Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence

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At a Glance

Earn your master’s degree online in just 20 months.

Summer, Fall and Spring Start Dates

20 Months
30 Units
January 9, 2024
December 1

Quick Facts

Program consists of five semesters: two courses per semester, and seven weeks per course (taken one at a time).



The University of San Diego’s innovative online AI master’s degree program is committed to training current and future artificial intelligence professionals for the important and fascinating work ahead. The strengths of our program include a significant emphasis on real-world applications, ethics, privacy, moral responsibility, and social good in designing AI-enabled systems.

Designed to prepare graduates for success in this vitally important and fast-growing field, this master’s in applied artificial intelligence online degree program has been developed by AI experts in close collaboration with key industry and government stakeholders to provide in-depth practical and technical training. This cutting-edge program:


Average salary reported by MS-AAI graduates


AI’s potential addition to global economic growth by 2030

Where MS-AAI Graduates Work

Microsoft logo


who is this program for?

Our applied artificial intelligence master’s degree program is ideally suited to those with a background in science, mathematics, engineering, healthcare, statistics, or technology.

Potential candidates for the University of San Diego’s online AI master’s degree program include:

  • Offers a robust, state-of-the-art online learning experience that guides students in mastering the technical skills, practical expertise, and soft skills necessary for career success.
  • Employs highly skilled faculty with a passion for teaching, many of whom are applied artificial intelligence practitioners in key roles at a wide range of commercial, academic, and government organizations.
  • Integrates ethics, privacy, social good, and moral responsibility in applying artificial intelligence tools and techniques across the entire curriculum.
  • Is one of the nation’s only 100% online master’s in artificial intelligence programs.

We ask that applicants review the complete list of our admission requirements before applying.

FROM THE AAI Academic Director & Faculty

Job opportunities in AI are rising rapidly in various industries. Our mission is to offer one of the most practical artificial intelligence Master’s programs for online learners at USD. In the AAI program, our graduate students develop and practice technical and soft skills that are critical for building and deploying AI solutions ethically and socially.

My time working in the tech industry has taught me that an AI specialist’s technical abilities are only as good as their ability to apply those skills in a way that creates value for their company. Our program focuses on maintaining that balance between the technical and practical, and this sets our students apart from those coming out of many other AI programs.

How to Apply

For details on admission requirements and how to begin your application, please visit our Admission Requirements page.

Artificial Intelligence Careers

High-paying career opportunities in artificial intelligence and related disciplines continue to expand across a broad spectrum of industries, public agencies, and nonprofits. With a master’s degree, graduates are well positioned to compete for advanced leadership and management opportunities in AI.

Artificial Intelligence Programmer

  • $126,472
Artificial Intelligence Engineer

  • $164,769
Business Intelligence Developer

  • $98,283
Machine Learning Applied Researcher

  • $139,795
Applied Machine Learning Specialist

  • $121,299

Salary data from employment websites including Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, PayScale, Salary, Glassdoor and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Academic Calendar

Degree candidates are admitted throughout the year to begin their degree during one of three semesters (spring, summer and fall). Students take two courses during each 14-week semester, focusing on one 7-week course at a time. This degree program can be completed in 5 semesters (20 months).


The University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence degree program features an innovative, hands-on AI curriculum tailored to the needs of industries and employers.

Taught by expert practitioners, the online Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence (MS-AAI) curriculum is designed to equip graduates with the technical strategies and skills they will use to apply powerful analytical tools to real-world applications in the workplace. The program culminates in a Capstone experience that pairs them with fellow students, instructors, and potential industry partners on an in-depth project that showcases their ability to apply their AI knowledge and skills.


Program Goals

The University of San Diego’s online master’s degree in Applied Artificial Intelligence differentiates itself from other similar programs in several significant ways. The program:


Accreditation is an important quality indicator for college and university degree programs, generally regarded as a stamp of approval that ensures you will be able to apply for financial aid and transfer your credits if you decide to switch schools. Most state universities and private non-profit universities will have a regional accreditation. The University of San Diego has earned both regional and national accreditations.

Accreditations include:

The WASC Senior College and University Commission – WASC is a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid. Learn more about the importance of selecting a regionally accredited program.


The faculty is composed of experienced artificial intelligence instructor-practitioners — real-world experts who work with students to ensure that the learning experience is contextualized for individualized development, while also sharing valuable information and insights regarding careers in AI.

Headshot of Ebrahim K. Tarshizi
Ebrahim Tarshizi, PhD
Academic Director
Edwin Addison, JD, MS, MBA
Adjunct Professor
Ying Lin, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Amit P. Manghani, MS, MBA
Adjunct Professor
Kahila Mokhtari, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Som Shahapurkar, PhD
Adjunct Professor

Tuition and Financial Aid

Program tuition is competitive with other top institutions. Federal financial aid can help you fund your degree. Scholarships and grants may also be available.

affordable tuition

Find helpful information on tuition and financial aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a GRE or GMAT required for admission?

Candidates who have a GPA above 2.75 are not required to take a GRE or GMAT; however, a standardized test such as GRE or GMAT is recommended for applicants with a GPA under 2.75.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in science or engineering?

One of the program’s admission requirements is a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering, Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, IT, Electrical Engineering or a related STEM field from an accredited institution. Candidates who possess real-world experience or research experience will be best positioned for acceptance into the program.

How much does the online artificial intelligence master’s degree cost in tuition?

The Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence online program is 30 total credits at $925 per credit, for a total tuition of $27,750. Thanks to available federal financial aid, most students find the program to be a valuable, affordable investment that quickly pays for itself.

What is the duration of the program?

Designed to be completed in 20 months over five semesters, the program requires students to complete two 7-week-long courses each semester — beginning with two introductory courses — for a total of 30 academic units. The master’s degree you will earn as an online graduate student is of the same quality and rigor as that earned by campus-based students.

What skills and experience are important for success in the Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence program?

Applicants should have some knowledge and experience with Calculus and Linear Algebra. Students will also be expected to have some familiarity with reading and writing computer code.

How much programming experience is required?

Applicants should have some knowledge and experience in at least one of the following programming languages: Python, C, and MATLAB.

Are there some recommended resources to help prepare for the MS-AAI program?

Here are some free recommended resources for preparing for the Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence program:

Khan Academy: Calculus
Khan Academy: Statistics
Math is Fun: Statistics
Khan Academy: Linear Algebra
Calculus eTextbook by Gilbert Strang Free interactive Python tutorial
Introduction to R by Udemy
Free Matlab tutorial

Does USD offer career development/advising support?

The University of San Diego is committed to steering you on a path toward educational and professional success. Right from the start, you’ll receive support and guidance from experienced University of San Diego advisors who are invested in helping you achieve your education goals!

Exploring Your Future in Artificial Intelligence?

Download free checklist: 8 Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Artificial Intelligence Program