Launch Internship Program
Join our admissions team for an info session on September 12
Launch FAQ
Here are the answers to commonly asked questions.
If your question is not answered below, send us an email at
Applying to Launch
What is the timeline for the application process and receiving acceptance?
From start to finish, the Launch application process takes about 1 month if you move through all three stages. Our application process has three steps: a resume submission, a skills challenge, and an interview. You will be notified after each stage as to whether or not you'll continue in the application process.

If you make it to the interview stage, you should hear back within about a week after your interview regarding your acceptance status. From there, you'll sign up for an orientation to learn more about the program, ask questions, and meet other accepted students. If you decide to accept a spot in Launch, we'll let you know all of the next steps regarding on-boarding and training.
Can I apply to more than one track?
Yes, you can apply to up to two Launch tracks – just indicate which track(s) you're interested in on your application. If you move on to the second step of the application process, we'll send you the Skills Challenges for both tracks you're interested in. You would need to complete both of the Skills Challenges if you still want to be considered for two tracks. At that point you are also welcome to only continue applying to one track and complete just one of the Skills Challenges.
Can I apply if I'm not an undergraduate student?
The short answer is yes, but we typically can only accept recent college graduates who have been out of college for no more than about 2-3 years. We've found that our program makes the most sense for and is most beneficial to current undergraduate students or fairly recent college graduates.
Do I need to go to a certain college or university to apply?
Nope! Students from all colleges and universities are welcome to apply to Launch.
Can I apply if I'm an international student or if I'm not a US citizen?
International students, green card holders, and DACA students are welcome to apply. We cannot accept undocumented immigrants, unfortunately, due to IRS requirements.

Some of our company partners prefer or are only able to hire interns that are US citizens. Because of this, we want to be up-front that any non-citizens accepted to the Launch program will likely have fewer internship opportunities to consider than other students.

If you have questions or are unsure if you should apply, please email before applying to the program.
Suggested Skills & Prerequisities
Do I need any skills coming into the program?
There are no skills required to apply. However, coming in with some experience (suggestions below) can be helpful. If you don't have the suggested experience for your track but you're up for a bit more of a challenge, you are still more than welcome to apply.
What are the suggested skills for each of the tracks?
For the Data Science track, a basic knowledge of statistics and/or some experience with Python is helpful but not required.

For the Digital Marketing track, strong writing skills and a good eye for design can be helpful. Some experience with general business knowledge is also helpful but not required.

For the Software Engineering track, taking at least one intro CS class or another intro to programming course in high school, online, or through another organization is very helpful. Personal programming experience with online tutorials or personal projects is helpful as well.

These suggestions are NOT requirements to apply, but these are a few ways you can explore and get familiar with the subjects covered in each track before the program begins.
Launch Scheduling & Logistics
Do I have to be available for the whole program?
Yes, you must be available full-time for all 12 weeks of summer training - this 12 week period includes 3 weeks of skills training and a 9 week internship. Summer training hours (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm ET) and your internship will be full-time (typically Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm ET). You will also need to be able to commit to about 20 total hours of pre-summer training (aka "Countdown") during the school year.
Can I take a vacation during Launch?
Training hours (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm ET) and your internship will be full-time (typically Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm ET). We cannot permit vacations or planned time off during the 12 week program. Your weekends and time outside of training is of course free, but you otherwise need to be able to commit to the entire duration of the Launch program.
Can I work a part-time job during Launch?
You can as long as it does not interfere with training hours (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm ET) or your internship hours (typically 9:00am-5:00pm ET). We do not recommend working another job on top of Launch.
Is training online?
Launch training is fully online. Offering online training allows Launch students to train with us from anywhere, no matter what school they go to or where home might be. We've run Launch fully online for three years now, and our instructors understand what makes online learning fun and engaging.
Will internships be remote?
There are both in-person and remote internships available through the program. Remote vs. in-person work is determined by each company depending on their preferences and ability to have employees work in-person.

