CSE Startup: A pre-Autumn course for new CS Direct Admits

August 27 - Sept 20
Tuesdays - Fridays, 9am-3pm
Open to CS Direct to Major first-year students
5 credits

Move to the UW early, start with a small class, meet other CSE majors, and prepare for Autumn!

Welcome to the UW and the School of Computer Science & Engineering! Your time here should be exciting, challenging, and full of diverse experiences. We want to ensure you start strong, and have designed this one-month course to provide an immersive pre-autumn experience — helping you explore some fun CS skills, while learning lots of practical info about being a successful CSE student. Plus, you’ll meet other first-year CSE students, make connections with tech industry professionals, and get a chance to reflect on what you really want out of your time at the UW.

Students will enroll in a 5-credit course offered by the Allen School. This course teaches CS coursework in the mornings and practical college/career/personal development in the afternoons. The goals of the course are to provide an engaging introduction to your CS major, and help you reflect on your goals for college and later work.

Tuition and housing are fully funded! On-campus housing and dining plan during CSE Startup are free for new CSE Direct Admits, and there is no additional charge for this course. Details below.

Program Overview

  • CSE Startup is a four-week, immersive program for CSE Direct Admit freshmen.
  • Class includes fun CS projects plus general skills for getting the most out of college.
  • Class sessions take place on the UW Seattle campus.
  • CSE Startup sessions take place August 27-September 20.
  • Application opens April 6. Application deadline is May 15. Decisions will be sent by May 22.

CSE Startup Sample Day:

Class will regularly take place Tuesday-Friday, 9am-3pm, with occasional evening activities

  • 9-12am: CS lecture and project work time
  • 12-1pm: Lunch (on your own)
  • 1-2pm: Guest speaker on career prep
  • 2-3pm: Resume writing + review time

Benefits of participating in CSE Startup:

  • More flexibility in Autumn: CSE Startup allows you to take a lighter schedule during autumn! The 5 credits you earn from CSE Startup count toward autumn quarter enrollment. 
  • Small class size: Even if you're excited about the UW's large lectures, starting in a class of 30-40 CSE majors will help you ease into the university.
  • Connections: CSE Startup students will have direct connections with faculty and staff in CSE before the academic year begins, plus meet professionals at companies, and older, wiser mentors in the CSE majors.
  • Explore your options: CSE Startup helps you learn about opportunities and resources on campus, reflect on your goals and interests, explore the range of subjects within CSE, and plan for a meaningful college experience.
  • Housing: All participating students are encouraged to live in UW Residence halls during this program. 
  • Fully-funded! The Allen School of CSE and Microsoft will sponsor tuition, housing, and dining plan expenses for participating students.


Course Details:

Instructors: Professor Dr. Lauren Bricker and Academic Adviser Leslie Ikeda

Credits: 5 (counts as general UW elective credits)

Grading: Numerically graded 

Course Content:

The Startup Program is unique in that students will practice essential skills to be successful as a new student on a college campus as well as in future CS courses. This course covers both fun and creative CS projects plus general college skill-building, to help you get the most out of your first year at the UW. See the Startup course website from 2018 as an example!

Computer Science Activities & Goals:

Students will practice essential skills to be successful in CS, including general problem solving, computational thinking, persistence, communication and collaboration, creativity and time management. We'll apply these skills in two main topics: designing apps that have a positive social impact and hardware platforms. While design will be a key component of this course, students will experience some programming concepts taught in a typical "CS 1" class: abstraction, managing complexity, processing of data, algorithms and programming, and debugging. Students will also participate in weekly student lead discussion sessions on current events and topics related to computer science.

This is not an in-depth coding course teaching advanced skills. It's designed more for students who want to learn the foundational skills necessary for success in computer science, and who want to ensure a smooth transition into a CS major. This course assumes students either have not completed, or want to review, the level of CS content from a course like Intro Programming, UW CSE 142, or AP CS.

College skill Activities & Goals:

Students will be able to engage in activities that will help prepare them for navigating the university and college life broadly. Students will gain further insight into their academic and career path and how this relates to their own values, life and professional goals. We will provided significant career prep and exploration by providing industry panels, off-campus company visits, and in-class time with our very own Allen School Career Coach. Additionally, cultivating meaningful connections among peers, staff, and faculty as well as members of the broader computer science field is a significant goal of the class. Students will be able to practice professional communication tips, engage in collaborative group activities and explore the greater Seattle area.


