Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence

From Northwest University

AI for the Real World

The Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence (MSAAI) is a pioneering graduate program designed to equip students with the foundational principles and practical skills needed to develop and deploy artificial intelligence (AI) solutions across diverse industries. The program aims to close the gap between theoretical knowledge and its practical application, preparing students to effectively utilize AI within any professional setting without the need for a deep technical background in software development or model design.

Who Is This Program For?

The MSAAI is designed for working professionals who would like to enhance their career opportunities and leadership skills by learning how to apply cutting-edge technology into their established careers. This program will not only provide the essential knowledge and skills you need to lead your organization in AI, but it will do so while exploring the ethics of AI from a Christian worldview.

For even greater flexibility, this program is offered as a HyFlex option. HyFlex takes the online/remote learning experience to a new level, empowering you to engage in live class lectures and discussions from anywhere.

Learn More About HyFlex

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Graduates of the MSAAI program will be prepared to lead AI initiatives and projects within their organizations or create entirely new applications. Specific roles might include AI strategy consultant, AI project manager, AI ethicist, technology policy specialist, or business analyst with AI focus. Beyond specific job titles, understanding how to apply AI can be useful for a variety of leadership positions in sectors poised for AI transformation.

“The playing field is poised to become a lot more competitive, and businesses that don’t deploy AI and data to help them innovate in everything they do will be at a disadvantage.”

Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer, Accenture

Program Highlights

  • Designed for Working Adults: Classes meet in the early evening with a schedule that includes one four-hour class every week. HyFlex is also an option for students who prefer synchronous online participation.
  • Expert Faculty: Learn from leading industry experts who are at the forefront of AI research, application, and ethics.
  • Hands-On Experience: Gain practical experience through lab sessions, projects, and collaborations with industry partners.
  • AI With Ethics: AI is transformative technology that raises many ethical questions. We’ll explore AI from a Christian worldview to see how it can be deployed for the good of humankind.
  • Accessibility: Designed for professionals without a technical background, ensuring accessibility to the transformative power of AI.
  • Industry-Relevant: A focus on real-world applications and ethical considerations prepares students for immediate impact in their careers.
  • Small Class Sizes: A hallmark of Northwest University classes is our commitment to maintaining small class sizes. Every student will be known—not only by their graduate cohort—but also by faculty members and administrators.

Program Overview

To earn a Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence (MSAAI), students must complete 36 credits, which translates to 12 classes. The program is designed with a schedule that includes one four-hour class every week for eight weeks, across two eight-week terms per semester, operating on a year-round basis without a summer break. This setup results in three full semesters (comprising six classes) annually, allowing students to finish the MSAAI degree in two years of full-time study. The program is offered in a HyFlex format, supporting both on-campus and synchronous online participation, and classes are scheduled for early evenings to suit both local and remote industry professionals.

“The big takeaway on generative AI…is that 75% of executives do not feel personally equipped to lead their organizations through this. The No. 1 action executives are looking for is an AI vendor. But they can’t farm out or delegate innovation. They really have to become technologists themselves and have the ethos of testing and learning and failing fast in order to understand.”

Chris Deri, president of Weber Shandwick’s Corporate Advisory Businesses

Curriculum

The following are examples of courses to be offered as part of this degree program:

Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence

This foundational course offers a deep dive into the world of artificial intelligence, exploring its historical development, core technologies, and the various categories and types of AI that have emerged. Participants will learn about the process of building AI models, including data collection, processing, and model evaluation.

Foundations of Machine Learning

This course introduces the rapidly evolving fields of machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) to a nontechnical audience. Designed to demystify the jargon and complex concepts often associated with AI systems, the course offers a clear, accessible overview of how ML and DL work, their applications, and the transformative potential they hold across various sectors.

Categories and Applications of AI Models

This course provides an in-depth exploration of the diverse spectrum of artificial intelligence models. The course will provide insights into how these models can solve complex problems, enhance decision-making, and drive innovation across various sectors. Students will be equipped with the knowledge to understand, critique, and envision the application of AI models in real-world scenarios.

Ethical Implications in AI

This course invites students to explore the ethical implications of artificial intelligence through the lens of a Christian worldview. You will experience a blend of theological inquiry, ethical theory, and technology studies to examine how AI impacts individuals, communities, and the broader creation.

The following courses provide an introduction into the application of AI principles:

Researching AI Strategies: Navigating the Future of Work

This course investigates the transformative impact of artificial intelligence in management and work practices. The curriculum adopts a research-based approach, exploring methods to design and implement AI initiatives that align with organizational goals, navigate challenges to adoption, and foster an AI-ready culture.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Age of AI

As we navigate the AI revolution, understanding how to leverage these technologies for new ventures and innovation within existing organizations is critical. The course will investigate insights into how AI can be a catalyst for creating groundbreaking products, services, and business models. We invite students to step into the future of business, where AI is not just a tool but a foundational element of innovation and entrepreneurship.

AI for Social Good

This course will explore how artificial intelligence can be leveraged to create positive social impact. This course takes a deep dive into how AI technologies can be harnessed to address critical global challenges, including poverty, health care, environmental sustainability, and education. It aims to inspire and equip students with the knowledge and tools to apply AI in ways that benefit society.

AI in Industry (Health Care, Finance, Manufacturing)

This course offers a comprehensive exploration into how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing key industries such as health care, finance, and manufacturing. Students will gain insights into the practical applications of AI, understand the challenges and opportunities it presents, and learn about the future trends that will shape these industries.

AI in Art, Design, and Entertainment

This course uncovers how AI technologies are not just tools for efficiency, but also instruments of creativity, opening new frontiers in visual arts, music, film, and digital design. Students will explore the role of AI in generating new forms of artistic expression, transforming creative processes, and reshaping the entertainment industry.

Capstone Project

The MSAAI program culminates in a capstone project where students apply their knowledge and skills to tackle a real-world problem in their area of interest. This project can be conducted as an independent research study for academic publication or in collaboration with industry partners, providing valuable experience and networking opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communication: Graduates will be able to synthesize, tailor, and deliver AI content in ways that are meaningful and impactful to a variety of audiences.
  2. Application: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to apply AI techniques and tools to solve real-world problems across diverse contexts.
  3. Analysis: Graduates will analyze and evaluate different AI models and approaches in terms of their efficiency, accuracy, and suitability for specific problems, including the ability to identify biases, potential ethical issues, and limitations within AI systems.
  4. Evaluation: Graduates will identify and address ethical concerns in AI deployment which would violate fairness, privacy, transparency, and Christ-centered values.
  5. Synthesis: Graduates will be able to synthesize advanced AI techniques to innovate in their target field.

Admissions Requirements

  • A Bachelor of Arts or Science (or equivalent degree) from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale on all previous college work.
  • A completed application that includes a personal statement outlining the applicant’s interest in AI, goals for their participation in the program, and its potential impact on their career.
  • International students whose native language is not English must submit a minimum score of 580 (or equivalent) on the TOEFL exam as part of the application process.

Design a Better World

If you want to work in tech, or a creative field—Northwest University's Creatio Center has a set of undergraduate degree programs focusing on the “digital revolution”.

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