Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to many of the common questions that applicants ask us about the MLH Fellowship.

General FAQs

What is Major League Hacking (MLH)?

Founded in 2013, Major League Hacking (MLH) is the largest community of early career developers worldwide. We support 115,000+ student developers, designers, and engineers each year through thousands of on-campus events like workshops, hackathons, and career fests. MLH has been a community first, mission driven organization from the beginning.

We measure our success by the number of hackers we empower, and we want to keep it that way. That’s why we made it official and became a Certified B Corporation in 2016. B Corps are for-profit enterprises that are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their community, not just their shareholders.

What is the MLH Fellowship?

The MLH Fellowship is a 12-week internship alternative for aspiring technologists. Our programs pair fun, educational curriculum with practical experience that you can put on your resume right away. It's collaborative, remote, and happens under the guidance of expert mentors.

The program is divided into tracks that align with different career interests that Fellows have.

Where does this program take place?

This is a fully remote program. You can participate from your home or anywhere else you can focus. You will need to have access to a high speed internet connection that supports video chat and your space should be quiet with limited background noise or distractions.

How often does the program take place?

We run around three 12-week batches of the MLH Fellowship per year. The program pages have specific deadlines and timing for each batch. However, applications are processed on a rolling basis, so it’s important to apply early.

What are the eligibility requirements to participate?

Each program track has slightly different criteria that is listed on the page. In order to be eligible to participate in any, you must meet those criteria and the following shared criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Reside in a country not embargoed by the United States
  • Able to commit 30 hours per week to this program
  • Know how to code in at least one language
  • Proficient English speaker
  • Have access to a video call quality Internet connection
Do I need to know how to code already? At what level?

We do not have the capacity to teach you how to code, so you will need to be proficient in at least one programming language to participate. You should have some experience working on a variety of projects using that language and feel comfortable using it to solve real-world, practical problems.

Experience levels usually range from intermediate through advanced for each language. Based on your experience level, we will try to match you with an appropriate project.

If you're looking for ways to build your portfolio and skills, we would recommend attending one of our upcoming hackathons or workshops.

Is there a stipend for participation in the program?

Yes, we are pleased to offer a stipend to accepted Fellows who require one in order to participate in the fellowship. The stipend won’t replace a full-time job, but it can help offset some of your living and educational expenses during the program. The amount of the stipend is determined by your track and the country you are residing in during the program.

Is the program open to High School/Bootcamp/non-traditional students or professionals?

Yes, the MLH Fellowship is open to all students, regardless of where they live and what type of institution they attend. We are also opening slots to a limited number of non-student professionals.

What kinds of projects will I be involved with?

Fellows will collaborate on projects that align their personal interests with the general demands of industry. We select projects based on feedback from the program's various sponsors, ability for Fellows to successfully collaborate on real-world software issues. While projects span a variety of languages and frameworks, the 2-3 projects that each Pod supports will use a related set of technologies and tooling.

How are Fellows matched to projects?

Qualified applicants are matched to educational projects based on a variety of factors. These include, but are not limited to: relevant programming language, framework, or tooling experience; timezone; and weekly availability.

What is the required time commitment from Fellows?

We estimate that you’ll spend roughly 30 hours per week on this program including networking and other fun events. You should expect to spend about 20-25 hours of your week collaborating on your project and the rest of the time with your mentor or peers to level up your skills.

In order for your to be able to collaborate with your Pod, every Pod will have a set of program hours based on the timezones of the members. You should assume that you’ll need to be online Monday through Friday from around 10am until 6pm in your local time. You are welcome to contribute additional hours to the program; however, it is not a requirement.

Does this cost money?

No -- for all Fellowship cohorts beginning January 2022 or later, there is no application fee and no cost to participate in the program itself once you are accepted.

Can I apply/participate in multiple programs?

Due to the overwhelming number of applications we receive, you'll only be able to apply for 1 program per Batch. We recommend spending some time thinking about what you want to get out of the program before applying. Once you've applied, we won't be able to change your application.

Is this considered an internship, job, or any form of employment?

No. The MLH Fellowship is an educational fellowship program. Think about it like taking a class. Fellows may receive an educational stipend as part of their participation to help offset living and educational expenses during the course of the program.

Prep Program

What is the MLH Fellowship Prep Program?

The Prep Program is an intensive 3-week experience, during which you'll build out your portfolio of personal projects, experiment with new technologies, and collaborate in small groups during a short, impactful hackathon sprint. It is designed to quickly build technical skill and experience for candidates who wish to pursue the full MLH Fellowship in the future. It’s basically a bite-sized version of the Fellowship track, specifically designed to build your technical skills and get you ready for an internship or a future batch of the MLH Fellowship.

