Our degree program combines relevant liberal arts and project-based computer science to ensure students are prepared to graduate into top tech jobs. Our theoretical computer science courses cover topics employers tell us they value, not the same traditional content that has been static at other institutions for more than a decade. Our in-major courses teach computer science concepts by empowering students to apply those concepts to products they create using the same tools and technologies tech employers do. We offer specific concentrations in data science and machine learning, front-end and backend web development, and mobile development. Whereas the majority of computer science students in US colleges will use real-world tools and technologies on the side - at weekend hackathons or in specific electives - our entire applied computer science degree program has been designed from the ground up to teach students how to build real products that can make real impact on the world. Students will graduate with robust portfolios demonstrating their ability to design, program, and launch cutting-edge software products.
We have 1 faculty member for every 13 students. Classes are typically capped at 25 students and upper division courses typically have around 15 students in them. Every student is assigned to an individual coach with whom they’ll meet once a week during their entire time at Make School.
We align our incentives with the success of our students. As a result of the Income Share Agreement (ISA) tuition financing model, we only receive payment if our students secure high-paying jobs at tech companies. We prepare students for career success by helping them craft their portfolios, resumes, and websites. We perform mock interviews with students and refer them to companies in our network. Career services and searching for jobs are integrated into the curriculum, with several weeks a year dedicated to preparing for career events and polishing student portfolios. We do our best to help place students at an internship through our strong network of tech companies and startups, but ultimately the duty of landing the internship or job will fall on the student. Click here for a list of our corporate partners and here to learn more about ISAs.
The best time to do the program is right after you graduate high school or after a year or two of community college. We do accept transfer students and offer transfer credit for general education courses. Our typical student is aged 18-25. We do require that you've graduated high school or earned your GED to enroll.
We strongly encourage a two year commitment to enable you to gather all the skills you need to have a successful tech career. While it is possible that some experienced students become job-ready after one year in the program, most students benefit from the full two year experience. We assess students on job readiness based on our comprehensive job-readiness rubric.
No, students taking the lightest course load typically work 40 hours a week and those taking the most intensive course load typically work 60 hours a week. There are no options for part-time students. There are only online courses offered for students who are 3-4 classes short of finishing their degree and who want to start working full time - for those students, we will offer advanced courses online on a schedule that allows them to finish their degree while working full time. There is no way to start as a Make School student online.
You do! You retain 100% of the rights to all the work you do during the program.
You'll need a Mac laptop that can run the latest version of OSX. You can check whether your computer will work here. We usually recommend a Mac laptop that is less than two years old. However, any laptop that can run the latest OSX that has at least 8GB of memory and a SSD (Solid State Drive) hard drive will work. In the case of some older mac laptops, additional RAM and an SSD can be added for as little as ~$200. You do not need an iPhone or iPod touch (iOS simulators on Macs will work well enough).
Make School’s campus building is at 555 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. Click here for map directions. Click here for map directions. We are located near Union Square, in the heart of San Francisco.
Not yet, but we are on track to allow students entering in the fall of 2019 to graduate with a bachelor's degree in Applied Computer Science pending final accreditor approval. A proposal has been submitted to WSCUC, the regional accrediting agency covering the State of California, to transition the Product College into a Bachelor's program in Applied Computer Science through an incubation partnership with the Dominican University of California. If all approvals are obtained on schedule, qualified members of the class entering this fall 2018 will be able to graduate with a bachelor's degree.
Make School is the first school in the country to pursue accreditation under a new policy called the “Incubation Policy”. Under this policy, an accredited college partners with Make School, vets the quality and compliance of our programs, and submits a proposal with Make School. After meeting with colleges around California, Make School has partnered with Dominican University of California located across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco in the city of San Rafael. Under the leadership of their president, Mary Marcy, Dominican has implemented a new initiative --- called the Dominican Experience --- pairing liberal arts with career focused education, emphasizing project based learning, and providing support for first-gen and underrepresented students of color. These institutional priorities align with Make School's and we are thrilled to be partnering with what we believe to be the most innovative small liberal arts college in the United States. When approved by WSCUC, the Bachelors in Applied Computer Science program will be formally housed within Make School at Dominican University. For the first 3 to 4 years after approval, degrees will be issued by Dominican University, after which Make School plans to become an independently accredited school and issue its own degrees. Make School will continue to hold direct relationships with employers as well as maintain our own facilities, instructors, residence halls, and alumni community. The Bachelors in Applied Computer Science program will be offered out of Make School's campus at 555 Post St in San Francisco, not at Dominican's campus.
