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Launch School Bootcamp Reviews and Complete Guide

Launch School is one of the oldest and largest coding bootcamps in the world. It is strictly online and focuses on software development, with a secondary emphasis on data science. The school uses a unique pedagogy that features a Core Curriculum and a Capstone Program, covering the fundamentals of software engineering.

Read this Launch School review to determine whether it is a viable bootcamp for you.

What Is Launch School?

Launch School Quick Facts
Cost Standard: $199 Per Month, Deferred Payment Program: $299 Per Month
Start Dates Rolling Start Dates
Locations Online
Courses Core Curriculum (Programming and Back-End Development, Front-End Development), Capstone Program
Available Programs Online, Full-Time, Self-Paced

Launch School is an online-based learning program with self-paced courses for students who want to become software engineers. The program focuses on programming and software engineering fundamentals, teaching students how to be proficient developers.

Is Launch School Worth It?

Yes, Launch School is worth it. Like all other bootcamp programs, it reduces the amount of time you spend in school. The longest program at Launch School is the two-year Core Curriculum, which is still shorter than a four-year bachelor’s degree. You will gain a mastery of all fundamentals and be ready to launch a career in software engineering.

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Additionally, Launch School is cheaper than most bootcamps. For less than $300 per month, you’ll receive course content, staff support, and assessments. Although the classes are strictly online, you will be part of a vibrant school community.

Launch School’s learning goals focus on helping students gain mastery of higher-level abstractions and constructing accurate solutions for all engineering problems. You will understand software development from the ground up.

Launch School Job Placement

Launch School has an impressive job placement record. Over the past four years, 100 percent of Capstone Program graduates found employment within 180 days of graduation. On average, it took less than 70 days. Graduates earn an average of over $100,000 per year. In 2020, the average starting salary for Capstone students was $118,408.

The school’s graduates receive job placement in industry-leading companies such as Intel, PayPal, Etsy, Deloitte, and BeenVerified. You can view the extensive list of industries where graduates have gone on to work on the school’s website.

Does Launch School Offer a Job Guarantee?

No, Launch School doesn’t guarantee its students a job. However, the school’s track record proves that your chances of securing a job are very high. Between 2016 and 2020, all Capstone Program graduates accepted a job offer within nine weeks of graduation.

The school’s mastery-based learning (MBL) pedagogy ensures you are well-equipped to tackle interview questions on all aspects of software development. Launch School reviews from previous students are also an indication that your job search will be short.

However, you need to undertake the Capstone Program, which focuses on launching careers. Although the Core Curriculum covers mastery of software development fundamentals, it isn’t enough to guarantee a career in software engineering.

How Much Does Launch School Cost?

Launch School charges $199 per month for all programs. However, students who study under the deferred payment plan will pay $299 per month. Students can opt for upfront or deferred payment. Upon payment, you will have access to the curriculum, online support, learning resources, and assessments.

Luckily, you have the option to go through Launch School’s free prep courses before submitting your payment. You can also cancel your subscription at any time.

How to Pay for Launch School: Upfront Payment or ISA

Launch School provides two payment options to help more students access its courses. You must be a US citizen to access both financing options. Non-residents have to abide by the standard payment option of $199 per month.

Upfront Payment

The upfront payment plan requires Launch School students to pay the standard $199 every month, equivalent to $2,388 per year. This cost is cheaper than other bootcamps, which can charge over $25,000 per year.

Deferred Payment Program (ISA)

The school introduced the Deferred Payment Program to allow more students to launch software engineering careers without financial pressure. It is similar to an income share agreement (ISA).

You begin the program without paying any fees. But once you graduate and get a job offer of at least $60,000, you will start paying your deferred tuition. Students pay $299 every month for the period spent in the program. If your salary is lower than the stipulated $60,000, you will not pay the school.

The only downside is the payment option is open to US citizens only. To qualify, you need to take the free prep course and complete both the Core Curriculum and the Capstone Program.

Launch School Locations

Launch School is a fully-fledged online coding bootcamp. The school doesn’t have physical branches apart from its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, the school has creative ways of bringing its students together, from webinars to Slack channels.

Launch School organizes regular webinars for its students. The famous Tech Talks is one of the school’s most successful meetups, which happens every month. Students and Launch School staff pick relevant topics for the webinar.

The Launch School Community Forum allows students to share study tips, give code reviews, and help each other solve challenging problems. This is also where you will find all school announcements. All students also have access to the school’s Slack-powered chatroom, which is active around the clock.

Lastly, Launch School has a podcast, which keeps former, current, and future students close together. Here you can listen to students talk about their experience at Launch School.

Launch School Courses

Launch School offers a variety of software engineering courses through its two programs, the Core Curriculum and the Capstone Program. The former focuses on the mastery of fundamentals, and you learn programming and software development essentials. Launch School experts designed the Capstone course to help launch careers.

Before beginning the Core Curriculum, every student must go through the preparatory courses.

Launch School Prep Courses

The prep courses are free and mandatory for all students. They are self-paced, and students don’t receive support from the school. However, you can always find answers on the school’s website.

