University of South Florida Announces Plans for AI, Cybersecurity College

The college — which would be the first in Florida — would launch on all university campuses in fall 2025 and offer undergraduate- to professional-level programs.
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Published on March 26, 2024
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  • The University of South Florida (USF) announced its plans to introduce a new college of artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.
  • USF is the first university in Florida to announce plans for an AI- and cybersecurity-dedicated college.
  • If all goes to plan, students will have access to not just undergraduate and graduate programs but also certificate and continuing education programs starting in fall 2025.

The University of South Florida (USF) announced its plans to launch its 14th college — the first in Florida dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.

USF announced its College of Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and Computing on March 21. It would be the first college of its kind in Florida and one of the first nationwide, according to USF.

Through the expertise of our faculty and our strong partnerships with the business community, the University of South Florida is strategically positioned to be a global leader in these fields, USF President Rhea Law said in the announcement.

USF gave three reasons for why it's building the college:

The college plans to launch at all campuses in fall 2025 but must complete several shared governance steps and win approval from the board of trustees. USF plans to offer undergraduate, graduate, professional, certificate, and continuing education programs, all with interdisciplinary focuses.

The new college will also continue USF's partnership with Cyber Florida, a state-created organization operating out of USF dedicated to cybersecurity research, education, and community outreach. Cyber Florida works with K-12 and higher education to help create pathways for women, minorities, veterans, first responders, and people seeking to change careers.

Since ChatGPT launched in 2022, higher education has been wrestling with how to implement AI into its plagiarism policies and curricula. Now, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, master of business administration (MBA) degrees, certificates, and credentials are springing up from small schools like Ferris State University and Ivy League schools like the University of Pennsylvania.

About three hours south of USF, Miami Dade College — a community college with an AI associate degree, two certificates in AI, and two AI centers — was the first in the state to announce an AI bachelor of science program starting this fall.

The Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) also said it will begin offering an AI bachelor's program as soon as this fall and will offer AI classes for students and workshops for high school teachers.

This is a great start — but probably not enough, FIT President John Nicklow said, according to a school press release.

We must keep looking ahead to ensure we're keeping pace with the speed of innovation in this area. AI is about to be a major part of each of our lives. The more we know about its capabilities, its responsible and ethical use, and how it can be a positive tool in our work, the better.