Artificial intelligence (AI) is a concept that many us of are only familiar with from what we’ve seen in movies like iRobot. But America’s top colleges are ramping up their research efforts and developing concentrations for their computer science degree programs to accommodate this high-tech field.
AI is the theory or development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that would otherwise require a human brain, like decision-making and translating languages. It’s typically found within a university’s engineering school or computer science department. The AI discipline is still so new to higher education that Carnegie Mellon broke ground this year by creating the first undergraduate degree program in artificial intelligence. A large number of other colleges and universities have created concentrations and tracks that incorporate AI into undergraduate curricula, or at least one of the subareas of AI, like machine learning, natural language processing and robotics.
While the undergraduate degree programs are new, the research area of AI at colleges and universities is not. Many schools, like those on this college ranking, have created physical robots that are learning how to cook from watching YouTube (UMD). Others are creating intelligent systems capable of sifting through oodles of data to provide hospitals with some incredibly helpful answers.
Similar to the rest of the world of computing, AI is a very multidisciplinary field. The best AI degree programs are those that include subjects like computer science, philosophy, psychology, mathematics and linguistics. To help find and rank the 40 Best Colleges in the U.S. for Artificial Intelligence, we began with a list of 100+ schools that offer AI-related degree programs. Because our focus is affordability, we held on to (most of) the cheapest colleges and nixed those with net costs of $30,000 or more. We used the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database to find the net cost, percentage of students receiving financial aid, student-to-faculty ratio and first-time student retention rate (an indicator of student satisfaction) for each university. We developed a point system to account for each of those factors, as well as the school’s location, course offerings, research breadth, faculty achievements and additional pros related to a positive AI learning environment. We ranked each college using our point methodology, which is as follows:
- Net Cost: <$10,000 (3 points); $10,001-$15,000 (2 points); <$20,000 (1 point)
- Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: >90% (3 points); 80-89% (2 points); 70-79% (1 point)
- First-Time Student Retention: >90% (3 points); 80-89% (2 points); 70-79% (1 point)
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: <10:1 (3 points); 15-11:1 (2)
- Location and Facilities: If the city is known for its tech presence (like Silicon Valley and Seattle) (3 points); If the city has a slight/budding tech presence (1 point); Unique academic or research facilities (1 point each with a maximum of 3)
- AI Presence in Research: 1 point per AI-specific lab, institute or research opportunity, with a maximum of 10
- AI Courses: 1 point per AI-specific course beyond “Introduction to AI”, with a maximum of 10
- Program Extras: 1 point per program extras at the researcher’s discretion, like high-value faculty members, AI student organizations, fast-track master’s degree programs, undergraduate student success, AI-specific events, etc.
40. University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT
Net Cost: $12,363
Course Examples: Programming Challenges, Models of Computation and Artificial Intelligence
The University of Utah’s BS in computer science degree is a software-oriented program with specialization options in entertainment arts and engineering (EAE) or games/EAE. It also offers a hardware-oriented BS in computer engineering degree program, as well as a five-year joint BS/MS program. Within the CS program curriculum, students can dive into advanced courses in:
-theoretical computer science, and more.
One unique course is CS 3011, Industry Forum. There, students engage in presentations from local and national business leaders discussing issues, trends and more in computing from industry perspectives.
Undergraduate students can work with School of Computing and College of Engineering faculty on research projects as one of their CS electives. They can also elect pathways like The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) or the research and thesis senior project. The School of Computing has pioneered work in subjects like computer graphics and architecture. In addition to offering an artificial intelligence lecture series, Utah has a Robotics Center, Natural Language Processing Research Group and researchers focused on human-computer interaction. The Robotics Center received a number of awards and grants in 2017 for projects like “CRII: RI: Enabling Manipulation of Object Collections via Self-Supervised Robot Learning.”
39. Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN
Net Cost: $12,117
Course Examples: Data Mining and Machine Learning, Introduction To The Theory Of Computation and Artificial Intelligence
Within Purdue’s BS degree program in CS, students who complete the core computer science courses can choose one or more specialized tracks, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, systems programming and more. Students can also choose a BS degree in data science, or earn their master’s degree in computer science alongside their bachelor’s in just five years. Purdue also offers a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. According to the Milken Institute, Purdue is No. 1 in startup creation among American universities without a medical school. Within the last five years, the CS faculty have collaborated with every other college at Purdue in research, covering areas like:
- machine learning and information retrieval
- theory of computing and algorithms
- bioinformatics and computational biology.
Current research funding administered by the department includes projects like “I/UCRC for Robots and Sensors for the Human Well-being” and “Engineering Security and Performance Aware Vehicular Applications for Safer and Smarter Roads.”
38. University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL
Net Cost: $11,550
Course Examples: Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction and AI Programming for Interactive Environments
The Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering at the University of West Florida offers MS and BS degree programs with majors in
- computer science
- computer information systems
- software engineering.
While it’s not explicit on the major description page, UWF does offer a degree concentration in artificial intelligence. Students in the computer science department have access to opportunities and amenities like:
- Eight CS-specific scholarships
- Student organizations like the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE): International Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines
- Employment opportunities with heavy-hitters like AT&T Government Solutions, the FBI, Microsoft and CGI
- CS events like the 36-hour CodeFest
- Program lecturers and professors who have written in-depth books on artificial intelligence and a Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
Like many schools on this list, the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering’s research division is where the AI magic happens. Two of the four research groups in the department are UWF Smart Home Research and the Artificial Intelligence Research Group. The AIRG is open to all interested undergraduate and graduate students. It holds weekly meetings to discuss and work on current projects, as well as plan public talks and other activities. Current project topics include:
- Neural networks and machine learning
- AI and ML applications for cybersecurity
- AI and ML applications for gaming
- Intelligent agents
- Adaptive and intelligent learning environments
- Natural language processing
- Computer vision
- Knowledge-based systems
37. Bellevue College in Bellevue, WA
Net Cost: $7,337
Course Examples: Programming for Machine Learning (Python), Additive Design and Manufacturing, and Advanced Topics in Object Oriented Programming
The Institute for Business & Information Technology (iBIT) at Bellevue College offers an associate’s of applied science (AAS) degree program in robotics and artificial intelligence. It’s the first program of its kind at the community and technical college-level in Washington state. The AAS in AI coursework focuses primarily on software development. While the general education courses include ethics in technology, the rest of the curriculum dives into subjects like:
- machine learning
- python programming
- AI language and speech technology
- autonomous systems
- robotics architecture
- and predictive analytics
Bellevue is situated just outside of Seattle, which Built In Seattle, an online community for startups and tech companies, dubs as “one of the AI capitals of the world.”
