Software Engineer Scholars

Launch School is an online programming school where students build a career in software engineering.

We are proud to offer 100 full scholarships for high school students to access our industry-leading Core Curriculum. We have partnered with professional Software Engineers and employers to mentor, support, and guide recipients on their way to college or industry.

Stay informed about Launch School's Software Engineer Scholars program

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What Makes Launch School Special

Launch School was founded by experienced software engineers for future software engineers.
We focus on the long-term results of a programming career. We don't cram students through concepts in a few months; our students spend years mastering the fundamentals of programming. Each topic builds on the last until you have a complete understanding of your chosen language - Ruby, JavaScript, or both. This is how we consistently produce software engineers who are ready for a long-lasting career.

So whether you're preparing for the AP Computer Science exam, considering a Computer Science degree, looking to work in tech someday, or just want to learn programming on a deeper level — the skills you learn in Launch School will help you every step of the way.

The Magic of Our Core Curriculum

We designed our Core Curriculum as a structured, independently-paced set of courses, where each programming topic is only introduced when it is required. The result is that our students are able to take their time mastering the fundamentals and gain practical skills based on comprehension, not duration. Our Core Curriculum generally takes about 6-20+ months to complete and is the only pedagogical approach that both ensures quality and accommodates such a diverse body of students.

  • Fundamentals in programming
  • Programming Language Specialization
  • Practical problem-solving skills
  • Mastery-based Learning
  • Thriving school community
  • Independently-paced

Core Curriculum Programming Courses

Course Code
Course Name
RB101 / JS101
Programming Foundations

In this course, we'll increase the level of complexity from the Programming Prep course and work on more meaningful exercises. We'll use a static code analyzer and learn to systematically approach a problem using pseudo-code. As we go through these programs, we'll point out important learning concepts like variable scope, method scope, and using blocks. After this course, you should have a good grasp of how to write programs and think in an imperative, step-by-step, logical fashion. You will also learn to debug and trap tricky bugs, and learn to develop a temperament for debugging.

RB120 / JS120
Object Oriented Programming

Object oriented programming is at the heart of Ruby, and in this course we'll work on demystifying OOP and how to code in an OO fashion. We'll cover topics such as inheritance and encapsulation and get at the core of what Ruby programming is about. You'll be challenged to debug and design several non-trivial OO programs. After this course, you should know: classes and objects, instance variables, class variables, instance methods, class methods, class inheritance, working with collaborator objects, and many other basic OO concepts.

RB130 / JS130
Programming Foundations 2

This course will cover some language specific aspects of the JavaScript programming language. We'll start with some additional programming practice, with a focus on emulating JavaScript's built-in iteration methods. We'll also create a small pair of classes that implement a todo list, after which we'll move on to a variety of topics that explore the nooks and crannies of JavaScript. In particular, we'll look at the var statement, hoisting, strict mode, closures, private data, immediately invoked functions, new ES6 shorthand syntax, modules, exceptions, and garbage collection. Then we'll take a brief dive into the world of testing with Jest, and follow that up with a brief lesson on how to package code for distribution. You'll be ready to move on to more advanced topics and projects after completing this course. You will also be able to work on a solve some programming challenges, both here, as well as at other coding practice sites like Codewars and Exercism.

Networking Foundations

This course will explore HTTP, the protocol that powers the web. We'll start off by looking at the internet, the infrastructure behind the web, before diving into HTTP in more detail. After this course, you'll have a good understanding of the HTTP request/response cycle and the way in which it forms the basis for networked applications.

RB175 / JS175
Networking Applications

This course will cover server side development from first principles. We'll build on your knowledge of HTTP and the request/response cycle to create a dynamic web application from scratch, before moving on to build some more complex applications using a lightweight development framework. We'll also talk about other development considerations such as deployment and security, and deploy an application to Heroku.

Database Foundations

This course focuses on the relational model, the SQL language, and how to work with relational databases. We start with SQL and the relational data model, introduce core database concepts such as tables, rows, columns, keys, constraints and joins, and guide you to learn how to interact with databases from various types of applications. Before we depart, we'll also look at query optimization issues.

RB185 / JS185
Database Applications

This course takes the lessons of LS180 and introduces the concept of working with databases from your applications. We'll build a simple command-line application, then move on to a more advanced database-backed Todo application that uses a high-level relational abstraction library. We'll also talk about how to optimize SQL queries from within your applications.


The Front-end curriculum will deep dive into the basic building blocks of client side programming: HTML and CSS. We'll cover many aspects of front end development, including converting design files to web pages, writing semantic HTML, building fluid layouts and responsive design. We will cap off the course with projects that will reinforce the concepts that you've learned throughout the course and end with a project that will familiarize you with a typical workflow for projects built from the ground-up.