Logistics: Housing, Tuition, and Credits

Housing and dining:

Students participating in CSE Startup can use UW's Early Fall Start housing and dining planEFS housing and dining are fully paid during CSE Startup! We will not cover any fees from your regular Autumn quarter. All students pay a $500 refundable deposit, which will be returned to you when you move out (unless you cause some damage to the room or fail to clean up properly). This deposit is paid by you and returned to you.   

We strongly encourage you to live in UW housing during CSE Startup, even if you don't plan to live in the residence halls later. Living in the residence halls will help you feel immersed in the program and explore campus without commuting. 

You must apply for HFS EFS housing before Sunday June 9th, 2019!  Please start the application at least a few days before the deadline, in case you run into any questions or issues. This guidebook includes application instructions on page 4:

**Please note: EFS Housing only runs until September 13th (one week before Startup ends). Startup students will need to make transportation arrangements during the last week of Startup if they are not living in a UW residential hall during the academic year. For more information, please refer to the EFS guidebook on page 14.

Tuition & Credits:

This class gives you 5 credits toward your Autumn quarter schedule. This means you can take fewer credits in the regular autumn quarter, allowing you more free time to focus on each class, attend CSE's many events, and explore campus. Autumn can be very busy outside of class! One of the big benefits of CSE Startup is that it allows you to earn plenty of credits for Autumn, while still having a relatively light schedule in the "real" autumn timeframe.

You can register for 5 credits of CSE Startup plus 7-13 credits in "real" Autumn, and will be enrolled full-time. Normal full-time enrollment is 12-18 credits. If you register for Startup plus 7-13 credits for Autumn, you don't need to do anything special. We strongly encourage most people to register for a schedule in this range. Nearly all Startup participants in 2017 registered for 7-13 credits in regular autumn and were happy with this schedule. 

If you need to register for more than 13 credits in "regular" Autumn quarter (meaning more than 18 total credits for Startup + regular Autumn), CSE will provide a scholarship to cover up to two additional credits, allowing you to earn a total of up to 20 credits credit for Startup + Autumn). Tuition costs more when you earn more than 18 credits in one quarter. 

Note that you are only allowed to register for up to 19 credits before the start of the quarter. You can add additional credits beyond 19 after the quarter begins. However, most CSE Startup students should stick to a total of 19 or fewer autumn credits.


Leslie will send add codes to students after they are selected. You'll use this add code to register during your summer Advising & Orientation, the same way you register for regular Autumn classes. Once you are selected for Startup, your spot is reserved - it doesn't matter when you officially register.

UPASS (UW's bus pass):

CSE Startup students can purchase the Early Fall Start U-PASS. See complete info on the EFS U-PASS at: https://www.washington.edu/facilities/transportation/early-fall-start (as of May 11, page not yet updated for 2018). 

To purchase the EFS UPASS, you must have your Husky Card (usually you get this at Summer A&O) and have registered for Autumn classes. You can pre-purchase the EFS UPASS online via Husky Debit deduction in July or early August 16, or you can purchase the EFS UPASS after mid-August in person at the Transportation Services office.

Autumn Schedule Planning:

One of the benefits of CSE Startup is that you can take a slightly lighter schedule during "regular" autumn, allowing more time for activities like our career fair and joining student organizations.
Here are a few example schedules:
 Lighter: Startup + 1 tough class + 1 easy class + DA Seminar (this is the most common plan!)
    • CSE Startup (5 credits, pre-autumn)
    • CSE 142 (4 credits, autumn)
    • Arch 150, Appreciation of Architecture (3 credits, autumn)
    • CSE Direct Admission Seminar (1 credit, autumn)
    • = 13 credits total for Autumn
Average: Startup + 2 tough classes + DA Seminar 
    • CSE Startup (5 credits, pre-autumn)
    • CSE 142 (4 credits, autumn)
    • Math 124 (5 credits, autumn)
    • CSE Direct Admission Seminar (1 credit, autumn)
    • = 15 credits total for Autumn

More time-consuming: Startup + 2 tough classes + 1 easy class + DA Seminar (this is the least common plan!)
    • CSE Startup (5 credits, pre-autumn)
    • CSE 142 (4 cr, autumn)
    • Math 124 (5 credits, autumn)
    • Arch 150, Appreciation of Architecture (3 credits, autumn)
    • CSE Direct Admission Seminar (1 credit, autumn)
    • = 18 credits total for Autumn


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