Photo of Allen Scholars logo within a picture of a laptop

The Allen School Scholars Program

The Allen School Scholars Program (Allen Scholars) is a one-year cohort-based program that focuses on supporting emerging leaders from first generation, low-income, and underserved communities from Washington state who are pursuing a degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. All students who select Computer Science or Computer Engineering as their first-choice major on the UW freshman application are considered for Allen Scholars by the Office of Admissions. Allen Scholars, formerly named the Startup Program, was rebranded in 2023 to better reflect the student experience.

Admission Process

Students will be admitted into Allen Scholars through the Pathways for Inclusive Excellence (PIE) program. Students who select computer science or computer engineering as their first choice major on their UW freshman application and who would benefit from additional support are selected for PIE conditional admission. Your University of Washington admission letter will state that you have been selected for the PIE cohort.

Pathways For Inclusive Excellence (PIE)

Program Features

Photo of Allen Scholars students wearing their Allen Scholar swag

Allen Scholars provides a structured curriculum for students during their first-year at the University of Washington, establishing a tight-knit learning community and assisting in developing fundamental skills necessary for the rigor of the Allen School curriculum and the computing field as a whole. Elements of Allen Scholars include:

Program Curriculum

Allen Scholars provides a specialized curriculum that equips students in building foundational computing and problem solving skills that span throughout their first-year experience including:

Photo of 2023 Allen Scholars Cohort in front of the Microsoft Office

Scholars begin their time in Allen Scholars by participating in a 4-week long course during the summer that combines computer science content with holistic skills to prepare students for the transition to the UW. The Allen Scholars Summer Bridge Course provides an immersive experience for students as they delve into dynamic and creative programming projects, experience living on campus, and form meaningful connections with peers, staff, faculty and alumni who are part of the greater Allen School community. Students receive five graded college credits for the course (CSE 190E), live on campus, and must be available for the entire 4-weeks of the Allen Scholars Summer Bridge Course. Campus housing, dining and transportation are paid for!

Photo of Allen Scholars students in class

Scholars participate in supplemental workshops while concurrently completing the Allen School Introductory to Programming course series. Allen Scholars supplemental workshops are designed to reinforce and deepen mastery in programming concepts and problem solving.

Scholars participate in a weekly study hall throughout their first-year aimed at strengthening studying skill development and providing a dedicated study environment to promote academic excellence within the cohort.

Scholars participate in the Allen School Direct Admit Seminar that all Allen School direct admits are encouraged to take during their Autumn quarter. The Direct Admit Seminar is designed to support incoming direct admit students in their first-quarter at UW and in the Allen School by engaging in the following learning objectives: Academic Success, Career Preparation, Personal Growth and Well-Being, Inclusive Behavior and Responsibility, Community Building, Extracurricular Opportunities, Knowledge Building, and Positive Impact.

Holistic Academic Advising

Allen Scholars has a dedicated team of program staff who serve as a resource in helping support each individual student's academic and personal goals. Students work one-on-one with their assigned Academic Adviser each quarter to discuss academic planning, student engagement opportunities, scholarships, and other campus resources available to help navigate the university environment.

Your First-Year Schedule

[5 credits] CSE 190E Allen Scholars Summer Bridge Course
**Note: CSE 190E is listed on the UW transcript under Autumn Quarter
[4 credits] CSE Course
[2 credits] CSE Supplemental Course
[1 credit] Allen Scholars Study Hall
[1 credit] CSE 190B Allen School Direct Admit Seminar
[5 credits] Math Course
[4 credits] CSE Course
[2 credits] CSE Supplemental Course
[1 credit] Allen Scholars Study Hall
[5 credits] Math Course
[4 credits] CSE Course
[2 credits] CSE Supplemental Workshop
[1 credit] Allen Scholars Study Hall
[5 credits] Math Course

Meet the Staff


Photo of Chloe Dolese Mandeville, the Assistant Director of Diversity and Access

Chloe Dolese Mandeville

Assistant Director for
Diversity & Access

Allen Scholars Staff

Photo of Leslie Ikeda, Allen Scholars Senior Program Manager

Leslie Ikeda

Allen Scholars Senior
Program Manager

Photo of Christina Huynh, Interim Program Manager

Christina Huynh

Allen Scholars Interim
Program Manager

Photo of Lori Dowling, Allen Scholars Academic Adviser

Lori Dowling

Allen Scholars
Academic Adviser

Contact us at: