BSAI FAQ

Coming This Fall: B.S. in Artificial Intelligence

BSAI FAQ

I am an entering freshman in SCS (Class of 2022). How do I become an AI major?

All incoming SCS students start their first year as undeclared majors and take roughly the same curriculum during their first year. In the spring of your first year, you will declare one of the SCS majors — computer science (CS), artificial intelligence or computational biology (CB). Due to the anticipated demand for the AI major, there will be an application process that will involve submitting an essay (2–3 pages) that describes your interest in AI and your background in the area. There may also be an interview, depending on demand. Note that while not everyone is guaranteed acceptance into the AI major, everyone will be guaranteed a spot as a CS major. We will provide more information once you arrive at CMU.

What are the enrollment limits in the AI major?

We can currently handle 30–35 new AI majors per year.

What will my degree say if I do the AI major?

Your degree will show "Artificial Intelligence" as your major, not "Computer Science." You will need to make sure it is clear on your resume and social accounts which degree you're getting from SCS, since this is a new degree. The degrees are different and have different overall outcomes.

What are the significant curricular differences between CS and AI?

The CS and AI majors start with the same core computing background, but the AI major has an additional statistics course instead of algorithm design and analysis. The AI major has three core courses in artificial intelligence, while the CS major has a minor or concentration. Both programs have four electives in their respective subject areas and two SCS-wide electives. The AI major requires a course in ethics, while the CS major requires a technical communications course, which includes a choice covering ethics. Note that all majors within SCS will have equal priority for enrollment in all AI, CS and CB courses offered by the School of Computer Science.

I am in the SCS Class of 2020 or 2021. Can I transfer to become an AI major?

Yes, but transfer will be on a case-by-case basis, and there is no guarantee a transfer will be approved. Transfers for current students will be strictly limited as the program rolls out.

When and how do I apply for transfer?

If you are interested in a transfer, you should review the posted curriculum on the website and map out a four-year plan to see if you can complete the degree given your currently completed semesters. Please remember that not all courses are offered each semester and some courses have enrollment caps due to limited classroom space, TA availability and course structure. We hope to have an academic audit ready on Stellic by early June. You will then have to complete a transfer application and an essay (see above). The application will be ready by early June and will be posted on the BSAI website, and an email notification will be sent when the application is available. The deadline for application for fall 2018 is July 1. Decisions are expected by August 1. Depending on the number of current students accepted, another round of applications may be allowed during the 2018-2019 academic year.

I am in the SCS Class of 2019. Can I transfer to the AI major?

No, you should plan to complete your current SCS degree.

Can I do AI as an additional major?

Currently, no, but that may change as we roll out the program and get a better feel for how the demand matches available resources. There are additional majors in specific areas of artificial intelligence, including machine learning, language technologies, robotics and human-computer interaction.

Can I, as a current SCS major (CS or CB), transfer to AI as a primary major, and then do CS or CB as an additional major?

Yes, although there are significant double counting rules. Specifically, AI students doing an additional major in CS can double-count at most five of the 12 CS requirements, which amounts to seven additional courses. Since CS and AI both require 15-122/-150/-210/-213/-251, this means that AI primary majors with a CS additional major need to complete the remaining seven CS requirements with completely different courses than those used for AI. Math and technical communication requirements can double count without restriction. Check with a CB advisor for double counting issues for computational biology.

Is there a limit to the number of AI majors who can do an additional major in CS?

Given the high number of additional CS majors and minors already, we may limit the number of AI majors declaring an additional major in CS. We recommend that students do either CS or AI, but not both.

Is there an AI minor?

Not currently, although we do have minors in specific areas of artificial intelligence, such as machine learning, language technologies, robotics and human-computer interaction.

Can I transfer to the AI major from outside of SCS?

Currently, no; not while we roll out this program.

Can I transfer to SCS to be a CS major and then later transfer into AI?

No. If you transfer into the CS major, you must remain in the CS major.

Can I transfer from another school into the AI program?

Not currently — we do not have the capacity to allow this option.

I am a high school student. How do I apply for the AI major?

All students must first be accepted into the School of Computer Science. Then, at the end of your freshman year, you can declare the AI major. (As described above, we have enrollment limits, so not everyone will be accepted into the program). Check out CMU's Office of Undergraduate Admission for information on how to apply.

I am a high school student. What can I do to increase my chances to become an AI major?

Admission to SCS involves many factors and is highly competitive due to our desired class size. If you're interested in the AI major, you should include descriptions of your interest in AI and any current experience in AI or AI-related areas in your personal essay when you apply to SCS.

I already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline. Can I apply to SCS for the AI program?

If you have an undergraduate degree already, we recommend considering our master's programs in specific areas of AI.

Can I take the AI major online?

No, it is only available to SCS students currently attending Carnegie Mellon University. There are online universities that do offer AI and AI-related courses. You should check those out.