This college also offers bachelor’s degree programs in tech, as well as beneficial events like the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Test Fest, where students were able to get certified on Microsoft technology at no cost. This the cheapest artificial intelligence course and degree program on our list!
36. Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO
Net Cost: $14,133
Course Examples: Introduction To Artificial Intelligence, Introduction to Robotics and Evolutionary Computing
Founded in 1870, Missouri S&T was one of the first technological institutions west of the Mississippi. It has an 81 percent student retention rate. Here, 95 percent of students receive some kind of financial aid. The 128-credit BS in computer science degree program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. While this program has a general CS curriculum, undergraduate students have access to AI labs and numerous AI-specific or machine learning research opportunities. The associate chair of undergraduate studies, Dr. Daniel Tauritz, leads research in artificial intelligence, evolutionary computation, machine learning, robotics and more.
The city of Rolla is no Silicon Valley, but Missouri S&T’s campus includes a 50-acre Innovation Park for technology development and application. All seniors in the undergraduate program are expected to take a capstone course that gives them real-world experience. They work in teams with fellow students to “design, implement, test and maintain actual software systems.” Students also operate an organization on campus called SIG Game. The game develops an AI v. AI game and hosts the 24-hour artificial intelligence (AI) programming competition, MegaMinerAI.
35. University of California, Davis in Davis, CA
Net Cost: $16,466
Course Examples: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Introduction to Computer Vision
Livability, an online media source covering small-to-medium sized cities, recently highlighted Davis as one of the top five lesser-known tech cities in California. It cited UC Davis and its startup-building alumni. The University offers two undergraduate degree programs in computer science: one from the College of Letters & Sciences and the other through the College of Engineering. The computer science and engineering major’s curriculum has a key theme of hardware/software interaction in computer systems design. It’s accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission and the Computing Commission of ABET. UC Davis’ computer science program also allows for a BS/MS integrated program, which, with a 3.5 GPA, could waive the GRE requirement for graduate study.
UC Davis is another heavy-hitter among research universities, receiving $704 million in research funding (2014-15). Within the computer science research groups, students interested in AI can work on projects with the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AIML) group, which also offers upper division undergraduate classes in AI and ML. This group works on multidisciplinary research projects like game AI design and algorithms, and deep learning applications in computer vision.
34. University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI
Net Cost: $15,910
Course Examples: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language and the Computer, and Computational Photography
One of the oldest computer science departments in the U.S., UW-Madison CS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. Here, you can earn a BA, BS or certificate in computer sciences. You’ll take project-based courses in subjects like artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. Madison offers a great environment for CS majors and those interested in AI, especially since it became the U.S. Department of Transportation’s proving grounds for driverless vehicles. On campus, you have access to student organizations like WACM, the student chapter of ACM’s Women in Computing. It offers resources to undergrads like networking events and a mentoring program that matches them with grad students based on their areas of interest in CS. You can also compete on campus in events like MindSumo and UW CS Nest, which encourages students to develop creative software. Some students have used the contest to launch their own businesses.
The AI Group in the UW-Madison Computer Sciences Department studies computer vision, machine learning and biomedical informatics. The AI Group holds seminar talks and operates a weekly Artificial Intelligence Reading Group. This school also offers cross-campus collaboration projects, like “Fighting bullying with machine learning.” In this National Science Foundation-funded research project computer science joins forces with educational psychology to use machine learning models to “improve the scientific study, intervention and policy-making of bullying.”
33. University of Illinois at Chicago in Chicago, IL
Net Cost: $11,884
Course Examples: Video Game Design and Development, Robotics: Algorithms and Control, and Building Secure Computer Systems
The University of Illinois at Chicago has one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation. The UIC Computer Science is a partner institution with BRAID, Building Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity. While CS enrollment is more than 1,100 undergraduate students, the undergraduate student to faculty ratio is just 9:1. In the computer science major, students can choose concentrations in:
- human-centered computing
- computer systems
- software engineering.
There is also a joint BS/MS degree program in computer science. The College of Engineering (home of CS) operates a Guaranteed Paid Internship Program , giving incoming fall 2018 freshman students the opportunity to serve as paid interns for the summer of 2019.
Computer Science is one of UIC’s leading research departments, with annual research funding over $10 million. A number of labs cover subjects like AI and natural language processing. Established in 1991, the UIC Artificial Intelligence Lab specializes in applied AI research and development in the areas of transportation, molecular biology and electronics manufacturing optimization. AI research projects such as Wildbook and the Gateway Transportation Information System (GTIS), have received considerable amounts of funding and publicity.
32. University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, AZ
Net Cost: $19,750
Course Examples: Artificial Intelligence, Special Topics in Artificial Life and Mobile Platform Software Development
The first computer university in the country, University of Advancing Technology opened as a single, 10-person classroom in 1983 (as the CAD Institute). It offered its first bachelor’s degree program in 1990 and first research center two years later. Today, the STEM-based UAT enrolls about 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It uses using its Synchronic Learning model, designed to teach advancing technology with a year-round curriculum and an innovation requirement. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, UAT has a datacenter with 100+ servers for production and student use. It also has a number of other labs like the Technology/Innovation Studio. There, AI and robotics students have access to Murphy, a three-and-a-half-foot-tall robot.
Located in Metro Phoenix, the area around UAT saw a 4.8 jump in the professional/scientific/technical services subcategory employment last year. It’s expected to continue growing. Undergraduate students interested in learning AI can earn a BS degree in artificial intelligence, robotics and embedded systems or human-computer interaction. The AI degree program curriculum covers the fundamentals of general and applied artificial intelligence. This encompasses:
- evolutionary and genetic algorithms
- cellular automata
- artificial neural networks
- agent based models
- natural language processing
- machine learning
- behavior simulation
- deep learning based upon big data sets
31. New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM
Net Cost: $9,449
Course Examples: Applied Machine Learning I, Introduction to Smart Grids and Artificial Intelligence I
New Mexico State University offers both a BA and BS degree program in computer science, which come with a number of focus areas like:
- artificial intelligence
- human-computer interaction
- big data and data science
- algorithm theory.
The BS program is accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Those interested in a computer science graduate program have the option to complete a five-year dual BS and MS degree program. NMSU also offers a number of computer science minors:
- computer engineering
- computational engineering
- computer systems
- software development
- algorithm theory
As for research, the department has “a legacy of strength in artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, computer networks, high-performance computing, software engineering.” In 2016, the National Science Foundation awarded more than $1.89 million to NMSU computer science faculty researchers, who are operating under at least seven active research grants. These research groups have also created three different software programs and have earned nine international awards in the last 10 years. NMSU is also a founding member of the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), which works to enhance Hispanic participation and retention in computer science.
30. Yale University in New Haven, CT
Net Cost: $18,053
Course Examples: Computer Architectures and Artificial Intelligence, Computational Intelligence for Games and Intelligent Robotics Laboratory
Yale University’s Department of Computer Science offers both a BA and BS in computer science, as well as three combined majors with other departments like psychology and engineering. The available electives allow flexibility in the curriculum. The capstone senior project enables students to gain research experience with a faculty mentor. The combined BS/MS computer science degree program allows advanced undergrads to complete both degrees within just four years. Students interested in AI should check out the joint major in computer science and psychology, as its curriculum covers areas of:
- artificial intelligence
- cognitive science
- neural modes of computation.
There are additional research opportunities for undergraduates in the summer and during the academic year. From the Department’s founding in 1969, artificial intelligence has been among the four primary research areas. In addition to the AI area, Yale’s 12 research areas also include machine learning and social robotics. The major focus of AI at Yale is sensor-controlled behavior. This research is carried out by the Center for Computational Vision and Control, a joint effort of the Departments of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Radiology. One current AI project is the “Mathematical Theories of Human Vision.”
29. Brigham Young University in Provo, UT
Net Cost: $12,979
Course Examples: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Tools for Machine Learning and Data Mining, and Fundamentals of Information Retrieval
Brigham Young University is located in Provo, which the Milken Institute ranked as the best-performing economy among large U.S. metro areas in 2017. BYU’s College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences offers a 120-credit BS in computer science with an intelligent systems track. In the CS degree program, you’ll learn and implement both computational practice and theory. In addition to artificial intelligence, this track explores:
- data mining
- image processing and computer vision
- machine learning
- probabilistic modeling and inference
- natural language processing
- speech recognition
- bioinformatics and computational biology
In the CS Department at BYU, you have access to the Job/Internship Board and its approximately 600 job postings each year. The Department also boasts 14 open labs with almost 360 work stations. It also offers free MSDN software, web space, supercomputing facilities, computer support, advisement, and student organizations. The BYU chapter of The Association for Computing Machinery is the largest and oldest international scientific and educational computing society in the industry. This computer science degree program is noted for its undergraduate research and mentoring opportunities, which have brought in over $1 million in grant funding within one year. Many of these mentorships are paid, and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is one of the six currently sponsored research specialties. Undergrads can work in any of the six AI-related labs, like the Perception, Control and Cognition Laboratory. There, students and faculty are working on the EVE project, which aims to create a conversational AI system designed to function with Amazon’s Alexa. EVE can also participate in free-form discussion on a wide variety of topics.
28. Texas A&M University in College Station, TX
Net Cost: $19,554
Course Examples: Fuzzy Logic and Intelligent Systems, Intelligent Agents Parallel Algorithm Design and Analysis, and AI Robotics
The Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Texas A&M’s main campus offers a:
- BA in computing
- BS in computer engineering
- BS in computer science.
The computer science degree curriculum offers four upper-level elective tracks in subjects like information and intelligent systems. Students are also required to take a 12-hour area of concentration from another department. Advanced undergrads are allowed to take graduate courses from the aforementioned tracks.
Over 90 percent of the Department’s award-winning faculty serve on conference organizing committees, editorial boards and in professional societies. Undergraduate computer science students can work with faculty on research projects in any of the 25 research groups either for credit or an honors thesis. These groups include:
- Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Systems, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing
- Robotics, Human-Robot Interaction
- Computer Vision
- Databases, Data Mining, Information Retrieval Systems
- Human-Computer Interaction
Centers and labs where students can get hands-on experience include the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue and the Perception, Sensing and Instrumentation Lab.
27. The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH
Net Cost: $18,042
Course Examples: Survey of Artificial Intelligence II: Advanced Techniques, Intermediate Studies in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Game and Animation Techniques
The Ohio State University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering is in the College of Engineering, home to more than 40 research centers and laboratories. Faculty members in the Department include an AAAI Fellow, two ABET Fellows and a other accomplished awardees and researchers. Students can choose from a BA or BS in computer and information sciences or a BS in computer science and engineering. The BS CSE requires more STEM courses, but both BS programs have the same computer science courses. The BA program is designed to be more flexible in the choice of courses, but requires students to identify a related field to concentrate in. Other colleges and departments offer alternative majors in information systems, computer engineering and data analytics with a computational analytics specialization.
Outside of the classroom, students can get involved in student organizations like the Game Creation Club, as well as co-ops/internships and undergraduate research. Juniors and seniors are typically more qualified and desired, but all levels of students are considered. Research and development expenditures for the College in 2017 were more than $58.4 million, and there are a number of undergraduate research forums each year. CSE research areas include artificial intelligence and cross-cutting areas like computational biology and bioinformatics. Within AI, OSU researchers are focused on:
- Applied Machine Learning
- Auditory, Speech & Language Processing
- Cognitive Systems
- Computer Vision
- Machine Learning Algorithms & Theory
26. University of California, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
Net Cost: $14,760
Course Examples: Real-Time Three-Dimensional Animation, Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Methods for Medical Imaging
The Department of Computer Science offers a bachelor of science degree in computer science and computer science and engineering. Both are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. The CSE program is also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The upper-division computer science curriculum includes a few AI courses, but a number of different study areas include artificial intelligence in their academic plans, like the undergrad communication course: Artificial Intelligence and New Media. Even UCLA Law received a $1.5 million grant from the Open Philanthropy Project to study disruptive societal and legal changes stemming from artificial intelligence.
Each year since 2009-10, UCLA has received an average of $1 billion to fund its research projects. In 2017, about 150 Californian companies commercialized UCLA discoveries. Plus, AI masterminds are research and teaching faculty, like Judea Pearl, who revolutionized the field of AI with his invention of Bayesian networks. The Samueli School of Engineering has six main research areas, including “Robotics and Cyber-physical Systems,” as well as “Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.” The latter operates projects in a number of labs, centers and institutes, like The Statistical and Relational Artificial Intelligence (StarAI) Lab and Center for Vision, Cognition, Learning, and Autonomy. Just during the writing of this article, UCLA engineers used a 3D printer to create an AI device capable of identifying objects at the speed of light.
25. California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA
Net Cost: $24,466
Course Examples: Machine Learning & Data Mining, Advanced Robotics: Navigation And Vision, and Neural Computation
At Caltech, computer science is the most popular major. The Department of Computer + Mathematical Sciences offers undergraduate majors and minors in three subjects:
- applied + computational mathematics
- information and data sciences
- and computer science
The BS in computer science degree program allows specialization through tracks in areas like machine learning and artificial intelligence, and robotics and control. Caltech offers a much more intimate experience, with just 80 undergraduate students and 20 faculty members in CMS. Because of this, students can enjoy a 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio and plenty of one-on-one academic interactions. With Caltech’s close proximity to Los Angeles, students and recent grads can benefit from the plethora of startups and tech companies of Silicon Beach.
