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The best university coding bootcamps in 2021

Completing a university coding bootcamp can be a great way to launch a coding career, reskill, or upskill. But what are the best university bootcamps?

The best university coding bootcamps provide accelerated training on the most in-demand technologies and applications for aspiring web developers.

University coding bootcamps prepare students for computer science careers, including programming and development professions. 

Many of the best university bootcamps focus on full-stack web development, covering both front-end and back-end technologies. 

Equipped with valuable skills and a portfolio, bootcamp graduates can qualify for many in-demand computer occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the computer and IT sector will add more than 650,000 positions 2020-30.

What is a university coding bootcamp?

A university coding bootcamp offers focused web development training. Led by university-qualified instructors, these programs teach the most relevant and practical technologies, languages, and applications.

University bootcamp curricula vary, but they often explore front- and back-end developer tools, design, and web applications. Students can learn fundamentals, database architectures, cloud-computing platforms, and data structures. 

Graduates typically earn a certificate of completion, though some schools also offer college credit.

These programs usually run between 3-6 months and provide full- or part-time online or in-person instruction. The accelerated training can lead to entry-level coding positions or help experienced professionals advance their technology careers. Learners can pursue a bootcamp while they work or even as they tackle a degree.

While bootcamps are generally unaccredited, prospective students can look to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting for information on program outcomes. 

What's the difference between a university bootcamp and a degree?

A university coding bootcamp differs from a computer science degree in several ways. 

In general, the best coding bootcamps offer more concentrated training, omitting electives and general education credits to focus only on the most relevant and useful topics for the field. As a result, bootcamps take only a few months to complete and cost much less than a degree.

Why enroll in a university coding bootcamp?

Many aspiring computer science professionals wonder, are bootcamps worth it? The best university bootcamps give students in-demand practical and technical skills. The programs offer flexible online and part-time study options. They cost much less than a degree. 

A student can usually complete a bootcamp in less than six months. As they study, they can develop a portfolio of their practical experiences and applications. 

Many schools also offer career assistance in the form of job placements, career fairs, and networking opportunities to bring even more value to the programs.

Best university coding bootcamps

To identify the best university-offered coding bootcamps, we assessed schools on the following criteria: programmatic quality, diverse scheduling options, institutional reputation, and affordability. 

The best bootcamp for you is the one that fits your lifestyle and brings you closer to your career goals. Therefore, this list of bootcamps is presented in alphabetical order.

Columbia University

Columbia Engineering Coding Boot Camp

In-person location: New York

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $13,995-$14,995

Financing options: Interest-free payment plans or upfront payments

Job placement assistance: Yes

A program for aspiring full-stack web developers, Columbia's coding bootcamp offers front and back-end training and technology skills through live virtual classes. 

The training covers JavaScript, MySQL databases, and server-side development, along with API interactions, progressive web applications, and browser-based technologies. Classes include online discussions, lab work, and portfolio projects. 

Students typically spend between 4-20 hours in classes each week and at least 20 hours/week on study and assignments. Enrollees can access Columbia's extensive employer partner network, career services assistance, and career fairs. 

Prospective students must complete an admission interview and pass a problem-solving assessment. 

Northwestern University

Northwestern Coding Bootcamp

In-person location: Chicago

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $12,495

Financing options: Upfront payments, student loans, or payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

Northwestern's coding bootcamp focuses on full-stack development and covers database theory, HTML5, JavaScript, and MySQL, along with Agile management methodologies and progressive web applications.

The program teaches students to work with some of the most in-demand technologies and combines theory with practical assignments and peer collaborations.

Northwestern's full-time courses run entirely online for four hours a day, Monday to Friday, whereas part-time classes take place on various weekday nights and Saturdays. The bootcamp has four start dates per year. Prospective students need to complete an interview and a problem-solving assessment for admission.

Rutgers University

Rutgers Coding Bootcamp

In-person location: Somerset and Jersey City

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $11,995-$12,995

Financing options: Upfront payments or payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

Designed for aspiring professional web developers, Rutgers' coding bootcamp includes lessons in JavaScript, browser-based technologies, server-side development, and API interactions. Students delve into databases and quality assurance topics while building portfolios. The online training combines programming tutorials, class discussions, and practical assignments. 

Students spend 4-20 hours in virtual classrooms each week, plus at least 20-25 hours of additional study outside class. For admission into this university coding bootcamp, applicants must complete a critical thinking assessment and an interview.

University of Arizona

Continuing and Professional Education Coding Boot Camp

In-person location: Tucson and Phoenix

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $9,995-$12,995

Financing options: Upfront payments, scholarships, and payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

UArizona's coding bootcamp provides training in full-stack development for students looking to enter the world of web development. The university bootcamp curriculum features training in JavaScript, server-side and database architectures, and data structures and algorithms. All courses are online.

Part-time learners typically spend four hours in class and 20+ hours studying and completing assignments each week, whereas full-time students spend 20 hours in class and at least 25 hours in study and assignments each week. 

Applicants are interviewed and must pass a problem-solving assessment for admission.

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley Coding Bootcamp

In-person location: Berkeley, Belmont, and San Francisco

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $12,995

Financing options: Upfront payments and interest-free payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

Berkeley's coding bootcamp provides front- and back-end programming skills for aspiring web developers. The curriculum includes courses in computer science fundamentals, JavaScript, server-side development, and browser-based technologies. The university coding bootcamp features interactive online classes, self-study lessons, and real-world projects.

Part-time students dedicate approximately four weekly in-class hours and over 20 out-of-class hours, and full-time students spend 20 weekly in-class hours and over 25 out-of-class hours. Learners benefit from Berkeley's professional network of over 250 organizations. 

For admission, applicants must complete a problem-solving assessment and an interview. 

University of California, Irvine

Coding Bootcamp at UCI Continuing Education

In-person location: Irvine

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $12,995

Financing options: Upfront payments, loan financing, and interest-free payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

In UCI's coding bootcamp, students learn full-stack web development, including training in databases, browser-based technologies, and command-line fundamentals. Learners also work with in-demand technologies, services, and languages, including Python and Amazon Web Services. Students can complete technical workshops and connect with UCI's partner organization network.

This bootcamp has four and courses combine interactive lessons, project-based teamwork, and practical assignments. Full-time classes run Monday to Friday, while part-time classes run two evenings a week and Saturdays. 

For admission, applicants must complete an assessment and an interview. 

University of California, Los Angeles

The Coding Bootcamp at UCLA Extension

In-person location: Los Angeles

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $11,995-$12,995

Financing options: Upfront payment and payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

Providing full-stack web coding training, UCLA's coding bootcamp appeals to aspiring web developers. The training covers computer science, HTML, JavaScript, and database theory, along with server-side architectures and advanced frameworks. Classes feature teacher instruction, self-study, group work, and practical projects that students can include in their portfolios.

All university coding bootcamp classes run online. Depending on their schedule, learners spend between 4-20 hours in class each week and more than 20 hours studying and completing assignments. 

For admission, applicants need to complete an interview and a logic-based assessment.

University of Central Florida

UCF Coding Bootcamp

In-person location: Sanford, Florida and Orlando

Available online? Yes

Format: Online full- or part-time

Length: 12 or 24 weeks

Cost: $11,495-$12,495

Financing options: Upfront payments, scholarships, and payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

UCF's coding bootcamp helps prepare aspiring web developers with training in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, JQuery, and MySQL databases. Students also learn front-end fundamentals and frameworks and server-side architectures. Training may also include Amazon Web Services, C#, and Python.

All instructor-led classes take place online, Monday to Friday for full-time students and two nights a week and Saturdays for part-time learners. 

University bootcamp participants benefit from UCF's partner network, industry events, and career coaches. Applicants must complete an interview and a critical thinking assessment. 

University of Miami

Coding Bootcamp

In-person location: Coral Gables, Florida

Available online? Yes

Format: Online part-time

Length: 24 weeks

Cost: $10,995

Financing options: Upfront payments, scholarships, and payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

Aimed at aspiring full-stack web developers, UM's coding bootcamp's curriculum covers CSS, Bootstrap, MySQL databases, and API interactions. Students also work on self-study topics in Amazon Web Services, Java, and Python. The training combines web development theory and applications in interactive online classroom discussions and practical assignments. 

Students in the university coding bootcamp spend approximately four hours in class each week, plus at least 20 hours studying and completing at-home assignments. Program applicants need to complete an interview and a critical thinking assessment. 

University of Wisconsin

Coding Bootcamp

In-person location: Madison, Wisconsin

Available online? Yes

Format: Online part-time

Length: 24 weeks

Cost: $11,995

Financing options: Upfront payment, scholarships, and payment plans

Job placement assistance: Yes

In partnership with Trilogy Education Services, UW's coding bootcamp prepares students for full-stack web development careers. The training includes front-end design, MERN stack, object-oriented programming, and the leading programming languages. Each week, in addition to four hours of class, learners typically spend at least 25-30 hours studying and completing assignments.

Classes feature live, interactive discussions, practical projects, and self-study lessons. Learners compile application and project work in their portfolios as they move through the program. 

The university bootcamp begins quarterly. Applicants must complete a problem-solving assessment and an interview for admission.

Vanderbilt University

Coding Bootcamp

In-person location: Nashville, Tennessee

Available online? Yes

Format: Online part-time

Length: 24 weeks

Cost: $10,995

Financing options: Upfront payments, payment plans, and scholarships 

Job placement assistance: Yes

In Vanderbilt's coding bootcamp, students develop full-stack web development knowledge and skills. They study front-end frameworks, command-line interfaces, and database theory, along with some of the most popular programming languages. Students complete interactive online classes, peer collaborations, and portfolio-building practical exercises. 

The university coding bootcamp classes run for four hours a week, plus weekly challenges and at least 20 hours of homework and studying. Applicants must complete a problem-solving assessment and an interview.

Types of university bootcamps

Prospective students may come across various types of university coding bootcamps. Some feature university and organization partnerships, some offer college credit, and others offer non-credit continuing education opportunities.

Created by partner organizations 

Several organizations, such as Trilogy Education ServicesNoodle Partners, and Stack Education, have partnered with universities to offer coding bootcamps and related programs.

These organizations often have a vested interest in supporting the technology industry. They assist schools to build and deliver useful training programs.

Offer college credit

Several schools offer college credit to students who complete bootcamps. Institutions like Westcliff University and Yale University award credits to incentivize students to pursue the bootcamp or earn a degree at a later date. These coding bootcamp college credits can then be applied toward a degree program.

Continuing education, without college credit

Most university coding bootcamps fall in this category. Colleges run these continuing education programs so new, current, and former students can bolster their skills and credentials. The following bootcamps may not award college credit but they do appeal to employers.

Do coding bootcamps offer college credit?

Some university bootcamps offer college credit. In these cases, graduates may earn transfer credits if they pursue a degree in a related discipline. 

Do employers accept coding bootcamps?

Yes. Many employers accept university coding bootcamps as formal training. Students can also use their bootcamp portfolios to demonstrate practical experience. 

Are coding bootcamps worth it in 2021?

Yes. The best university bootcamps provide great value for students looking for accelerated and focused training. Bootcamps can lead to employment and higher earnings.