Computational Thinking and Problem Solving

Programming is a creative process that can be separated into two steps:Understand the problem to be solved, and build a mental model that can solve the problem abstractlyImplement the model and code it in a formal programming languageThis course focuses on the first step of the process. The main goal of this course is to help beginners learn to think logically and computationally, and to supply them with a set of problem-solving patterns. We have to choose a language, however, and JavaScript serves as an excellent vehicle to express logical solutions to problems.

DOM and Asynchronous Programming

In this course, we'll begin to draw from what we’ve mastered in the HTML/CSS course and the JavaScript courses and learn how to add behavior to our user interfaces with JavaScript. We’ll start by learning about the DOM and how it lets developers change a document. In the lessons that follow, we’ll see how to update the interface in response to actions triggered by the user or the browser. We’ll also explore XMLHttpRequest, one of the browser APIs that provide network programming functionality to JavaScript applications. We’ll discuss how we can leverage third party libraries, such as jQuery to simplify certain aspects of front-end development. Finally, we'll pull all of those topics together to work on a number of projects.

Launch School Delivers Outstanding Results

Highest placement rate

100% of our Capstone graduates have accepted job offers

Shortest time-to-hire

Our graduates get hired, on average, under 70 days after graduation.

Highest salaries

Launch School is the only online programming school whose graduates' salaries average over $110,000

What Our Graduates say about Launch School

"The Core Curriculum helped me become a more clear thinker, which helped even in non-technical courses. Also, it helped me ace the AP Computer Science exam."

Tyler Schopen
High School Junior
Core Curriculum Graduate

"The Core Curriculum provided critical and foundational skills that directly helped me complete my Computer Science degree."

Tommy Caruso
Software Engineer
Core Curriculum Graduate

"Launch School truly prepares you to be an asset on day one of a real job in the industry."

Jevon Hayter
Systems Analyst
Core Curriculum Graduate

"Launch School has given me the belief that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to; perhaps the most valuable lesson of all."

Adrian Caroll
Software Engineer
Core Curriculum Graduate

"My mentor is complimenting my eye for details during code reviews and the clean solutions I find …I know that it was Launch School that provided me with everything necessary to thrive in a programming job and most of it happened during the Core Curriculum."

Markus Unger
Software Engineer
Core Curriculum Graduate

"Launch School's learning model is by far the best I have ever experienced."

Caleb Smith
Software Engineer
Core Curriculum Graduate

What Employers are saying about Launch School

"We have hired several Launch School graduates from the Capstone program. These engineers have consistently exceeded expectations and are on track for promotions and advancements. They possess a valuable combination of fundamental knowledge and the pragmatic ability to work in real-world production environments. It's been beneficial for us to have new engineers come in well-rounded enough that they can start delivering business value right away across the spectrum of frontend, backend, database, and infrastructure."

VP of Engineering

"My company doesn't typically hire engineers who have less than 1-year of job experience because we often don't want the added overhead of training someone who is new to something, but the engineer we hired from Launch School completely changed my mind and perception about this. Launch School has shown me that they can not only teach fundamental programming skills, but also teaches them how to be self-sufficient and pick things up on their own, independently"

Engineering Manager

"Simply put, the Launch School is different - and that is what we like most about it. Ridgeline is building cloud native software on AWS so the ability to deploy and manage applications in a secure and cost effective manner are key skills we need. The Launch School’s curriculum is geared towards success in this new world and Ridgeline is proud to have 4 graduates within our organization."

Director of Engineering

"The Core Curriculum helped me become a more clear thinker, which helped even in non-technical courses. Also, it helped me ace the AP Computer Science exam."

Tyler Schopen, High School Junior Core Curriculum Graduate

"The Core Curriculum provided critical and foundational skills that directly helped me complete my Computer Science degree."

Tommy Caruso, Software Engineer Core Curriculum Graduate

"Launch School truly prepares you to be an asset on day one of a real job in the industry."

Jevon Hayter, Systems Analyst Core Curriculum Graduate

"Launch School has given me the belief that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to; perhaps the most valuable lesson of all."

Adrian Caroll, Software Engineer Core Curriculum Graduate

Our graduates are hired by leading industry companies & competitive startups

No prior programming experience needed. We aim to serve a diverse community and to recognize studious high school students who have a passion for programming and are interested in software engineering careers.

Launch School Scholarship Benefits

  • Full tuition waiver to Launch School's Core Curriculum (normally $199/month)
  • Assigned a professional Software Engineer as mentor
  • Access to guidance and mentorship from partner companies and executives
  • Weekly and monthly meetings with Launch School staff and instructors
  • Support and mentorship starting from the Preparatory Courses

On completion of the Core program, should students decide to attend college or commence work, they will be well-equipped to tackle professional-grade engineering problems.

