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...wondering if coding is for you? 

...trying to develop your programming skill set and break into the industry?


...curious what paths and opportunities are available within computer science?

Startup Tucson and the University of Arizona FORGE have teamed up to offer you a FREE program to help you do JUST THAT!

Saturdays from 11:00am - 3:00pm
January 15th -March 26th 

Optional Office Hours Wednesdays 5:00pm -7:00pm

The program is free, but space is limited.

No coding experience required.

Computer science

You’ll be introduced to a variety of programming languages, which will give you a taste of different kinds of coding -- from how software looks and feels to database engineering.

career services

Career Services will showcase different opportunities available in the local community, as well as providing direct assistance in developing and refining workforce skills.

likeminded peers

Go through course curriculum developed at Harvard University alongside people also interested in the tech field, making meaningful and lifelong connections.


[CS]² is the first step in a longer journey to demystify computer science, discover your unique interests, and develop your skills. 

Startup Tucson’s Computer Science & Career Services program is the first step in the journey to demystifying computer science and programming.

Using tried and tested curriculum developed by expert software developers and educators, coupled with mock interviews, resume review, and workforce panels, our goal is to build your confidence, help you identify your tech interests and strengths, and prepare you for what comes next, all within a supportive, like-minded cohort.

Over 11 weeks, you’ll gain a broad understanding of computer science principles as part of a like-minded, supportive group of peers.


You’ll be introduced to a variety of programming languages, which will give you a taste of different kinds of programming -- from how software looks and feels to database engineering -- and give you a framework for learning new languages and technologies so that you can navigate the world of software development with confidence.

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How to Participate

Watch our info session to learn more!




You should be prepared to fully commit to in-person class attendance every Saturday from 11:00 am-3:00 pm, and devote 12 hours a week to coursework (including Saturday class time).


In order to participate in [CS]², you’ll need a laptop computer with an Intel Core i5 processor (sixth generation or newer) or equivalent. 


No coding experience is necessary -- only a drive to learn and work hard!

If you'd like to apply, but have any obstacles regarding the requirements: email


Monday, October 25 - Application launch

The application process happens in three stages:


  • Stage 1: Submit your initial application and tell us about yourself and your motivations for applying. You will be notified via email if your application advances to the second stage.

  • Stage 2: You will receive a video lecture and instructions for completing a programming project using MIT’s Scratch software. You will be notified via email if your application advances to the third and final stage.

  • Stage 3: You will receive an invitation to participate in a brief Zoom interview.


Tuesday, November 16 -  A [CS]² Info Session will be held from 12:30pm online. Please RSVP here

Friday, December 3 - Deadline for all steps in Application Stages 1 and 2

Monday, December 6 - Zoom interviews begin

Wednesday, December 15 - Final admissions decisions sent via email

Saturday, January 15th - Program launch

Saturday, March 26th - Graduation and demo day

Startup Tucson [CS]² follows a curriculum developed at Harvard University and serves as an introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming.

The program, which runs over 11 weeks, teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics coved include: 

  • abstraction

  • algorithms

  • data structures

  • encapsulation

  • resource management

  • security

  • software engineering

  • web programming

  • Programming languages: including C, Python, and SQL plus HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

In the 11th week of the program, you’ll showcase your work at a public demo day and graduation ceremony. Among the overarching goals of this course are to inspire students to explore unfamiliar waters without fear of failure, create an accessible, intensive, shared experience, and build community among participants.


While 11 weeks isn’t enough to prepare you for a job as a junior developer, [CS]² is the first step in a longer journey to demystify computer science, discover your unique interests, and develop your skills. 

With [CS]² under your belt, you’ll be poised to take the next step in pursuing your goals with confidence, whether that means pursuing an in-depth education program, contributing to open source projects, or self-guided exploration.


FORGE (Finding Opportunities and Resources to Grow Entrepreneurs) is a unit of University of Arizona’s Office of Research, Innovation, and Impact.


FORGE is committed to the three C’s: Campus, Community, and Capital.


From FORGE’s team, Aleshia Howell is an educator and former co-founder and CEO of Codebase, an education startup in the technology space that offered a 9-week course for adults in mobile app development with paid apprenticeship opportunities.


She currently serves as program coordinator of FORGE at Roy Place, which works with Startup Tucson to run community-facing programs that advance Tucson’s entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem

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Startup Tucson’s team has extensive background in facilitation, entrepreneurship trainings, workforce development programs.


Their role in the innovation ecosystem also allows them to have firsthand knowledge of job opportunities within the Tucson tech community both within startups that they have helped support and with larger local tech employers.


Startup Tucson facilitates the Tucson Innovation Partnership and serves as a commercialization partner for Tech Launch Arizona, the SBDC’s Advisory Committee, the Business Advisory Committee for Pima Community College, the Downtown Tucson Partnership and the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Roadmap Committee. 

Mentor Interest Form

Mentorship is a critical part of student success. Our mentors are experts, enthusiast, and tech professionals. Thanks so much for joining the team! 

The program runs from January 15th to March 26th. Mentors are especially needed for "Office Hours" Wednesdays from 5:00pm - 7:00pm, but would be welcomed and helpful on Saturdays as well. We can also work around your schedule for one-to-one student support if those times don't fit.   

Complete the following form to let us know a little bit more about you, your interests, and your availability. 

Starting in January, when would you be available to mentor?