WSCUC accredits all the top schools in California included Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Caltech. We have found them to be the most open-minded accreditor in the country. Make School is not changing our school's vision. Our project based curriculum, industry focus, and innovative financial model will all remain. We are building towards a historical moment of formal recognition of our alternative model of education by a forward thinking accreditor.
Students entering in the fall of 2019 would be able to graduate with a bachelor's degree by end of summer 2021 at the earliest, pending accreditor approval. The WSCUC commission with the authority to issue a final approval will meet in November 2018 to vote on our proposal.
We have designed our academic calendar to allow students to take an accelerated courseload. Students taking the accelerated load will be able to complete the program in 2 years assuming they pass all their classes. Students do not need to hold an Associates Degree to be eligible for the accelerated 2 year degree path. Students who are less than 4 classes short of graduating after 2 years (for example if they took a light load for a term or failed classes) will have the option to finish their degree online, allowing them to enter the workforce after 2 years of study. Students who do not take the accelerated courseload can expect to graduate in 3 years.
Only by having an accredited university review our program and submit a proposal with us are we are able to transition the Product College to a Bachelors in Applied Computer Science program in time for incoming students to graduate with degrees. Dominican University of California will also provide Make School students with Science and Letters (S&L) courses, Make School's version of General Education courses, on Make School's campus. These courses are already being taught as of the fall of 2018 and many of our students count their Science and Letters courses among their favorites.
After talking to universities all over California, we found that Dominican University of California's executive team was the most innovative and forward looking of all we met. Their mission and pedagogy are deeply aligned with Make School's with a focus on relevance to the real world, individual coaching, and building portfolios of signature work.
There is a common misconception that the standards of accreditation restrict innovation. In the early years of Make School, we believed this too. As we came to learn more about the process, we found that accreditation is really about documenting the processes necessary to maintain consistent quality and student success as a school scales. Fortunately, accreditation does not force us to hire PhDs and does not restrict our ability to iterate on courses and curriculum every term. The reality is that many colleges are slow moving and bureaucratic because of their own structures of governance, not because of their accreditors. Make School added stronger documentation of each course's and concentration's desired learning outcomes, standardized the structure of our syllabi and assessment methods for each class, and added Science and Letters courses provided by Dominican University of California. These courses are already being taught at Make School and have received an overwhelmingly positive reception so far.
Increased Science and Letters courses is both an accreditation requirement and a response to consistent feedback we get from employers. Make School's mission is to serve a college-age audience, and an undergraduate education for college students cannot be complete with certain non-technical courses that prepare students to be well-rounded employees, resourceful and communicative colleagues, and engaged members of society.
Students who have taken equivalent courses at other accredited colleges will be able to transfer in those credits to place out of certain GEs. Students who have taken certain APs may be able to place out of GEs as well. Once admitted, your enrollment advisor will collect information from you to inform you about which GEs you may place out of. Whether prior courses or APs place you out of a given GE class is at the ultimate discretion of Dominican University of California.
You will likely place out of most Science and Letters requirements. You will not be able to get a Masters Degree but will be able to get a second Bachelor's.
- Life Sciences
- Social Science
If you do not enroll for Science and Letters courses, you will not be able to graduate with a degree. To maintain eligibility for ISA financing, you will be required to take a certain Science and Letters course-load.
No, all courses including Science and Letters courses will be taught at Make School's campus in San Francisco.
The original Product College had students studying September to May for 2 years, with room for a summer internship in between. The new academic calendar will add a required summer term, so students will study for 2 academic years, intern for one summer, and study for one summer.