Bonus Additional Scholarship Resources!

In addition to our Free Core Curriculum offer, scholarship recipients will have access to some of the most sought after industry learning resources:

  • Access to all Core Curriculum benefits, including content, study groups, seminars, online comunity, code reviews, and events
  • Further scholarship opportunities for equipment, including laptops, internet access, programming software, etc.
  • Professional Development Workshops to learn how to interact professionally in a work environment
  • Access to internships after completing the Core Curriculum

Industry Mentors

You’ll be assigned working software engineers as mentors while you’re going through Launch School. These mentors work at industry-leading companies and will meet with you periodically to help answer questions and stay on track. They'll also share how what you're currently learning applies in their daily work and give context for why you're learning what you're learning. Below are some of our mentors (shown in random order).

José Agustín de la Puente
Software Engineer
Julius Zerwick
Senior Software Engineer
Edmond Tam
Software Engineer
Leena Lallmon
Software Engineer II
Derick Gross
Product Engineer
Jay Gudsson
Software Engineer
Jordan Whistler
Associate Software Engineer
Jon Kulton
Software Engineer
Callie Buruchara
Software Engineer
New Relic
Vahid Dejwakh
Software Engineer II
Ido Moskovich
Senior Software Engineer II
Elizabeth Tackett
Software Engineer III
Stitch Fix
Arthur Kauffman
Senior Software Engineer
Sheila Babadi
Software Engineer
Daniel Lew
Staff Software Engineer
Christian Larwood
Fullstack Engineer
Jenae Janzen
Associate Software Engineer
Ian Eustis
Javascript Developer
Nicole Bailey
Software Engineer II
Nicholas LiCalzi
Senior Software Engineer
Aaron Crane
Software Engineer
Aneesh Patel
Software Engineer
Catherine Emond
Senior Developer
Kyle Ledoux
Software Engineer
Owen Lenz
Software Engineer II

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students entering grades 9 through 12
  • Interested in exploring a career as a Software Engineer
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Demonstrated persistence and work follow-through
  • Friendly and eager to help others

We also encourage the following students

  • Students from low-income households
  • Students from high schools with low graduation or low college attendance rates
  • Students who are female or identifies as non-binary/transgender
  • Students who are members of ethnic or racial groups under-represented in tech

Applications Close August 31st 2022

Our cohort start date begins September 6th 2022.
Enter your email below If you would like to apply to the Launch School Scholars program

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For more information about our Scholars Program, sign up to our upcoming Webinars

Webinar sessions begin at 7pm AZ time

Frequently Asked Questions

I've never attended an online school before. How does it work?

Despite being online, Launch School has a wonderful community of studious learners. We have a custom-built learning management system that allows students to work through the program and allows our staff to constantly update our curriculum.

On top of this, we have a vibrant online community. Our community organizes frequent webinars, seminars, and even social meetings. The Launch School Women's Group puts on monthly events and leadership webinars; the SPOT holds weekly study sessions; and there are even in-person meetups around the world where Launch School pays for the food. Finally, we even have our own version of the "metaverse" with our community.

Online learning doesn't have to be an isolating experience!

Can Scholars participate part-time?

We know ambitious high school students are busy, so the Launch School Scholars Program is self-paced and part-time. We will have events, meetings, and activities but progress through the curriculum is on your own time. During summer breaks, Scholars can opt to go full-time if their schedule allows.

How much time does a student have to complete the program?

The Scholars Program is for ambitious high school students who are interested in Software Engineering, so Scholars will have until their high school graduation to complete the program.

Can students participate with friends?

The Scholars Program requires admissions, so as long as participants are all admitted, then it's completely ok to work through the curriculum with friends. We've had friends, roommates, siblings, etc participate together at Launch School and it's been our observation that people move at different speeds. This can be due to time availability, interest in the subject, or a myriad of other factors. Launch School employs Mastery-based Learning, so it's important that each participant take time to truly master the material rather than try to keep in sync with friends.

Are students who just graduated high school still qualified to participate?

The Scholars Program is only for current high school students at this time.

Where can students find more information about Core Program or Capstone?

We've been teaching people to code for about a decade now, so we have a lot of information about what we do and how we do it. Please make sure to read the rest of this website to learn more about our pedagogy, the Core Curriculum, and Capstone. The Scholars Program is our way of bringing what we've been doing all this time to high school students, but prospective Scholars still must understand what makes Launch School a unique learning experience.

Are students still eligible if they are not a US Citizen or Permanent Resident?

The Scholars Program is currently only available to US Citizens or Permanent Residents.

I have more questions, can I contact someone?

Yes, of course! Please email and make sure you mention the Scholar's Program in the subject line.

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