💼 Bachelor: CS + Arts & Humanities
⏳ Aug 2019 — Present
📍 San Francisco,
✅ Student Visa
📍 San Francisco,
💰 Generous need-based financial aid package
🌏 80% International
👋Hi from Minerva’23 student with a double major in Computer Science and Arts & Humanities.
Financial aid at Minerva
Minerva provides need-based financial aid which consists of 3 components: scholarship, loan, and work-study. The exact combination of these components depends on every student’s individual financial situation.
My financial coverage works the following way: tuition is fully covered by the scholarship, living expenses are covered partially by the scholarship and partially by loans, and work-study takes care of food, transportation, and all other necessities.
Minerva’s work-study is useful not only for financial reasons, but also for professional development. They try to match your skills and interests to a position that will benefit you professionally. We are allowed to work up to 7.5 hours/week starting from the first year with above-the-average pay. I personally did peer tutoring for a programming class, data analysis for one of the professors, and a teaching assistantship. During my 3rd year I also took part in the AI Incubator program in partnership with the Masason Foundation.
Regarding the loan, there is an interest rate of around 6-7%. During the academic year, you pay only the interest part of the loan, but I am planning to pay most of it before graduating through external scholarships and internships.
Studying Computer Science at Minerva
All first-year students regardless of major take the same four foundational classes, one of which is called Formal Analyses. This course covers the basics of programming, stats, and differential mathematics. It gave me a great introduction to a wide range of topics, and we even touched on Algorithms and Machine Learning.
During the summer before freshman year, we have a knowledge test for coding & summer preparation for it. If you don’t pass the test, you are placed in a class led by peers to help you fill in missing knowledge gaps. That’s where I did my first work-study as a peer tutor for programming. I would say that after that class, you should have a very solid foundation in programming in Python.
Overall, the CS curriculum is pretty rigorous. The information in classes can sometimes be very packed and learning is quite fast-paced. For example, Calculus 1 and 2 were all covered in one semester, while it would usually take two semesters at other universities. As we don’t have traditional lectures, a lot of the material has to be self-taught and then applied to practical assignments. I personally really enjoy such a style of learning, but if you don’t have any background in math or programming, it could get difficult. Our software engineering class felt like a proper bootcamp! But there are also slower courses, it all depends on the class and the professor.
Assignments that ended up on my resume
Instead of tests, we have practical assignments, which I enjoy a lot! There are a few cases when class material and assignments don’t exactly align, but it’s nevertheless really fun to do them, as I actually get to apply what I’ve just learned. When I interview at tech companies I often mention the work we did in class assignments.
If you enjoy problem-solving and put in the effort, you can easily turn an assignment into a project which you can put on your resume. Many of my assignments are also on Github as stand-alone projects. I can definitely say that assignments are my favorite part of the education system at Minerva and they definitely prepare you for job interviews.
Most of Minerva’s students intern in the US, but some people go overseas as well. I am currently doing an internship at Meta in Seattle and last summer I was at Google in California.
As mentioned previously, Minerva prepares you well for an internship. Most of the experiences on my resume were achieved through Minerva: either through work-study, assignments, or side-projects.
When applying for internships I used the help of our career coaches who provided amazing feedback on my resume and practiced mock interviews with me. I felt that the quality of career services was much better than what I’ve seen at universities back home.
Since Minerva’s community is so tight, everybody’s helping each other out and I was able to get introduced to new communities which lead to a Meta referral.
In Fall 2022 I will be going to Argentina for my last year at Minerva!