These courses will help you decide whether or not Launch School’s MBL framework suits your career path. The courses are surveyed below.

  1. Orientation – In this introductory course, you get an introduction to software development and an overview of what to expect. The course also defines what the job market looks like for software developers.
  2. Programming and Back-End Development – This course offers a preview of the paid courses. You will learn about the command line, how to use Git and GitHub, and essential tools for problem-solving and debugging. This course also introduces you to your first programming language, either Ruby or JavaScript.

Core Curriculum – Online

The Core Curriculum is perfect for beginners and serious students. The primary aim of this course is to encourage the mastery of the fundamentals of software development. It lasts between eight and 16 months, depending on your commitment. The curriculum is offered in two phases: Programming and Back-End Development and Front-End Development.

In the first phase, you will learn how to solve problems with a programming language. Using either Ruby or JavaScript, you will learn the skills necessary to convey your ideas in code and contribute to server-side web application development. You will also learn how to use SQL for relational database management and web development protocols such as HTTP.

In the second phase, students focus on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and front end development practices. You will learn how to create interactive web pages using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. By the end of the second phase, you will be ready to apply for a job.

The Capstone Program – Online

If you want to add further polish to your skills, you should take the Capstone Program, which is led by successful software engineers, who serve as career mentors. This program is optional and admissions-based. To qualify, you must do well in the Core Curriculum.

It is a full-time program, lasting between four and seven months. You have to commit to 16 weeks of back-to-back classes, Monday through Friday. After that, the career mentors will help you with your job search for one to three months.

The program covers various topics, such as advanced algorithmic problem-solving, full stack web development, service-oriented architectures, and cloud infrastructure.

What Is the Launch School Schedule?

Launch School classes are either self-paced or full-time. The schedule depends on the type of program.


The prep courses and the Core Curriculum are self-paced. Students need to spend at least 15 hours every week to finish the course on time and keep up with the mastery-based learning approach. As long as you ace all the assessment work, you can complete the courses at your own pace.

While students don’t receive one-on-one tutoring, the school instructors and teaching assistants are available to answer any questions.


The Capstone Program is on a full-time schedule. Students attend classes all day from Monday through Friday. Learning is team-based, and all classes have an instructor. The classes are intense and not conducive for working students.

It is demanding because it prepares students for immediate employment after graduation.

How to Get Accepted Into Launch School

To get accepted into Launch School, you only need to prove your educational background. A GED, high school diploma, or college transcript is enough to give you access to the school’s programs.

However, Capstone students have to fulfill more requirements, such as US citizenship, high marks in the Core Curriculum, full-time availability, and technical proficiency.

Launch School Acceptance Rate

Launch School has a high acceptance rate. Everyone interested in joining the school is eligible upon completing the prep courses. The Core Curriculum is open to everyone regardless of location and availability. But the acceptance rate decreases for the Capstone Program because it is more demanding and open to US students only.

Application Process

Launch School’s application process is simple. To start, create an account and finish the prep courses. If you are impressed by the preparatory courses, you can pay the monthly subscriptions to start the Core Curriculum courses. Below is a step-by-step breakdown of the process.

  1. Sign up on the school website.
  2. Create an account.
  3. Finish the prep courses.
  4. If interested, pay the monthly subscription for the actual courses.

Interview Questions

Launch School students don’t sit for an interview. After taking the prep course, you can opt to pay for the program or not. While the Capstone Program is more competitive, Launch School does not conduct interviews for it.

Is Launch School Right for You?

Launch School is a leading online bootcamp with a successful track record of creating successful software engineers. With 100 percent of its students getting employment within ten weeks of graduation, you stand a good chance of excelling.

You can pursue a software engineering career in several industries, such as digital marketing, transportation, product management, finance, and project management. The school offers a bevy of resources to facilitate your success.

Above all, Launch School is more affordable than most coding bootcamps. If you’re interested in a career in software development, Launch School may suit you.

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5 Reviews

Rating 0
Curriculum 0
Instructors 0
Job Assistance 0

5 Reviews


  • Anonymous
    Rating Curriculum Instructors Job Assistance

    Launch School has been critical for me while I made a huge career transition going into 2021. Last year, I was unhappy as a not-so-technical Technical Support Engineer at a startup after a long and challenging self-taught coding journey. Still, I would look at job interviews elsewhere and feel stuck due to huge gaps in my knowledge, lack of confidence when coding live, and general insecurity about what I knew vs. what I didn’t know. Since I did come in with experience, Launch School has solved all of those problems for me and helped me make a pivot into my goal career, all in about half a year of full-time studies.

    I want to highlight what made this program so fantastic for me: 1) The community – practicing with students who wish to practice the material until they’ve mastered it is HUGE. They aren’t saying, “Okay, we finished this, let’s move on.” – they want to dissect code and understand all of the nitty-gritty details. 2) Having assessments. You can’t move forward until you’ve truly mastered the earlier pieces. That might sound frustrating, but I’ll tell you what’s way worse: when you are trying to debug something in your code because you went lightning speed and used a library without knowing the fundamentals first. Learn your fundamentals and humble yourself to re-learn how to learn, and the new mastery approach will be so rewarding.

