20 Best Artificial Intelligence Schools for College Students

Can you get a degree in artificial intelligence (AI)? The short answer is yes! But only in recent years.

According to International Group of Artificial Intelligence (IGOAI), artificial intelligence is the fastest growing field in technology. It has become a popular major with a strong investment return for students.

For this reason, we searched for artificial intelligence programs that offered the top AI programs. This is a ranking of the 20 best artificial intelligence schools and artificial intelligence degree programs in the US.

See Also: What is Interactive Intelligence

Best Schools for AI Ranking Methodology

To come up with our ranking of the best schools for artificial intelligence, we prepared a list of about 50 colleges and universities that offer education in artificial intelligence. To narrow our list to the top 20, we used the following points system. 

Average Annual Undergraduate Tuition

Under $70,000 — 1 point
Under $60,000 — 2 points
Under $50,000 — 3 points
Under $40,000 — 4 points
Under $30,000 — 5 points
Under $20,000 — 6 points
Under $10,000 — 7 points 

Average Annual Graduate Tuition

Under $70,000 — 1 point
Under $60,000 — 2 points
Under $50,000 — 3 points
Under $40,000 — 4 points
Under $30,000 — 5 points
Under $20,000 — 6 points
Under $10,000 — 7 points

Annual Percentage of 20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI)

0-2% — 1 pont
3-4% — 2 points
5-6% — 3 points
7-8% — 4 points
9% and Above — 5 points 

Student to Faculty Ratio

Under 30 to 1 — 1 point
Under 25 to 1 — 2 points
Under 20 to 1 — 3 points
Under 15 to 1 — 4 points
Under 10 to 1 — 5 points 

Tie-Breaking Consideration

In the event of a tie, we used an holistic approach to determine a final ranking. For this reason, not all colleges and universities listed below rank in descending order of points. Our holistic approach considered two main factors.

More Robust AI Degrees

Most artificial intelligence programs are at the graduate level. We found few elective courses that made up the study of artificial intelligence at that school. But we did locate a subset of schools that go above and beyond by providing specialized academic computer science degrees in artificial intelligence. These start at the undergraduate level.

We reviewed the number of AI-related degree programs offered by a school and studied the breadth of the curriculum. We then ranked the more robust programs higher. 

Research Opportunities

Our search for artificial intelligence degrees led us to a university’s research webpage as often as it did its admissions page. We found research is an important part of this subject. Students who want to be on the cutting edge of the field need to do everything they can to get their research hands dirty. They should:

  • Complete original research
  • Help out in an on-campus lab
  • Join forces with faculty to assist and conduct research of their own

Because of the emphasis on research, we favored those schools with on-campus labs. We awarded points for internship opportunities and access to independent research opportunities.

20. Columbia University in the City of New York

B.S. in Computer Science: Intelligent Systems Track

New York, New York
Points: 11
Average Annual Tuition/Fees$63,530 (undergraduate), $52,924 (graduate)

Columbia College

For students interested in an artificial intelligence degree, Columbia University’s Computer Science program is a popular choice. Columbia ranked high among best universities for AI. Here’s why.

It has impressive facilities for students, including:

  • Computer vision centers
  • Lab areas for robotics
  • Natural language processing

In the school’s computing labs, you find 3D graphics workstations and IBM robotic arms. You also see prototype wearable computers. But for students who want to learn about artificial intelligence, there is an entire track of courses devoted to “human-like intelligence.”

Another reason Columbia University ranks high for artificial intelligence colleges is its research. It is a research powerhouse that attracts students from around the globe. Over a dozen faculty specialize in areas related to:

  • Graphics and User Interfaces
  • Machine Learning
  • Vision and Robotics

Research Groups: Center for Computational Learning Systems; Deep Learning and Machine Learning

19. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

B.S. in Cognitive Science 
M.S. in Cognitive Science 
Minor in Cognitive Science of Artificial Intelligence 

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, New York
Points: 12
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $58,526 (undergraduate), $60,026 (graduate)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a good school for an artificial intelligence program. Instead of offering an AI engineering degree through a computer science program, you can explore AI topics through the department. 

