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Google CSSI Summer Program UTLIMATE Guide

Google CSSI Summer Program Ultimate Guide

Eligibility for Google CSSI Summer Program and Quick Facts

The Google Computer Science Summer Institute (Google CSSI) is a three-week paid computer science summer enrichment program for graduating high school seniors. Google CSSI gives participants a stipend of $1500.  For the summer of 2022, the Google high school program is virtual on Google Meet from 9AM-1PM in your local time zone. To apply for Google CSSI you must be a graduating high school senior who intends to enroll full-time in a four-year university in the U.S or Canada and plans to major in computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or related major. You also need to have completed a high school algebra course. You can’t apply if you are going to enroll in a community college. You also can’t apply if you are going to take a gap year, but you can apply if you have already taken one gap year and are going to go into college in the fall after you complete Google CSSI’s summer program. You also can’t apply if you have a parent or guardian who works at or has worked at Google. International applicants can apply for Google CSSI as long as they will be enrolled at a university in the US or Canada and will be in the US, Mexico, or Canada for the duration of CSSI. There is no age requirement to participate, but you have to be a high school senior (or gap year student) who is enrolling in a four-year college the fall following the summer of your Google CSSI.

People standing together in Google CSSI summer program

January is usually when they open their application for new students. All Google CSSI students have to attend every day of the program. They can’t have a conflicting schedule. If a schedule conflict emerges, Google CSSI says that you should contact them at cssi@google.com so that they can find another student to take your place. The deadline for this summer’s program was 11:59PM PST on April 29, 2022. Accepted applicants will be notified in late May. This year the program is virtual and it will take place from July 11 to August 5, 2022. 

Google CSSI acceptance rate: It was stated on Reddit here that in 2018 they had 2,000 applications and accepted 300 people (15% acceptance rate).

 

What do I need for the application | How to get into Google CSSI Summer Program

You must submit either an unofficial or official copy of your transcript. Submitting your SAT or ACT scores are optional. You don’t have to provide an official SAT/ACT score report, but rather you will type in your score. Also, Google CSSI aims to accept students from underrepresented minority backgrounds, so you should put that you are underrepresented if you are. In your application, you should also convey a passion for computer science. There are a couple of short essay responses that you have to fill out as well. According to here, they will only review applications if all materials are included. After the application deadline, you will receive an online challenge that is part of the application process and that you have to complete. The online challenge has a 30-minute time limit and consists of logical reasoning and problem solving questions in multiple-choice format.

In your essays, make sure you don’t elaborate too much on your coding experience because they say on their website that CSSI is not intended for students who are familiar with multiple coding languages, have completed AP CS A, or have experience building apps. They say that CSSI is made for students who show passion and excitement for computer science. They accept and urge applications from students that have taken AP Computer Science Principles or equivalent classes, if offered at their high school. If your high school does not offer CS courses, knowledge of block-based programming is recommended.

 

What you do in the in-person Google CSSI Summer Program

For the in-person program, it was all expenses paid, including food, housing, and transportation. However, Google CSSI only provides round-trip airfare within the US and Canada. When Google CSSI was in person you would spend weekdays in a Google office learning the fundamentals of computer science and other life skills from Google engineers. They had panelists who were people across Google who work in technology, but in different roles, so there were people who work in engineering, user experience, research, analysis, and program management, so you get a taste of what it would be like to work in any one of these roles.

Students in Google CSSI summer program

Students would learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, App Engine, and a bit of App Inventor on Android. Participants were placed in either Google’s Mountain View, California, Boston, or Seattle/Kirkland office locations. Participants got the whole Google experience, and got to be around micro kitchens and cafes and other people such as Google engineers and interns! At the end of the day, participants resided in a dorm at a local university. They were also able to get a tour of the university campus. Interns would have a shuttle that transported them from the dorm to their Google HQ in the morning. Students are provided a travel stipend for the day camp which will be enough to cover the cost to get to and from Google for the duration of the program. On weekends there were activities around the city such as scavenger hunts and movie nights. There were also lunches with Google interns. The first two weeks were for learning the fundamentals of computer science from Google engineers, while the third week was for building an application (final project) in small groups and presenting it to Googlers in local offices. In addition, in one of the virtual CSSI summer programs, students were given a $500 scholarship at the end of the program.

Can I choose my own roommate for Google CSSI Summer Program?

According to here, if you know another person at Google CSSI and you want to share a room with him/her, they will try to accommodate your request. However, they say that they want students to network, make friends, and room with someone they haven’t met.

 

What you do in virtual Google CSSI Summer Program

Google CSSI is a three-week paid computer science summer enrichment program for graduating high school seniors. Google CSSI gives participants a stipend of $1500.  For the summer of 2022, the program is virtual on Google Meet from 9AM-1PM in your local time zone. In the program, you will learn about Google’s culture, community, and the internship and career opportunities Google offers. Throughout the program, you will interact daily with Google engineers, industry experts, and your peers. It is a project-based curriculum designed to prepare you for your first year of CS in college, and you will have developmental workshops each week centered around skill, career, identity, and self-care development. 

I asked someone I know who did the virtual Google CSSI to tell me her experience and this is what she said:

There were two tracks for CSSI: beginners and intermediate. Students were given an online assessment after they were accepted into the program, so they could place students correctly. A few weeks prior to the program, Google also sent students merch, which was nice of them since they weren’t able to physically experience Google. There were different times for the different cohorts. It was a four-hour time slot with a quick break in between. They met virtually through Google meets on the weekdays for four weeks. The first three weeks were for learning basic concepts of programming like classes, methods, parameters, etc in p5.js. Then in the last week, they worked in teams to build a project using the skills they learned. On the last day, they presented their projects to their cohort, mentors, and other Google folks. According to the person who told me about her experience, CSSI was not a huge time commitment. According to her, she was still able to rest, travel, hangout with friends, and work at another program while doing the program. She told me that Google CSSI has helped her resume standout during the application season, which has been really satisfying as a first-year.

 

Google CSSI Summer Program’s partnerships with other colleges 

CSSI partners with five colleges to customize the CSSI Google for their incoming first-year students. Students taking part in a cohort with their college will learn from CS professors and Google alongside other students who will be attending the same college in the fall. Students that plan to go to one of the five schools listed below can start applying by emailing the CSSI Program Administrator for their college to find out about that college’s application information and program details for that college. The CSSI Program administrator emails are listed next to their respective college name below. If you will be attending one of the below colleges, please do not apply via the basic application on the CSSI homepage here. Your college has a different application for you to complete.

Partner Colleges:

  • Loyola Marymount University: ray.toal@lmu.edu | Here is the link to Loyola’s page about Google CSSI.
  • San Jose State University: mathew.stowe@sjsu.edu
  • Northeastern Illinois University: m-duarte@neiu.edu and elcentro@neiu.edu | Here is the link to Northeastern’s page about Google CSSI. That page also contains their online application for their Google CSSI.
  • California State University, Chico: jraigoza@csuchico.edu
  • Queens College, CUNY: sayashmini.madhow@qc.cuny.edu | Here is the link to Queens College’s Google CSSI page.

If your school is not listed above and you want to bring the CSSI summer program to your college, reach out to cssi-extension@google.com.

I want to withdraw my Google High School Internship application

Email cssi@google.com that you want to withdraw your application. If you don’t feel like Google CSSI is for you, you can read my guide on how to find an internship in high school! There is also a master list of high school internships across the world on the home page of horizonworldwide.org (the website you’re on now)! You can also read my post about internships for high school students in Chicago.

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