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Universities like Purdue are starting to offer Artificial Intelligence majors – Chicago Tribune

Dear Mr. Bradshaw,

What colleges offer a major in Artificial Intelligence? I am a sophomore in high school. How should I prepare?



Dear Student,

As a sophomore in high school interested in pursuing a major in Artificial Intelligence (AI), you have time to prepare and build a strong foundation in
relevant skills and knowledge. Here’s a guide on both the colleges that offer AI majors and how you can prepare for such a program.

Colleges with AI Majors

On the East Coast, MIT offers a top-tier computer science program with a focus on AI. Consider exploring MIT’s open courseware and engaging in
online resources related to computer science. Harvard is expanding its emphasis on computer science and AI. Follow developments from the
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and explore introductory courses.

On the West Coast Stanford is renowned for its AI research. Utilize online platforms like Stanford Online to access introductory courses and explore
resources provided by the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL). UC Berkeley has a strong computer science department. Check out online
materials and courses from Berkeley’s AI research groups, such as the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab (BAIR).

Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science is highly regarded in AI research. Look for online courses and tutorials to build
your programming and AI knowledge.

Purdue University in West Lafayette started offering a new major in AI in the fall of 2022. Purdue publishes a helpful job link for its graduates including starting salaries and company location. Many of these companies have international openings. Check out

According to a description of the program on Purdue’s website, “A major in Artificial Intelligence teaches students to ask basic questions about intelligence, including: the nature of concepts and cognition; what constitutes valid and sound inferences; the relation of mind to body; and the moral constraints on the use of intelligence. Students will learn to ask questions about the extent to which such intelligence could be realized through artificial means, and the ethical principles guiding such constructions, while learning the fundamental technical skills required for such construction.”

How to Prepare

AI involves complex mathematical concepts, so it’s a good idea to focus on building a strong foundation in mathematics, including algebra, calculus, and statistics. Physics and computer science courses also will be beneficial.

It’s a good idea to gain proficiency in programming languages commonly used in AI, such as Python and Java, with online platforms like Codecademy and Khan Academy offering introductory courses. Utilize online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Khan Academy to explore introductory AI courses, and consider courses in machine learning, data science, and AI ethics.

Engage in coding competitions like the USA Computing Olympiad (USACO) to enhance problem-solving skills. These competitions often include algorithmic challenges relevant to AI. Participate in coding clubs or robotics clubs at your high school. Engaging in group projects will help you develop teamwork and practical programming skills.

Follow reputable AI news sources and research publications to stay informed about the latest developments in the field. This will deepen your understanding and passion for AI.

Reach out to teachers, professionals, or local AI enthusiasts for mentorship. They can provide guidance, share insights, and offer advice on your academic and career journey.

Maintain a high GPA and aim for academic excellence in all subjects. A strong academic record is essential for competitive college admissions.
As you progress, consider seeking internships or research opportunities related to AI. Practical experience will set you apart and deepen your understanding of the field.

Remember that the AI field is interdisciplinary, so consider exploring related subjects like mathematics, statistics, and cognitive science. Your high school years are an excellent time to explore your interests and build a strong foundation for your future studies in AI.

Gerald Bradshaw is an international college admissions consultant with Bradshaw College Consulting in Crown Point.

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