We support undergraduate study through several programs, workshops, and public outreach events. These efforts expose our undergraduate students to more academic opportunities, provide our graduate students with teaching experience, and increase engagement from prospective students beyond UW.

CSNext: Graduate School Prep Workshop

The CSNext workshop encourages and assists undergraduate students to consider graduate school in computer science.

It is open to any undergraduate student (not just at UW), and it is targeted primarily toward students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in computer science, and those with a demonstrated interested in helping that target group.

Over the 4-6 weeks of the online program, students learn about graduate school and research paths in a variety of ways:

  • Lectures and small-group project work in areas like computer vision, machine learning, security/privacy, and Human-Computer Interaction
  • Working with UW CSE graduate students on small-group projects
  • Presentations from UW CSE Graduate Advisors about available resources throughout the application process, and how to improve your graduate school applications
  • Presentations from guest speakers about academic and industry career paths
  • Networking with peers in the CSNext program

CSnext is organized by the UW Reality Lab and UW CSE’s Graduate Student Services. It was first offered in 2021 and has become an annual workshop.

For more information or to apply for this program (or to sign up for an alert when application open), go to the CSNext page.

UW Reality Lab Incubator

The UW Reality Lab Incubator provides UW undergraduate students with opportunities to research and develop AR/VR technology with broad-reaching impacts. The program is overseen by the Director of Research and Education, John Akers, who assembles and works closely with each team to ensure projects can be successfully released to the world.

Students learn how to develop software projects as part of a team, grow their XR skills, and create an application that will continue to have impact after leaving the incubator.

Past projects have included applications for teaching and practicing field geology, an exploration of locomotion in VR that developed into a game that's now on Steam and Quest, an AR aid for home cooking, an AR aid for learning and practicing guitar, an application for viewing dental images in 3D, a VR experience for a Make-A-Wish child, and more.

More information on the Incubator page.

If you are a UW student and want to add your name and qualifications to the pool of interested researchers then fill out this form. (NOTE, being on the list does not guarrantee being invited to a project. We refer to the list throughout the year, and look for the right balance of skills for a given project.)

Mentorship Program

Our mentorship program connects undergraduate students with graduate students.

Graduate students gain experience advising, mentoring, and instructing that will help prepare them for future positions in industry or academia. Undergraduate students gain experience working on graduate-level projects, learning skills and techniques that they otherwise might not get exposure to, and have opportunities to network and learn more about advanced degrees in STEM.

By fostering connections between different levels of the larger CSE school, this mentorship program also encourages research and collaboration skills.

Our graduate students participate in this program at least 3 times (in their 1st, 3rd, and 5th year)

If you are a UW graduate student and want to be involved in this program, contact John Akers.

If you are a UW undergraduate and want to be involved in this program, fill out this form. NOTE, being on the list does not guarrantee being invited to a project. We go to the list at different tiems of year, looking for the right balance of skills for a given project.


Visit our VR/AR Courses page to see the variety of classes available. Undergraduate classes vary by quarter and year, and include:

  • VR/AR Capstone (481v)
  • Storytelling in VR (490j)
  • Computer Vision (455)
  • Machine Learning (446)
  • Computer Graphics (457)
  • Virtual Reality Systems (490v)
  • Design for Virtual Reality (598A)
  • Virtual Reality Systems (490v)
  • Animation Production (460)
  • Computer Animation (458)
  • Character Animation (459)
  • Story for Digital Animation (456)
  • Facial Expressions in CG (464A)
  • Computational Design & Fabrication (490h)

Online Public Coursework (Free)