James Madison University

Interdisciplinary Minor in Robotics

Dr. Ralph Grove, Minor Adviser

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Robotics combines courses and faculty from several departments to provide students an introduction to the field of Robotics. Through a variety of courses and a capstone project, students will learn fundamental principles of robotics and have a chance to apply them with a hands-on project.

Minor Objectives:

  • Students will have a basic understanding of robot control systems, sensors, motion, circuits, and the overall design of robots.
  • Students will be able to design and develop autonomous robots and robot control software.
  • Students will develop an understanding of how advances in robotics technology can be used in diverse real-life applications.
  • Students will be learn to work on an interdisciplinary team developing a technical product.

The minor allows flexibility to choose courses that complement each student’s major studies. The curriculum also encourages breadth by requiring students to take some courses outside of their own major.

The minor has been designed for students with a major in one of the STEM fields, but it is open to any JMU student who has an interest and is willing to complete the required courses and prerequisites.

Students interested in the minor are urged to contact the minor advisor to discuss a plan of study.


Basic Preparation 1 11-12 Credit Hours
CS 139 Algorithm Development
or ISAT 252 Programming and Problem Solving 2
MATH 232 or 235 Calculus I
or ISAT 151 Topics in Applied Calculus in ISAT
SCI 101&104 Physics, Chemistry and the Human Experience 3
or PHYS 240 + Lab University Physics I (with any Physics Lab)
or ISAT 152 Topics in Applied Physics in ISAT
Core Course - choose one       3 Credit Hours
CS 354 Introduction to Autonomous Robotics
or PHYS 386 Robots: Structure and Theory
Electives - at least six credits 4  6 Credit Hours

CS/ISAT 344 Intelligent Systems
CS 444 Artificial Intelligence
ISAT 331. Automation in Manufacturing
MATH 238 Differential Equations
MATH 248 Numerical Methods
MATH 341 Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos
PHYS 371 Introduction to Digital Electronics
PHYS 372 Microcontrollers and Their Applications

Robotics Project Course 1 Credit Hour
CISE 481 Robotics Project Summary 1

1 A Basic Preparation course may be waived by the minor advisor if a student has completed a comparable course or experience.
2 Must be an ISAT 252 section taught using a procedural programming language (e.g., Python)
3 Must be an approved section of SCI 101&104, with a robotics theme
4 At least one elective must be from a different department from the introductory course.


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