If you are looking to get into artificial intelligence then you might be wondering what the best degrees are for it.

This post will show you 5 of the best degrees that you can get if you want to work or research in artificial intelligence.

So, what is the best degree for artificial intelligence? Overall, computer science is the most relevant degree to artificial intelligence. It would also help a lot to take statistics in the electives.

There are actually a number of degrees that can be useful for artificial intelligence and there are a number of different classes that you should make sure to choose.

Computer science

Overall, computer science is the most recommended degree if you want to get into artificial intelligence regardless of if you want to get a job or become a researcher.

Artificial intelligence requires the knowledge of programming, data structures and some advanced computer science algorithms. Computer science features all of these classes so it is a good fit for artificial intelligence.

In addition, getting a degree in computer science will also qualify you for many very well paying jobs. According to Payscale, the average salary of someone with a bachelor’s in computer science is $83,000. This makes computer science one of the best paying degrees that are available.

This means that if, by the end of your degree, you decide that actually artificial intelligence is not for you then you will still have a very useful degree to get a job with.

Artificial intelligence can also be very heavy on mathematics and statistics. Most computer science programs will require that you take single and multivariable calculus, linear algebra and discrete mathematics. However, they might not require that you take probability and statistics. If you want to get into artificial intelligence then it will be important that you take these classes as electives.


Statistics can be used heavily in artificial intelligence because of this statistics makes for a very good undergraduate degree to get if you want to get into AI.

Most of the algorithms that AI is based on makes use of statistics and probability in some way. Having a solid foundation in statistics will allow you to learn the artificial intelligence algorithms much more quickly.

Most statistics degrees will require that you take computer science algorithms and data structures classes. If your statistics program does not then make sure to choose them as electives and possibly even take more advanced algorithms classes if they are offered.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for statisticians and mathematicians will rise by 33% by 2026. This is mainly due to the surge in data that companies have been receiving in recent years that they need people with statistical skills to make sense of.

This means that statistics will also be a degree that will put you in a good position upon graduation.

Applied mathematics

As mentioned above, mathematics gets used in many different ways in artificial intelligence so having a good understanding of mathematics will make things much easier for you.

When doing an applied math degree with the intention of getting into AI, make sure to take classes including data structures, algorithms, probability and statistics.

As mentioned above the demand for mathematicians is expected to continue to rise in the coming years so it will also be a degree that will put you in a good position.


Many of the more popular AI algorithms are loosely based on the architecture of the human brain. Many people also believe that it will be necessary to model the brain even more closely if we want to improve on the current AI algorithms.

If you want to get into AI research, especially artificial general intelligence, then having knowledge of the workings of the human brain will be very useful.

When taking a neuroscience degree be sure to choose a cognitive and computational specialization such as the one offered by Ohio State Univerisity.

Also, make sure to take classes including:

  • Single and multivariable calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Data structures
  • Algorithms
  • Probability
  • Statistics


Artificial intelligence takes mathematics and statistics and finds ways to apply them similarly to how physics finds ways to apply them as well.

Having a degree in physics will help you to understand how to take advanced mathematical subjects and to make use of them. This will be very helpful when implementing artificial intelligence.

If you do decide to major in physics make sure to take classes mentioned in the list above.

Necessary classes for artificial intelligence

As mentioned earlier if you want to get into artificial intelligence then it will be necessary to take the following classes:

  • Single and multivariable calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Data structures
  • Algorithms
  • Probability
  • Statistics

If your university offers introduction to machine learning and deep learning classes then they would be helpful as well.

Taking classes that focus on visualizing, manipulating, storing and processing data would also be very helpful. This means that databases computer science classes would help and computational statistics classes would help too.

Consider the area of artificial intelligence that you want to get into

When deciding on which degree and what classes to take for artificial intelligence it would help a lot to consider what it is that you are interested in.

There are a number of areas that artificial intelligence covers including:

  • Self-driving cars
  • Robotics
  • Natural language processing
  • Computer vision
  • Artificial general intelligence

There are also many professions that you might want to get into that make heavy use of artificial intelligence algorithms including machine learning engineers and data scientists.

How hard it will be to learn artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence makes use of mathematics, statistics and computer science. All of those majors have high dropout rates. This is likely to be because they are difficult majors that require a lot more study time than most people are used to.

This means that it will also be a challenge to learn about artificial intelligence as an undergraduate. How difficult it will be for you will largely depend on how much math, stats and computer science you already know.

However, there are many things that you can do to make it easier to learn about artificial intelligence as an undergraduate that I have written about here.

How to learn specifically about artificial intelligence

Many colleges do not offer classes that specifically teach you about artificial intelligence.

If you want to learn about AI then it will be necessary for you to do it in your own time.

The most recommended book for learning AI would be this one on Amazon.

In addition to that it would help to take courses on machine learning here and deep learning here.


I created and currently manage College Corner. I received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. My goal is to help current students do better in college and to help future students plan for college. You can read more about me and my website here.