We ask each company whether they'd prefer interns to work in-person or remotely so you can consider this factor before applying to a given internship.
Payment & Tuition
How much is tuition for the program?
Tuition for the Launch program is $3,800. You can read more about tuition & what it includes here.
How much will I get paid for the summer?
Most Launch interns are paid $20-29/hour full-time for 9 weeks for their internship. The compensation for each opportunity is detailed on each Launch internship profile so you can make an informed decision before applying for a given role.

After taxes and paying back tuition, the average Launch student earns $3,250. We can't determine exactly how much a student will earn because it depends on which company a student confirms an internship with, that company's pay rate, the student's personal tax situation, etc. However, we only work with companies who can facilitate paid internships at at least $20/hr or higher. We encourage you to read our Payment and Tuition page for details.
Company Matching
What happens if I find an internship outside of the program?
If you receive an internship offer outside of the program you may accept it, as long as you have not already confirmed an internship with one of our company partners.

Students who are not yet matched with one of our internships are welcome to accept an outside offer, leave the program, and receive their deposit back minus an operational fee. You will not be able to participate in training.

Students who have accepted an offer from one of our company partners should understand that is a serious commitment. If a student were to accept an outside offer or drop out of the program after confirming an internship from a Launch company partner, they would be subject to withdrawal fees for breaking their contract and withdrawing from the program.
What internship locations are available?
Our main internship locations are Charlottesville, Richmond, Washington, D.C. & the NOVA area, California, New York, Texas, and Maryland.

That is not an exhaustive list though – we have placed past interns at companies based in cities like Boston, MA, Norfolk, VA, Denver, CO, Atlanta, GA, Wilmington, NC, St. Louis, MO, Newark, NJ and more. We have even placed one student at a company in Medellin, Colombia! There may be other cities available for Launch 2023 that are not currently listed here.

Many internships, regardless of location, are remote or remote-optional.
Launch Training
What does the commitment look like during the school year?
Once you've been accepted to Launch, you'll start doing soft skills training with us in the first portion of Countdown training (in either the fall or spring semester, depending on when you apply) to prepare for the company matching process. This will be about 6-8 hours of training total, as well as some tasks to do outside of training like working on your resume, practicing interview questions, etc. This training is required in order to take part in company matching.

Then, during the spring semester, you'll complete part two of Countdown training to begin learning the technical skills you'll need for summer training and your internship. The technical portion of Countdown training will involve 15 hours of training in total, though some students may need to work a bit more outside of set training sessions depending on their skill levels coming into the program.
What are the hours for summer training?
Summer training is 3 weeks full-time, from 8:30am-5:30pm ET, all online. There is a one hour break for lunch, as well as a few shorter breaks throughout the day.

We know these are long days, but this is part of how we pack so much learning into such a short amount of time. This is also designed to prepare you for a full-time working schedule, so that you are set up for success when your internship starts.

Only students who confirm an internship with a Launch company partner will participate in summer training.
What does a typical day of summer training look like?
Launch training is a mix of instructor-led lessons, hands-on group work, individual projects, group and solo presentations, and a weekly one-on-one check-in with your instructor or TA. Launch training is meant to push you and challenge you — you will learn and make more in 3 weeks than you have in any college class.

In the working world, you might not know everything you need to know when you start a project. We've designed our training to prepare you for that. Our general rule of thumb in training is to train you on 60-80% of what you need to know, and then you're given hands-on projects that will lead you to learn and discover the rest on your own or through collaboration with peers. We've found that this learning style sets students up to be more autonomous and successful at their internships and in future endeavors.
What types of projects will I work on in training?
We make projects feel as close as possible to "doing the real thing" – so some projects will be set up as though you've been hired by a client to do the work. In general, Launch is lighter on lectures and heavier on learning by doing.
Who will my instructors be?
Launch instructors are recent graduates or upperclassmen who have previously completed the Launch program at the top of their class. They have also demonstrated excellence in their topic area, thrived in past internships and jobs, held leadership and teaching roles at Forge, and have gone through vetting and teacher training by our full time staff.

Launch TAs are typically undergraduates who have previously completed Launch and/or have led one of Forge's semester courses. Both TAs and instructors train with Forge during the school year and get teaching experience by leading one of our other courses or programs.