Computer Science for Everybody

Whether you want to be a full-time software developer or just gain a basic fluency in technology, learning computer science has never been simpler. Or more important.

Key Academic Contributors

Primary Contributor: Dr. Charles Severance

“Dr. Chuck” is a Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. He is the former Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation and one of the world’s leading online CS educators. 

Additional Contributor: Dr. Colleen Van Lent

Dr. Van Lent is a Lecturer in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Her honors include being chosen as a National Physical Sciences Consortium Fellow and a NASA Faculty Fellow. She has written three books about web design.

Key Professional Contributors

Mala Chandra

Mala Chandra is a lecturer at the University of Washington, where she has developed courses in social media, gamification, and other subjects. She is credited with developing multiple core Java technologies. In 2004, she was named one of the 50 most influential women in the development of the internet. She is the Founder & CEO of MyMobiLife, where she advises early-stage startups in technology and marketing. And she was formerly a General Manager at Microsoft.

Ryan Seashore

Ryan is the founder of CodeNow, a nonprofit coding school that teaches programming skills to students from underserved communities. He possesses significant expertise in teaching key programming concepts to students who lack prior knowledge, or a strong basis in Mathematics.

Alexey Malashkevich

Alexey is the former CEO of Agile Code – a software development firm – and has 20 years of experience bringing software products to market, especially cloud-based financial technology systems.

About the Major

We conducted interviews with over 20 Fortune 500 employers, numerous technology professionals, and several academics to identify the key problems in modern Computer Science education. We identified three major issues:

1) A requirement that students ​already​ know a fair bit of programming in order to succeed.

2) Too much focus on theory, coupled with a needlessly advanced mathematics requirement.

3) A lack of focus on practical skills most necessary for success as a programmer.

This curriculum addresses the above issues in a variety of ways. First, it provides students with the ​gentlest possible​ introduction to Computer Science and Programming principles. Second, it strips unnecessary higher-level math classes that often serve as “weed out” courses in a traditional Computer Science major, and are not actually applicable to virtually any jobs in Computer Science fields. Third, it heavily employs hands-on, project-based learning: every course (or course series) will require students to build an application or other project that showcases their learnings.

Our curriculum was developed by Dr. Charles Severance of the University of Michigan. Dr Severance is one of the world’s foremost computer science educators. He teaches 10 wildly popular MOOCs that graduate over 1,000 students a week, and his philosophy – that Computer Science education needs to be more readily accessible – fundamentally shaped how the Rize CS major was developed. In addition, Dr. Severance was instrumental in turning industry feedback into learning objectives for many of our courses. Our curriculum is heavily based on his Python for Everyone series and features significant contributions from other noted academics and industry professionals listed below.

The Rize Computer Science major is intended to provide students with a working knowledge of key topics in technology including Web Development, Application Development, Cloud Computing, and more.

Why It Matters

700,000 open jobs

There are 700k open jobs in tech requiring some technical skillset

Whether you want to become a software developer, product manager, or just gain a basic fluency for an increasingly technological world, these courses form a foundation for immediate entry into major employers desperate for talent

But colleges are failing

Computer Science programs have the highest rate of attrition among all undergraduate programs

Our major fixes that: with an incredibly gradual on-ramp, it is designed to take any student, regardless of their previous experience, and prepare them for the modern workplace

High-quality, low-cost major

Many colleges across the country do not even teach computer science, let alone offer an increasingly essential major

All colleges can now provide an effective, low-cost computer science major, minor, or specific class through the LCMC and rest assured their students will have a marked advantage in the job market upon graduation

20 potential courses. 60 credit hours.

Enough for any college to start a full-fledged computer science major.


Internet History


Intro to Data Mining


Application Development I

Intro to C

Cloud Computing II

Hardware I


Capstone Project


Product Development II

User Experience II

Applied Machine Learning

Hardware II


Advanced Programming I


Intro to Programming


Web Development


Application Dev II

Cloud Computing I

Algorithims & Data Structures


Product Development I

User Experience I

Operating Systems

Topics in CS


Blockchain Engineering

Advanced Programming II

Build a Portfolio

Every student graduating from this curriculum will have a robust portfolio to show to employers in order to land their first job