Frequently Asked Questions


After registration, you will need to pass a two-hour long online test, made up to to cognitive games. If you succeed, you will need to clear the last hurdle, the ‘Piscine’; our one-month-long selection process.

The only fixed requirement is that students must be 18 years old or over; there is no maximum age and no further requirements. Rather than having a specific background, education, or degree, we only ask for your motivation and commitment to the three-year study program.

 Yes, developing soft skills, peer learning, and peer evaluation are central to our learning philosophy, so students need to be at the campus in person.

42 Berlin covers your tuition fees. You will not be charged before, during, or after your studies with us.

Please note that we have no connection to the Jobcenter or Agentur für Arbeit and we do not take (or need) any Bildungsgutschein.

Studying at any 42 school all around the world is 100% free and will always be free. We are a non-profit organization that aims to provide accessible high-quality education to talented individuals from all walks of life.

Find out more via the home page. 

No, not at all. Although, of course, any prior coding knowledge will definitely be helpful to you, it is not necessary to have any knowledge in programming to join and succeed at 42.

Certainly, mathematical skills can be useful when coding, but the most important skill you need is logic.

The online test can be done from anywhere in the world. Your presence is preferred a couple of weeks before the Selection Piscine starts to confirm that you’ll take a spot in it. However, if this is not possible, you can arrange for someone else to confirm on your behalf.

You need to live in Berlin though to study with us and throughout most of your studies period.

42 Berlin offers a program with a world-class curriculum that challenges students with projects of increased complexity. Every problem is unique, and it requires you to think outside of the box along with motivated peers. At 42, you will not just build on your hard skills of coding, but learn the soft skills necessary to thrive as a software programmer. Everyone, coder or not, can find a rewarding path.

You do not need a laptop during the Piscine. The school is equipped with 200 computers, which are more than enough to serve all students. It is okay to use your own laptop during your studies, but it is not required, as you will be submitting your work on the school’s computers.

You need to be able to adapt and overcome difficulties, be proactive, curious, creative, thorough, and collaborative.

It takes 2 hours and 10 minutes. We recommend setting aside slightly more than this (and plenty of hydration and fuel!) to give yourself the best chance of passing through both games.

Yes, that’s very normal! But don’t be discouraged, this is your first taste of self-learning; 42 Berlin’s method starts now.

Foreign Applicants

At present, 42 Berlin cannot help with visas. Citizens that are not part of the EU, UK, Norway, or Switzerland are encouraged to inquire about possible visa requirements. As 42 Berlin is not currently an accredited institution – due to our nontraditional hands-on education approach- you may not be able to receive student visas.

We offer a certificate of enrollment but we cannot guarantee that it will get you a visa.

For now, all of 42’s content and projects are available in French and English.

Students must have at least a B1 level of English, but we do not ask for for any certificate as proof. You do not need to speak any German to study at our school.

42 is the only school in Germany offering higher education that is 100% practical, focused on coding, project-driven, and relevant in the real world.

Students work in teams and write code every day. A study by Stackoverflow showed that 54% of Computer Science graduates say that study-content is outdated, requiring additional (self) study to qualify for a job in their field. 42-Graduates don’t face these issues because the content is updated every month, and students practice skills, on average, 8 hours a day during their studies. Students are ready to add value the first day they graduate from 42, if not before: In fact, 80% of our students get offered employment before the end of their studies!

Watch this video to see a direct comparison between 42 and other learning methods. 

During your studies at 42 Berlin, you will have to cover the cost of living (e.g., accommodation, food, and anything else you might need). You will need money that you cannot earn from having a full-time job alongside your studies, as we strongly recommend to put all your energy and time into studying. The solution might be saving some money before you start studying or asking those close to you for financial support.

Unfortunately, we do not provide students with accommodation, however there are a variety of housing websites free and accessible to those moving to Berlin. We have put together a lot of useful resources here.

The Piscine

“Piscine” is the French word for swimming pool. This word is fitting as during this 4-week period everyone dives into the deep end of coding and learns how to swim together.

The Selection Piscine, or just Piscine, is a four-week-long trial period during which you discover the basics of coding from scratch. No prerequisites of any kind are needed: no previous degrees, no coding experience. This period will be very intensive and requires commitment. Don’t expect laid-back weekends. There is no fixed amount of applicants to be selected after this – there is no competition between applicants, and anyone can pass through as long as they can swim!

We don’t require you to do any preparation before starting the Piscine, however we do not discourage it if you wish to do so.

If you do choose to prepare before starting the Piscine; whether is it because you are a total beginner to code or would just like to start the Piscine feeling a little more confident, we would recommend getting acquainted with or reminded of some of the basics of C. For example, we would recommend to watch CS50 C programming lectures or complete a basic W33 course

There is always a risk that you will learn something that you will need to ‘unlearn’ during the Piscine, so we do not recommend going in too deeply, but some confidence of the basics will definitely stand you in good stead.

At 42 Berlin, we aim to create as supportive an environment as possible for all levels of coders. An environment where all Pisciners feel confident to knowledge share and ask questions, so fear not! You will come away with much more practical knowledge than when you begin. 

