Silicon Valley Semester 2018

Notre Dame California is pleased to announce the Spring 2018 Silicon Valley Semester (SVS 2018). 

Application must be completed by March 3 2017. Committee members will examine the academic records, statements and letters of recommendation for each applicant over the course of the month and invitations to participate will be extended in late March.   Answers to questions and comments submitted through the expression of interest form will be posted in a Google Document on an ongoing basis over the next several days.

Interested? Complete the Application by March 3, 2017


Application Due: March 3 2017

Invitations Extended: March 31, 2017

Decision to take part due: April 14, 2017

SVS 2018 will contain the following curricular elements:

  • a credit bearing internship (15 - 20 hours per week) worth 3 credits or comparable research/scholarly engagement
  • ND coursework suitable for CS or CPEG juniors (3 or 4 3-credit classes).  Coursework suitable for other majors and general education courses may be available depending on participation of other departments.

The program will also offer non-curricular elements such as opportunitites to meet industry leaders, trips to local attractions and events, exposure to the Bay Area's vibrant cultrue, and opportunities for community service.  We will design SVS 2018's program based on our experiences with SVS 2017, currently underway with 10 students.

All students participating in the SVS must maintain a full-time credit load as defined by Notre Dame and the US Dept of Education (12 hours or more). Dropping below 12 credit hours will result in a loss of financial aid and dismissal from the SVS.


  1. Coursework: We are planning for SVS to contain at least the following course offerings:
    • CSE 30341: Operating Systems
    • CSE 30332: Programming Paradigms
    • CSE 40657: Computer Security
    • CSE 3xxxx: Internship (S/U graded)

There may be changes to these offerings but the courses offered will be designed to keep CSE juniors “on track” for graduation. All course prerequisite requirements will apply.Internship: The internship position will be both paid and credit-bearing, and will carry a CSE 3xxxx course number.

  1. Internship:The internship must (by University policy for full time students) be 20 hours of work per week or less. It will be S/U graded and the credits earned do not satisfy graduation requirements; the credits do contribute toward a full-time course load. It will involve some academic deliverables such as reports/presentations to establish a basis for S/U grade assignment. The pay you receive from the internship contributes toward your asset list for financial aid. We are working with alumni and others in the Bay area to identify/sponsor a diverse set of internships in the area. Students in SVS 2017 worked at six different companies ranging from large multinational corporations to early-stage startups. The students and internship sponsors  will agree on a statement of work including time expectations. The ND California director will review the statement of work to decide on its eligibility for internship credit.  The internship course grade will be based on (i) student self-reporting of activities including written reports and (ii) an end-of-semester reflection, (iii) a brief evaluation by the internship sponsor.If circumstances prevent the placement of every student into an internship, an alternate arrangement involving research or community service may be made available to those students not placed.
  2. Selection: A selection process will be announced and will be modeled on the process used for ND International’s study abroad program and the Washington program operated by the Rooney Center. It will involve representatives from the major department and other members as deemed appropriate. Primary considerations in the selection of the cohort will include (i) past academic performance; (ii) academic and personal letters of recommendation; and (iii) a written essay.
  3. Size: we expect the Spring 2018 SVS cohort to have between 20 and 40 students.  Depending on demand, we may identify a significant number of alternates, who will take the places of those who withdraw from the cohort.
  4. Housing: TBD, but will likely include dorm space at local colleges.
  5. Cost: The program’s housing and tuition charge will be equal to the equivalent charges for a semester on campus.  We will additionally charge an acceptance fee of selectees, which will be forfeited if the selectee withdraws form the cohort after selection. If a meal plan is not part of the housing package, students will be provided a stipend intended to cover meal expenses. Students must cover the costs of travel to and from the Bay Area for the semester, and all other personal expenses.
  6. Administration: Prof. Patrick Flynn ( is serving as the director of Notre Dame California in 2016-2017 and will be overseeing the selection process for SVS 2018.
  7. Facilities: courses will be offered at Notre Dame’s Palo Alto facility, a newly constructed instructional/collaborative suite in the heart of Palo Alto
  8. Calendar: SVS 2018 will have the same calendar as spring semester in South Bend. Students may remain in the Bay Area over spring break and work full time (40 hours) if they wish.
  9. Deadlines: at this time, we expect to adhere to this schedule for the selection of CSE students for SVS 2018.  Initial expressions of interest due on February 17; applications due by March 3; invitations extended by March 31; decisions due by April 14.

To express interest in or ask questions about the SVS 2018 offering, please complete this form: