Guide

Best University Coding Bootcamps: Ultimate Guide + Market Research

Liz Eggleston

Written By Liz Eggleston

Jess Feldman

Edited By Jess Feldman

Last updated on May 29, 2024

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You've heard of household bootcamps like General Assembly, Springboard, and Flatiron School – but have you noticed universities that offer coding bootcamps? Universities have now been partnering with coding bootcamps since 2016, but these university coding bootcamps aren't all the same! Research your options below and find out which coding bootcamps offer college credit, which are part-time to accommodate your schedule, and read our tips for choosing the best university coding bootcamp for you. 

Our Tips: Choosing the Best University Coding Bootcamp

  1. Ask for Student Outcomes! Yes, the prestige of a university being involved with a coding bootcamp is impressive – but the appeal of a coding bootcamp is that you get relevant, hands-on training that employers are looking for. If your goal is to get a job after graduating, then be sure to ask the bootcamp for data about their alumni. What's the graduation rate? What percentage of graduates are employed within 3 months? What's their average starting salary? These are all questions you can ask to be sure that the bootcamp will help you get a job after graduating. 
  2. Understand who will be teaching the course. Most often, a bootcamp instructor will be teaching this course – this means you can expect to learn from someone with real-world, professional experience. But if you're expecting a university professor, then be sure to ask about this upfront. 
  3. Research the bootcamp itself. It can be easy to get caught up in fancy university names. After all, if an Ivy League university is associated with the bootcamp, it has to be the best, right? Wrong! Do as much research as you would for an independent bootcamp. 

Research: Growth of University Coding Bootcamps 2015–2021

In 2021, there are about 120 university bootcamps in the Course Report directory (and counting)! The leading OPM is Trilogy Education/edX (owned by 2U), followed by Quickstart and Fullstack Academy, as well as HackerU. Between 2019-2020, university bootcamp market has grown by 73%, from 64 university bootcamps in 2019 to 120 university bootcamps in 2020. 

Does FAFSA cover coding bootcamps?

Generally, no. Because coding bootcamps are unaccredited, they are not eligible for traditional student loans, Pell Grants, or FAFSA. Instead, bootcamp students use private loans through lenders like Skills Fund, Climb Credit, and Sallie Mae. There are a couple of exceptions – Dominican University + Make School students are eligible for financial aid – students should fill out the FAFSA and will receive a financial aid package within 2-7 days. In the Bachelor of Science degree offered by Alliant International University in partnership with Sabio, student financial aid (FAFSA) is available for eligible applicants.

University Coding Bootcamps That Offer College Credit

These are partnerships where a coding bootcamp either offers classes on the university campus, taught by the bootcamp’s own professors, or students can study at the coding bootcamp campus but get college credit. Some of these partnerships also allow students to use the GI Bill to pay for coding bootcamp tuition.

  1. Code Fellows + Northeastern University

    Code Fellows has partnered with Northeastern University College of Professional Studies to offer learners from any background a pathway to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science. Students and alumni who complete a Code Fellows' program can transfer up to 24 credits of coursework toward the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Northeastern's College of Professional Studies. 
  2. Level Effect + Purdue University Global

    Students who complete the Cyber Defense Analyst Program at Level Effect can earn 59 credits towards a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity at Purdue University Global. Both Level Effect's Live and On-Demand versions of the bootcamp are credit-bearing. 

Historically, Alliant International University has partnered with Sabio to offer credits toward its Bachelor of Science Degree. Yale University's Yale Summer Session has previously collaborated with Flatiron School to offer college credit.

Universities with Internal Coding Bootcamps (offer college credit)

A number of universities have now launched internal coding bootcamps themselves, and are not affiliated with an outside education provider.

  1. San Diego Global Knowledge University

    San Diego Global Knowledge University offers a full-stack web development program. No college credit is awarded, but San Diego Knowledge University is a nationally accredited and state-approved university. Post-911 GI Bill accepted for veterans, military servicemen and women
  2. Westcliff University Full Stack Coding Bootcamp

    Westcliff University offers a 24-week, online Full Stack Coding Bootcamp that is taught by Westcliff faculty. Bootcamp students that are also currently enrolled at Westcliff University can earn up to 18 college credits towards their degree.

