Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing and evolving field, and data scientists with AI skills are in high demand. The field requires a broad education that includes principles of computer science, cognitive psychology, and engineering. If you’re looking to grow your career as a data scientist and capitalize on demand for the position, consider an AI degree.
US News & World Report ranks the top AI graduate programs in computer science schools based on surveys sent to academic officials in fall 2021 and early 2022.
Here are the top 10 programs that made the list of the best AI graduate programs in the US.
1. Carnegie Mellon University
The Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University was established in 2006 and grew out of the Center for Automated Learning and Discovery (CALD), which was founded in 1997 as an interdisciplinary group of researchers with an interest in statistics and machine learning. CALD came from the statistics department and departments of the School of Computer Science, as well as faculties of philosophy, engineering, business school, and life sciences.
According to Carnegie Mellon, the department’s research strategy is to maintain a balance between exploring the healing statistical-computational theory of machine learning and researching to invent new algorithms and new problem formulations relevant to practical applications.
The Machine Learning Department offers both doctoral and masters programs in machine learning, including:
Machine Learning (ML) PhD
PhD in Statistics & Machine Learning (offered jointly with the Department of Statistics)
PhD in Machine Learning & Public Policy (offered jointly with Heinz College Schools of Public Policy, Information Systems, and Management)
PhD in Neural Computation & Machine Learning (offered jointly with the Neuroscience Institute)
Primary Masters in Machine Learning
Year 5 Masters in Machine Learning (a one-year program for current CMU students)
Secondary Masters in Machine Learning (for current CMU PhD students, faculty or staff)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) is the largest academic department at MIT. A joint venture with MIT’s Schwarzman College of Computing offers three overlapping sub-units in Electrical Engineering (EE), Computer Science (CS), and Artificial Intelligence and Decision Making (AI+D).
According to MIT, AI+D research examines the foundations of machine learning and decision-making systems (AI, reinforcement learning, statistics, causal inference, systems and control), the building blocks of embodied intelligence (computer vision, NLP, robotics), and real Applications -World autonomous systems, life sciences and the interface between data-driven decision-making and society.
The EECS department’s graduate programs include:
Master of Science (MS) required for PhD students
Master of Engineering (MEng) for MIT EECS students
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)/Doctor of Science (ScD), awarded alternately
3. Stanford University
Stanford University’s computer science department is part of the School of Engineering. The Stanford AI Lab (SAIL) was founded in 1962 as a center of excellence for AI research, teaching, theory and practice. In addition to its in-person programs, Stanford Online offers the Artificial Intelligence Graduate Program entirely online. The AI program focuses on the principles and technologies underlying AI, including logic, knowledge representation, probabilistic models, and machine learning.
Stanford offers both PhDs and an MSCS with an AI specialization.
4. University of California – Berkeley
The University of California-Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences focuses its basic research on the core areas of deep learning, knowledge representation, reasoning, learning, planning, decision making, vision, robotics, language, and NLP. There are also efforts to apply algorithmic advances to applied problems in a number of areas, including bioinformatics, networks and systems, search and information retrieval. It is closely associated with the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab.
Berkeley offers both PhD and Masters programs.
5. Cornell University (tie)
Cornell Bowers CIS College of Computing and Information Science has been expanding its AI group since the 1990s. In December 2021, she launched a new initiative, a new radical collaboration created by academics across the university to strengthen her reputation as a leader in AI research, education and ethics. The initiative expands the faculty working in core areas and other areas impacted by AI advances. Recent interdisciplinary collaborations between the Ithaca Campus, Cornell Tech, and Weill Cornell Medicine have applied AI to topics ranging from sustainable agriculture and urban design to cancer detection, autonomous vehicle enhancement, and quantum matter analysis.
Cornell offers a Master of Engineering in Computer Science program as well as a Computer Science Master of Science program and a PhD program.
5. Georgia Institute of Technology (tie)
Georgia Tech College of Computing says AI and machine learning represent a large part of its faculty and research interests, including constructing top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top models of human-scale intelligence; building systems that can provide intelligent tutoring; creating adaptive and intelligent entertainment systems; develop systems that understand their own behavior; and building autonomous agents that can adapt to dynamic environments.
Different groups within the school emphasize different areas of research. Core faculty comes from the School of Interactive Computing, but there are also machine learning faculties in the Schools of Computer Science and Computational Science & Engineering.
Georgia Tech offers both masters and doctoral programs, including a PhD in Machine Learning.
5. University of Washington (tie)
The University of Washington Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering offers an AI group that studies the computational mechanisms underlying intelligent behavior. Research areas include machine learning, NLP, probabilistic reasoning, automated planning, machine reading, and intelligent user interfaces. It works closely with the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2).
The University of Washington offers a combined Bachelor of Science (BS)/Master of Science (MS) program designed for industry-bound students, a full-time PhD program, a professional master’s program (a part-time evening program), and a postdoctoral research program.
8. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign Grainger College of Engineering focuses its AI and machine learning program on computer vision, machine listening, NLP, and machine learning. In the area of computer vision, the faculty of the AI group develops novel approaches for understanding 2D and 3D scenes from still images and videos, low-shot learning and more. The Machine Hearing Faculty works on sound and speech understanding, source separation, and applications in music and computers. The Faculty of Machine Learning examines the theoretical foundations of Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning; Development of novel models and algorithms for deep neural networks, federated and distributed learning; and examining issues related to scalability, security, privacy and fairness of learning systems.
The university offers a CS-PhD program, a CS-MS program, a professional master’s program in computer science, and a five-year master’s program.
9. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers an AI program composed of multidisciplinary researchers exploring rational decision making, distributed multi-agent systems, machine learning, reinforcement learning, cognitive modelling, game theory, NLP, machine perception , health informatics and robotics .
According to the university, research in the AI laboratory is usually highly interdisciplinary and builds on ideas from computer science, linguistics, psychology, economics, biology, control, statistics and philosophy.
The University of Michigan offers a PhD in CSE, a Masters in CSE, and a Masters in Data Science.
10. University of Texas-Austin
The University of Texas at Austin Department of Computer Science focuses on computer vision, evolutionary computation, machine learning, multimodality, NLP, neural networks, reinforcement learning, and robotics. It houses myriad research centers and laboratories, including the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which opened its doors in 1983 and examines the key challenges of machine cognition, including machine learning, knowledge representation, and reasoning. Some others are the Institute for Foundations of Machine Learning, the Machine Learning Lab, the Machine Learning Research Group, and the Neural Networks Research Group.
The University of Texas offers a PhD program, a master’s program, an online master’s program in computer science, an online master’s program in data science, and five-year BS/MS programs.