Watson University Programs

    IBM Watson University Programs offer faculty members and students a range of opportunities for working with Watson and engaging with cognitive computing, ultimately advancing student developer skills and fueling an ecosystem of innovators.

    University Offerings

    Now there are several ways universities can get involved with Watson - from full semester courses with unprecedented access to Watson, to weekend Hackathons and Case Competitions.. All designed so that students can engage with cognitive services, access IBM resources, and broaden portfolios.

    University Course

    Co-designed by the Watson Group, semester or quarter-long cognitive computing courses teach students about Watson’s underlying technologies and empower students with the technical knowledge to build cognitive apps infused with Watson’s intelligence.

    Great Mind Challenge

    As a month-long competition, students work to develop algorithms using Watson APIs to most accurately identify correct answers within a given data set, mimicking Watson’s learning process of confidence and ranking answers.

    Use Case Study

    With Use Case Studies, students consider how Watson could be applied across industries as a project within a new or existing university course. While similar in nature to a Case Competition, the Use Case Study allows students to go a bit deeper and gain a better understanding of cognitive computing and how they would put Watson to work without the competitive event.

    Case Competition

    Case Competitions give students the chance to consider how they would put Watson to work. Given a prompt, students form teams and compete to develop the best Watson use case. Generally taking place over the course of a weekend, this is a great option for schools that want a less technical focus on Watson.


    Typically sponsored by universities and taking place over a weekend, Hackathons allow students to compete against one another to build applications using IBM software and other platforms. Incorporating Watson Services for Bluemix into a Hackathon inspires students to build full cognitive apps.

    Watson Showcase

    As an alternative to a Hackathon, a Watson Showcase can be rolled out university-wide, or simply as a project within a class. Students are given several weeks to examine and work with Watson Services for Bluemix to build apps. At the end of the exploration, students demonstrate their completed apps through events, videos, class demonstrations or repositories.

    In preparation for the fall semester, 2014, we’re doing things a bit differently. We’re going to be using IBM’s Watson as our primary tool for building applications.

    Dave Chesney, Faculty, University of Michigan

    More on Watson
    University Programs

    The Watson University Competition

    The Watson University Competition brought together students teams from eight different schools to access a private instance of Watson, build a corpus of information, and develop cutting-edge Watson applications.

    Watch the video demos

    How College Students and Watson Can Help Change the World

    The University of Texas at Austin won the first ever Watson University Competition for their Watson powered app, CallScout.

    Learn more about CallScout

    Bring Watson to your university

    The IBM Watson team is inspiring students to build apps infused with Watson's intelligence while gaining the entrepreneurial vision to deliver their innovations into the marketplace.To access Watson and Watson experts, and to join IBM in creating an ecosystem of innovators, developers and researchers in making cognitive computing the worldwide standard of computing, please provide the following information.

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