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Online Learning at Make School and Our Progressive Plans for Fall 2020

Watch Our Co-founder Jeremy Explain our Fall plans in 5 Minutes

Our mission remains unchanged

We know these are challenging times. Colleges across the country have been required to adapt extremely quickly to current circumstances. Make School has risen to this challenge and has successfully shifted all classes online while maintaining our synchronous, personal teaching approach. But while we may have changed our methods to deliver education, our guiding principles remain untouched. They are:

Project-based education
Strong focus on outcomes
Personal teaching approach
Tight-knit community
Student-first mission

Onsite Learning vs Online Learning at Make School

    Onsite Learning

  • Student coaching
  • Project-Focused courses
  • Group and pair-programming work
  • Recorded classes
  • In-person engagement
  • Industry mentoring
  • Technical interview prep opportunities
  • Office hours readily available

    Online Learning

  • Student coaching
  • Project-Focused courses
  • Group and pair-programming work
  • Recorded classes
  • In-person engagement
  • Industry mentoring
  • Technical interview prep opportunities
  • Office hours readily available

Make School is committed and prepared to offer a quality learning experience for each of you

Now that the start of the next year is fast approaching, we wanted to give the latest updates. First and foremost, know that Make School is committed and prepared to continue to offer a quality learning experience for each of you. We are so excited to welcome you to Make School and have a wealth of great classes, career programming, and other activities in store.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our community, local and state officials are revising or pausing reopening timelines and phases. Our options for in-person activities are dependent on approval from local public health authorities and we must all be prepared, at very short notice, to reduce or limit on-campus activities should pandemic conditions worsen at any point before the end of the fall terms.

To provide the best learning environment in light of this uncertainty, Make School is committed and prepared to offer all courses and experiences remotely and a limited number of courses and experiences in-person. Given the limitation of the in-person experience, we highly encourage those who feel safe and stable in their current housing environment to remain in place and attend Make School remotely until Jan 1st.

In-Person Experience

For in-person, the following modifications are necessary to meet the current guidelines and are subject to change based on guidelines from public health authorities.


The in-person course experience will not include any experiences inside the classroom as the city of San Francisco has indicated that colleges should not re-open at this time.

We will make best efforts to facilitate outdoor classroom experiences with mobile wifi hotspots:

  • Socially distanced study/coworking
  • Socially distanced social events
  • Socially distanced lab/office hours
    • Please note that these are difficult to set up outdoors and we cannot promise they will be held for most classes

Community Health

Everyone who will be present on campus will be required to meet campus, city, and state mandates of physical distancing, face coverings and hand washing hygiene to help keep all members of our community healthy.


Make School housing options will have increased cleaning routines and we will be implementing a social-distancing protocol for all shared spaces. We currently have a modified guest policy in place and this is subject to change based on the changing environment. At this point, we cannot guarantee a single-occupancy room. For specific information regarding Housing, including how to renew or cancel your lease, please review the Fall Housing FAQ document.

You should not come to San Francisco if your main goal is to experience onsite activities on campus. There is a good chance that the spring semester will also offer limited to no on-campus experiences.

If coming to San Francisco is still the right decision for you, whether it’s to secure stable housing or to meet your peers at a 6ft distance, we are ready to welcome you in our dorms. All housing will be month-month, students can move out with 30 days notice, if students want to move to SF mid-semester housing is not guaranteed in our dorms.

Remote Experience

Attend a school that knows how to operate online

We recently asked Make School students: How has your learning experience with Make School’s online classes been?
4 out of 5 students say it’s been on par or better than on-site classes.

To ensure the safety of its students, colleges around the country are forced to conduct classess online. These challenging times require college to be extremely quick to adapt and listen to its students. Let’s face it, most colleges have been struggling with their transition to online learning and you’re probably wondering whether it’s worth paying the tuition at all.

Innovative and Interactive
Online Learning

Make School has modeled our Applied Computer Science Bachelor's on best practices from actual technology companies. Students use Google Calendar for meetings, Slack for class and school wide communication, Github for all code submissions and reviews, and have daily stand ups like most engineering teams. They are expected to message their instructors if they are going to miss a meeting like any engineer in industry would have to message their manager. Modeling our practices after industry practices made it easier for us to transition online - like many workplaces have.

Students at open house night

The online program at Make School remains full-time and live, with small class sizes that allow for lots of collaboration and engaged learning. We’ve worked hard to ensure that our remote students have the same access to coaching, student services, mental health counseling, and more. Courses this past spring term were rated 8.5/10 by students.

  • Synchronous online courses delivered at the regular time periods
  • Class recordings and all learning materials available online
  • Continued emphasis on project-based learning with breakout rooms and solo work time
  • Easy remote assessment thanks to Make School’s focus on using performance rubrics instead of grades
  • Industry tools like Zoom, Slack, Github and more

FAQs about Fall 2020

+Are online courses just lectures posted online?
No. Make School is a live, synchronous education. All classes are delivered live in small groups. You will be virtually studying and attending class alongside your peers all day, 5 days a week.
+If I move to San Francisco, then decide I want to move back home, can I break my dorm lease?
Yes, flexibility is our priority in these times. We will allow you to cancel your lease with 30 days’ notice.
+If shelter in place is declared again, will I be sent home? Will I still be on the hook for my dorm lease?
If shelter in place is declared again, we will not send you home. We will close campus and increase sanitation and social distancing precautions in the dorms. You have the option of breaking your lease and leaving, but you can also stay.
+If I start online and decide to leave, can I get a refund?
We are offering full tuition refunds if you leave within the first 4 weeks of classes.

Community Health and Safety is our Biggest Priority

The safety of our students and staff has always been our number one priority. We closed our campus one full week before San Francisco announced its shelter-in-place order. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and take action as necessary.

While there is still much uncertainty around when we’ll be able to fully re-open, we are committed to and planning for all scenarios. And above all, we are making our plans with a student-first approach. This means that even in the event we are allowed to partially re-open this fall, we plan on maintaining an onsite-optional program and operating with an onsite + online learning approach.

Given the chance that we may have to continue our online learning program through the fall, we know many of our prospective students will have questions about what an online learning experience looks like at Make School. Our online offering is designed to provide the full Make School experience - a project-based, industry-relevant CS curriculum taught in small classes to an inclusive community of students.

Make School staff having fun with remote meetings

Admissions & Enrollment Updates

As we prepare to welcome a new class to Make School, we are conscious of the fact that a lot has changed and the prospect of enrollment can feel daunting. We want to assure all prospective students that Make School has already put changes and policy in place to make the process easier. The changes we have implemented are below.

Domestic Admissions

Make School is a test-optional college - we have never placed importance on the SAT/ACT. You do not have to submit SAT/ACT scores to apply. This is more important now than ever in light of the tests that have had to be canceled as a result of the current crisis.

Domestic students may now use UNOFFICIAL transcripts to receive an admission decision so long as the grades, class titles, student name, and institution name are clearly visible.

International Admissions

International Students may now use the Duolingo Proficiency Exam for $49.00. The minimum score we will accept as meeting our requirement is 105. The score was arrived at by correlating both our TOEFL passing score and IELTS passing score with the Duolingo scores.


We have implemented extensions for deadlines to submit final, official transcripts and extensions for submitting Medical Forms. Tentatively all transcripts are due October 01, 2020 and medical forms are due August 01, 2020. We also have a plan in place to push those deadlines further if necessary.

We will also be offering deposit waivers and reductions to students and families who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. Prospective students must email with the subject line, "Deposit Waiver/Reduction - COVID-19" to inform us of their change in financial circumstances.

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