Launch Internship Program
Launch FAQ
Here are the answers to the most common questions we hear.
Still have questions? Email us at
Applying to Launch
What is the timeline for the application process and receiving acceptance?
From start to finish, the Launch application process takes about 1 month if you move through all three stages. Our application process has three steps: a written application, a skills challenge, and an interview. You will be notified after each stage as to whether or not you'll continue in the application process.

If you make it to the interview stage, you should hear back within about a week after your interview regarding your acceptance status. From there, you'll sign up for an orientation to learn more about the program, ask questions, and meet other accepted students. If you decide to accept a spot in Launch, we'll let you know all of the next steps regarding on-boarding and training.
Can I apply to more than one track?
Yes, you can apply to up to two Launch tracks – just indicate which track(s) you're interested in on your application. If you move on to the second step of the application process, we'll send you the Skills Challenges for both tracks you're interested in. You would need to complete both of the Skills Challenges if you still want to be considered for two tracks. At that point you are also welcome to only continue applying to one track and complete just one of the Skills Challenges.
Can I apply if I'm not an undergraduate student?
The short answer is yes, but we typically can only accept recent college graduates who have been out of college for no more than about 2-3 years. We've found that our program makes the most sense for and is most beneficial to current undergraduate students or fairly recent college graduates.
Do I need to go to a certain college or university to apply?
Nope! Students from all colleges and universities are welcome to apply to Launch.
Can I apply if I'm an international student or if I'm not a US citizen?
International students, green card holders, and DACA students are welcome to apply. We cannot accept undocumented immigrants, unfortunately, due to IRS requirements.

Some of our company partners prefer or are only able to hire interns that are US citizens. Because of this, we want to be up-front that any non-citizens accepted to the Launch program will likely have fewer internship opportunities to consider than other students.

If you have questions or are unsure if you should apply, please email before applying to the program.
Suggested Skills & Prerequisities
Do I need any skills coming into the program?
There are no skills required to apply. However, coming in with some experience (suggestions below) can be helpful. If you don't have the suggested experience for your track but you're up for a bit more of a challenge, you are still more than welcome to apply.
What are the suggested skills for each of the tracks?
For the Data Science track, a basic knowledge of statistics and/or some experience with Python is helpful but not required. Taking Forge's Node, Node Lite, or Node Pro skills course is also helpful but not required to apply.

For the Digital Marketing track, taking Forge's Convert skills course is helpful but not required to apply. Strong writing skills and a good eye for design can also be helpful. Some experience with general business knowledge (like Comm 1800 or a similar course) is also helpful but not required.

For the Software Engineering track, taking at least one intro CS class (CS 1110, 1111, or 1112) or another intro to programming course in high school, online, or through another organization is very helpful. Personal programming experience with online tutorials or personal projects is helpful as well. Taking Forge's Source, Node, Node Lite, or Node Pro skills course is also helpful but not required to apply (all of these courses cover programming fundamentals).

For the UX Design track, some design experience and a good eye for design is helpful but not required. Taking Forge's Wireframe or Vector skills course is helpful but not required to apply. Taking an intro psychology class or intro art/design class can also be helpful but is not required.

These suggestions are NOT requirements to apply, but these are a few ways you can explore and get familiar with the subjects covered in each track before the program begins.
Launch Scheduling & Logistics
Do I have to be available for the whole program?
Yes, you must be available for all 3 weeks of summer training (May 23 – June 10), full-time, and all 9 weeks of the internship period (June 13 – August 12), full-time. You will also need to be able to commit to about 20 total hours of pre-summer training (called "Countdown") over the course of the school year.
Can I take a vacation during Launch?
No, we cannot permit vacations or planned time off from May 23rd through August 12th, Monday-Friday. Your weekends are, of course, free — but you otherwise need to be able to commit to the entire duration of the Launch program.
Can I work a part-time job during Launch?
You can as long as it does not interfere with training hours (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm) or your internship hours (typically 9:00am-5:00pm). However, we generally do not recommend trying to work another job on top of Launch.
Is training online?
Launch training is fully online. Offering online training allows Launch students to train with us from anywhere, no matter what school they go to or where home might be. We've run Launch fully online for two summers now, and our instructors understand what makes online learning a great experience. They also get the things that make online learning not-so-awesome, and they teach the way they would want to be taught in an online setting.
Will internships be remote?
There are both in-person and remote internships available through the program. Remote vs. in-person work is determined by each company depending on their preferences and ability to have employees work in-person.

We ask each company whether they'd prefer interns to work in-person or remotely so you can consider this factor before applying to a given internship.
Does Forge provide housing over the summer?
No, Forge does not provide housing over the summer. There will be both remote and in-person internship opportunities and the ones you apply for are up to you. Students should not apply for an in-person position if they are not willing or not able to relocate to that company's city for the duration of the internship period.
Are there any social events during Launch?
Yes! Now that social gatherings are permitted again, we're currently planning to run both in-person and online social events for Launch 2022. We recognize that things continue to shift regarding variants of the COVID-19 virus and we plan to stay informed on CDC/Government recommendations regarding safe gathering practices as the year progresses. We will take these recommendations seriously and all social events are, of course, optional to attend.
Payment & Tuition
How much is tuition for the program?
Tuition for the Launch program is $3,800. You can read more about tuition & what it includes here.
How much will I get paid for the summer?
Most Launch interns will be paid $20-25/hour full-time for 9 weeks for their internship. The pay rate for each opportunity is detailed on each Launch internship profile so you can make an informed decision before applying for a given role.

After taxes and paying back tuition, the average Launch student earns $3,250. We can't determine exactly how much a student will earn because it depends on which company a student confirms an internship with, that company's pay rate, the student's personal tax situation, etc. However, we only work with companies who can facilitate paid internships at at least $20/hr or higher. We encourage you to read our Payment and Tuition page for details.
When do I get paid?
This depends on the company you confirm an internship with! Our company partners have different pay schedules (often biweekly or monthly). So how often you get paid depends on the company you intern with, but you'd start getting paid according to your company's pay schedule after you start interning in mid-June.
Do I get my deposit back?
Students who do not confirm an internship through the program or who choose to leave the program will receive their deposit back minus an operational fee. Otherwise, students who accept an offer from one of our company partners and commit to continuing in Launch will have their deposit applied towards their tuition balance.
Company Matching
How does the internship matching process work?
As company partners come on board with us, you'll familiarize yourself with available opportunities through our in-depth internship profiles. We create these in collaboration with each company to share information about the company itself, the internship details & requirements, and a bit about the person or team you'd be working with.

Internship opportunities are shared starting in mid to late fall semester. The earlier you apply to Launch, the sooner you'll be on-boarded and prepped to start the Launch company matching process.

From roughly November-April there are new internship opportunities (usually 2-6 per skill track) available each week, depending on the track you're in. When new opportunities go live, you'll have about 3 days to review them and submit a short form to let the Launch team know which ones you'd be interested in interviewing for.

From there, we send each company the list of students who want to interview for their position. They review those student profiles & resumes (you'll work on these items during Countdown!) and then the company decides who they'd like to interview for their position(s). After interviews, the company will make the final call on who they want to select, and the Launch team will confirm & finalize the match between both parties.

Our team will let you know if you are not selected by a company after an interview. You'll then get the chance to review the next round of internship opportunities, submit preferences on those, and continue interviewing for new opportunities.
Can I interview with multiple Launch partner companies at the same time?
Yes! You are welcome to submit interest in multiple companies at the same time. We'll send your student profile to any companies you're genuinely interested in, but it is ultimately up to each company to decide who they'd like to interview.

This means that yes, there's a chance you could be selected to interview with multiple companies at the same time - it just depends on what each company is looking for and who they choose to interview. This also means there's a chance that you could receive more than one internship offer at the same time. Should that happen, you'll have 7 days to make a decision on which offer you'd like to accept. The Launch team is happy to help you navigate this scenario should it come up for you.
If I receive an offer from a Launch company, do I have to take it?
The short answer is no, but we would expect a pretty serious reason as to why not. We expect students to do some thorough & thoughtful research on any opportunities they want to be considered for, so students should not be interviewing with companies they don't ultimately see themselves interning with.

Students should also not interview with companies that they know they can't accept a position with (due to the company's location, desire for an in-person intern, the pay rate, etc.). These factors should be considered before submitting interest in interviewing with a given company.

If a student receives and denies multiple internship offers from our company partners, we'll need to schedule a meeting to discuss continuation in the program.
Am I guaranteed to get an internship through this program?
No, there is not a 100% guarantee you'll get an internship through the Launch program. This means you can look for internships elsewhere while concurrently considering Launch internship opportunities, if you'd like.

The likelihood of securing an internship through Launch depends on a few factors, including how many companies a student submits interest in, how well an individual student prepares for a given interview, and of course, what each company is looking for. Each company makes the final decision on who they would like to confirm as their intern.

