Silicon Valley Semester
The Silicon Valley Semester (SVS) is an off-campus study program for students interested in a semester-long experience in Silicon Valley, the global center for technological innovation and home to the most dynamic and exciting tech corporations and startups. Our Fall and Spring experiences will focus primarily on these areas:
- Each student will take part in an experiential learning opportunity through a paid part-time (20-25 hours per week), credit-bearing (3 S/U credits) internship at a Bay Area company. Notre Dame-California is looking to attract students from a variety of majors with sincere interest and overlap in the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Silicon Valley community. All students participating in the SVS must maintain a full-time credit load as defined by Notre Dame and the US Department of Education (12 hours or more). Dropping below 12 credit hours will result in a loss of financial aid and dismissal from the SVS.
Silicon Valley-Based Courses
- The program offers a unique course curriculum with a foundation in coursework well-aligned with Silicon Valley. Recent courses include Technology and Innovation Ethics, Intro to Design Thinking, and Theory of Computing. In addition to courses offered to all participants, ND-California will work with students to provide coursework suitable for juniors meeting Major, College, and general university course requirements. All students participating in the SVS must maintain a full-time credit load as defined by Notre Dame and the US Department of Education (12 hours or more). Students are strongly encouraged to take only three additional letter-graded courses in addition to the internship. See courses here.
Networking and Career Development
- SVS students will regularly meet ND alumni and industry leaders, attend career development workshops, and interact face-to-face with industry veterans and innovators who are eager to meet with our ambitious and top-tier student talent. SVS emphasizes the importance of relationships in Silicon Valley, and we provide students a leg up on cultivating and building those relationships for professional development.
Experiencing California and the Bay Area
- SVS students live and work in the heart of Silicon Valley with easy access to San Francisco and San Jose (and their many attractions). Students are exposed to the natural beauty of the Bay Area, Monterey, Muir Woods, Half Moon Bay, Tahoe, etc. Students will also visit and tour companies like Tesla, Google, LinkedIn, Cisco, and numerous startups! SVS students will be able to take advantage of several volunteer service and community-based activities in addition to reflection exercises and faith-based events.
The Fall semester, open to students from across the University will include students from the College of Arts & Letters, the College of Science, and the Mendoza School of Business. The Spring 2021 cohort is focused on Computer Science majors (BS and BA). ND-California provides a limited number of courses to help students maintain progress toward graduation in addition to S/U credit earned from the experiential learning component of the part-time internship. You can learn more about courses here.