Undergrads who pursue a BS in Computational Cognitive Science turn their attention to both animal and artificial minds. They gain a strong background in technological skills. As part of the program, you take classes such as:

  • Intro to Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine and Computational Learning
  • Minds and Machines

For aspiring grad students, an MS in the field is also available.

RPI is also home to the Rensselaer Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning Lab (RAIR), where both faculty and student researchers have opportunities to ask deep learning questions. “Are we machines ourselves?”

Research Areas: Rennselaer Artificial Intelligence & Reasoning Lab; CogWorks Laboratory

18. Northwestern University

M.S. in Artificial Intelligence 

Evanston, Illinois
Points: 12
Average Annual Tuition/Fees:$60,768 (undergraduate), $56,567 (graduate)

Northwestern MS artificial intelligence

Northwestern University offers a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence. This degree program is part of the McCormick School of Engineering. It produces graduates ready to work in the fast-paced world of artificial intelligence.

The 15-month master’s program consists of a series of courses, projects with industry partners, and an internship. Undergraduates interested in both AI and Northwestern University would do well to pursue a BS in Computer Science. In this program, you get the opportunity to work alongside influential faculty and gain experience in the field. 

Research Interest Areas: Assistive & Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory (argallab); Intelligent Information Lab; Interactive Audio Lab

17. University of Southern California

M.S. in Computer Science – Artificial Intelligence

Los Angeles, California
Points: 12
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $61,503 (undergraduate), $61,396 (graduate)

University of Southern California AI degree

Among top universities for artificial intelligence is University of Southern California. It offers a Master of Science in Computer Science – Artificial Intelligence degree. This program is one of the first in the US of its kind. The school also has one of the oldest computer science departments. 

In the artificial intelligence program, students learn many different AI topics. These include:

  • Artificial intelligence research
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language engineering group
  • Natural language processing
  • Robotics

There are more than 35 labs affiliated with USC’s Department of Computer Science, many of which invite graduate students to participate.

Research Areas: Speech Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL), Haptics Robotics and Virtual, IDM Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society

16. University of Rochester

M.S. in Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning 
M.S. in Computer Science: Human Computer Interaction

Rochester, New York
Points: 13
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $59,378 (undergraduate), $47,542 (graduate)

University of Rochester MS Computer Science with AI specialization

One of the best universities for artificial intelligence is University of Rochester. Here, you can earn a Master of Science in Computer Science with specializations in:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning

Course options are broad. They include many different topics found among artificial intelligence degrees. You study everything from automated planning to cognitive processing. You also learn about data mining and natural language processing.

Students have access to many research opportunities with professors who lead the field in artificial intelligence innovations. Artificial intelligence research areas include computer and data science and machine learning.

Undergraduate students who want to learn artificial intelligence can take part in these same research opportunities while earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

AI Research: Center for Language Sciences; Center for Visual Science; Center for Computation & the Brain; Rochester Human Computer Interaction Group (ROCHI)

15. California Institute of Technology

B.S. in Computer Science: Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Study Track


Pasadena, California
Points: 13
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $58,680 (undergraduate), $58,443 (graduate)

One of the best colleges for artificial intelligence is the California Institute of Technology, also known as CalTech. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program with different AI study tracks. 

Students can choose from many different artificial intelligence and machine learning courses. These courses cover topics such as:

  • Computing and mathematical sciences
  • Computer vision
  • Natural language processing
  • Probability models

Before completing the degree, students finish a capstone project that relates in some way to their degree program.

Artificial Intelligence ResearchSummer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

14. Stanford University

B.S. in Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence Track 
M.S. in Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence Specialization
M.S. in Computer Science: Human-Computer Interaction Specialization 

Stanford university BS computer science

Stanford, California
Points: 13
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $56,169 (undergraduate), $55,011 (graduate)

As one of the top artificial intelligence schools, Stanford University offers several related degrees. Students interested in computer science and AI can earn a combined bachelor’s. Graduate students can do the same.

