Holberton School Reviews and Key Information

Holberton School is a San Francisco-based coding bootcamp offering a full stack software engineering program that’s designed to train you for a variety of tech careers. This makes Holberton School an ideal training ground for aspiring software engineers, web developers, machine learning engineers, data engineers, and UX designers.

To help you learn more about what the school has to offer, we give you an in-depth Holberton School review. Here, we’ll dive deep into the school’s software engineering curriculum, along with the tuition, payment options, and career services you can expect. By the end of it, you’ll know whether Holberton School is the right coding bootcamp for you.

Holberton School at a Glance

Cost of Tuition $85,000
Financing Options Upfront Payment, Income Share Agreement
Courses Offered Full-Stack Software Engineering
Career Services and Job Assistance Career Sprint Learning Module

What Can You Learn at Holberton School?

Holberton School only offers one program: a comprehensive 18-month full stack software engineering program. This program can be divided into two stages, both of which last nine months. These are the foundation stage and the specialization stage.

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As the name implies, the foundation stage is where you build your foundational knowledge of programming. This is especially crucial to students who have no prior knowledge or experience in software engineering.

The specialization stage, meanwhile, is dedicated to furthering your knowledge in a particular area of software engineering. Holberton School’s software engineering program offers six specializations that you can choose from.

Below is a breakdown of the Holberton School curriculum.

Foundation of Computer Science and Software Engineering

This is where you learn what goes on under the code. That entails honing your fluency in general-purpose and high-level programming languages like Python, C, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. You’ll also learn about data structures and algorithms as well as software engineering best practices.

To strengthen your foundations, you will be expected to work on a variety of hands-on projects. Among the most interesting ones are the projects where you get to build a video game and clone a marketplace.

After completing this sprint, you can then move on to one of the six specialization courses.

Machine Learning

First up is the machine learning career track. This course helps software engineering students build on their knowledge of programming languages, data structures, and algorithms. This track focuses on studying computer vision, autonomous driving, and more.

In this career track, you will also spend time learning how to use various technologies, including Pandas, Numpy, and Tensorflow. By the end of the program, you will be prepared to take on jobs in AI engineering, data engineering, and machine learning engineering.


If you are interested in augmented reality and virtual reality, consider specializing in the AR/VR career track. In this track, you will learn how to code in C#, as well as how to use the Unity3D engineer, which is the most commonly used engine for AR/VR.

Once you have an understanding of both C# and Unity3D, you will begin building your portfolio with AR/VR projects. These include creating, designing, and programming your own interactive experiences using various technologies such as ARKit and Google VR.

Full-Stack Web Development

The Full-Stack Web Development career track is ideal for those who aspire to become a full-stack web developer, front end web developer, or backend web developer.

This course advances your knowledge in the programming languages and technologies that are most-used in web development. These include JavaScript, Python, MySQL, SASS, and React.

As is the case for all the specialization courses, the full stack web development track combines theory and practice. Throughout the program, students try their hand at building static web pages, dynamic web applications, and a CRM dashboard from scratch.

Low Level and Algorithms

In the low level and algorithms specialization, you will learn about advanced C programming, data structures and algorithms, and the Linux operating system. The curriculum also dives deep into Blockchain technology, a technological development that’s been garnering significant interest in the industry.

To learn more about Blockchain, this course builds your knowledge of cryptography, block mining, transactions, and CLI. To best understand blockchain, this curriculum includes a project in which you will build your own cryptocurrency.

Front-End Web Development

Similar to the full stack web development career track, the front end web development track focuses on improving your web development skills with a focus on the client side of things. This track solely covers front end development concepts, so your focus will be on advancing your knowledge in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and React.

You will also learn how various web frameworks function and how you can use them to their full potential. This path takes less time to complete than the others, adding only one additional trimester rather than three.

Back-End Web Development

On the flip side, this career track focuses on the server side of web development. You will learn about key backend technologies like advanced Python and JavaScript, MySQL, and Node JS. You will also learn key backend concepts such as API pagination, caching algorithms, and authentication mechanisms.

Admissions: How Do You Get Accepted to Holberton School?

Holberton School prides itself on offering small, personal class sizes, although it comes with a price. The acceptance rate at Holberton School is roughly three percent, making it difficult for many students to secure a seat in the bootcamp. But, armed with the knowledge of the application and interview process, you may have a much better shot at getting accepted.

Holberton School Application Process

The Holberton School application process begins with filling out the online application found on the school’s website. This includes telling the school a bit about yourself, your goals, and which specialization you are interested in pursuing.

After the online application has been reviewed, you will be asked to complete a few small online projects and tests. This process takes roughly two hours to complete and is designed to test your skills and experience with programming and coding.

If you pass the initial tests, you will be assigned another test. This time, you are given two weeks to build a basic website. Assuming you pass this test, you will be contacted again to schedule an interview and a technical challenge, which can be conducted either remotely or onsite. Once you complete this stage, you will be informed if you are accepted or not.

Holberton School Interview

You have to jump through hoops to make it to the interview phase of the application process, but once you make it, the interview is very straightforward. You will be asked several questions about yourself, why you want to attend Holberton School’s program, and how you discovered your passion for coding.

You will also be asked questions about the previous challenges completed during the admissions process. The interviewer will ask you technical questions to ensure there was no cheating involved during the challenges and to ensure that you can explain your process.

Paying for Holberton School

Holberton School offers a great program, but the tuition doesn’t come cheap. There are a couple of payment options available to help with financing your tuition.

Upfront Payment

If you can afford an upfront payment, this method allows you to avoid recurring monthly payments. If this is a viable option, expect to pay $85,000 out of pocket upon registering for the program.

Income Share Agreement (ISA)

Holberton School also offers an ISA, which works on a “learn now, pay later” policy. Here’s how an ISA works: first, you will sign an agreement with the school to pay back a percentage of your future salary. Then, you get to complete your education without worrying about your tuition. Once you graduate and land a job that pays the minimum income threshold, your ISA payments begin and will continue until the tuition has been paid in full, with interest.

The ISA available at Holberton School begins post-graduation, once you have been hired and are being paid $40,000 per year or more. You will then begin paying 17 percent of your annual income to Holberton School for three and a half years.

What Makes Holberton School Unique?

Holberton School is unique because it offers an innovative and effective course curriculum. The course curriculum is completely project-based. This means that the program fosters a hands-on learning environment that encourages you to apply your knowledge and engage in collaborative work.

This bootcamp offers a fantastic software engineering program with many different specializations. The only catch is that it costs higher and lasts longer than the typical coding bootcamp program.

If what it offers appeals to you and you have the time and resources to avail of it, then enrolling in Holberton School can be an excellent choice for you.

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972 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94103, United States of America


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