Jessy Grizzle

Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor
Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering

Jessy Grizzle

Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor
Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering

Jessy Grizzle

Jessy W. Grizzle

Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor
Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering
Director of Robotics

University of Michigan
Robotics Institute
2505 Hayward St (2200 FRB)
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2106
Tel: (734) 763-3598
Fax: (734) 763-8041

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2106

Advising for Robotics Courses

Robotics Advising Information

The Graduate Academic Advisor is Prof. Jessy Grizzle. A list of all advisors can be found here.

ECE Plan of Study Forms. You must have a valid plan of study form submitted to the Master's Program Coordinator in order to graduate. It is highly recommended that you prepare a Study Plan your first semester and have it signed by me no later than the end of the third week of your first semester at Michigan. After that initial submission, you should revise it as needed. You can revise Your Study Plan as many times as you like.

See the Bright Green Stripe for ECE Pre-approved Robotics Courses. Note that ROB 501 and ROB 550 count as EECS Credits. Also, where it says that you need advisor approval to count EECS 568 or ROB 501 or ROB 550 as part of a robotics major, that is not exactly true, because, I will always approve them. :-)

Other Robotics courses are here and here. In principle, you need my approval to count them in your major. What I will check is that your set of courses makes sense. In ECE:Robotics, you follow the rules in ECE. By doing so, you have a bit more freedom in your course selection than the students in the COE:Robotics program.

If your C-programming skills are "weak", you may want to take ROB 502 Programming for Robotics. To enroll in the course, email Denise Edmund ``'' with a CC to me explaining that you are an ECE:Robotics major. If you do not CC me and do not explain that you are in ECE:Robotics, then you are unlikely to be admitted.

Some of you are confused about the "optional" S/U (Pass-Fail) credits. Most students take zero or one of them. You can count a maximum of 6 S/U credits toward your MS degee.

Cognates are complicated. If a course is listed in another department, you can count it as a cognate.  If an EECS course is cross-listed with another department, then you  can still count it as a cognate. You cannot count a course as both a cognate and a major course; you have to choose between one or the other. Many Robotics courses qualify as cognates. The attribution of a course as a "major" course or a "cognate" course is a purely internal accounting detail. It does not show up on your transcript. Hence, one you reach your required number of major credits, do not hesitate to move something like ROB 530 into the cognate category.                 

If your Linear Algebra skills are rusty, you can brush them up here. Do not let the "100" nature of the course dissuade you. It is a serious Linear Algebra course for freshmen at UofM!

EECS Courses  and All Courses in COE 

First-semester MS Robotics

In the Fall semester, it is strongly advised that you take ROB 501. Other courses are harder to specify because they depend on your personal interests within Robotics. You might select from Computer Vision (EECS 442, EECS 504), Control Systems (EECS 461, EECS 560), Dynamics (ME 540), Machine Learning (EECS 545, EECS 505), Programming (ROB 502), a CS-view of Robotics (ROB 511), or Mechatronics (ME 552). You can try to get into ROB 550, but in the Fall term that will be hard, however, some students do get in and you should keep it in mind for the Winter term when it is widely available to students outside of the Robotics Institute.

For anyone majoring in Robotics, cognate credits happen easily. Do not take a course for the sole reason of earning cognate credits. If the course counts as a cognate and you are really interested in the course, then, by all means, go for it.

Whatever you do, do not take more than three (3) courses in your first term. Your UG courses were incomparably easier than MS-level courses at Michigan. Please, please, please keep this in mind. If you take four courses and get in trouble, the Grad Office and I will still help you, but, it will not be pretty! Use your first term to adjust to the new environment and give yourself a chance to be successful. Building up your confidence is an excellent goal for the first semester!


All of the instructions are here.

Before you meet with me, you must first set up a meeting with the appropriate ECE Graduate Coordinator, for MS students and Ms. Kristen Thornton ( for PhD students. You will find them in the ECE Advising Office and they will check the correct boxes on the form and let me know it is ready to be signed. If you attempt to complete the form on your own, you will get both you and me in trouble. These are legal documents and must be treated with care. After you have met with an ECE Grad Coorindator, I am very happy to sign your form. CPT and OPT are very important and we want you to find great jobs that add to your experience at Michgan.

Reduced Course Load

Step 1 is to get your course form signed by me. An e-signature is fine. Step 2, you need to contact [MS Students] or Ms. Kristen Thornton ( [PhD students] in the ECE Advisisng office. There is a special letter that they will prepare for you. I am unable to write that letter. Done! That's it. By the way, this is applicable when you are in your last term and need less than 8 credits to complete your degree.

Changing Majors

Set up a meeting with me. I will require you to take a course where you actually touch a robot, such as ROB 550, EECS 464, or, sometimes, ME 552. I will require a solid course plan in robotics. You do not need to tell me why you are changing majors. All I care about is that you complete a strong set of courses and do reasonably well in them.

Grizzle's Free Advice

Advice, Part 1: Take at MOST three courses your first term at Michigan. The grad courses take much more time than your undergrad courses. Give youself a chance to adjust to the system here and be successful. ROB 550 is a very intense course; it takes about 30 hours per week. It is hard to get in ROB 550 in the fall term because most of the slots are reserved for students in the CoE Robotics Program. The course is also offered in the Winter term and is open to everyone then. [You can still try for Fall term; some do get in!]

Advice, Part 2: Many students majoring in Robotics will also want to take computer vision or machine learning courses. Others will want some feedback control. These are fine selections. The Mechatronics course, ME 552, is pre-approved to count for EECS credit. I would not advise you to take both ROB 550 and ME 552, though you are allowed to do that, but for sure, do NOT take them the same semester; the combination would be far too time consuming. If you plan to take control courses as part of your robotics degree, it is important to note that EECS 560 is required for EECS 565 and strongly recommended for EECS 562.

Advice, Part 3: How do you know if your selection of courses constitutes a valid MS Major in Robotics? Either meet with me (by appointment, via email) or send me your Study Plan. Please use the online ECE MS Plan of Study Form; fill it out as completely as you can. If you are unsure about which courses to take in later terms or if you make a few mistakes, do not worry, you can revise your plan at any time!

Advice, Part 4: To find out what is going on in robotics, to learn about job and internship offers that companies share with faculty, to learn about seminars, please join the Robtics Announce email list. There is very little spam because only members of the list can email to the list.

Who is doing robotics research at UofM? A good place to look is here.

Control Advising Information

The Graduate Academic Advisors are Prof. Stephane Lafortune and Prof. Necmiye Ozay

Control Courses in the College of Engineering.

Important Advising Warning

We are seeing students who are claiming to be robotics or control majors, when they are really doing a major in computer science. This will not be tolerated. If you are NOT making progress towards your robotics degree with a solid list of robotics courses, I will NOT sign your Study Plan. And without my signature, you cannot graduate. Professors Lafortune and Ozay have the same policy for control majors. For those of you who are really doing a Robotics or Control Major, you will find us to be very accommodating on your plan of study. If we can look at your plan of study and deduce your major from your course selections, you'll be fine. This menancing message is present only because we have a few students who really are abusing the system. Most of you are fantastic and I look forward to working with you to build an exciting, individualized study plan in robotics!