Northeastern’s Align Program receives $1 million grant from National Science Foundation

In a big boost for the program, Northeastern received a $1M grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide financial support to Align Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) students on the Boston campus.

The grant provides $10K tuition scholarships to highly qualified students with demonstrated financial need, making a computer science graduate degree accessible to a broader base of demographic groups—including those traditionally underrepresented in computing—and opening new doors to intellectually curious students seeking careers in high-tech.

A brighter path ahead

The Align Program provides a pathway to a Computer Science master’s degree for those holding non-CS undergraduate degrees, including non-STEM majors. Align’s custom curricula includes a two-semester intensive bridge program that leads to a traditional MSCS degree, as well as 6-8 months of industry experience through Northeastern’s renowned co-op program. Regardless of educational background or previous career experience, students graduate prepared to succeed in challenging computing fields.

A wider spectrum of students

The belief: A STEM degree puts students on a strong trajectory for employment and higher earning potential, while also keeping the U.S. competitive in the global economy. The grant is part of NSF’s effort to increase diversity in STEM graduate programs and to encourage more low-income students to obtain degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math. By enabling a wider cross-section of the student population—nationalities, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds—to pursue STEM-related degrees, the Align MSCS Program will help transform the makeup of the technology industry to be more inclusive and diverse.

“The scholarships funded through this grant will allow people to try computer science with limited financial risk. We know that roughly 75% of people who try computer science for the first time love it and will continue to finish the entire degree. If we can make the first semester virtually free, then people new to the field can try it with little financial risk. That’s important to me.”

– Dean Carla Brodley