A minor in applied artificial intelligence (AI) makes every degree stronger

AI skills will make you stand out

When you send your resume to your first potential employer, a minor in applied AI will show  them that you’re familiar with uses and implications of the world’s fastest growing innovative tools.

Employers are aware that every industry – from industrial engineering, to food science, to interior design, to chemistry – can benefit from applying AI, but some may not yet know how. With Iowa State’s minor in applied AI, you’ll learn how AI is integrated into a broad range of industries, and the impact it has on individuals and communities. You’ll bring a knowledge of AI tools and technologies that will be valuable in your future workplace.

Group of students using AI in class

A minor for all students

The minor in applied AI is designed to give all undergraduate majors at Iowa State the opportunity to learn about how AI is applied in our world. Whether you’re studying agriculture or architecture, you’ll learn:

  • How to use low-code or no-code AI tools
  • How to use data with or from AI tools
  • Social, cultural, and global impacts of AI
  • Legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Ethical considerations of AI

The applied AI minor is relevant to every industry

  • Medicine

    AI is creating faster, more efficient techniques for predicting, identifying, and treating disease. It’s also making healthcare more accessible with remote and 24-hour patient care.

  • Retail

    AI tools provide personalized shopping with intuitive insights from anywhere, with optimized pricing tools and improved inventory management.

  • Supply chain

    AI tools help reduce waste and create better forecasting for demand, inventory, warehouse spacing, transportation, and delivery.

  • Banking and financial

    AI reduces fraud, automates risk assessment, and provides safety alerts and suggestions for investors or clients.

  • Manufacturing

    AI tools detect defects faster, streamline processes, predict equipment failures, and provide real-time data.

  • Transportation

    AI tools can contribute to traffic safety and efficient and real-time mapping of routes.

  • Education

    AI tools can provide students feedback and tutoring as they write and read and  help teachers grade and evaluate assignments.


  • Agriculture

    Managing livestock and crops is more efficient and productive when using AI forecasting, tracking, and navigation tools.

  • Entertainment & Hospitality

    Movies, written works, and social media get a boost from AI tools that help edit and augment, while AI language translation and algorithms provide better customer experiences.

Autonomous VehiclesWhat classes you’ll take

Learning how to apply AI tools is like learning to drive. You may not need to work under the hood of your car, but you do need to know how to drive it. The classes you take will prepare you for the road ahead.

The minor in Applied AI has two required courses and three electives. You’ll get to take classes with students from all majors across campus and build connections with faculty and peers outside of your department.

15 credits to a game-changing minor

AI 2010X: Introduction to Applied AI

Broad introduction to AI, focusing on its applications and impact across different fields and industries. Provides an overview of AI concepts, terminology, and real-world examples, allowing students to understand how AI is transforming various domains. Basic introduction of societal implications, ethical considerations, and potential challenges associated with AI. Opportunities to collaborate and use AI to address real-world challenges.

AI 2020X Ethical Design, Use, and Impact of AI

Real-world examples of ethical challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. How artificial intelligence affects users, the public, and society, domestically and globally. Responsibilities of AI designers, as well as public and private institutions, to those affected. Course is open to students from any major.

In addition to these two required classes, you can choose three electives from a list of approved classes. Courses currently identified as available for credit include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • COMS 4720: Principles of Artificial Intelligence
  • COMST 3300: Computer Mediated Communication
  • ECON 3830X: Economics of Innovation
  • EDUC 4540-6: Emerging Topics in Educational Technology – Introduction to AI in Education
  • ENGL 2220X: Artificial Intelligence and Writing
  • JLMC 4740: Communication Technology and Social Change
  • MATH 422X: Mathematical Principles of Data Science
  • MKT 4560X: Digital Marketing Analytics
  • PHIL 3430: Philosophy of Technology
  • PSYCH 3500: Human Factors in Technology