work in the profession. 

“As a Carnegie-designated university, the new Ph.D. program further builds upon KSU’s aspiration of becoming the nation’s foremost R2 research institution by generating more scholarship and research opportunities for our students and faculty,” said Kathy Schwaig, KSU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Combined with our master’s degree in intelligent robotic systems and other existing degrees, the Ph.D. program allows KSU to join an exclusive group of universities to offer a full range of engineering degrees while producing graduates who can tackle problems on Day 1.”

The Master of Science in Intelligent Robotic Systems degree will be offered as a one-year, online program focused on the theories and techniques used to design machines with self-autonomy. The program, housed within the Department of Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering, builds upon KSU’s successful Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics Engineering degree and mechatronics engineering minor programs. 

The graduate program in intelligent robotic systems will address the needs of Georgia’s workforce by producing graduates well-equipped to manage complex unmanned systems, including self-driving cars and autonomous delivery drones. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mechanical engineering jobs, which include robotics engineers, are expected to grow by more than 9% by 2026. 

“We are thrilled to usher in this new era of engineering at KSU,” said Ian Ferguson, dean of the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. “These two degrees will further emphasize our status a leader in engineering and generate tremendous opportunities for our students moving forward.”

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit