University Of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UPenn, Artificial Intelligence, Ivy League

UPenn Becomes First Ivy League College To Launch AI Degree Programs

The school will offer both a bachelor's and a master's in the newly established academic discipline.

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is offering the first-ever degree programs in AI in the Ivy League.

UPenn announced the degree will be part of its School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students will earn their Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Engineering in AI at the Raj and Neera Sing Program in Artificial Intelligence, with the advanced degree offered online.

The school’s interim president J. Larry Jameson explained to Penn Today how the new degree offerings will align with an evolving focus on AI.

“Inventive at its core, Penn excels at the cutting edge,” Jameson said in February. “Data, including AI, is a critical area of focus for our strategic framework, In Principle and Practice, and this new degree program represents a leap forward for the Penn engineers who will lead in developing and deploying these powerful technologies in service to humanity. We are deeply grateful to Raj and Neera Singh, whose leadership helps make this possible.”

The comprehensive program will offer courses in machine learning, data analytics, and advanced robotics. The school hopes to lead the Ivy League in exploring AI’s untapped potential for bettering society. In its statement introducing the Master’s option, the program will also aid students in developing new systems as AI becomes more prevalent in today’s world.

“The online Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Artificial Intelligence (AI) degree at Penn Engineering will empower students with both the practical skills and the ethical foundations to lead AI into the future,” shared the school, as reported by AfroTech. “Building on the expertise of the School’s world-class faculty, the program will equip students with the mathematical and algorithmic foundation to develop groundbreaking AI systems along with the broad perspective to deploy new technologies in an ethical and responsible way.” 

Moreover, its acknowledgment of AI as an academic discipline suggests a shift in the attitude toward its use. While some fear AI’s widespread use jeopardizing jobs, especially for Black workers, the trend is not slowing down.

The Bachelor’s program will begin this fall, with the cohort of Master’s students starting in the subsequent spring semester. The program’s website lists more information on applications and course curricula.