There will be four 7-week terms per academic year and two 6-week terms per summer. Each term, you will take 2-3 technical courses and 1-2 Science and Letters courses.
As a result of the addition of a summer term, the total tuition for 2 years at Make School is increasing from $60,000 to $70,000. There will still be an Income Share Agreement (ISA) option to cover all tuition. More specifically, uition for fall and spring terms will be $15,000. Tuition for the summer term will be $10,000.
No, students will still own 100% of the intellectual property they create at Make School.
Yes, Make School offers dorm housing to students. Student housing is a 15-minute walk from our campus building at 555 Post St. Students pay $750/month for a triple or $990/month for a double. Students will be required to make a refundable security deposit ranging from $500-$1500 depending on their credit score. Most students find that it is incredibly beneficial to live with other students, as they can collaborate on projects and help each other during nights and weekends. However, students can apply for a waiver to live outside the dorms. Note that students who request living assistance through Make School’s ISA program will most likely be required to take dormitory housing.
Yes. We recommend budgeting $600/month for food. Our campus is walking distance from Chinatown, known to have the city’s cheapest fresh groceries. A shared kitchen is available in the dorms. For qualifying students a living assistance ISA of $1500/month is provided, of which a portion can be used to pay for some of your monthly expenses including food.
Tuition & Aid
Tuition for the full two-year program is $70,000. If you are a US Citizen or
Permanent resident, the full amount can be financed with an Income Share Agreement (ISA).
Students taking an ISA do not have to pay any tuition up front, they commit to paying
a percentage of their income for a certain number of years after graduating. With ISA
financing, graduates only pay when they have a job making more than $60,000/year. See the
Tuition and Aid section for more details.
We estimate living costs during the two year program at $30,000. Students in need may be eligible for up to $1500/month in living assistance to help cover these costs.
We offer need-based living assistance, in the form of an additional ISA, to students who qualify for aid. We offer living assistance of $1,500/month. The living assistance ISA will require 5-7% of your gross salary to be paid back for 10 years, stacked with your tuition ISA obligation. The living assistance application will be available once you have applied and been admitted to Make School.
In order to determine if you’re eligible, we require you to submit documentation that demonstrates your comfort with financial planning and literacy. You will also be required to verify your financial need through submission of financial documentation (e.g. a tax return that shows your family’s income and financial situation).
Application & Admissions
Yes, our next class starts in August 2019. We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2019. . Apply here.
Prospective students must have a high school diploma or equivalent or be on track to receive one before starting Make School. We look for students with a strong demonstrated work ethic, as evidenced by performance at school, work, or extra-curricular activities. We also look for strong analytical skills. We have expanded our introductory course offerings and are now able to accept students with strong analytical skills but little to no programming experience. However, the typical applicant has two or more years of programming experience before attending, typically including experience with at least one Object-Oriented programming language.
We plan to enroll 200-300 students for the next cohort.
We do not charge any fee to apply. You will need to submit SAT or ACT scores before you can be formally admitted. Please plan on taking these exams in the fall of 2018 if you expect an admissions decision by January 2019. We do not look at your GPA or SAT/ACT scores when making our initial admissions decision. However, we do require you to submit those scores before we can formally admit you and enroll you into the program. While it is acceptable to be a less-advanced programmer, be sure to share other achievements and explain your interest in programming. Mention any information (clubs, activities, projects) that demonstrates both your pattern of hard work, as well as your ability to be collaborative, logical, and empathetic. Lastly, don’t forget to add links to your previous coding projects. If you don’t have any links, you can put your projects up on GitHub and link that on your application.
Make School looks for traits that include resilience, hard work, a passion for solving problems, the ability to be collaborative, kindness, emotional intelligence, and a high interest in/affinity for software development. We are able to assess these traits by looking at an applicant’s written application, their background in computer science, projects they’ve worked on, and their interview.
Keep coding and if something changes in the next few months, let us know. Students have often continued coding on their own, applied again, and been successful at Make School.
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