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Course Requirements

The Program of Study must include a minimum of 30 hours of graduate course work including 3 hours of Master’s thesis (ARTI 7300) and 2 hours of Master’s research (ARTI 7000). Of the 30 hours of course work, at least 12 hours (excluding ARTI 7300 and ARTI 7000) must consist of courses open only to graduate students.

The following courses must be included on the Program of Study unless specifically waived for a particular student by that student's Advisory Committee and by the Graduate Coordinator:


At least 14 hours must be taken from the following groups. Of the 14 hours, 8 must come from Group A and 6 must come from Group B.



Other courses may be substituted for those on the SELECT list, provided the subject matter of the course is sufficiently related to artificial intelligence and consistent with the educational objectives of the MS degree program. Substitutions can be made only with the permission of the student's Advisory Committee and the Graduate Coordinator.


At least 3 hours of ARTI 7300 must appear on the Program of Study. Hours from the SELECT list can, however, be used in place of the 2 hours of ARTI 7000. Additionally, students may under certain special circumstances use up to 4 hours from the following list to apply towards the SELECT group requirement. Permission of the Advisory Committee, Graduate Coordinator, and Course Instructor is required.

  • ARTI 8800 Directed Readings in Artificial Intelligence
  • ARTI 8000 Topics in Artificial Intelligence

Note: It is very rare that a student is able to use the 8800 and 8000 hours to replace SELECT list course hours. Students attempting to use an alternate without prior permission from their Advisory Committee, the Course Instructor, and the Graduate Coordinator run the risk of having to fulfill the non-alternate requirements regardless of their graduation, employment, or other degree program status. The alternate hours are not for extra thesis work hours. They are for special situation independent study with a faculty member on a special AI related topic. The reason an alternate is rare is due to the fact that there are regular courses that can/should be used. Alternates are reserved for only the rarest or most special of cases.


As far as possible, necessary undergraduate courses are to be taken at the beginning of the student's graduate course work.

Attendance requirements

Classes are scheduled for full-time students. There are no special provisions for part-time or off-campus students.

Students are required to attend all meetings of classes for which they are registered. Absence is permitted only in cases of illness or other unforeseen emergency. Students are advised not to take personal vacations while classes are in session. This includes students who are working independently.

Comprehensive Oral Examination

An MSAI student must pass a comprehensive oral examination on their Program of Study before defending their thesis. The comprehensive examination is open to the University community.  Students answer questions from both their advisory committee and the audience, and the committee then votes pass or fail the student. 


In addition to the course work and comprehensive examination, every student must conduct research in artificial intelligence under the direction of a faculty advisor and advisory committee and report the results of his or her research in a thesis acceptable to the Graduate School. The advisory committee votes to pass or fail both the written thesis and a separate defense of the thesis. 

The IAI accepts either the manuscript style thesis or the regular research style thesis. With the manuscript style thesis there is a requirement of (at least) two publications in a national level conference or journal. IC-AI, FLAIRS, and IEA-AIE are national level conferences, SE-ACM or IEEE Southeast are not.

Graduate School Requirements

Graduate School requirements apply in addition to the above. Exceptions to these requirements may be allowed under certain special circumstances and with appropriate approval of the student's Advisory Committee and Graduate Coordinator. This is exceedingly rare, however.

Student Handbook

Additional information on the Program of Study, Oral Examination, Thesis and Thesis Defense, and on other AI Institute policies can be found in the AI Student Handbook.

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