    After completing the back end curriculum, I applied to one dream job, and it got it! I’m now in an SE program at Snowflake, and I’m so excited to be in the exact career that I wanted.

    January 25, 2021

  • Anonymous
    Rating Curriculum Instructors Job Assistance

    In the summer of 2018 I experienced significant burnout at my job and I was miserable. The only escape from my job that I could foresee was to transition into software engineering as a career, which had only been a hobby at that point. The problem was that there was no clear path to “learn to code” without going back to college or to an expensive coding bootcamp, neither of which I could afford. Despite the plethora of free resources out there, I couldn’t find a clear path to become a software engineer.

    When I took a much needed beach vacation in the midst of burnout from my job, I miraculously found Launch School while trying to piece together my own bootcamp curriculum to follow. Launch School gave me that clear path forward that I was looking for in the wilderness of trying to learn to code. I have no idea how I stumbled upon them (they didn’t really advertise at the time), but finding Launch School has been life changing.

    I started the Core curriculum in earnest in April 2019. I had to study part-time around my full-time job. But because I no longer had to think about what to study next, I was free to focus on whatever course I was in. The mastery based learning approach freed up so much headspace in the learning process while instilling in me the fundamentals that have proved instrumental in my job as a software engineer. Then in the fall of 2020, I quit my job and started Capstone. Capstone took me from the solid foundation I built in Core to being competitive in the job market and even impressive to potential employers.

    I got an amazing six-figure job offer that was above and beyond what I ever dreamed was possible. And the mastery of fundamentals that I learned in Core along with the JIT (just in time) learning that I picked up in Capstone has allowed me to quickly ramp up at my new job. Learning the fundamentals deeply has given me the ability to pick up frameworks and technologies that I had never even heard of within a matter of hours. Launch School has been worth every penny and hour that I spent there because they clearly told me what to do to get to where I wanted to go. All I had to do was show up, focus, and trust the process.

    February 22, 2021

  • Anonymous
    Rating Curriculum Instructors Job Assistance

    If you’re like me, you hate learning things without really understanding what’s going on under the hood. LaunchSchool has “mastered” the art of mastery-based learning , to make sure you know well enough A and B before moving to a compounding subject AB. This way of learning is gratifying and forces you to deal with gray-areas in your understanding before moving on to the next unit, and they make sure of that with rigorous assessments at each stage of the way.
    Make sure you are not in a hurry though in your learning journey, as this requires lot of patience on your part.

    Instructors always give in depth code reviews and will catch your mistakes early on, giving you good coding habits right from the beginning, which I found super helpful as a complete beginner prior to joining LaunchSchool.

    Cons : I did not want to give any grade for job assistance as it is now clearly only available for students eligible to their captstone cohort, which comes by admission after finishing their core curriculum, and is tailored to US Citizens. But when i first enrolled at LS, there were Career Courses available as part or the core curriculum, and they suddenly removed it. If you re an international student like me, make sure you have a plan after finishing core, as you will then be on your own to tackle the job market.

    March 30, 2021

  • Anonymous
    Rating Curriculum Instructors Job Assistance

    For context, I graduated Core in a bit under 8 months and am starting Capstone in August.

    I came into Launch School with no expectations. It seemed good, and thought it’d be a good skill to develop as I worked towards product management roles. I didn’t seriously consider that I’d end up as a software engineer.

    I didn’t have expectations partly because I had tried to learn how to program multiple times before in different years. I can remember 3 moments where I somewhat seriously tried to learn, but never got far (one of them involved a month-long stint at 42’s “piscine” in Paris).

    It’s only been a bit over half a year after I started LS but everything’s changed. It’s easy for me to pick up new languages because Core went to such depth and am set on doing Capstone to go into a career as a software engineer.

    In retrospect, everything else besides Launch School was noise. If you’re interested in learning and having a career as a software engineer I couldn’t think of a better option — at least trying Launch School out is a no-brainer.

    April 19, 2021

  • Anonymous
    Rating Curriculum Instructors Job Assistance

    I’ve completed the Core curriculum earlier this year. Without attending to Capstone program, I was able to find a mid-level job.

    Core curriculum is a self-paced online course. They dive quite deep into the concepts that you need to know for modern web development. You must not compare this course with a 3-4 month bootcamp. You don’t learn frameworks to make toy-applications. It’s a serious start to a long software engineering career. As a successful grad, you could learn a framework and be productive with it within a fraction of a week.

    Although it’s an online course there is a sufficient amount of in-person feedback from the instructors. Apart from that, there is an amazing community in Slack and Reddit. There are weekly technical/non-technical events, some of which are voluntarily led by the students.

    You are expected to develop a great understanding (up to a level that you could teach the subject) to be able to pass a course. If you only want to get into an entry-level engineering job in a start-up Core curriculum is still a good option. However, in my opinion, where Launch School(and eventually Capstone) really shines is to prepare you for getting into a position at an engineering-centric company where you get paid quite high to solve real-life software engineering problems.

    May 19, 2021

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