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UTD CS Ranks 5th in Top 40 Best U.S. Colleges for Artificial Intelligence

Recently, the website Great Value Colleges ranked the top 40 best colleges in the U.S. for Artificial Intelligence placing UT Dallas Computer Science Department as the fifth best college for undergraduate studies in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Artificial Intelligence is the theory behind or development of computer systems capable of performing “intelligent” tasks such as decision-making, learning from examples, and translating languages that would otherwise require a human brain. The CS Department at UT Dallas has done well in research-based rankings such as, where it ranks 7th in the area of natural language processing, 11th in artificial intelligence, 5th in the area of software engineering, and 6th in real-time systems (2009-2019 period). The department also has done well in placement rankings with Computer Science Degree Hub ranking the UT Dallas Computer Science BS and MS Programs Rank in the Top 50.

Similar to the rest of the world of computing, AI is an intensely multidisciplinary field. The best AI degree programs are those that include subjects such as computer science, philosophy, psychology, mathematics and linguistics. To help find and rank the 40 Best Colleges in the U.S. for Artificial Intelligence, Great Value Colleges began with a list of 100+ schools that offer AI-related degree programs. Because their focus is affordability, Great Value Colleges used the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database to determine the net cost, percentage of students receiving financial aid, student-to-faculty ratio, and first-time student retention rate (an indicator of student satisfaction) for each university. They then developed a point system to account for each of those factors, as well as the school’s location, course offerings, research breadth, faculty achievements and additional pros related to a positive AI learning environment. Great Value Colleges ranked each college using their point methodology, which is summarized below.

The UT Dallas Computer Science Department has a large group of faculty members focused on research in AI and all of its respective fields. Several of the faculty members conduct their research under the umbrella of the Institute for Human Language and Technology (HLTRI) which houses various institutes, including the Center for Machine Learning and the Center for Applied AI and Machine Learning. Research into AI includes natural language processing, machine learning, speech processing, computer vision, automatic question-answering, and automated reasoning. UT Dallas Computer Science faculty members are world-renowned for their research and scholarship and have been published in top AI Conferences and Journals such as the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) and the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (click here and here to learn more).

The Department also holds numerous workshops, hackathons, and events dedicated to AI and all of its entities. Each year, the UT Dallas AI Society and the UT Dallas CS Department hosts a hackathon dedicated to AI and machine learning. The department also hosts AI and ML conferences as a way to provide undergraduate students, graduate M.S. or Ph.D. students, academics, and engineers from industry with exposure to the most recent advances and developments in the field of AI and Machine Learning.

Great Value Colleges Ranking System:

  • Net Cost: <$10,000 (3 points); $10,001-$15,000 (2 points); <$20,000 (1 point)
  • Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: >90% (3 points); 80-89% (2 points); 70-79% (1 point)
  • First-Time Student Retention: >90% (3 points); 80-89% (2 points); 70-79% (1 point)
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: <10:1 (3 points); 15-11:1 (2)
  • Location and Facilities: If the city is known for its tech presence (like Silicon Valley and Seattle) (3 points); If the city has a slight/budding tech presence (1 point); Unique academic or research facilities (1 point each with a maximum of 3)
  • AI Presence in Research: 1 point per AI-specific lab, institute or research opportunity, with a maximum of 10
  • AI Courses: 1 point per AI-specific course beyond “Introduction to AI”, with a maximum of 10
  • Program Extras: 1 point per program extras at the researcher’s discretion, like high-value faculty members, AI student organizations, fast-track master’s degree programs, undergraduate student success, AI-specific events, etc.

Below is Great Value Colleges’ ranking of the department and a description:

Points: 31
Net Cost: $10,036
Course Examples: Computer Animation, Intelligent Systems Design and Artificial Intelligence

The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas is one of the largest CS departments in the U.S. with about 2,400 bachelor’s-degree students, 53 tenure-track faculty members and 38 senior lecturers. It’s conveniently located in the Telecom Corridor, home of the second-largest high-tech economy in America. The Jonsson School also runs one of the largest internship and cooperative education programs, averaging more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate student placements annually at high-tech companies like Intel, Alcatel-Lucent and IBM. Interested in creating your own high-tech startup? UT Dallas offers a computer science degree program with entrepreneurship classes woven into the curriculum like Startup Launch I and II. For those students who successfully complete the entrepreneurship track, the University will cover one year’s worth of rent at the VDC facility or provide space at its Blackstone LaunchPad facility for the startup.

Otherwise, undergraduates interested in AI will work through UT Dallas’ BS in computer science degree program, which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Additionally, the Jonsson School offers a BS in software engineering, as well as minors in:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Assurance
  • Software Engineering

Interested in going to graduate school at UT Dallas? Its Fast-Track program allows gifted undergrads to take master’s level courses and get automatically admitted to a graduate program. UT Dallas’ Intelligent Systems research area encompasses several aspects of AI and can offer a very rich research experience. Federal agencies and the local high-tech companies granted UT Dallas over $45 million in new research funding in the last five years. During the writing of this article, UT Dallas announced that it reached a qualifying benchmark to receive funding from the National Research University Fund, an exclusive source of research support available to the state’s “emerging research universities.” The University’s annual restricted research expenditures, high-achieving freshman class and high-quality faculty are a few of the requirements it met.


The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 3,315 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,110 master’s students, 165 Ph.D. students,  52 tenure-track faculty members, and 44 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2019. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.

UT Dallas CS Ph.D. Grads Find Work in Prestigious Universities, High-Tech Companies, Government, and Top-Tier Research Facilities
UTD Computer Science BS and MS Programs Rank in Top 50 in Computer Science Degree Hub Rankings