Undergraduates earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an artificial intelligence track. Undergraduate and graduate courses include studies in:

  • Cognition
  • Computational biology
  • Machine learning
  • Speech recognition

Graduate students at Stanford University have access to many specializations in artificial intelligence related studies. Those who end up working in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) benefit from a staggering number of tech resources. If you’re interested in a master’s degree and comprehensive artificial intelligence degree, Stanford University is a good choice. 

Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

13. Harvard University

A.B. in Computer Science: Mind, Brain, & Behavior

Harvard-Top Computer Science Bachelor's Degrees

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Points: 14
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $55,587 (undergraduate), $52,170 (graduate)

Harvard has appeared on top college rankings for more than a century. It should come as no surprise that they’re listed as one of the best artificial intelligence schools.

The university offers state-of-the-art facilities and endless resources that most schools can’t afford. It has attracted research faculty who support a broad assortment of coursework. For example, all students who “concentrate” in Computer Science at Harvard can complete classes in:

  • Artificial intelligence and graphics
  • User interfaces
  • Visualization

But beyond this, students in computer science can specialize in “Mind, Brain, and Behavior.” This is an interdisciplinary track that requires research. And of course, Harvard doesn’t slack when it comes to research. Teamcore is one research area that focuses on “AI for social good.”

AI Research: Harvard College Engineering Society, Teamcore

12. Carnegie Mellon University

B.S. in Artificial Intelligence 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Points: 14
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $58,924 (undergraduate), $47,347 (graduate)

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is home to the first bachelor of science in artificial intelligence. Established in 2018, this top-ranked program has become one of the best AI engineer degree programs in the world.

Students take a wide range of courses like machine learning and computation. But they also study ethics and social responsibility.

By the end of the degree program, graduates of the artificial intelligence bachelor’s program have the skills necessary for a successful career in AI. And because the school is one of the best known research universities in the world report, students get to take part in cutting-edge artificial intelligence research.

Research Projects and Groups: CMU AI, Human Computer Interaction Institute, Institute for Software Development Research, Machine Learning Department, National Science Foundation, Robotics Department of Computer Science

11. University of Pennsylvania

B.A.S./B.S.E. in Computer & Cognitive Science

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Points: 14
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $61,710 (undergraduate), $42,932 (graduate)

University of Pennsylvania AI undergraduate degree programs

One of the most robust and rigorous artificial intelligence programs for undergraduates is at University of Pennsylvania. Instead of opting for a specific concentration, AI students agree to a dual degree program in Computer and Cognitive Science.

Through the Penn School of Engineering and Computer Science department, students choose between a BAS or BSE degree while taking general education courses. You study everything from natural language processing to neural networks. 

And if you want to participate in computer science research groups, you’re in luck. This is another university with a strong research program. Research activities run from Intelligent Systems to Theory. There are many areas to choose from.

Research Areas and Groups: Center for Human Modeling & Simulation (HMS); General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception (GRASP) Lab; Institute for Research in Computational Cognitive Sciences (IRCS); Penn Research in Machine Learning (PRiML)

10. The Ohio State University

B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering: Artificial Intelligence Specialization

Columbus, Ohio
Points: 15
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $11,936 – $35,019 (undergraduate), $12,425 – $38,377 (graduate)

The Ohio State University

At The Ohio State University, there are many opportunities to study artificial intelligence. Computer science and engineering undergrads can get their start by choosing a focus in AI. Graduates earn a BS in Computer Science & Engineering with an AI specialization through the School of Engineering.

This degree program offers coursework in knowledge-based systems and neural networks. You also study advanced natural language processing group and take part in artificial intelligence lab.

But to really get a sense for OSU’s expertise in this area, it’s good to look at its research programs. They are split into five distinct subgroups:

  • Applied Machine Learning
  • Auditory, Speech, and Language Processing
  • Cognitive Systems
  • Computer Vision
  • Machine Learning Algorithms and Theory

OSU also boasts the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence Research (LAIR), a reputable stronghold in cutting-edge research since the 1970s.