The piscine is an intense month of coding that takes place over 26 days (including weekends!). It is designed as a full time experience.

While we understand that people may have inevitable obligations, we would highly recommend limiting them or making other arrangements in order to be on-site as much as possible during this time.

During the Selection Piscine, teams are randomly assigned and team members have to work together to solve the assigned tasks.

Not being accepted at 42 Berlin after the Piscine means that it might not be right for you. The Piscine is designed in a way that both you and 42 Berlin can validate if this educational model is the right fit for you. This is why it is important to try your best so that you make the most of the experience, no matter the outcome. If you are not accepted after the Piscine, we advise you to try a different learning program. This is not the only way to learn programming!

That is totally okay! Applicants are free to leave the admissions process at any point. You can just walk out, with no strings attached. However, the educational staff would really appreciate learning the reasons why. Who knows, maybe talking it through with someone could change your mind!

Yes. The beginning of your studies is a continuation of the Piscine, so it would be better for you not to interrupt the learning process. If you know you might not enroll in the school right after the Piscine, it would be fair to leave the spot for someone eager to start.

You can find the upcoming Piscine dates on our homepage. 

*All Piscines are 100% Onsite

All of our Piscines are 100% onsite in Berlin on our campus in Neukölln.

The Curriculum

42 is a French private tuition-free coding school founded in 2013 by the French entrepreneur Xavier Niel. With a disruptive peer-to-peer education model and philosophy, 42 has achieved great results: 100% of well-employed graduates, 80% have opportunities before graduation, 12% build their own companies, 50% never coded before. Due to its success, 42 has 30+ campuses around the world today. 42 Berlin is the third partner campus in Germany, after 42 Heilbronn and 42 Wolfsburg.

P.S. 42 is also the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. If you have no idea what we are talking about, check out The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy from Douglas Adams.

At 42 Berlin, we move away from old school learning by taking teachers and set lectures out of the equation. We do not believe there should be any single source of authority providing a ready-made answer. With the implementation of peer-learning, and therefore the removal of teachers, we hand autonomy and active learning opportunities to our students. By finding the answer in one’s own way, the method becomes the lesson and the solution truly absorbed and understood.

Peer-to-peer learning is an education model where students learn from each other instead of an appointed teacher. It emphasizes critical thinking, teamwork, and communication. Students also evaluate each other and learn from explaining their approach to peers.

In project-based learning, students gain a profound knowledge of a subject by exploring real-world challenges and problems. They learn by doing and thinking critically, rather than by following instructions and memorizing.

Your peers will assess the quality of your projects based on grading scales defined by the pedagogical staff.

Throughout the studies, you are free to work with whomever you want. If you have a team member that quits or is unreliable, you need to be resourceful and try to find a new team. That’s exactly how it works in real life.

Yes! The best way to keep students close to the real world is by organizing regular events with guest speakers and other forms of collaborations with companies and organizations, such as podcasts, hackathons and workshops.

You start building a base in the C programming language and fundamental programming concepts. As you progress towards your first internship, you can explore introductory branches in UNIX, graphics, and web programming. After your first internship, the curriculum will include more in-depth projects in many fields of computer science: Object-Oriented programming, Mobile programming, Functional programming, Web security, Reverse engineering, Malicious Code, Kernel programming, Network programming, Artificial intelligence, 3D programming, and many other areas of programming and IT. Your second and final internship will complete the studies.

Part 1 is the Piscine, a 4-week challenge in which students learn the basics of programming (C, basic algorithms).

Part 2 is the core part of the curriculum designed to reach minimal proficiency, which takes between 6 months and 1.5 years. Included are advanced algorithms, UNIX/Posix API (filesystem, processes, pipes, sockets, etc.), threads programming, C, C++, IP networks and basic system administration, and graphics web frameworks. After this foundational course, internships of 4-6 months follow.

Part 3 lasts up to 2 years and focuses on AI, Security, Data, Cloud, Mobile, Advanced graphics, and other skills. This is also the time for hackathons, side projects with companies, entrepreneurship, projects with partners, etc. An internship of at least 6 months concludes the program.

The proven curriculum of 42 in Paris includes a vast number of projects laid out like a tree. When you complete a project, you move to the next one until you can choose from different paths and discover multiple programming and IT aspects. Each student’s experience is unique, as they experiment with projects and decide to follow different specialization paths in the curriculum.

C is a universally applicable programming language, which is highly compatible with the hardware compared to other languages ​​such as Javascript. C is widely used to develop operating systems of systems or embedded systems. It also offers a lot of control over the way and extent to which memory and I/Os are accessed.

Working with C, students develop in-depth knowledge of computers and their operating systems and learn how applications affect these systems. With the knowledge and insight gained when programming with C, it often turns out to be easier to learn other languages ​​afterwards.

C++ is an Object-oriented programming language with features same as C and additional features like Encapsulation, Inheritance, etc for complex application development.

During the Core Curriculum 90% C and C++. In the specialisation the programming languages completely depend on the projects you are doing.

