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cyberp

Can I get into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) field with a psychology major?

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Hello everyone. I am currently a Psychology major/Business minor. I was always fascinated by Artificial Intelligence & cognitive psychology, so I am trying to find out if I could get into the AI field with a non-CS major. Some AI programs only accept CS majors and some others accept people from other disciplines too (including psychology) as long as they have good CS foundations and some basic programming knowledge. My psychology major covers a big part of the cognitive fundamentals and has some statistics courses and my business minor has some extra quantitative courses and a course in information systems in Business. I was thinking that I could cover my lack of knowledge in CS somewhat by adding a minor in Information Technology (IT) to increase my chances of doing well in that field and maybe meet the requirements of more AI programs. Some others have advised me that I could do something a bit closer to psychology, like the MSc in IT & Cognition in University of Copenhagen, or even a Cognitive Science masters. What are your suggestions? Is anyone of you in a similar program? Or does anyone know somebody with a psychology or social sciences background getting into the AI field eventually? Thank you all in advance!

Edited by cyberp

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Not sure if you want to have MS or PhD program. I think most CS programs do not restrict majors as long as you meet the specified requirements(i.e. GPA and CS-related courses). But after all changing major could be a challenge and thus you need to impress the committee with substantial experiences and strengths, such as projects, researches or internships.

If you are referring to PHD programs, just join a lab, do researches in AI and try to get as many papers published in top-tier conferences as possible, as the field of AI is fiercely competitive and valuable publications would be of great help. Also be sure to select CS courses in order to meet admission requirements. Actually even students who major in CS cannot get promising feedbacks from faculties in top schools if they don't have evidence (such as papers) to prove their research potential. Major is not supposed to be a big problem as long as you boast adequate competence and quality for researches in AI, which would be testified by your researches, publications and recommendation from professors. 

MS programs, however, from what I know may be easier as they recruit much more students. You can get admitted to MS programs by meeting the needs of course requirements and get high grades. Also relevant CS projects are expected but it could be okay without published papers. However MS is mostly job oriented and you won't have too much time for researches because of both limitation of time and load of required courses, so there could be no difference whatever direction or track you choose in MS program in CS. You just take courses, do exercise on leetcode and find internships and jobs as a SDE in IT companies.

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