Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the newest and most exciting additions to college degree program lineups. The best colleges to learn AI programming and coding are quickly making a name for themselves as the thought leaders in this division of science.
Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the technology industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that career openings in the United States in the AI field will likely increase by more than 35% from 2021 to 2031. Software developer jobs relating to AI are projected to increase by 26% by that same year. If you’re interested in studying artificial intelligence for your career, it will help to know about some of the best colleges to learn AI coding and programming. You must also ensure that your college applications contain everything admissions staff look for in students, as admission to these schools is extremely competitive.
What Exactly Is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is already all around us. It essentially involves training machines to “think” like humans and mimic many of our unique functions. The term “artificial intelligence” can also be used to describe any machine that works in ways that are similar to the human mind.
Some examples of artificial intelligence that are very common today include:
- Facial recognition software
- Robotic vacuum cleaners
- Voice-activated smart assistants like Alexa and Siri
- Self-driving vehicles
The demand for AI professionals is growing as AI becomes faster, smarter, and more accurate. Even services like Netflix and Amazon Music use AI when they suggest songs and movies you may like based on what you’ve previously watched or listened to.
Students at the best colleges to learn artificial intelligence study to prepare for careers in industries that use AI, such as:
- Financial services
- The military
- National security
The job skills required for positions in the artificial intelligence industry include analytical skills, knowledge of algorithms, mathematics, and programming language proficiency, among others.
What Factors Determine the Best Colleges to Learn AI?
Hiring managers today typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in basic computer technology for entry-level positions. However, companies increasingly require a degree in artificial intelligence for employment consideration.
If you’re interested in attending one of the best colleges to learn AI programming and coding, you’ll quickly find that AI is a multiple-disciplinary field. From cognitive science to courses that provide a conceptual framework for AI applications, many different subjects are involved with studying artificial intelligence.
The best colleges to learn AI coding and programming have dedicated programs for earning degrees specifically in AI. These schools provide instruction in subjects like math, statistics, computer science, and AI-specific skills and disciplines that include:
- Learning algorithms
- Information theory
- Neural networks for machine learning
- Deep learning
- Computer vision and image analysis
- AI representation
- Natural language processing
In addition, the best colleges to learn AI will offer courses in functional programming, software development, linear transformations, modern regression, and many others. Once you master the basics, you can explore the specific field that piques your interest and shape your coursework accordingly.
Some of the top schools for AI also offer courses in fields that teach specific applications for AI, like neuroscience, healthcare, and biology. Some even advertise courses in specialized AI subjects, such as:
- Autonomous agents
- Robotic manipulation
- Human-robot interaction
- Information retrieval
- Neural computation
- Speech processing
- Strategic reasoning for AI
- Text mining
- Robot kinematics
- Robot dynamics
- Designing human-centered systems
- Cognitive robotics
The most renowned AI-teaching institutions have built tracks for students interested in learning new skills for a career in this field. Supplemental programs can help students expand and build on their existing skills.
What are the Best Colleges to Learn Artificial Intelligence?
With the demand for AI professionals with AI skills soaring, the number of educational institutions offering courses in the arena is growing rapidly. The following are some of the best colleges to learn AI coding and programming.
Carnegie Mellon University
In addition to being the top-ranked school for AI degrees, Carnegie Mellon, located in Pittsburgh, PA, is also ranked as a leading college for programming language, theory, systems, and computer science.
Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900. It has an acceptance rate of just 13% and an undergrad enrollment of slightly over 7,300, to give you an idea of its exclusivity.
The University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley, ranks as one of the top schools in the nation for cell biology, neuroscience, microbiology, genetics, and AI. Moreover, several of its chemistry programs are ranked number one in the country by U.S. News & World Report, including theoretical, inorganic, and physical chemistry.
UC-Berkely’s admissions rate was 27% in 2022. The school is currently home to more than 45,000 students.
The University of Washington
Located in Seattle, the University of Washington offers a robust set of courses that are critical for artificial intelligence students. Ranked #7 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best colleges to learn AI programming and coding, UW is noteworthy for a wide variety of programs and specialties (and is officially ranked for more than a dozen).
The University of Washington has an undergraduate enrollment of 32,244 and an acceptance rate of 55%.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
It may come as no surprise that MIT is on the list of the best colleges to learn artificial intelligence since it’s constantly ranked as one of the best tech universities in the world. MIT offers numerous AI courses, along with several programs meant to complement the AI field, including cell biology, neuroscience, computer science, and physics.
Located in Cambridge, MA, the college has an acceptance rate of just 3.96% and just under 12,000 students on campus, both graduate and undergraduate.
The pride and joy of Stanford, CA, is Stanford University, another of the best colleges for majoring in artificial intelligence. Stanford is world-famous for its biological sciences and AI and bioinformatics programs.
Stanford has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country, which currently stands at a mere 3.68%. Just under 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students attend this elite college.
Cornell University is located in Ithaca, New York. In addition to taking a top spot for the best AI colleges, it also ranks high in ecology and evolutionary biology. The prestigious university holds over a dozen other rankings for subjects like genetics, cell biology, and genomics.
Cornell hosts 22,000 students, but the competition to get in is fierce, with an acceptance rate of just 8.7%.
The home of the Boilermakers is also one of the top-ranking colleges for majoring in artificial intelligence, which is only natural, given its rich history and prestige as a leading STEM university.
Along with AI, Purdue, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, also ranks in analytical chemistry, biological sciences, computer science, programming, systems, and other related courses of study. It has an acceptance rate of 68.8%, with some 41,570 students enrolled.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Also making the list of the top 10 schools for AI is UI-UC, located in Urbana, Illinois. This school earns superior rankings in several programs year after year, including theory, computer science, and programming language.
There are 34,500 undergrads and more than 20,000 graduate students from all 50 states and 126 countries at this top AI school, whose acceptance rate is just under 60%.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta is home to the Georgia Institute of Technology, which has an AI program that ranks #6 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top schools for artificial intelligence. It also ranks high for many of its other programs, including chemistry, biological sciences, computer science, programming, and Earth sciences.
Georgia Tech is a tough school to get into, having an acceptance rate of 16%. It’s attended by roughly 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
University of Texas at Austin
As one of the largest universities in the nation, UT-Austin is also one of the best AI colleges in the country. Renowned for its evolutionary biology, chemistry, data science, and computer science programs, the university ranks in the top 10 colleges for AI in the U.S.
More than 52,000 students are enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. The school’s acceptance rate is around 29%.
Choosing the Best College for AI for You
If you excel in AI-targeted courses, participate in an AI scholar program, or are passionate about STEM, any of the aforementioned institutions will allow you to launch a successful career.
That said, not all of the top AI colleges are alike; some are small, private schools, while others are large, public ones, and each offers unique benefits that may or may not suit your personality, needs, and passion.
With that in mind, it’s wise to start researching your options early in your high school career to ensure that you have all the information you need to choose the best university for you.