Allen School Startup logo


Startup is a cohort-based program that provides dynamic support to incoming Allen School Freshman Direct Admits who have limited programming experiences and/or are from low-income, first-generation and underserved communities. 

Startup Program Overview

The program provides students with a number of opportunities and resources throughout their first-year at the University of Washington. Through participating in our signature Pre-Autumn Startup course, quarterly cohort meet-ups and receiving individualized support from the Startup program team, students gain a strong first-year foundation that will prepare them for their next steps at UW.

Program Eligibility

  • Incoming Allen School Freshman Direct Admits for Autumn 2021

  • Students who have had little to no programming experience

  • Students from low-income, first generation, and underserved backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply

  • Students must be available for the entire 4 weeks of the Pre-Autumn Startup course

Program Cost

The Startup program is fully funded thanks to the generosity of Heidi Hopper and Jeff Dean. This includes covering costs associated with the Startup Pre-Autumn Course such as housing, transportation and a dining plan. 

Apply Online

The application for the 2021 Startup Cohort closed Friday May 14th, 2021. 
Decisions will be sent no later than Friday May 28, 2021.

Pre-Autumn Startup Course

Students begin their time in the Startup Program by participating in a 4-week long course that combines computer science content with holistic skills to prepare students for transitioning 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 5 credits (CSE 190E), live-on campus and must be available for the entire 4-weeks of the Pre-Autumn Startup course. 

PLEASE NOTE: For the health and safety of participants, the 2021 Allen School Pre-Autumn course will be held online. Some activities typically held during the Pre-Autumn course will be moved during the autumn quarter in accordance with health and safety guidelines. 

Time Commitment

The Pre-Autumn Startup course runs from August 24th - September 17th, 2021 and will be held online.

Course days and times are Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. PDT with occasional evening and weekend activities as part of the course. Students are required to attend the entire 4-weeks of the course.


The Pre-Autumn course will be held online. On-campus housing in one of the UW residential halls will be provided for students interested in living on-campus during the Pre-Autumn course. 

Credits & Registration

Students receive 5 credits towards their Autumn quarter schedule for the CSE Pre-Autumn Startup course. The course is numerically graded and counts towards the minimum 180 credits that students need for the UW degree. 

Students will be emailed registration information upon being accepted into the Startup program.

Community & Academic Support

Students participate in Startup community meet-ups throughout their first-year experience. Startup students work closely with their Allen School undergraduate academic adviser to plan out their courses and better understand university resources that can support their academic success at the UW. Every spring, a “one-year reunion” is hosted to bring the cohort together and celebrate the end of their first-year at UW.