Both the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships program and the required capstone project sequence in the CS major provide undergrads with research opportunities. According to CMS, many of its undergraduate students have papers in conferences or journals before graduation. Among the 14 research areas at Caltech are:
- robotics and autonomous control
computational neuroscience and neural engineering
- statistics and machine learning.
At the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies, students and faculty researchers have access to a new facility, equipped with a drone testing arena that can mimic real-world weather conditions and a zero-gravity-simulating space lab.
24. University of Maryland, College Park in College Park, MD
Net Cost: $17,241
Course Examples: Advanced Topics in Machine Learning, Image Processing and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
At the University of Maryland, the Department of Computer Science is home to 3,000 undergraduate computer science majors and 50 full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty members. CS offers more than 20 departmental scholarships for undergrads, as well as three different BS in computer science degree programs. There’s the general major in computer science, or two specialized computer science majors with concentrations in data science and cyber security. While only 20 percent of undergraduate CS students at UMD are female, Washington, D.C., a short Metro ride from campus, became the No. 1 city for Women in Tech, according to Forbes. In 2017, Forbes reported that on average, women in D.C. are earning 94.8 percent of what men earn.
Together, CS and UMD’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) annually garner $20 million in research funds from federal sponsors like the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. UMIACS offers interdisciplinary research programs in a broad range of areas, like sensing and interaction, that bring faculty from across campus through the UMIACS laboratories. CS offers more specific research areas, like:
- AI and robotics
- natural language processing
- machine learning and data science.
UMIACS organizes the campus research centers and institutes, like the Center for Automation Research and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Currently in the works is a new six-story Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation.
23. University of California, Irvine in Irvine, CA
Net Cost: $13,944
Course Examples: Computer Game Development, Project in Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks and Deep Learning
Irvine, known as the “City of Innovation,” is home to numerous tech Fortune 1,000 companies. UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences was established as the UC System’s first computer science school. It offers an undergraduate degree in computer science with a specialization in intelligent systems. Other available specializations include bioinformatics and visual computing. Other majors exist in computer game science and data science. In the intelligent systems track, you’ll explore topics, such as:
- representing human knowledge
- building automated reasoning systems
- developing intelligent search techniques
- designing algorithms that adapt and learn from data
The ICS 24 research areas include artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as computer vision and human-computer interaction. At the Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems, student and faculty researchers are working to develop computer algorithms that harness the vast amounts of today’s digital data and use it to solve real-world problems. As with AI, this research center has a strong interdisciplinary component, including collaborations to create projects like an automated analysis of brain images or storm tracking through satellite data of the Earth’s oceans. The Center also hosts a Machine Learning Reading Group, open to all students and faculty. Companies like Microsoft Research and eBay Labs are just a couple examples of organizations actively supporting this Center’s projects.
22. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI
Net Cost: $14,445
Course Examples: Introduction to AI, Introduction to Natural Language Processing and Computer Robotics
UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science’s Department of Computer Science offers an ABET-accredited BS in computer science degree program. You can specialize in subject tracks like artificial intelligence or computer graphics and human computer interfaces. Other related degree programs include an integrated BS/MS degree program, as well as an applied math and computer science major. The co-op and internship program helps undergraduates land paid positions with some of the 120 local employers. These include six Fortune 500 companies’ international headquarters, located near the university. Thanks to this program, about 88 percent of engineering and computer science students at UWM land a job before graduation day.
UWM is an R1 university, rated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education among the top two percent of research universities in the U.S. This school hosts the annual Milwaukee Engineering Research Conference (MERC), as well as the Annual Student Research Poster Competition. Within the five main engineering research areas, undergraduate computer science students can work with researchers at any of the 28 labs and centers. Those wanting to learn AI should check out the Decision Systems and Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Safe and Smart (S2) Traffic Laboratory. The former works to design software that would enhance human health and well-being. The latter has published research and papers on intelligent transportation systems.
21. North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC
Net Cost: $13,442
Course Examples: Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Building Game AI
NC State offers a general BS in computer science. It also offers a computer science major with a track in game development, which teaches students the scientific and technological principles behind developing computer and console games for both entertainment and serious applications. This university has a 94 percent student retention rate. Its Centennial Campus is an award-winning 1,130-acre home to 100+ companies, government agencies and NC State research and teaching facilities. If that doesn’t provide enough research, internship and job opportunities, the Research Triangle Park, home of dozens of high-tech companies, is just a few miles down the road. Department faculty include 21 NSF CAREER Award winners, 10 members of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers, six IEEE Fellows, an Emmy award winner and an elected Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
One of the most popular research interest areas among the CSC Department faculty is “Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents.” This area encompasses four subtopics, including “Intelligent Agents” and “eCommerce Technologies.” In 2017, the department’s research budget was $33,237,197. It is currently operating at least four AI-related or machine learning research projects. All undergraduate students are required to work with company sponsors on software design and development projects through their senior capstone course. They also have access to the following AI-related labs:
- Center for Educational Informatics (CEI)
- Computational Intelligence & Interactive Games Research Lab
- Digital Games Research Center
- IntelliMedia Group
- Liquid Narrative
- Multiagent Systems Lab
20. University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN
Net Cost: $16,808
Course Examples: Artificial Intelligence II, Sensing and Estimation in Robotics and Introduction to Data Mining
At UMN, the Computer Science and Engineering Department offers a BS and BA in computer science. The BS comes with the choice of a specialized track, including artificial intelligence/robotics. Students are required to take 20 credits worth of courses in their chosen track. Other options include bioinformatics & computational biology and human-computer interaction. Faculty in this Department hold 17 different national awards, including an Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Fellow and 25 CAREER Awards. Want to stay involved in AI outside of the lab and classroom? UMN has its own Artificial Intelligence Club (AiUMN).
In the past two years, the CSE Department has received over $35 million in new research funding. Robotics and artificial intelligence is one of the 10 active research areas. Students can work on projects at the Center for Distributed Robotics, as well as the Safety, Security, and Rescue Research Center. Five labs, like the Computational Perception and Action Lab, are related to the AI area. Active projects include “Intelligent Agents for Electronic Commerce” and the following research topics:
- estimation theory
- mobility mechanisms
- multi-agent negotiation
- natural language interfaces
- machine learning
- active computer vision
- probabilistic language models for use in spoken language interfaces
- the modeling and integration of visual, haptic, auditory and motor information
19. University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in Champaign, IL
Net Cost: $16,638
Course Examples: Topics in Automated Deduction, Optimiz in Computer Vision and Computational Photography
Computer Science at Illinois offers three undergraduate degree programs:
- BS in computer science (engineering)
- BS in mathematics and computer science
- BS in statistics and computer science
In the engineering CS degree program, students must satisfy a team project requirement, and choose one of the eight focus areas. The Intelligence and Big Data focus is best for those interested in AI because its breadth of AI-related course topics is one of the most extensive on this list. The CS/ECE department offers an industry affiliates program. The Corporate Connection helps computer science students with networking and finding industry jobs, including a section of the program dedicated to connecting students with startups. The program hosts the CS-exclusive After Hours event, an informal recruiting reception for co-ops, internships and jobs.