Universities Bootcamps Run by Universities

While having an a program manager like edX or Promineo Tech power a technical skills bootcamp at a college is more typical, some universities now run their own in-house bootcamps: 

  • University of Houston offers their own online, self-paced AI/Machine Learning Bootcamp for data professionals who are looking to upskill. 

Powered by edX

Several universities have partnered with edX to launch full-time and part-time bootcamps in their continuing education departments. Each bootcamp is offered online or on the university campus through the school’s department of continuing education. Graduates are not eligible for college credit but will receive a certificate of completion from the host university.

Powered by Fullstack Academy/Simplilearn

A number of universities have partnered with Fullstack Academy (owned by Simplilearn) to offer online tech bootcamps in coding, cybersecurity, DevOps, data analytics, product management, and AI/machine learning. 

Powered by Promineo Tech

A number of universities have partnered with course provider Promineo Tech which provides curriculum for front end and back end development and data engineering bootcamps. The online bootcamps are run through each school's​ continuing education department.

Powered by QuickStart

A number of universities have partnered with course provider QuickStart which provides curriculum for coding bootcamps, data science bootcamps and cybersecurity bootcamps. The bootcamps are run through each school's​ continuing education department, and some graduates may be eligible for certifications.

Powered by ThriveDX

A number of universities have partnered with course provider ThriveDX which provides curriculum for cybersecurity bootcamps and more. The bootcamps are run through each school's​ continuing education department, and graduates may be eligible for certifications.

Powered by Upright Education

A number of community colleges have partnered with course provider Upright Education which provides curriculum for coding bootcamps and UX design bootcamps. The bootcamps are run through each school's​ continuing education department, and graduates may be eligible for certifications.

Powered by Noodle Partners

A number of universities like University of Virginia have partnered with Online Program Manager Noodle Partners, which (along with General Assembly), powers online web development bootcamps.  

Powered by the Institute of Data

Aukland University of Technology has partnered with the Institute of Data, to offer online and in-person Data Science & AI, Cyber Security, and Software Engineering bootcamps.  

EQUIP Partnerships

Curious about EQUIP? In essence, a university partnered with a coding bootcamp and a quality assurance entity (QAE), and as a result, students could effectively get financial aid and/or college credit for completing a coding bootcamp. The DOE called these partnerships “test sites” and announced awarded $17M in grants in August 2016 (see Trend #4 for more information). We haven’t heard an update on EQUIP since August 2016, but we’ll update this article if that changes. Some say that financial aid is a great idea for coding bootcamps. Others, like Jordan Weissmann at Slate, say that expanding the financial aid system will “ruin coding bootcamps.”

  1. Flatiron School partners with SUNY Empire State College to offer a certificate program in web development.
  2. Zip Code Wilmington will partner with Wilmington University to offer a 12-week software development BootCamp

Community College Coding Bootcamps

  1. The Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp is a 10-week web development bootcamp taught at the CNM STEMulus Center in downtown Albuquerque. The STEMulus Center is powered by Central New Mexico Community College. As a non-credit program, graduates receive a certificate of completion, which is not a degree.
  2. Upright Education also partners with community colleges like Greenfield Community College.

Where do we go from here?

These examples are proof that collaboration between bootcamps and universities takes many nuanced forms. There isn’t a cookie-cutter formula that schools can apply to create a partnership. The partnership has to fit the needs of students and benefit both the bootcamp and the university. Some coding bootcamps have also been acquired by universities – check out our coding bootcamp acquisitions article. 

FURTHER READING:

Did we miss a collaboration that you know about? Leave us a comment below!

About The Author

Liz Eggleston

Liz Eggleston

Liz Eggleston is co-founder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students choosing a coding bootcamp. Liz has dedicated her career to empowering passionate career changers to break into tech, providing valuable insights and guidance in the rapidly evolving field of tech education.  At Course Report, Liz has built a trusted platform that helps thousands of students navigate the complex landscape of coding bootcamps.

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