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Artificial intelligence degree among 2 approved by IU trustees

Dec 3, 2020

The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved two new undergraduate degrees, including the first Bachelor of Arts in artificial intelligence to be offered in the United States.

A row of red IU diplomas
The new degrees await approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

At their Dec. 4 meeting, the trustees approved a Bachelor of Arts in artificial intelligence at IUPUI and a Bachelor of Science in organizational and business psychology at IU Bloomington.

The Bachelor of Arts in artificial intelligence is intended to prepare students for graduate study and for careers in industries that are being transformed by the application of artificial intelligence to automating business processes.

The American Artificial Intelligence Initiative has stated that training an artificial intelligence-ready workforce is vital for the United States to maintain a competitive advantage, improve worker safety, increase productivity and create new industry sectors. The national average pay for an artificial intelligence specialist is $136,000, and hiring for this type of job has increased 74 percent annually.

Earlier this year, in June, IUPUI established the Institute for Integrative Artificial Intelligence to promote and coordinate artificial intelligence research among IUPUI faculty and external industry, government and university partners. The institute, which fosters the development of artificial intelligence technologies, applications and programs, worked with campus leadership and the deans of IUPUI’s three main technology schools to start the new degree, which requires 120 credit hours. The Bachelor of Arts in artificial intelligence will be offered in the Department of Human-Centered Computing within the School of Informatics and Computing.

In addition to the Bachelor of Arts, faculty and academic leaders from both IU and Purdue have partnered to jointly offer artificial intelligence degrees through both universities. Through this unique partnership, which spans three schools at IUPUI (Science, Engineering and Technology, and Informatics and Computing), IU will offer the Bachelor of Arts, and Purdue University will offer the Bachelor of Science. These degrees share five core courses.

While the B.A. focus is on human analysis, design and cognitive automation, the B.S. students will select between concentrations in either math and computer science or embedded and autonomous systems. All degree and concentration options are 120 credit hours.

The Bachelor of Science in organizational and business psychology, which requires 120 credit hours, will be offered by the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences on the Bloomington campus. The purpose for offering the degree is to best prepare Psychological and Brain Sciences students for future careers, and data shows that many psychology graduates choose a business-related profession.

The Bachelor of Science in organizational and business psychology makes Psychology and Brain Sciences students more marketable in the business world and aids graduate training for those looking to continue their education; it also helps business students who want to change their major. Graduates with this degree could be hired for jobs such as industrial organization psychologist, human resources specialist, training and development specialist, and market research analyst.

The degrees approved by IU’s trustees still await final approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

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Kirk Johannesen

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