In Illinois’ CS research culture, students have the opportunity to work with 90 potential faculty advisors on any of the 10 research areas. CS has $34 million in annual research expenditures. Researchers in the artificial intelligence area have accomplished feats like creating an autonomous submarine that’s competing on a national level. UI’s AI research efforts include the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Natural Language Processing Group and the Speech and Language Engineering Group. To match the multidisciplinary nature of artificial intelligence, the Beckman Institute includes more than 1,500 researchers from more than 40 different University of Illinois departments.
18. University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, CA
Net Cost: $14,616
Course Examples: Cognitive Modeling, Advanced Bioinformatics Lab and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Search and Reasoning
The UCSD Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) offers a BA and BS in computer science, a BS in computer engineering and a BS in computer science with a specialization in bioinformatics. BA/MS and BS/MS joint degree programs are available as well. The upper-division courses in the CS degree program include:
- AI/machine learning
- algorithms and theory
- computer architecture
- computer security
- networks and operating systems
- databases and programming languages
- software engineering
UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering helps its students into the workforce through programs like the Team Internship Program. Here, students work on-site with industry partners on projects as multi-disciplinary teams. It also offers the Corporate Affiliates Programs and The Research Experience & Applied Learning (REAL) Portal, where students can find internships and hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Research is UCSD’s strong suit, with more than $1 billion in annual funding. The university encourages all undergrads to collaborate on projects and research with faculty, graduate students and other undergraduates. Students can receive course credit for their research. They also have a number of programs to choose from, like the Early Research Scholars Program and the Kastner Research Group. UCSD also has an Artificial Intelligence Group.
17. Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR
Net Cost: $19,205
Course Examples: Defense Against the Dark Arts, Web-Based Start-Up Project and Advanced Artificial Intelligence
The College of Engineering at Oregon State houses the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which awarded $3.6 million in scholarships to EECS students during the 2016-2017 academic year. Here, the more than 3,500 undergraduate students are working toward ABET-accredited BS degree programs in computer science or electrical and computer engineering. The senior capstone courses are year-long with industry sponsorship and participation. In the computer science degree program, students can choose the Applied option, which allows them to develop a program focused on their area of interest, including AI. This department is unique for its personal-learning platforms offered like TekBots, which allows students to apply their knowledge and create their own robot. The courses become woven into each student’s curriculum. Students also get to add more functions to the TekBot as they progress through the program. EECS also offers multidisciplinary degrees in humanitarian engineering, materials science and robotics.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, EECS at OSU saw $11.5 million in research expenditures. Aside from the Honors College, undergrads can get involved in research through programs like Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship & Creativity (URISC). Or they can reach out to faculty members who share interests in AI or any of its related fields. Some of the 13 research areas include artificial intelligence and robotics (AIR), and communications and signal processing. Faculty in AIR are also members of the interdisciplinary Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CoRIS) Institute. The institute explores the impact of robotics and AI on individuals and society.
16. University of Georgia in Athens, GA
Net Cost: $15,934
Course Examples: Introduction to Game Programming, Evolutionary Computation and Its Applications and Data Mining
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Georgia offers a BS in computer science, as well as the five-year BS/MS Double Dawgs Program. Accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the BS program offers eight areas of emphasis, including artificial intelligence. UGA’s considers AI a multifaceted field, combining computer science with philosophy, psychology, linguistics, engineering and other areas. For those interested in continuing on to grad school, UGA offers an interdisciplinary MS in artificial intelligence degree program. This Department’s faculty are active in AI research and related disciplines. During the writing of this article, two professors received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for their proposal, “NRI: FND: Robust Inverse Learning for Human-Robot Collaboration.”
Nine different active research clusters exist within the Department, including artificial intelligence, computational intelligence and robotics. UGA considers AI to be one of its “particular strengths” on the research front, dedicating resources to its Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which began as a research group. Over the years, the IAI has received funding from organizations like the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, as well as other universities and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. IAI has its own FTP Library, the THINC AI and robotics lab, and the Evolutionary Computation and Machine Learning (ECML) Lab. An active research project example from the ECML Lab is “Machine Learning Methods for Alzheimer Disease Detection and Prediction.” In case the AI emphasis in the computer science program doesn’t satisfy your scientific sweet tooth, the Institute helped found bachelor of arts in cognitive science degree program and a minor in cognitive science.
15. Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ
Net Cost: $12,947
Course Examples: Biocontrol Systems, Intelligent Interactive Instructional Systems and Design for Learning in Virtual Worlds
The BS in computer science degree program at Arizona State University is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Through the School of Computing, Informatics & Decision Systems Engineering, you can utilize a pathway to earn both your CS bachelor’s and master’s degree program in five years, with nine options to choose from. The nearly 5,000 undergraduate students studied under 68 tenured and tenure-track faculty. The BS in informatics curriculum addresses the informatics challenges of “designing, developing and applying tools that model, aid or automate activities within science.” All undergraduates are encouraged to take part in a research project during their time at ASU. The Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) offers the opportunity for independent lab- and thesis-based research, as well as the chance to travel to professional conferences.
In 2017, the School’s research teams of undergraduates, grad students and faculty saw $219.9 million in proposals, $23.2 million in awards and $17.2 million in expenditures. The School’s website lists 19 different research foci, such as AI and social computing. Using robotics and other intelligent systems, CIDSE researchers are addressing problems in the following areas:
- automated planning and scheduling
- constraint satisfaction
- knowledge representation and reasoning
- natural language processing
- multi-agent systems
- the semantic web
The Fulton Schools also offer National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates programs during the summer terms. During the writing of this article, an ASU team developed a first-prize-winning robotic guide dog that utilizes Amazon’s Alexa technology to understand verbal commands (the 2018 Intel Cup in Shanghai, China).
14. University of Washington in Seattle, WA
Net Cost: $9,443
Course Examples: Applications Of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Computer Vision
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington has 46,000 students and shares a homebase with Amazon’s headquarters. The Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering is about to be enhanced by its new Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering, a 135,000-square-foot building containing instructional, research and collaborative spaces. Both UW’s Allen School and College of Arts and Sciences offer BS in computer science degree programs. In both, undergrads can work on research projects, collaborate with industry partners and tailor their degrees to their specific interests. UW also offers a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program in computer science, which students can complete within approximately five years.
