The Allen School Scholars Program (Allen Scholars) is a one-year cohort-based program for emerging leaders from first-generation, low-income, and underserved communites from Washington State who are pursuing a degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. The Allen Scholars Program was renamed from the Startup Program to Allen Scholars in 2023 to better reflect the student experience.

Program Requirements & Opportunities

The Allen Scholars Program 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 the Allen Scholars Program include: 

Allen Scholars 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: 

Pre-Autumn Allen Scholars Course

Scholars begin their time in the Allen Scholars Program 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 Pre-Autumn Startup 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 Pre-Autumn Startup course. Campus housing, dining and transporation are paid for! 

Intro to Programming Supplemental Workshops2019 Cohort

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. 

Study Hall Course

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. 

Allen School Direct Admit Seminar

2022 Microsoft Visit

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.

Sample Allen Scholars Curriculum

[5 credits] CSE 190E Allen Scholars Pre-Autumn Transition Course
**Note: CSE 190E is listed on the UW transcript under Autumn Quarter

2022 Allen School Scholars Cohort

[4 credits] CSE Course
[2 credits] CSE Supplemental Workshop
[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 Workshop
[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

High Ropes Course 2019

The Cohort Experience

Scholars experience having a smaller tight-knit community while being on a large campus.Students not only build relationships with their Allen Scholars peers through taking similar academic courses in their first-year but also participate in quarterly Allen Scholars cohort meet-ups and community building activities to connect outside of the classroom. In the past, we have taken Scholars to a high ropes course, the Woodland Park Zoo, and bowling! Additionally, each student is paired with a former Allen Scholar who has 'graduated' from the Allen Scholars Program and has gone through the experience of transition from high school to college while completing the Allen Scholars Program.

Holistic Academic Advising

Allen Scholars have 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.

Admissions Process

Sudents will be admitted into the Allen Scholars Program 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.