CS Scholars Program Data


Collaborative Problem-Solvers, Innovators, Leaders

CS Scholars provides a cohesive environment where scholars commit to one another's success. Scholars benefit from a host of academic, leadership and professional development opportunities. For example, scholars attend required entry level computer science courses (specifically, CS 61A and 61B), labs and discussion sections as a cohort. They also attend a special seminar devoted to academic success and career development. Each scholar works closely with the Director for L&S CS Undergraduate Affairs and the Director of Diversity and Achievement. Scholars also benefit from specialized tutoring, faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, a dedicated departmental study space and industry site visits.


Following the lead of Berkeley's successful Biology Scholars Program, CS Scholars challenges the popular stereotypes about who can and should do computer science. In our first year:

  • 60% of CS Scholars participants were women
  • 30% were underrepresented minorities (African American, Latino, or Native American)
  • 41% spoke a language other than English at home, and
  • 58% will be the first in their family to graduate from a four-year college.


CS Scholars seeks to attract and retain more diverse students to a field that has long been challenged in terms of diversity. Because most of our members come from under-resourced high schools, economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and are the first in their families to attend college, that success may mean taking courses, doing research, and graduating on a "different clock" than their peers. CS Scholars helps students develop an individualized plan to get them where they want to go.

Our first year is already showing promising results. Our first cohort had a 100% completion rate for CS 61A (compared to 87% for the class overall) and maintained a higher GPA overall than the general class.