The core curriculum takes an average of 18 months of full-time study to complete, however this varies depending on how much time one dedicates to it. The maximum amount of time that can be spent on the curriculum is 24 months. 42 accommodates flexibility in schedule and pace, however we strongly recommend prioritising your studies over other activities while you’re here, as a certain amount of momentum is needed to progress well. The advanced track can take anywhere up to 5 years, again depending on individual time commitments. 

Students progress in the curriculum by completing projects and getting points. With these points, students level up and unlock more projects and specialization branches. Students can also master different skills, tackle challenges, and gain achievements. Students can compare their levels to know how far along they are in the curriculum. At level 16, you can take your final internship for a junior developer level. At level 21, you can go to your final training and complete the program. Once completed, you are at master level.

The original curriculum was created in 2013 by the 42 Paris team by computer science education veterans in France and has been evolving ever since. The educational staff at 42, in cooperation with companies and students, will be updating the curriculum every month.

Furthermore, a lot of the projects are timeless. The start of the curriculum is mostly in the C language in order to give a good foundation in computer science. More advanced projects are language agnostic. 

There are more than a hundred projects laid out like a tree. When you complete a project, you can move to the next branch until the branches split, allowing you to discover multiple aspects of coding and IT. Each student’s experience will be unique as 42 allows you to experiment with projects and choose to follow different curriculum specialization paths.

Yes, companies can include real-life challenges in the curriculum. The pedagogical team in Paris -who created the curriculum- oversees it and updates it monthly, will review the suitability project. If the project fits, it will be offered as part of the curriculum worldwide.

Yes, other campuses such as Paris already work with more senior students to upgrade their skill-set. Such courses are typically shorter than the standard 3.5-year program. Contact us for more information.

The piscine is an intense month of coding that takes place over 26 days (including weekends!). It is designed as a full time experience and would be highly recommended to treat it as such.

Regarding the core curriculum, it takes an average of 18 months of full-time study to complete, however this varies depending on how much time one dedicates to it. The maximum amount of time that can be spent on the curriculum is 24 months. 42 accommodates flexibility in schedule and pace, however we strongly recommend prioritising your studies over other activities while you’re here, as a certain amount of momentum is needed to progress well. 

While we understand that people may have inevitable obligations, we would highly recommend limiting them or making other arrangements in order to be on-site as much as possible during this time.

The more time you can spend on campus, the higher your chances of success in finishing the curriculum. Getting financial support (loan, stipend, savings, credit, etc) is what we would recommend over working in order to sustain yourself. 

After the completion of the common core, many students get part-time jobs as software engineers or freelance in order to fund the rest of their studies.

Students must study at the campus where they completed the Piscine. If a campus transfer is needed before the Piscine, please contact us as soon as possible so that we migrate you into the Berlin application system. If you have passed the games, you won’t have to play them again.

After you complete the core-curriculum you will also have the opportunity to change campus if you decide to move. 

After 42

At 42 Berlin, you will not receive a diploma or certificate. However, this is not a problem! Companies can’t wait to welcome quality programmers. Our program is based on your experience levels as you complete projects, build a personal portfolio, and gain essential skills for a technology career. The 42 network’s strong international reputation and students’ 100% employment rate are proof. We do issue a certificate of completion at the end of our program.

If you would like to, this is of course possible. However, it is more likely that you will develop new skills and interests and find other digital-related positions. Companies and organizations in all industries are affected by technology and digital transformation. More often than not, these roles are multi-disciplinary and require you to collaborate in teams.

You name it! Completing the course gives you access to many positions and jobs in the digital world, from worldwide leading tech companies to startups and everything in between. You could even set up your something of your own!

You learn how to understand various problems instead of solving specific issues with specific tools. Graduates of 42 are team players that exhibit strong problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and a desire for life-long learning. 42 does not lock you into a specific technology or language; instead, you learn fundamental techniques that allow you to develop and maintain relevant skills throughout your career.

We also give you the opportunity to build a professional network while you study, thanks to our partner companies and the time dedicated for internships. This will mean that you start your career with practical skills.

100% of 42 alumni are employed, so we guarantee your career stability.

Yes. Level 21 students are top-level programmers suitable for top jobs and responsibilities. They can join the most selective software companies. However, we strongly recommend that students pursue career paths they are passionate about. We’ll support this by offering excellent education and regular opportunities to meet up with companies and organizations (hackathons, speakers, workshops, etc.)

Yes! Once a 42 Berlin student, our doors will always be open for you! Alumni can come back to continue their studies at any time they want. We want you to stay part of the community and share new-found knowledge from the real world with other students.

Finding both internships required to validate the course is a crucial part of your learning process. 42 Berlin will provide you with a way to acquire knowledge, build confidence, and access professionals through conferences, hackathons, and workshops. However, it is up to you to make the call and ultimately step up to the challenge.

Yes, you can switch to another school in the 42 network!

Important notes for studying in another 42 school:

  • You have to do the first part of the curriculum until the first internship at the same campus where you completed your piscine.
  • You can choose to do your internships wherever you want in the world.
  • After your first internship, you can switch to any other 42 school around the world.
  • A minimum stay of 3 months is required before switching to another 42 school.