There will be dozens of internship opportunities available with various companies. We encourage students to be open-minded to the opportunities while still being thoughtful about where they submit interest. We strongly encourage doing some solid research on any company you get an interview with and prepping & practicing before an interview. We have tips on this which are covered in Countdown training.
How many companies should I expect to interview with before I'm matched?
Most students interview with an average of 4-6 of our company partners before they're matched — that's totally normal for our program and far lower than the average amount of internships we've heard that students apply for outside of the Launch program.
When will I know what company I'm matched with?
Matching is a rolling process so not everybody gets matched with an internship at once! Internship opportunities are shared throughout the school year as companies continue to come on board with the Launch program.

There are four total application rounds — three in the fall and one in the spring. The earlier you apply, the earlier you'll get to start reviewing internship opportunities.
What happens if I find an internship outside of the program?
If you receive an internship offer outside of the program and want to take it, that's totally fine so long as you have not already confirmed an internship with one of our company partners.

Students who are not yet matched with one of our internships are welcome to accept an outside offer, leave the program, and receive their deposit back minus an operational fee.

Students who have accepted an offer from one of our company partners should understand that is a serious commitment. If a student were to accept an outside offer or drop out of the program after confirming an internship from a Launch company partner, they would be subject to withdrawal fees for breaking their contract and withdrawing from the program.
What internship locations are available?
Our main internship locations are Charlottesville, Richmond, Washington, D.C. & the NOVA area, California, New York, Texas, and Maryland.

That is not an exclusive list though – we have placed past interns at companies based in cities like Boston, MA, Norfolk, VA, Denver, CO, Atlanta, GA, Wilmington, NC, St. Louis, MO, Newark, NJ and more. We have even placed one student at a company in Medellin, Colombia! There may be other cities available for Launch 2022 that are not currently listed here.

Many internships, regardless of location, are remote or remote-optional.
Why can't I see a list of all of the internships available?
The matching process runs throughout the fall and spring semesters, roughly from November to late April. Internship opportunities are shared as company partners come onboard with us. More internship opportunities will be shared with you every week and you can submit interest in those as they come in. Because of this, there will not be one comprehensive list of internships to "pick from".
Launch Training
What does the commitment look like during the school year?
Once you've been accepted to Launch, you'll start doing soft skills training with us in the first portion of Countdown training (in either the fall or spring semester, depending on when you apply) to prepare for the company matching process. This will be about 6-8 hours of training total, as well as some tasks to do outside of training like working on your resume, practicing interview questions, etc. This training is required in order to take part in company matching.

Then, during the spring semester, you'll complete part two of Countdown training to begin learning the technical skills you'll need for summer training and your internship. The technical portion of Countdown training will involve 15 hours of training in total, though some students may need to work a bit more outside of set training sessions depending on their skill levels coming into the program.
What are the hours for summer training?
Summer training is full-time, from 8:30am-5:30pm (from May 23 – June 10). There is a one hour break for lunch as well as a few shorter breaks throughout the day.

We know these are long days, but this is part of how we pack so much learning into such a short amount of time. Most students feel adjusted to the training hours after the first week, and almost everyone says that the rigor of the training portion of the program sets them up for success during the internship portion.

Only students who confirm an internship with a Launch company partner will participate in summer training.
What does a typical day of summer training look like?
Launch training is a mix of instructor-led lessons, hands-on group work, individual projects, group and solo presentations, and a weekly one-on-one check-in with your instructor or TA. Launch training is meant to push you and challenge you — you will learn and make more in 3 weeks than you have in any college class.

In the working world, you might not know everything you need to know when you start a project. We've designed our training to prepare you for that. Our general rule of thumb in training is to train you on 60-80% of what you need to know, and then you're given hands-on projects that will lead you to learn and discover the rest on your own or through collaboration with peers. We've found that this learning style sets students up to be more autonomous and successful at their internships and in future endeavors.
What types of projects will I work on in training?
We make projects feel as close as possible to "doing the real thing" – so some projects will be set up as though you've been hired by a client to do the work. In general, Launch is lighter on lectures and heavier on learning by doing.

We will have examples of student projects from training available here soon.
Who will my instructors be?
Launch instructors are recent graduates or upperclassmen who have previously completed the Launch program at the top of their class. They have also demonstrated excellence in their topic area, thrived in past internships and jobs, held leadership and teaching roles at Forge, and have gone through vetting and teacher training by our full time staff.

Launch TAs are typically undergraduates who have previously completed Launch and/or have led one of Forge's semester courses. Both TAs and instructors train with Forge during the school year and get teaching experience by leading one of our other courses or programs.