Is there a stipend for participation in the Prep Program?

No -- given the short time commitment of the Prep Program, we are not offering a stipend to accepted Fellows in this program at this time.

What is the required time commitment for the Prep Program?

Fellows in the Prep Program will be expected to spend roughly 30 hours per week on this program including networking and other fun events. You should expect to spend about 20-25 hours of your week collaborating on your project and the rest of the time with your mentor or peers to level up your skills. The only difference between this and the full fellowship is that it is 3 weeks long instead of 12.

In order for you to be able to collaborate with your Pod, every Pod will have a set of program hours based on the timezones of the members. You should assume that you’ll need to be online Monday through Friday from around 10am until 6pm in your local time. You are welcome to contribute additional hours to the program; however, it is not a requirement.

Are the eligibility requirements to participate in the Prep Program different?

No -- while each program track, including the Prep Program, has slightly different criteria that is listed on the page, all Fellows must meet the following shared criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Reside in a country not embargoed by the United States
  • Able to commit 30 hours per week to this program
  • Know how to code in at least one language
  • Proficient English speaker
  • Have access to a video call quality Internet connection

Applications & Admissions

I made a mistake on my application, can I correct it?

Unfortunately due to the overwhelming volume of applications we received and the short timeline to process all of them, we cannot accommodate changes to applications. We understand that this situation is frustrating, especially if you were rejected due to a mistake, and apologize for the situation.

While you are welcome to reapply, it is unlikely that we will make it to your application. However, run the MLH Fellowship regularly and hope to see you reapply in the future!

What is the interview process like?

Applicants start by completing a written application, which covers their eligibility, developer experience, and reason for wanting to participate in the program. Applicants who pass the written application are invited to participate in a brief video interview, like you'd have with a college admissions office, which focuses on getting to know them better. Finally, applicants who pass the initial interview are invited to participate in a more detailed technical interview focused on evaluating a piece of code they wrote in the past.

We want to provide applicants with as much notice as possible, so applications are reviewed & invitations to become a Fellow are extended on a rolling basis.

Do you have any advice for writing my essay questions?

We receive an overwhelming demand from students so it's important to spend time writing your essay responses. Since everybody applying for the role “needs a job”, you should focus on what’s unique about your circumstances that makes you interesting or noteworthy. You don't need to hit the word limit, but adding more clarity will strengthen your application.

The most powerful essays tell a personal story that’s unique and relevant to the opportunity. For us, these typically tell the tale of how someone fell in love with coding, hackathons, or the CS community.

I finished the technical interview, does that mean I'm guaranteed a position?

No. Once an applicant has finished their technical interview, they are moved to a final review stage. This is where we review all evaluations made by our team of interviewers to decide if we want to move the applicant forward. These candidates are matched to Pods based on their availability before being enrolled.

It can take a week or so for us to fill all of our Pods once offers are sent, as a number of applicants defer to later batches. If this happens, we look at more applications in Final Review to move forwards.

When am I likely to hear back?

Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis. However, we focus on the next batch of applications first to ensure we can get through everyone before the program begins. If you apply for a later batch (say, applying for a Fall batch in January), it may take a few months before we get to your application but you'll be notified when we begin reviewing it.

Most applicants who apply for the next batch will be reviewed within 2-3 weeks of receiving your application. In our most recent cohort, the average time from application to decision was approximately 40 days.

Once an applicant finishes the technical interview, they are moved into Final Review. Applicants in Final Review may not hear back until closer to the start of the batch when we begin to allocate our Pods.

I was rejected, can I be reconsidered or apply again?

Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming demand from students, we cannot reconsider applications after they have been rejected. We understand that this can be frustrating, especially if you believe the decision was made based on a mistake or a one-time issue on your end. However, we plan to run the MLH Fellowship regularly and welcome anyone who meets the program criteria to reapply for a future batch.

To help you understand our decision and to improve your chances of getting accepted in a future program, we’re doing our best to provide clear feedback to everyone we reject from the program.

I forgot what I wrote on my application, can you send me a copy?

Once you've submitted your application, we won't be able to send you a copy of your application. We recommend that you make a copy of your essay questions and the code sample you submitted so you can refer to them if you're invited to an interview.

I sent an email to fellowship@mlh.io about my application, when am I likely to hear back?

We try and respond to emails as quickly as possible, but it may take us up to 30 business days to get back to you.

Have another question?

We'll do our best to answer it.