Research Focus Groups: Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence Research (LAIR)

9. University of Tennessee – Knoxville

B.S. in Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence Track 

Knoxville, Tennessee
Points: 16
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $13,244 – $31,664 (undergraduate), $13,380 – $31,798 (graduate)

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

If you have your heart set on attending one of the best universities for artificial intelligence out there, then you should look at University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Due to its specialized courses and research opportunities, it is a great artificial intelligence school.

At the undergraduate level, students in the computer science degree program can enhance their knowledge of artificial intelligence through specialized courses. Studies include:

  • Biologically-inspired computation
  • Machine learning
  • Pattern recognition

But graduate students (and those who enter the five-year BS/MS program) get the biggest reward. They get access to the Center for Intelligent Systems and Machine Learning. This research center has a staff of 40 faculty members, including eight researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Students get access to many research opportunities through the computer science department. The experience goes a long way after graduation. You can show potential employers that you have expertise in certain artificial intelligence areas. You can also show off your deep learning and grad school potential when you apply to computer science master degree programs.

Research Areas: Center for Intelligent Systems & Machine Learning – Computer Science Department

8. University of Texas at Austin

B.S. in Computer Science: Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Concentration

University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas
Points: 16
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $11,752 – $40,996 (undergraduate), $12,050 – $22,944 (graduate)

Undergraduate students at UT Austin can get a bachelor’s degree in computer science. This degree has a concentration in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The concentration consists of 12 credit hours. It offers courses that explore many AI topics such as:

  • Autonomous multi agent systems
  • Computer vision
  • Robotics

The school also offers many research areas in computer science and AI. Research projects focus on everything from AI applications to logic-based AI and beyond.

Research Areas: AI Laboratory, Learning Agents Research Group, Machine Learning Research Group, The UT Austin Villa Robot Soccer Team, Computer Vision Research Group, Virtual Reality Lab

7. University of California – Berkeley

B.S. in Cognitive Science 

Berkeley, California
Points: 16
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $14,312 – $44,066 (undergraduate), $11,442 – $26,544 (graduate)

University of California Berkeley

At University of California Berkeley, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science. The program combines different studies such as:

  • Computer science
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Neuroscience

The program prepares students for careers in AI and related computer science fields. But University of California also has a strong dedication to AI research. Its expertise in this area is so expansive that it has established different areas of exploration, including:

  • Deep learning and Probabilistic Inference
  • Speech and Language
  • Vision

Research Areas: Berkeley Laboratory for Information and System Sciences (BLISS); Berkeley Vision & Learning Center (BVLC); CITRIS People and Robots

6. Indiana University – Bloomington

B.S. in Intelligent Systems Engineering
M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction Design
M.S. in Intelligent Systems Engineering

Bloomington, Indiana
Points: 16
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $11,333 – $38,352 (undergraduate); $11,329 – $33,352 (graduate)

Indiana University is one of the only schools in this ranking to offer a standalone undergraduate degree in AI. This is not a concentration within the general CS program. But it is a BS in Intelligent Systems Engineering.

When you choose this degree, you can also pick a concentration. There are several to choose from, including:

Indiana University Bloomington
  • Bioengineering
  • Computer Engineering/Cyber-physical Systems
  • Molecular and Nanoscale Engineering
  • Neural Networks

After your bachelor’s, you can get a master’s degree in IS engineering.

As for grad students, the MS in HCI Design merges technology and creativity in a program that’s solution-oriented and project based. This graduate degree is also available as a track in the Ph.D. in Informatics. It includes many research opportunities in artificial intelligence.

Research Focus Groups: Center for Research on Concepts & Cognition; Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics; Computer Information & Graphics Technology Labs; Visual Information Sensing & Computing Center Department of Computer Science

5. Oregon State University

B.S. in Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence Applied Option

Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon
Points: 17
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $12,188 – $31,579 (undergraduate), $15,569 – $29,420 (graduate)

Oregon State University is one of the best universities for artificial intelligence. It offers computer science students a program they can customize. You can earn a BS in Computer Science with an artificial intelligence track. 

