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Northeastern University, Washington State Opportunity Scholarship partner to create scholarships for graduates entering computer science


Seattle, WA – Northeastern University and the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) have partnered to create a first-of-its-kind program that provides financial assistance and student support services to talented undergraduate students from low- and middle-income households. The program specifically targets students who want to work in high-demand science, technology, engineering, math, or health care fields in Washington state.

The new alliance—the first graduate school-level partnership for WSOS—will provide Washington State Opportunity Scholars with a first-semester scholarship from Northeastern to pursue a Master of Science in Computer Science through the university’s Align program at Northeastern’s Seattle campus.

Northeastern’s Align program provides non-computer science majors who have no coding experience with the rigorous academic bridge courses needed to succeed in the computer science master’s program. Because the classes are in the evening and year-round, students are able to maintain their other life commitments and complete the program in 2.5 years or less. A key feature of the program is Northeastern’s signature co-op program—a paid work experience of six to eight months with employers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Zillow.

Northeastern’s Seattle campus currently has more than 250 students enrolled in the computer science Align program and graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate.

WSOS has supported more than 6,700 Washington undergraduate students since its inception. Of the most recently awarded WSOS cohort, 60 percent of participants are women and 72 percent are first-generation college students. Nearly three-quarters are students of color.

“Washington State Opportunity Scholars graduates are ideal candidates for Align and will provide a strong pipeline of highly qualified, homegrown talent for regional employers, helping to increase diversity and narrow the tech talent gap,” said Carla Brodley, dean of

Northeastern’s College of Computer and Information Science. “We are delighted to welcome these students to our community.”

Brodley, who oversees the pioneering Align program, has long declared the need for the tech industry to become home to more women and underrepresented minorities. She wants the collaboration with WSOS to be just the beginning.

Gary Rubens, a prominent Seattle-area entrepreneur and philanthropist who serves on the WSOS board of directors, echoed the sentiments.

“WSOS is committed to building pathways for Washington students into the high-demand fields our economy needs,” Rubens said. “We want to home-grow a workforce ready to take advantage of the many amazing careers in fields like computer science that are booming right here in Washington state. This new partnership will help us launch careers for Washington students. We look forward to years of success with Northeastern, one of the country’s great universities.”

About Northeastern University:

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university that pushes learning and discovery far beyond the boundaries of classroom and campus. This distinctive approach is built on a tradition of actively engaging our university community with industry and nonprofit partners around the world. Northeastern is the recognized leader in experiential learning, powered by the world’s most far-reaching and innovative cooperative education program. We offer students opportunities for professional work, research, service, and global learning with more than 3,000 employers in 136 countries and on all continents, including Antarctica. The same spirit of engagement guides a use-inspired research enterprise that integrates faculty across disciplines to solve global challenges. Our regional campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle; Silicon Valley; and Toronto are platforms for flexible professional learning programs, undergraduate and graduate experiential opportunities, and industry research partnerships.

For more information about the Align Master of Science in Computer Science, visit

For more information about Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, visit

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