Unmanned Autonomous Systems, Minor

Students pose with an unmanned aerial system

Unmanned autonomous systems are high-tech, intelligent machines capable of traveling by air, land or sea without a human crew on board. Thanks to advanced computing technology, sensing capability and mechanical design, unmanned autonomous systems are versatile machines able to maneuver in diverse — and sometimes dangerous — environments. Equipped with sensors, a UAS could go into the heart of a storm or a spreading wildfire to monitor threats to human lives and property or travel through remote areas to gather environmental data.

Emerging UAS technology is affordable, giving small businesses and individuals the opportunity to customize it for a seemingly endless variety of applications. Nevada offers a unique opportunity for both students and industry interested in investing in UAS, with a history of supporting UAS initiatives and a number of civilian and military resources for research and development.

Learning outcomes and objectives

Two student work on an unmanned autonomous system

This rapidly expanding industry requires highly educated individuals who understand the fundamentals of UAS in terms of design, engineering, operation and data analysis.

To this end, the objective of the interdisciplinary minor in UAS is to provide students with skills and experiences that will help them better apply the knowledge gained in their majors to specialized problems in the field of UAS.

How to enroll

The minor is open to all students in the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Electrical and Biomedical Engineering (EBME), and Mechanical Engineering (ME).

Students must develop a plan of study that fulfills the minor requirements and have the plan approved by both an advisor from their major program of study and an advisor from the UAS minor program. The plan is designed to ensure that students receive appropriate advising and must be approved at least two semesters prior to graduation.

Course requirements

You must complete a minimum of 18 credits from the courses listed below. At least nine of those credits must be in upper-division courses, and no more than nine of the credits can also count toward your major.

Substitutions for courses on this list must be approved by the director of the UAS minor program.

Required courses

For CSE/EE students:

  • ME 242 Dynamics AND
  • ENGR 360 Introduction to Fluid Mechanics

For ME students:

  • ME 482 Aerodynamics

AND one of the following classes

  • EE 471 Control Systems II
  • EE 472 Digital Control Engineering
  • CPE 470 Autonomous Mobile Robots

Elective courses

The remaining 12 credits can be selected from the following list:

  • CS381 The Game Development Pipeline (3 credits)
  • CS420 Human Computer Interaction (3 credits)
  • CPE 470 Autonomous Mobile Robots (3 credits)
  • CS 474/674 Image Processing and Interpretation (3 credits)
  • CS 479/679 Pattern Recognition (3 credits)
  • CS 482 Artificial Intelligence (3 credits)
  • CS 485 Computer Vision (3 credits)
  • EE 362 Signals and Systems (3 credits)
  • EE 370 Control Systems I (3 credits)
  • EE 471 Control Systems II (3 credits)
  • EE 472 Digital Control Engineering (3 credits)
  • ME 241 Statics (3 credits)
  • ME 242 Dynamics (3 credits)
  • ME 310 System Analysis and Design (4 credits)
  • ME 410 Intro to System Control (3 credits)
  • ME 444 Intermediate Dynamics (3 credits)
  • ME 422 Intro to Robotics (3 credits)
  • ME 482 Aerodynamics (3 credits)
  • CS/EE/ME 492 Topics in Autonomous Systems (3 credits)


Please contact Dr. Indira Chatterjee, associate dean of engineering, at indira@unr.edu, with questions about the unmanned autonomous systems minor.

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact College of Engineering

Phone (775) 784-6925
Fax (775) 784-4466
Email engineering@unr.edu
Location Scrugham Engineering and Mines
Address University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557