Students can choose to focus their computer science degree on one of 10 options. One of the options is Artificial Intelligence. This track offers interesting artificial intelligence courses like Intelligent Robotics and Scientific Visualization.

But it’s OSU’s research cluster in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science that appeals to students. This group tackles issues related to:

  • Database systems
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing

It also offers a list of open source software development downloads that ambitious students can explore in their free time.

Research Opportunities: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, & Data Science

4. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering: Artificial Intelligence/Robotics Track Option

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Points: 17
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $15,254 – $33,818 (undergraduate), $19,494 – $29,262 (graduate)

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota is a great artificial intelligence school. It offers six track options for its bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering. One of these tracks is artificial intelligence and robotics.

Students who pursue this track focus on the principles of designing intelligent systems. In the artificial intelligence courses, you learn how to analyze information. You also learn to act to achieve objectives. A number of AI-related laboratories and groups offer career prep and give students experience in the field. 

Research Areas: Outobox; Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Vision Lab; Visual Computing and AI Seminar; Machine Learning Reading Group

3. University of Georgia

A.B. in Cognitive Science
M.S. in Artificial Intelligence

Athens, Georgia
Points: 17
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $12,068 – $31,108 (undergraduate), $11,156 – $27,464 (graduate)

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is known for its tech programs, such as artificial intelligence. It offers two degrees that explore topics in computer science and artificial intelligence. You can earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences houses an entire Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Here, undergrads can major in Cognitive Systems Science and choose from two or more areas of concentration. One of these is Artificial Intelligence.

UGA is also home to a master’s program in AI. Students can specialize their degree by choosing from tracks like:

  • Cognitive Modeling
  • Genetic Algorithms
  • Logic Programming
  • Microelectronics (electrical and computer engineering)

The school also has an artificial intelligence research program that includes more than two-dozen faculty. Each professor brings experience from other departments in the school. This is what makes UG a great artificial intelligence school.

Research Focus Areas: Institute for Artificial Intelligence

2. University of Washington

B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering: User Interface and Human-Computer Interaction

Seattle, Washington
Points: 17
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $12,076 – $39,906 (undergraduate), $17,754 – $30,912 (graduate)

University of Washington

University of Washington offers a computer science and engineering program for undergraduates. This is a good program for students seeking a computer engineering or AI career. Why? Because it offers 16 specializations.

Most computer science specializations are interdisciplinary and innovative. There is a User Interface and Human-Computer Interaction track perfect for AI enthusiasts. You take courses through the Information School as well as the School of Art, Department of Human Centered Design and School of Engineering, and the Interaction Design Program.

The curriculum blends science and art throughout the program. But it’s the research facilities that make the program stand out. UW hosts a star-studded artificial intelligence research group comprised of more than 30 faculty who regularly publish papers and win awards for their work in the AI field.

Research Areas: Automated Planning & Control; Brain-Computer Interfaces & Computational Neuroscience; Computational Biology; Intelligent Interaction; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Natural Language Processing; Robotics; Graphics & Imaging Laboratory

1. Purdue University

B.S. in Computer Science: Machine Intelligence Track

West Lafayette, Indiana
Points: 19
Average Annual Tuition/Fees: $9,992 – $28,794 (undergraduate), $9,992 – $28,794 (graduate)

Purdue University

Topping our list of best schools for artificial intelligence is Purdue University. The school offers a Machine Intelligence track as part of its computer science degree program.

In this program, you take courses such as: 

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Data mining
  • Machine learning
  • Robotics

It is the variety of coursework coupled with research opportunities that puts Purdue at the top of our list for artificial intelligence schools for undergrads. But students pursuing a Master of Science also get access to research areas. The university’s research area in Machine Learning and Information Retrieval offers interdisciplinary opportunities that span the fields of:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Economics
  • Statistics robotics

Purdue is our #1 pick for a great artificial intelligence school with strong computer science degrees.

Research Areas: Production, Robotics, & Integration Software Development for Manufacturing & Management (PRISM)

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