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Small but growing number of universities starting to offer AI majors

Small but growing number of universities starting to offer AI majors
Posted at 12:08 PM, Mar 29, 2024

From health to transportation to energy, artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in our lives and universities are taking notice.

"No matter what you think of what's happening in AI you are underestimating it and what is to come," said Robert Ghrist, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in Penn Engineering.

A small but growing number of schools are starting to offer AI majors.

Penn Engineering is one of the latest, and the first among Ivy League universities.

The major which will start in the fall includes core classes like math and data science, and ones specific to AI like machine learning and ethics.

"I can very honestly tell the students who are gonna be coming into this program that four years from now, when you graduate the job that you wind up getting is very likely to be a job that does not currently exist," said Ghrist.

Ghrist said the university's goal is to prepare students to be leaders who will be adaptable, who can see what's coming with AI, and who can integrate it into society for good.

The school plans to continually update the program so it stays relevant with AI changing so quickly.

"It's really funny to see how quickly Fortune 500 company leaders have been adapting to what they see coming. This is usually a rather conservative set of leaders. I think if you look at what is happening, both visible and behind the scenes, there's a lot going on orienting towards this space, said Ghrist.

Ghrist said he expects to see many more schools adding AI majors over the next couple of years.

He tells us Penn Engineering is already getting a lot of interest from current students asking how they can get into the program.