The Allen School is known as one of the leading centers for AI research in the world. UW’s artificial intelligence research group works with the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). It operates a large number of labs, institutes and centers like the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. Students and faculty have accomplished many AI feats, such as becoming one of the first to demonstrate the control of a humanoid robot using a non-invasive brain computer interface (BCI). Just this past April, five UW students won $500,000 for their Sounding Board “socialbot,” which impressed a panel of judges for its ability to hold a conversation about pop culture, news events and more in Amazon’s inaugural Alexa Prize competition. You’ll also find a number of research groups that cross over multiple disciplines, but the AI-specific research subareas include:
- Automated Planning & Control
- Brain-Computer Interfaces & Computational Neuroscience
- Computational Biology
- Intelligent Interaction
- Machine Learning
- Natural Language Processing
- Computer Vision
13. Columbia University in New York, NY
Net Cost: $22,824
Course Examples: Bayesian Models in Machine Learning, Computational Aspects of Robotics and Computing and the Humanities
The Computer Science Department in Columbia University’s School of Engineering offers two BS and four BA degree programs in computer science and related disciplines like data science and information science. The computer science major comes with six elective tracks to choose from, including an intelligent systems track and a vision, graphics, interaction and robotics track. The department offers a number of CS-specific student life perks, like department excursions, student organizations and career-related workshops. The Department also conducts “company information sessions” throughout the year. Here, students get the opportunity to interact directly with company representatives from big names like Bloomberg, Facebook and Intelligent Search Technologies.
Columbia Engineering has more than 200 faculty members and over 190 research staff, working with students in labs and institutes like the Center on Artificial Intelligence. Due to the CS Department’s small undergraduate population, most undergrads are working on faculty research projects by their junior and senior years. There are 12 CS research areas, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and vision and robotics. Within AI, researchers place emphasis on the following subgroups:
- computer vision
- natural language processing
- security and privacy
- software debugging
- machine learning
Recently, three Columbia grad students used artificial intelligence to create a drug treatment analyzer through natural language processing and machine learning, turning the idea into a hospital-wide program within just 12 months.
12. Stanford University in Stanford, CA
Net Cost: $16,562
Course Examples: Experimental Robotics, Logic and Automated Reasoning, and Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques
If you really want to take your AI education seriously, what better place to learn in than an Ivy League school in Silicon Valley? At Stanford, the BS in computer science with an artificial intelligence track includes the study of foundational material around logic and language, as well as topics like:
- knowledge representation
- logical reasoning
- machine learning
- probabilistic modeling and inference
- natural language processing
- speech recognition and synthesis
- computer vision
- and computational biology
With a 4:1 student-faculty ratio, 98 percent retention rate and $1.6 billion annual research budget, Stanford offers a wonderful learning environment. It’s Computer Science Department has been around since 1965, but The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) was opened even a few years earlier. This lab has affiliates like Google, Panasonic and Samsung. Its researchers (undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty) won six best paper awards in 2017, alone. The Department currently runs 6,000+ externally sponsored research projects that undergrads can take advantage of, as well as a special research program, called CURIS, for students during the summer. Recently, China’s largest retailer JD.com has agreed to establish the SAIL JD AI Research Initiative. This sponsored program will fund research into a range of areas like:
- natural language processing
- computer vision, robotics
- machine learning
- deep learning
- reinforcement learning and forecasting.
11. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA
Net Cost: $17,030
Course Examples: Applied Ethical and Governance Challenges in AI, Topics in Machine Learning: Deep Bayesian Models and Autonomous Robot Systems
As is the case with most of Harvard’s degree programs, its undergraduate computer science degree program is incredibly customizable, depending on the course load you’re able to handle. The basic bachelor of the arts (AB) in computer science includes general CS courses, but you must also include courses from different subfields in your custom degree plan. Luckily for those interested in artificial intelligence, Harvard offers 10+ AI courses beyond your average Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. If you’re going to Harvard for more of a challenge, you can go for the honors AB program, the joint concentration (not to be confused with double-degree), the AB/SM accelerated program, which is only four years total, or the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Program. The MBB track of computer science allows you to tailor your concentration requirements to computational approaches to mind, brain and behavior. Just like AI, the MBB track connects your CS degree field to other fields like neural biology and philosophy of mind.
At Harvard, research may also be a part of your required coursework, especially if you’re trying to focus on artificial intelligence. All research at this University is supported by more than $800 million of sponsored research funds every year, as well as more than 100 research centers on campus and worldwide. Undergraduates can get involved in a number of ways, which include doing a senior thesis or simply looking up the research interests of faculty members and going to their office hours to discuss getting involved. Computer science has 11 different research areas, including:
- Artificial Intelligence (Computational Linguistics, Machine Learning, Multi-agent Systems, Robotics)
- Computational Neuroscience.
In 2016, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity awarded a $28 million research grant to the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Center for Brain Science (CBS) and its Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The grant was given for AI research, to develop “advanced machine learning algorithms by pushing the frontiers of neuroscience.”
10. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA
Net Cost: $24,539
Course Examples: Robotics: Planning and Perception, Computer Animation, and Crowdsourcing & Human Computation
The University of Pennsylvania offers specialized degree programs for undergraduates, including a combined BA/BSE or BA/BAS in computer and cognitive science: artificial intelligence. Through this program, you’ll earn a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences in linguistics, mathematics, philosophy or psychology, as well as either a BSE or a BAS in computer science from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. With AI being such a multidisciplinary subject in CS, this program really hits the nail on the head. The BAS focuses on technology with an understanding of human and social values. The BSE focuses on mathematics and sciences for those interested in working as professional engineers. Students interested in the data side of AI can add on the data science minor.
CIS offers an undergraduate summer research program to encourage undergrads to get involved in research early on. You can use this program for course credit or a stipend. You have the opportunity to win awards for your work. The first place project in 2018 was “Robotics Control with Physics-based Fluid Simulation in Virtual Environment.” Outside of the summer program, undergrads can join in on faculty and graduate student projects throughout the year. The student-run Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board (EDAB) created a guide that offers step-by-step instructions and tips on securing research positions as an undergraduate. CIS has five main research areas, to include intelligent systems. Affiliated institutes and centers include:
- the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab
- the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science (IRCS)
- the Penn Research in Machine Learning (PRiML).
One research group within GRASP is currently developing a fleet of low-cost autonomous mobile service robots that can support a wide variety of tasks in university and office environments.
