< CS KickStart

Information for Prospective Students

Applications for the 2019 program will open May 1st, 2019

Prospective Students FAQ

I have no experience in computer science! Should I still apply?

Absolutely! We actually prefer students with no prior experience. We will teach you the fundamentals of programming and using the command line. There will be experienced mentors to help guide you throughout the program.

Do I need to be a computer science or STEM major to apply?

Nope! We encourage students from all majors to apply!

How many students will participate?

This year we plan to admit 20-24 incoming freshmen.

When is this year's CS KickStart?

August 25 - August 30, 2019. This is the week before classes start, so CS KickStart will not interfere with your semester schedule.

What do participants do?

Please note that full participation is expected of everyone who attends. During the camp students will:

  • Learn how to write code: Students will take part in programming labs that will teach them how to navigate the terminal, how to use an editor, and how to write a program. Students will also learn a computer language and acquire some skills that will help them give a head start when they take their first CS class.
  • Meet other freshmen: Students will be part of a community of people who are just as curious about computer science. Students will get to know each other through a variety of social activities and team learning.
  • Meet CS faculty and learn about research: Students will interact with professors and learn about the research that makes Michigan one of the country's top computer science programs.
  • Meet engineers and tour a local CS company: Ann Arbor has been attracting many tech companies in recent years. Student will get to tour a local company and see real computer scientists at work.
Where do participants stay?

Participants move into their school-year residence halls when they arrive on Sunday, August 25th. That means attendees will move into their dorm rooms a few days earlier than the rest of the incoming students. Regular move-in for the academic year will start on Wednesday, August 28th. Participants will not have to move a second time.

When you say free, do you really mean that? What's included?

Thanks to our generous industry sponsors, the College of Engineering, and the EECS department at UMich, the program really is free. Your room and board for the week of the program are included. You are responsible for any costs associated with transporting yourself and your belongings to the University. Included in the program with no additional cost to you are:

  • Room and board for the week
  • All meals starting from dinner on Sunday, August 25th until lunch on Friday, August 30st.
  • Computers for the programming labs and other materials necessary for CS KickStart activities.

Not included are:

  • Transportation costs to arrive at Michigan.
  • Spending or pocket money.
  • Health or medical services in addition to what is already provided by the University.
I am involved in another program that will require my attendance during the week of CS KickStart. Can I participate in both?

Probably not. We expect full participation in all our program's activites throughout the week, as even missing a half of a day means missing a substantial amount. We have put in a lot of effort to keep the program free, and all we ask from participants is that they attend the entire program.

Can you accomodate my dietary restrictions?

You will eat some meals at the dining halls. Please see the UMich Dining Services site for information about what we can accomodate. Some other meals will be catered in by local Ann Arbor restaurants. We will try to accomodate dietary restrictions as best as we can in these situations.

What if I don't plan to live on campus?

Definitely apply, but email us so we can figure out logistics!

Do I have to be female to apply?

While our program's mission is to encourage more female students to study computer science by giving them confidence, inspiration, and support, you do not need to be female to apply. Incoming UofM first-year students of any gender identity are welcome to apply, and we review applications without looking at the applicant's gender.

Are there other programs like CS KickStart at Michigan?

Consider checking out some of our great student organizations during the semester, like MSAIL, the Michigan Data Science Team (MDST), the Michigan Embedded Systems Hub (MESH), and Michigan Hackers, all of which teach various computer science and engineering topics throughout the school year.

I've been accepted to a Michigan Learning Community, can I still participate?

Short answer, no. There are too many conflicts with the orientation for MLC's that interefere with CS KickStart. Full participation in CS KickStart's activities is required for acceptance to our program

I have a question that isn't on here! What do I do?

Contact us at cskickstart@umich.edu! We'll get back to you quickly, and we might add your question to this FAQ!


Program dates are August 25 - August 30, 2019. Applications will open May 1st 2019. Participation is open to incoming University of Michigan students only. Applications are due by June 30, 2019 at 11:59 EST. We will send decisions by the end of July 2019.