Purdue Launches Online Master of Artificial Intelligence Degree

The online degree features one major for students who want to learn how to build AI systems and another for students who want to use AI systems in business.
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Updated on March 6, 2024
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  • Purdue says students can finish the 30-credit-hour degree in a year and a half if they take six credits per semester.
  • The master of science in artificial intelligence (AI) has two majors: the AI and machine learning major for building AI systems, and the AI management and policy major for business leaders and policymakers.
  • Both majors cover AI foundations, ethics, and policy and social implications.
  • Students in each major will complete a capstone project that may be immediately useful AI in their workplace.

Purdue is launching a fully online master of science in artificial intelligence (AI) for students who want to learn how to build AI systems and others who wish to use AI systems in business.

Purdue announced the online master's program March 4 for students seeking careers in AI, featuring majors in AI and machine learning and AI management and policy.

"AI is inherently interdisciplinary, with applications across domains," Dimitrios Peroulis, senior vice president for Purdue University Online, said in the press release.

"We have designed our online AI master's program to leverage Purdue's interdisciplinary strengths and intentionally built a program that meets the needs of learners with either a highly technical background or for those who do not have a technical background."

Students in both majors will learn the foundations, ethics, policy, and social implications of AI. The majors also include capstone courses where students complete a project that may immediately be useful in their workplace.

The AI and machine learning major then splits into a path designed for AI builders. The major focuses on machine learning, statistical methods, deep learning, and data science.

Purdue designed the AI management and policy major for business leaders and policymakers who want to make informed decisions on AI and how to adopt and execute AI in their organizations. The major focuses on business, nonprofit, and public sector applications. It also includes data management, analysis, and communication courses.

The master's program also provides interdisciplinary electives to meet students' interests — and their employers' needs — from courses in professional skills to project management.

The 30-credit-hour degree takes about a year and a half to complete if students take an average of six credit hours per semester.

"We have a long history at Purdue of delivering online options that are just as high quality as our top-ranked on-campus programs, and we're excited to bring that passion and expertise to such an important domain," Milind Kulkarni, professor and head of Purdue's Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said in the press release.

"Whether you're someone with a technical background who wants to learn about modern AI techniques and applications, or someone who needs to understand how your company or organization can best take advantage of cutting-edge AI technologies, our program is going to have something for you."

The master of science in AI is the latest program by Purdue to push AI, quantum computing, semiconductor, and other tech initiatives, including Purdue Computes.

In January, Lilly Endowment Inc. donated $100 million to Purdue, the biggest gift in university history — with $50 million going toward Purdue Computes, and $50 million going to the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business to create a new "student-centered" building.

Of the $50 million to Purdue Computes, $20 million will help launch the Institute for Physical Artificial Intelligence, where students will use AI and physical systems.

"This support is essential to realizing the power of AI and computing in transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and life and health sciences and creating the workforce for the future that benefits Purdue students, our state, and our nation," Karen Plaut, Purdue executive vice president for research, said in a previous press release.

Disclosure: Purdue University is a BestColleges partner
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