9. University of Delaware in Newark, DE
Net Cost: $16,286
Course Examples: Brain and Computer, Knowledge Representation and Topics: Multi-Agent Systems
The University of Delaware’s College of Engineering offers a BS degree program in computer science with concentrations in areas like artificial intelligence, intelligent robots and cognitive science. The courses in these concentrations come from fields outside of computer science, like psychology and linguistics. The Department of Computer and Information Sciences also offers a BA in computer science and BS in information systems. You also have the opportunity to take master’s level courses, completing the BS and MS programs within just five years. Undergrads can tailor their academic experience through independent study courses. With the help of a professional or faculty supervisor, you can essentially develop and propose your own course.
CIS’s research programs involve both graduate and undergraduate students through independent studies and funded research experiences. According to the Department, “In the last three years, student research activity has led to national recognition by the Computing Research Association for five of our majors.” CIS operates joint research laboratories with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, managing “high performance clusters” in areas like artificial intelligence. The AI research group includes faculty members who serve on the editorial boards of publications like Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems Journal and the International Journal of Man-Machine Studies. UDel’s campus is home to five different AI-specific labs:
- Human Language Technologies Laboratory (home to two language-related labs)
- Statistical Information Retrieval Laboratory
- Multi Agent Systems Laboratory
- VIMS Vision Laboratory
- Text Mining Laboratory
One AI research project example is the ICICLE System, an intelligent English grammar checker and tutor for people who are deaf.
8. University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI
Net Cost: $16,408
Course Examples: Autonomous Robotics, Introduction to Adaptive Systems and Computer Game Design and Development
Ann Arbor’s tech scene has become large enough that there are multiple local tech community organizations like Mad in A2 and the Tech Brewery. At the University of Michigan, the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department is the largest department in the College of Engineering. It offers bachelor’s degree programs in computer science, computer engineering and data science. These programs offer a solid curriculum around computer science with advanced electives available in areas like artificial intelligence and robotics. EECS sponsors a number of student organizations and competitive teams like the Michigan Student Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MSAIL) and the Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (MAAV) team. The College also has an International Internship Program that connects computer science undergraduates with technical internship opportunities abroad.
The research areas of EECS receive annual funding of more than $67 million. Because of the university-wide research and the multidisciplinary nature of AI, undergrads have no problem finding research experience that matches their interests. According to the school, about 130 undergraduates students conduct research on faculty projects each year. Many are paid positions. In the area of artificial intelligence, students and faculty have created a collaborative environment that builds on the ideas of other fields like economics, biology and philosophy. Student researchers in AI have access to facilities like the AI Lab, PeRL: The Perceptual Robotics Laboratory and about 14 other AI-related groups and centers. In 2017, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency gave U-M $1.6 million toward artificial intelligence for data science.
7. University of Texas at Austin in Austin, TX
Net Cost: $14,356
Course Examples: Computational Brain, Logic-Based Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Multiagent Systems
UT Austin has a 95 percent student retention rate. It’s located in an area dubbed “Silicon Ranch” for its growing tech scene. The Computer Science Department is in the College of Natural Sciences, the largest college at UTA. It offers BS, BSA, BA and joint BS/MS degree programs in computer science. These can be concentrated in six different areas, including machine learning and artificial intelligence. CS students interested in creating their own startup can take the lecture- and lab-based Longhorn Startup courses, which culminate into a “Demo Day” where they present their companies to the Austin community. In the AI program, they can focus their studies on topics like:
- computer vision
- natural language processing
- machine learning
- deep learning
- knowledge acquisition and representation
The College receives more than $100 million in funding annually. Many of the research projects in the Department employ undergraduate students as members of their teams. To encourage undergraduates to enter research, UT offers a few different avenues, like the Freshman Research Initiative course (FRI). The computer science researchers have built an autonomous car and, in 2017, launched the Robotics Consortium, a group that brings together researchers from industry and across campus to collaborate on robotics. Artificial intelligence is one of the main areas of research. UTCS has its own AI Lab, which opened in 1983. Even more, AI researchers dive into a variety of subtopics and smaller, more-specific research groups, such as the Learning Agents Research Group and The UT Austin Villa Robot Soccer Team.
6. Indiana University in Bloomington, IN
Net Cost: $12,488
Course Examples: Autonomous Robotics, Introduction to Computer Vision and Bioinformatics Algorithms
Indiana University Bloomington offers a BS in computer science with specializations in:
- artificial intelligence
- data science
- programming languages
- software engineering
Artificial intelligence students follow a curriculum that teaches them skills like analyzing big data and building hard devices like robots. The School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SICE) also has bachelor’s degree programs in informatics and intelligent systems engineering, a BA in computer science, joint BS/MS programs and a Cross Campus Certificate in Entrepreneurship for Undergraduate Students. A founding member of the iSchool Caucus, the School has a brand new Luddy Hall in the making to fit its recent growth. The Informatics East and Informatics West buildings were recently renovated. Other facilities include the Informatics Learn Lab, 25 research labs and five fabrication and prototype labs.
SICE has 14 faculty research centers, like the Center for Algorithms and Machine Learning (CAML), as well as 34 research areas, to include AI, artificial life and intelligent interactive systems. Among just those three, researchers are delving into topics like:
- Computer vision, inferring semantic meaning from images
- Computational ecology and evolutionary trends in an information-theoretic measure of the complexity of neural structure and function
- How computers might be made to act more like the mind
- Cognitive mechanisms that humans and animals use to behave adaptively in their environments
- The design, fabrication and control of machines to perform tasks that have traditionally been done by human beings
5. University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, TX
Net Cost: $10,036
Course Examples: Computer Animation, Intelligent Systems Design and Artificial Intelligence
The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas is one of the largest CS departments in the U.S. with about 2,400 bachelor’s-degree students, 53 tenure-track faculty members and 38 senior lecturers. It’s conveniently located in the Telecom Corridor, home of the second-largest high-tech economy in America. The Jonsson School also runs one of the largest internship and cooperative education programs, averaging more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate student placements annually at high-tech companies like Intel, Alcatel-Lucent and IBM. Interested in creating your own high-tech startup? UT Dallas offers a computer science degree program with entrepreneurship classes woven into the curriculum like Startup Launch I and II. For those students who successfully complete the entrepreneurship track, the University will cover one year’s worth of rent at the VDC facility or provide space at its Blackstone LaunchPad facility for the startup.
Otherwise, undergraduates interested in AI will work through UT Dallas’ BS in computer science degree program, which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Additionally, the Jonsson School offers a BS in software engineering, as well as minors in:
- computer science
- information assurance
- software engineering
Want to go to graduate school at UTD? Its Fast-Track program allows gifted undergrads to take master’s level courses and get automatically admitted to a graduate program. UTD’s Intelligent Systems research area encompasses several aspects of AI and can offer a very rich research experience. Federal agencies and the local high-tech companies granted UTD over $45 million in new research funding in the last five years. During the writing of this article, UTD announced that it reached a qualifying benchmark to receive funding from the National Research University Fund, an exclusive source of research support available to the state’s “emerging research universities.” The University’s annual restricted research expenditures, high-achieving freshman class and high-quality faculty are a few of the requirements it met.
4. Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA
Net Cost: $15,873
Course Examples: Robotics and Perception, Game AI and Knowledge-based AI
Georgia Tech has its own College of Computing where you can choose a degree program from three different schools:
- Computer Science
- Interactive Computing
- Computational Science & Engineering
The BS in computer science degree program is customizable with “threads,” with which students can tailor their degree to subjects like intelligence or devices. In the former, students learn to build top-to-bottom models of rational agents and human-level intelligence. According to 2016 data, the College has the highest job placement rate of any major at Georgia Tech. The College of Computing Building houses the Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines in addition to computer labs and classrooms. The Klaus Advanced Computing Building, home to six research centers and 20+ research labs, contains some of the most advanced computing labs and innovative educational technology in the world. The College of Computing also offers a number of startup/entrepreneur initiative programs and competitions.
Partly because of GT’s presence and the alumni coming out of its high-quality programs, Atlanta has earned the name “Techlanta,” placing high on lists and rankings for innovation and a booming tech scene. These growing companies often give back to GT through internships/co-ops and research grants. In 2017, the College received $24.2 million in research awards, and it saw $25.5 million in research expenditures. “Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning” is a research area in the School of Interactive Computing. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Computing program and Georgia Tech’s Research Option are unique facilitators for undergraduate research experience. The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines and the Computational Perception Lab are just two examples of AI involvement in research at Georgia Tech.
3. University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley
Net Cost: $18,178
Course Examples: Social Implications of Computer Technology, Impact of AI DeCal and Safety and Control for Artificial General Intelligence
The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley has a lot to brag about, like the hundreds of awards and honors its faculty holds. EECS faculty and alumni have also founded over 880 companies! Undergraduate students in this department have the option to earn a BS in electrical engineering and computer science, offered by the College of Engineering, or the BA in computer science from the College of Letters & Science (L&S). A five-year BS/MS in EECS is also available. The BA program is broad and meant to be combined with another discipline as a double degree, while the BS program has more of a STEM focus. Outside of the classroom, students interested in AI can take advantage of any of the 19 student organizations like Launchpad, a project-based group that develops applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Organizations aren’t the only things being run by students at Berkeley: the DeCal program aggregates legitimate university classes, created and run by students.
Undergraduate research opportunities are aplenty through programs like the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP) and Supervised Independent Study classes. EECS operates over 60 centers and labs, as well as 21 research areas in subjects like artificial intelligence and the following related topics:
- Control, Intelligent Systems, and Robotics (CIR)
- Biosystems & Computational Biology (BIO)
- Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
- Cyber-Physical Systems and Design Automation (CPSDA)
The Department runs a large number of collaborative, interdisciplinary projects with other universities, open source communities and private companies like Google, Pixar, Samsung and many more. In 2017, EECS saw 58 publications at top computer science venues in the areas of AI, machine learning and robotics. Berkeley takes a very multidisciplinary approach to its AI research, collaborating with several campus-wide groups and outside disciplines like linguistics and philosophy. The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab includes 24+ faculty members and 100+ graduate students, working on subareas of AI and cross-cutting themes. The Center for Human-Compatible AI has conducted research around human-robot cooperation, long-term risks from AI and much more.
2. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA
Net Cost: $29,817
Course Examples: Human-Robot Interaction, Learning From People and AI, Society and Humanity
Open to students for the first time in the fall of 2018 is Carnegie Mellon’s BS in artificial intelligence (BSAI) in its school of Computer Science. Technically, this is the nation’s first bachelor’s degree in artificial intelligence! Here, students can also major in computer science or computational biology while still having a hand in AI. And we can’t forget the 10 graduate degree programs dealing in AI. Carnegie Mellon has been a national leader in AI, boasting decades of AI research experience, especially in the heavy-hitter areas in its “AI Stack” of computer vision, human-computer interaction, machine learning, natural language processing and robotics. Today, CMU offers “one of the world’s largest collections of people determined to build things that help humans.” It has 100+ faculty members and about a thousand students.
This new bachelor’s degree program in artificial intelligence focuses on “how complex inputs–such as vision, language and huge databases–can be used to make decisions or enhance human capabilities.” Included in this program’s curriculum:
- science and engineering
- humanities and arts
- computer science
While CMU has yet to add a minor in AI, it does offer minors in specific AI areas like machine learning, language technologies and human-computer interaction. It has a long list of computer science and AI laboratories, research triumphs, department accolades, student and faculty awards, partnerships with top tech companies and innovative technologies. Just to give one small example, during the writing of this article, Amazon’s Alexa Fellowship program selected Carnegie Mellon to be one of the only two universities in the world to receive both an Alexa Graduate Fellowship and a newly created Alexa Innovation Fellowship.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA
Net Cost: $22,230
Course Examples: Human Computational Intelligence, Creating Video Games and Automatic Speech Recognition
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) is the largest undergraduate program at MIT. Students earning their bachelor’s degrees in this program come out with average starting salaries well above $100,000. EECS offers three of its own undergraduate programs, as well as three interdepartmental programs that exist in collaboration with biology, economics and physics. Computer science and molecular biology is one example of these, as well as a computer science, economics and data science program. The computer science and engineering program mentions artificial intelligence as one of its central focuses. All of MIT’s programs include flexible curriculums and intensive, hands-on coursework. Have a competitive edge? MIT works computer science and engineering competitions into its program curriculums, like the Pokerbots Competition, where students build autonomous poker players. With a reputation like that of MIT, it’s no surprise that the 378 faculty members in the School of Engineering “have won almost every major research and teaching award you can think of.”
Generating more than half of the sponsored research at the Institute, the School’s total volume of research expenditures in 2015–2016 was $393,851,000. About 25 percent of MIT’s faculty conduct research on intelligence in labs like the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, the Robust Robotics Group and the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS). MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has 10 subgroup research areas under the AI umbrella, as well as 24 AI-specific labs and groups. The research areas are as follows:
- Algorithms & Theory
- AI & Machine Learning
- Computational Biology
- Computer Architecture
- Graphics & Vision
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Programming Languages & Software Engineering
- Security & Cryptography
- Systems & Networking
Just this summer, CSAIL launched a five-year collaboration with iFlyTek, a leading Chinese company in the field of AI and natural language processing, which created “China’s Siri.” Other activities at CSAIL include designing a new architecture for a highly dependable self-driving car and engineering artificial tissue homeostasis to design synthetic organs that function autonomously.