The Program

What is the cohort size / student:instructor ratio?

 We aim for a 15:1 student:instructor ratio, and each cohort also has the support of a Program Coordinator who serves as a coach and mentor.

Who is Adjacent for?

Adjacent is designed for students with no coding or technical experience.  Our students are tech curious and seek an experience like Adjacent for a variety of reasons, including:

      • limited course capacity on campus for non-CS majors to explore tech
      • a desire for a learning environment that is project-based, collaborative, and applied as opposed to more theoretical
      • a strong intrinsic motivation to bring ideas to life and learn something new and uncomfortable
      • an interest in learning with peers who have similar backgrounds and levels of interests in technology
      • excitement about living in a tech- and innovation-rich city to further learning, networking, and personal growth in addition to professional opportunities

When is the best time to do Adjacent?

Adjacent accepts students from all class standings (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). The best time will depend on your institution, your academic progression / where you are in terms of meeting graduation requirements, and your readiness for an experience like Adjacent.

Gap year and deferral students are encouraged to apply. Many past students have changed their majors or academic focus after gaining confidence from this program.

How is the semester program different than the 4-week program?

The 16-week semester program offers a full load of four courses (see program offerings for detail) and is right for students who are excited to commit an extended period of time immersed in project-based learning, networking, collaborating, and building.

The 4-week program offers one course credit and many of the benefits of the semester program, such as the development of leadership skills, professional networks, and career opportunities.  The shorter program is right for those students who cannot commit to 16 weeks and/or do not have the flexibility to participate during the traditional academic calendar.

Is the program in-person or online?

Our 2020 programs will be online.

Programs maintain the 40 hrs/week format – and what your daily schedule looks like depends on your time zone. We promise we’re not on Zoom all day! We usually meet for one hour per day as a group, with optional sessions throughout the day. Students enjoy the flexibility of choosing their working hours.

Once COVID permits, we hope our programs will resume taking place in person in San Francisco between the hours of 9a and 5p.

What is the schedule like in the online program?

Adjacent is more like a work environment than traditional school. We typically meet as a full group once per day (9a PT / 12p ET), and our instructors offer short sessions throughout the day and are available for “office hours” for 8 hours per day. We typically break into a team project halfway through the week and present on Friday noon ET. 

Much of Adjacent is about learning to effectively research, build or test your knowledge, and then receive as much feedback as possible on your work. As we like to say, there’s no speed limit on learning.

Students are able to choose their working hours and really enjoy the flexibility of being able to take breaks when they want. Students typically work around 40 hrs/week.

What types of projects will I build?

All sorts! Most of the time we allow students to create their websites about whatever they want. As your skills develop, your websites become more complex. We hope that you’ll use project opportunities to combine your interests and passions with technology and practice building prototypes of real projects.

Students have gone on to continue working on their projects well after Adjacent – whether that be a personal portfolio website or funded company. You can see examples of projects here.

How is the curriculum developed?

Adjacent works very closely with faculty and staff from Davidson College to ensure academic rigor, quality assessment, and student success along multiple dimensions (hard skills, soft skills, aspects of the AAC&U values rubrics, etc.).

Who are the instructors?

You’ll be taught by professionals who combine a passion for teaching and learning with direct tech industry experience.  Our instructors are vetted by the Davidson adjunct process, and in some instances Davidson College faculty instruct as well.

How is credit given?

All Adjacent students receive a transcript from Davidson College, which they can take to their home institution for transfer based on individual institutional policies.  We are happy to help students navigate this process and have experience working with academic departments and registrars. We have seen courses transfer as the following types of credit: elective, English, distribution requirement (quant requirement, social justice requirement), computer science, digital studies.

What are the opportunities to interact with professionals/workplaces?

There are many ways that Adjacent facilitates professional development and networking.  

Online this means speaker series with professionals in tech, 1:1 informational interviews with alumni, sessions on teamwork and interviewing prep facilitated by industry experts. 

In person this looks like networking nights with a diverse array of professionals in tech, office visits from startups to established companies across a range of fields (education, health, fintech, etc), lunches/brown bags, conferences, and drop-ins by professionals who discuss topics from code to careers.

What kind of computer do students need?

Students must bring a working laptop with a solid state hard drive and 8 GB of RAM. We strongly recommend a Mac that can run the latest version of OSX, but accept Windows machines. Students fill out a pre-program computer survey to confirm they have a working laptop.

San Francisco Housing & Services

Where do Adjacent students live?

Students live in dorms in the heart of San Francisco and have a very short commute (10-15min) to Adajcent’s learning space.

How are students paired with a roommate?

Students will receive a housing survey prior to arrival asking for your room and roommate preferences. Adjacent will then assign you a roommate.

What resident support is provided?

The dorms are run and managed by a private university and reputable third-party management companies. They provide security, maintenance,  and ensure a safe and welcoming experience for students. In addition to Adjacent staff, live-in RA’s also provide support to Adjacent students.

How are meals provided?

See your specific program for details on if meals are provided. For programs where meals are provided, students typically receive bi-semester stipend.

Tuition & Aid

How do students pay for the program?

Semester program: students typically follow a “home school” model in which they pay their college tuition, room, board, and fees as they would for any other semester.  The home school then transfers funds to Adjacent to cover the cost of Adjacent tuition, housing, and materials. In some instances this also covers meals. You’ll be responsible for your local transportation and personal expenses during your time in San Francisco. 

Summer program: students who attend schools with a mandatory summer semester or block follow the above semester program model.  Otherwise, students pay for Adjacent as they would for other summer programs, i.e. via their own means, fellowships, and scholarships.  Adjacent does offer some scholarship funds, and please specify in your application if you would like to be considered for a scholarship.

What are the deposits?

The Spring Semester 2020 the non-refundable deposit was $500.
The Summer 2020 deposit is $250.

How much personal money should I budget for San Francisco?

While Adjacent provides housing and meals, we recommend students budget for personal city events, transportation, and food.  We are happy to provide an estimated budget upon request, and Adjacent can also connect students with simple meal plan options.


What is the application process like?

Adjacent follows a two-step process:

      • A very brief written application to understand your motivation for doing Adjacent, your experiences to date, and how you approach learning, collaboration, and personal/professional growth.  
      • Qualifying students will then be invited to a short 30-minute interview over video conference.

What does Adjacent look for in the admissions process?

There are no prerequisites, and all students are encouraged to apply and complete the interview process. We like to say that you should put yourself in the position of having a choice — there’s no risk to apply!  In our process we trying to get to know you better and understand what skills and mindsets you would bring to the experience.

How selective is Adjacent?

Adjacent strives to be widely inclusive and selects for students that will be successful in an intensive, collaborative environment. Admission into Adjacent is not guaranteed.