Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers. Explore our FAQ bank and, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, use our text chat to explore further.

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  • Software Engineering
  • Can I talk to graduates before I apply?
    Yes! In fact, we highly encourage this! This is a big decision to make and there is no better person to speak about this major career transition than one of our graduates. Please make your request here and we can connect you with someone in the next 1-2 weeks.
  • Does Hackbright Academy have a withdrawal/refund policy?
    Software Engineering Program: In accordance with California Policy, If you withdraw from the Immersive Software Engineering Program in writing by the end of week 7 at Hackbright Academy, you will receive a prorated refund for the remaining five weeks of the program. The date of the student’s withdrawal shall be deemed the last date of recorded attendance. By week 8, the tuition is considered earned and you will not receive a refund. Certificates of Completion are only granted to students, who complete all 12 weeks of course work and required projects. For refunds, please contact
  • What is the attendance policy for Hackbright Prep?
    In order to receive a certificate of completion, students may not exceed two absences. However, you do have the option to attend the corresponding lecture of the same class on a different day, up to three times.
  • Can I work full-time and do Hackbright Prep?
    Absolutely. Our average student works full-time and takes this course in the evening.
  • What can I do after Hackbright Prep?
    After the course, you'll be confident in writing functional code, building more terminal projects, sharing code to the community, problem-solving for continued learning, tackling bootcamp application-level coding challenges, using APIs and modules, and more.
  • What career network is currently available for Hackbright Prep students?
    While there is no official career network/services for Hackbright Prep, the opportunity for personal networking is strong among classmates and the greater Hackbright community. Getting plugged into a network of people passionate about diversity in tech has been beneficial for many past students.
  • What if I have more than the 10 hours minimum of coding experience? What will I get out of Hackbright Prep?
    Even if you have more than 10 hours of coding experience, this course will provide an opportunity for you to experience the Hackbright teaching style. You’ll connect with the community, build a terminal-based project, solidify fundamentals, build confidence and move from following tutorials to actually building projects.
  • What else can I do to maximize my time during Hackbright Prep?
    Joining meetups, utilizing office hours, reviewing lecture notes/exercises and attending Code Brunch are just a few things you can do to get the most out of this learning period.
  • If I want to apply to the Software Engineering Program, but am taking Hackbright Prep first, when is a good time to apply?
    We encourage prospective oftware Engineering Program students to apply after completing the Hackbright Prep. This will give you plenty of time to get your hands dirty and really decide if a career in programming is right for you.
  • What is the difference between the Software Engineering Program and Prep Program?
    The Software Engineering Program is an intensive 12-week experience that prepares students for a career as a software developer. The Hackbright Prep program focuses more on the basics of programming, allowing you to decide whether or not they wish to apply to the Software Engineering Program. Currently, the Hackbright Prep course is not a substitute for the Software Engineering Program experience. The Software Engineering Program Includes many other benefits besides instruction, including extensive mentorship from industry experts, intensive practice sessions, in-depth career support, and so on. The technical depth, additional support, and expectations are different. For more information about the Software Engineering Program, click here. The advantage of Hackbright Prep is that it will give you the solid foundation you need to pursue the immersive Software Engineering Program.
  • What concepts should I know about coding before I apply for the evening Hackbright Prep course?
    Working through a tutorial of basic programming concepts is a great start! You should know that programming has to do with writing code. Having exposure or being familiar with the idea of variables and data structures like numbers and strings is a good sign that you're a fit.
  • How much does the Hackbright Prep course cost?
    The total cost of tuition is $500 USD, however since the COVID-19 pandemic we've been offering remote versions of Prep for $249. It was one little thing we could do to make a hard time a bit better. Employer Sponsorship: In the past, employers have sponsored their employees’ Hackbright Academy courses. Dedicating time outside of the office is an effective way to boost your value and skillset. Please email for a template letter to send to your manager if you’d like to request employer sponsorship. Sponsoring Scholarship: If you are an organization or business that wants to sponsor an employee, please let us know. You can email our Finance team at for more information.
  • Are Hackbright Academy courses only for women?
    Our courses are designed specifically to support women and genders that are often underrepresented in the tech community. We are deeply committed to making our school a safe place for people who are women, transexual, non-binary, agender, genderqueer, or other genders that have a history of discrimination, and anyone is welcome to attend who desires to learn software engineering skills in this environment and is committed to keeping the environment safe. Hackbright is open to all people, regardless of sex.  
  • Can I get in touch with the part-time staff to ask more specific questions?
    Of course! We welcome any questions you might have, so please feel free to contact us with your thoughts.
  • What does the growth of the tech industry look like over the next few years?
    The future is bright for our graduates. The Labor Department projects software developer jobs will grow 17 percent in the next decade, more than double the growth of overall employment.
  • Will I be able to compete with those who have a BS degree in CS?
    Our program is geared toward providing you with a solid foundation in computer science fundamentals. We pair data structures and algorithms with hands-on exposure to full-stack web development using a modern technology stack. We cover many topics that you’d find in the first two years of an undergraduate computer science program, such as object orientation, runtime analysis, and algorithm design. We also introduce and cover the basics of several more advanced topics that would be covered in an undergraduate program such as computer memory, machine learning, and cryptography. What we don’t teach at Hackbright, but that all of our students have, is proven success in another industry or career. We believe that this, paired with students’ motivation to learn the skill of software engineering, makes them highly competitive candidates for software engineering positions. The companies you want to work for realize how much value this previous career experience lends to their new career in engineering.
  • What if I don’t live in the Bay Area? What kind of support will I have in my job search if I leave the area after graduation?
    Many of our amazing hiring partners such as Amazon, Dell, and Intuit have offices outside of the Bay Area and come to our recruiting events to hire graduates. Our career services team offers the same support every step of the way. You’ll continue receiving all of the skills necessary to empower you in your job search both now and with your future career development.
  • Can Hackbright help me with a visa sponsorship?
    Please note that securing the travel visa is the responsibility of the student. It can take up to six weeks or longer to secure the visa, so we encourage international students to apply early and plan accordingly. Due to the tight U.S. restrictions on work visas, H1B sponsorship post-graduation is extremely competitive. Luckily, the skills you gain during the Software Engineering Program will be invaluable. If admitted, you receive the same career services support even if you don’t have a work visa for after graduation. You can attend all of the recruiting events and field trips that everyone else does. Graduates complete Hackbright with an amazing array of knowledge, experiences and project work that will impress employers from around the globe. More than a few of our graduates have gone on to work at tech companies outside the United States when they didn’t have a visa.
  • If I already work in the industry making more than the average, how much of a pay cut should I expect?
    It depends on the position you’re currently holding. We understand the career transition process is unique for each student and love that you’re thinking ahead on this! If you look at our results, you’ll see there are a good number of graduates making more than $88,000. Throughout the Software Engineering Program, we set you up with an experienced Career Services team who are ready to help you set expectations and find the companies and roles that meet your standards.
  • How much can I expect to earn as a graduate?
    We are excited to say that our graduates make some of the highest salaries of all bootcamp graduates. Our Outcomes Report shares more specific details, but the median salary of a Hackbright graduate is $88,000.
  • If I receive a Hackbright partial scholarship, am I able to apply that towards living expenses or deposit?
    No. Any partial scholarship that you are awarded will be directly deducted from your outstanding tuition balance. We do require all students to pay a deposit upon accepting their spot in the cohort.
  • What is the scholarship deadline?
    It is the date by which you need to apply to be eligible for consideration for any Hackbright financial aid. It is possible that applications received after the scholarship deadline will be considered for financial aid, but if you require financial assistance to attend Hackbright, be sure to apply before the scholarship deadline.
  • How much is the deposit to attend the Hackbright Academy Software Engineering Program?
    Currently, the deposit is $250 to secure your spot in our program.
  • What types of scholarships are offered for Hackbright Academy fellows?
    You can see a full list of current scholarships.

    We offer partial need-based scholarships to a limited number of students each quarter. These scholarships are awarded to the students who demonstrate the greatest financial need. Due to the typical volume of financial aid applicants and the limited amount of funds available, we cannot make any guarantees of aid, but we recommend all interested students apply. The typical award ranges anywhere from $500 to $2,500.

    Companies, however, do provide various scholarships to students. Our scholarship page is the best source to see what scholarships are currently available.To apply for a need based scholarship, students first must be accepted and enrolled into the program. Upon enrollment, students complete a brief application form and provide supporting documentation on their finances. At which time, candidates will be contacted by the Admissions team regarding final selection.

    If you have any questions, feel free to email the Admissions team at

  • What are my financing options? Are there loans or scholarships available?
    We have various financing options and scholarships available.
  • Can Hackbright help me if I have a long gap in my career history? What if I am older than the average 25-year-old techie, and am concerned about ageism?
    We have had hundreds of students from a variety of previous careers and a variety of ages complete the Hackbright Fellowship. It’s not uncommon for someone to use the Fellowship as an opportunity to re-enter the workplace after an absence. The nice thing is that you’re not alone. Your fellow students have also left their careers to take on the Fellowship full-time and start a new career. Our Career Services team at Hackbright will help you work on how to tell your career story effectively.
  • Why Python and Web Development?
    Python is an important part of the tech ecosystem, as a language used commercially at tech giants and startups alike. Most importantly, it’s an excellent teaching language. It’s the language of choice for the undergraduate computer science curriculum at both MIT and UC Berkeley. Python is a great first language to learn as it enables you to quickly take on other languages; employers appreciate this agility. Many of our graduates often take positions at companies in languages other than Python.

    Software Development is constantly changing. Within the last 10 years, the web has gone from being a second-class citizen to the primary way software is distributed to people. Aside from toys, there is almost no marketplace for software without a network component anymore, and modern web development was critical to that change. Even if you go on to build mobile applications, you’ll need to interface with a web component.

    Web development is a bit of a misnomer, though. We teach you how to architect and build multi-user network applications. Then, we show you how to make them polished, interactive, as well as dynamic in a web browser.

  • What’s it like?
    The Hackbright software engineering program is an intense, life-changing experience. We create an optimal learning environment for those wishing to dive head first into web application development using a modern tool set. The first half of the program includes an accelerated, in-depth course in the Python language and the elements of a modern web application stack with guided, hands-on projects. For the remainder of the program, students work on independent projects that they are passionate about and that will become their first full stack web application in their portfolio. In the final weeks of the program, we’ll bring in guests from great companies and have talks and breakout sessions exposing students to as many sub-disciplines as we can manage.

    We also believe in pair programming as a powerful teaching tool. Having another person sitting next to you and watching you code can be harrowing, but nothing keeps you focused like a second set of eyes. Pair programming encourages knowledge sharing, rapid brainstorming, and remaining focused on the problem at hand. Students will pair as much as possible during the program.

    We believe fully-immersed engagement is the best way to learn, and we provide the curriculum and environment to produce optimal learning. This means maximizing hands-on time in front of computers and providing knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions.

  • When and where does the Software Engineering Program take place?
    All classes are delivered online. The immersive Software Engineering Program is 12 weeks long. You can see our full schedule here.
  • What happens after graduation?
    Our goal is to help you get the job you want. We will provide training on both the technical skills and soft skills you need to make your way into the industry. While we don’t guarantee job placement, we have strategic relationships with companies that are excited about our mission and that are recruiting from the program. Check out our results page to learn more.
  • Are the instructors all women?
    No, we have a mixed gender staff.
  • Who are the instructors?
    Hackbright instructors are both educators and software engineers who have a variety of backgrounds that tend to reflect these two prominent interests. Software Engineering Program instructors are seasoned Python developers with an enthusiasm for explaining tough concepts, fielding student questions, and contributing to a constantly evolving curriculum. Some highlights from our instructors’ biographies include full stack software engineering, internal tools software engineering, data science at Bay Area startups, software consulting, teaching computer science at the collegiate level, teaching computer science at the high school level, teaching high school physics, working in nonprofits, teaching Python classes to working software engineers, and more.
  • Is Hackbright Academy geared toward women and non-binary people?
    Hackbright Academy is passionate about increasing the representation of discriminated people in software engineering, and an excellent way to do that is to design our program to support groups that are often underrepresented in tech. Additionally, learning software engineering in an environment that consists of others passionate about erasing inequality creates a community that’s more supportive and conducive to taking on challenges. Being the only person of your race or gender in a classroom has the ability to worsen the effect of Imposter Syndrome, a condition to which many software engineers, regardless of gender, are especially vulnerable. While students will likely join teams of mostly men after graduation, their Hackbright peers are available as a supportive network of gender-diverse individuals on similarly male-dominated teams. Our staff includes other gender identities, as do our speakers, mentors, and guests in our evening and weekend programs. Hackbright is open to all people, regardless of sex.
  • Is this for me?
    The ideal candidate has a genuine passion for coding and has finally decided to go all in and transition to a career in software development. You've probably been to a few meetups, completed various tutorials, and/or audited or completed programming classes (in person or online). You may have conducted informational interviews with software engineers to understand what they do in their daily life, and confirmed that you would enjoy this kind of work. Perhaps you’ve tried to build a web application on your own or with help, but are hitting roadblocks in trying to synthesize the immense amount of resources available. You're ready and excited for a structured, intense environment to help you officially launch your career into software engineering.
  • What are the prerequisites for the Software Engineering Program?
    Students are required to have a minimum of 40 hours of coding experience (via in-person or online classes, videos or studying with a friend). Our Hackbright Prep Course or various online courses are great options for anyone considering applying to the Software Engineering Program.
  • What is covered in the Software Engineering Program?
    The Software Engineering Program curriculum combines computer science data structures and algorithms with marketable industry standard web development technologies. We cover the most critical skills and tools required to be a software engineer, including version control, the Linux command line, relational databases, web frameworks, AJAX/JQuery and front-end frameworks. We also cover broader essential software engineering topics like debugging, pair programming, code reviews, core computer science concepts (including runtime analysis, recursion, and advanced data structures, such as linked lists, graphs and trees), and technical whiteboarding. For an independent four-week project, each student plans, designs, and codes a dynamic, full-stack web application.
  • What is the Software Engineering Program?
    The Hackbright Academy Software Engineering Program is a 12-week training program designed to help you become an amazing programmer. We teach the fundamentals of modern web development and then introduce you to Silicon Valley companies looking to expand their engineering teams.
  • Can I talk to somebody in Admissions before I apply?
    Absolutely! We welcome you to reach out to us with any questions - We love talking with you all! You can also utilize the live chat on our website, come by our campus, or join an upcoming event. Other options: Phone: 415-862-0595 | Email:
  • What does it cost to apply?
    It's free! Hackbright Academy has no application fee.
  • Can I meet the staff and see the facility before I apply?
    Yes! Feel free to pick a day that works for you here. Let us know if you want a campus tour but you can also sit in on a class and meet with an instructor while there. Please note, we are only offering campus tours at San Francisco location.      
  • Do you accept International candidates to Hackbright?
    Yes. International students are certainly welcome to apply. Please note that securing the travel visa is the responsibility of the student. It can take up to six weeks or longer to secure the visa, so we encourage international students to apply early and plan accordingly. Due to the tight US restrictions around work visas, H1B sponsorship post graduation is extremely competitive. However, the skills you gain during the fellowship will be invaluable. Graduates complete Hackbright with an amazing array of knowledge, experiences and project work that will impress employers from around the globe.
  • Can I re-apply to Hackbright if I don’t get in?
    Absolutely! For most applicants who are not admitted into the Engineering Program, this is due to that fact that they are not at the technical level needed to be able to succeed in the program. Students who are not admitted are provided technical feedback so they have a clear understanding of what they need to continue to study before their next technical interview. When an applicant receives the feedback, we also schedule their next technical interview (typically 2-6 weeks later) so they can plan ahead for the next available session date. *Please note, applicants who retake the technical assessments are not required to apply to the program again. We will just update your application to reflect the future session  for which you plan to enroll.*      
  • Do you accept transgender candidates to Hackbright?
    Hackbright Academy is committed to challenging unequal gender dynamics within society, supporting the intellectual and personal growth of our students, and fostering critical analyses of gender. Admitting trans, intersex, and gender-variant students is harmonious with these commitments and is consistent with the underlying mission of Hackbright to support, nurture, and value the voices of those who have been marginalized by gender.

    Hackbright is open to all people, regardless of sex.

  • Can accepted students defer to a later cohort?
    At this time, we are accepting deferrals to future classes on a case-by-case basis. We totally get it, life scenarios happen in which sometimes you need to change your plans and we are happy to work with you. If you are admitted to a program and are thinking that you may need to defer please submit your deferral request to explaining the situation and we will follow up with you shortly thereafter notifying whether your deferral was approved.
  • How many interviews are there?
    There are 1-2 interviews. If you take either Prep or Python 101 we will waive the admissions interview and you will just be required to complete the technical interview.
  • What do I need to prepare for the interviews?
    The Admissions Interview There is not much you need to prepare. This is an opportunity for us to get to know more about who you are and give you a chance to get to know more about Hackbright. The conversation is quite informal. We'll ask you questions about your professional background and learn more about your drive and motivation to become a software engineer. The admissions interview is typically conducted via phone or a video call, whichever makes you feel more comfortable. Technical Interview We are looking for you to have some understanding of the following concepts:
    • Control flow and looping
    • Creating and manipulating basic data types
    • Creating and manipulating lists/arrays
    • Creating and calling functions
    • Algorithmic problem solving
    • Conditional logic
  • How do I edit my application once I’ve started?
    Once you submit your application you are not able to go back and edit your application. That said, please email if you have any edits or additions you would like to make to the application and we can make the update for you.
  • How long should my application be?
    There’s no mandatory length but we'd like enough information for us to get to know you. Our goal is to learn more about you, your professional background, your programming experience and why you chose to submit an application to Hackbright. Friendly reminder, It doesn’t need to be a novel because we will have another opportunity in the admissions interview to further the conversation with you.
  • What is the average age of the students you accept?
    This can vary, but in general, our average age range is 22 – 55 years old.
  • Do students who take Hackbright Prep or Online Python 101 go directly to the Software Engineering Program?
    Yes! While it's not required to take either Prep or Python 101 to enter our Engineering program, it's common for students taking either of those classes beforehand to shortly thereafter apply to the Software Engineering Program.
  • Will you accept someone who wants to go to Hackbright straight out of high school (instead of going to college)?
    To date, we’ve never accepted someone straight out of high school, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t. We expect a level of maturity usually gained from a few years at a community college, a 4-year institution or in the workplace, but again, there are some very mature 18-year-olds out there and we would love to meet you. Regardless of age and education, all applicants should be prepared to demonstrate a good deal of maturity, competence and interest learned through relevant work experience.
  • What does the acceptance process look like at Hackbright Academy?
    Prep or Python 101 If you are signing up for either Python 101 or Prep it is just that, fill out the form, pay for the class upfront via credit or debit card and you are good to go! Due to regulations with BPPE there are just 2 additional steps you need to complete once you have signed up:
    • Sign and submit your student agreement back to
    • Submit a photo or scan of your high school diploma (high school equivalency or (bachelors degree or higher is also accepted) to
    Many of you ask what you should be studying before you start class. Don’t worry! Typically before the start of any of our programs, we will send you a few resources to review. Software Engineering Program You have been admitted to either our Full-Time or Part-Time Software Engineering program – congrats!! There are a few additional steps we will work with you on. For starters:
    • Sign and submit your student agreement back to
    • Submit a photo or scan of your high school diploma (high school equivalency or (bachelors degree or higher is also accepted) to
    • You will also be asked to submit your deposit. The total amount for the deposit is $250 and is non-refundable. The deposit will hold your seat in the program for the session you have selected.
    Upon submitting your deposit you will then be invoiced for the total cost of tuition. We do require students to pay tuition upfront unless they choose deferred tuition – learn more about deferred tuition here. Final tuition payments have different dates pending which session you choose. All tuition dates and deadlines can be found here for your review. Scholarships are also an option to help offset the cost of tuition – further details on how to apply for scholarships can be found here. Last, but certainly not least, you will be provided a series of modules to work on before class. These are typically sent out a few weeks before class begins. Because all Hackbrighters are ambitious and want to learn as much as possible, we will send you a little work to do before class begins. Please note, these modules are self-paced and can vary in time to complete but on avg, it should take somewhere between 20-30 hours to complete all the modules.
  • What does rolling admissing mean?
    Here at Hackbright, we employ a rolling admissions process. This means that we review, interview and accept candidates on a “first come first serve basis” up until the deadline date or until the cohort is full, whichever comes first. We strongly suggest that you apply as early as possible in the process. Past cohorts have filled before the deadline date. Please note that candidates can only apply to one cohort at a time.
  • What if I miss the application deadline?
    No problem. You have a couple different options:
    • Contact us! If you missed the deadline by just a few days. There is a chance that we have a few seats left in one of our programs and we would love to work with you to get your application submitted quickly and moving forward in the admissions process.
    • You can “roll-over” your application to the next term, all you would need to do is email (admissions@hackbrightacademy) or call us at 415.862.0595 and tell us to which term you would like your application updated.

Still Have Questions?

Feel free to reach out to us by phone or email.

415-862-0595 |