This MS program is designed for ambitious computer scientists who seek to become architects of intelligent systems.This MS program is designed for ambitious computer scientists who seek to become architects of intelligent systems.

Program Overview

Northwestern’s Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) program produces graduates who have exceptional technical skills in the emerging technologies of machine intelligence and an understanding of the nature of the human environments in which the systems they build will be deployed.

In the MSAI program, students follow one of two tracks depending upon whether their desired career path is to work directly in industry conceiving and creating complex AI systems (traditional track), or to continue in their original field of study but with the understanding of the tools and techniques of AI in order to help transform their field (MSAI+X).

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Program Goals

The goals of our program focus on providing students with both technical skills and design expertise. When they leave, we want our students to:

  • Understand the depth and breadth of the technologies of artificial intelligence
  • Identify opportunities where these technologies can be applied in the world today
  • Know how to design and deploy systems to work in human environments and with business workflow
  • Communicate clearly and persuasively to a variety of audiences
  • Lead teams in the design and development of new artificial intelligence technologies and products

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Program Curriculum

Students in the MSAI (traditional) and MSAI+X tracks begin and end at different times. However, they share the experience from the first fall through the end of the next spring quarter. 

The MSAI (traditional) track curriculum builds on the students’ increasing knowledge of complex AI technologies and workflows. Students complete an internship and projects that prepare them to create artificial intelligence products. 

MSAI+X students enroll in a summer bootcamp to acquire, practice, and refine programming and mathematical skills. Graduates leave ready to continue in their original field of study and bring the tools and techniques to AI to help transform it.

Learn more about the curriculum and view courses

The Cohort Experience

To further enhance the academic experience, the program is limited to approximately 40 students per year. This ensures that students receive a high degree of individualized instruction and also have the opportunity to form close friendships and bonds with their fellow participants. These connections often transcend academia and continue into the workplace.

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Program Faculty

Artificial Intelligence is one of the core strengths within the computer science division at Northwestern Engineering. Our faculty lead world-class research in machine learning, natural language processing, and automated reasoning systems. They work in perceptual systems, robotics and integration of analytical methods with higher order cognition. Our faculty benefit from extensive industrial experience in the development of enterprise-grade solutions to the problems of today.

The program is also supported by other computer science faculty working in human-computer interaction, data analytics and statistics, and by faculty from outside of CS whose research focuses on psychology, business management, and behavioral economics.

The program brings together a suite of knowledge and skills aimed at the goal of teaching our students how to understand, design, and deploy impactful AI systems.

Meet our faculty

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Industry Connections

In order to provide students with experience in designing and deploying artificial intelligence systems into business workflow, the program will provide opportunities for extensive industry interaction. Drawing on the connections and partnerships within computer science and the McCormick School of Engineering, and benefiting from the plethora of technology-focused companies in Chicago, the program will link students to internship and recruiting opportunities. The program will also draw on these resources to provide both speakers and mentors from industry who will share their view of the needs and requirements of companies in the sphere of AI.

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Project Portfolios

Over the course of the five quarters that the students spend in the program, they will develop systems and demonstrations that will become part of their individual “calling cards.” As part of the program, the students will pull together these systems to create coherent portfolios of work that can demonstrate their skills to potential employers. Our goal is to help students use this model of “show, don’t tell” as a communication tool that will serve them for their entire careers.

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