Master's Program FAQ
The Residential Experience
What can I expect from the program?
The Master’s program is an action-based learning program that equips students with all the hard and soft skills required to build a successful business. You will learn from seasoned entrepreneurs and experts throughout the program (over 50 speakers & workshops in the first 7 weeks alone!), then apply the learnings to your own business idea. Every student will create a company, get 1:1 mentoring and coaching from experts, and have the opportunity to pitch for funding from Silicon Valley VCs. Students in the Master’s program will also have the opportunity to pitch in a 2nd business pitch competition where Tim Draper will invest $1M among the winners. Our alums have said the 7-week program is a life-changing experience - we are confident that the Master’s program will be even more impactful.
What will I learn from the program?
Our philosophy is entrepreneurs learn by doing. We don’t believe in writing essays and taking tests. You learn from people who are doing it every day, then we expect you to put into practice what you have learned. During the 9 months program you will:
Our flagship program focuses on leadership and personal acceleration. Combine that with technical skills and you’ll be diving into customer acquisition, growth hacking, research methodologies, ads and hacks to acquire first 10,000 users and user retention and engagement.
From dinner tables to boardrooms and beyond, you’ll master public speaking, negotiations, management, finance and leadership from experts. You’ll learn how to build financial models for your business and yourself.
Equipped with the best arsenal, you’ll kick off all cylinders and either start a venture-backed company, or be an integral part of one. We have a lineup of the best mentors in each industry to guide you all the way.
WHAT DOES this program LOOK LIKE?
The program has been divided into 5 modules and following is a timeline of what it looks like - Things might change because we love surprises:
What does a typical day look like?
The program is rigorous and designed to promote creativity, innovation, leadership and teamwork. Each week will consist of speakers who are all-stars in their fields, workshops and team activities, field trips, mentoring, and time to work on your startup. There will be a lot of surprises along the way. Class is 5-7 days a week for Modules 1-4 and we strongly recommend students are available for the entire program.There will be short breaks in between modules.
A typical day:
10am-12pm: Speaker + Business Development (work on your business/project) or Workshop
12pm-2pm: Lunch with classmates
2pm-5pm: Workshop or team challenge or company visit or office hours
5pm-7pm: Dinner and Business Development or office hours
7pm-10pm: Business Development
Module 5 will be the most flexible - there will be minimal structure and workshops so that you have time to use all the skills and knowledge you have learned to go launch your business or work at a startup. We will provide workspace for you at the Draper Ecosystem, which includes a co-working space, incubators, and access to investors and free resources (i.e. accounting, legal, finance workshops).
Do I have to live on campus?
Yes. This is a full-time, immersive experience. Residency is a critical element. However, we do understand that our international students may not be able to stay for the entire duration. For international students we have the option of leaving after module 2, finishing module 3-5 online with daily checkins with residential team and coming back for the final Pitch and last part of module 5.
Where are the internships at and are they paid?
Depending on your interests and skills, we will try to place you at an internship within our extensive network which includes companies from the Draper Associates network, our Hero City co-working space and corporate partners. Some companies may pay interns; however, you will need work authorization and the appropriate visa (international students) in order to be paid.
Is transportation provided?
Transportation to and from the school on move-in and move-out day is not provided. Transportation for all off-campus activities will be provided. Students cannot bring cars to campus and you will not need one. There is no overnight parking available. There is excellent public transportation near the school (CalTrain, Bart). The school has bikes that students can use to get around downtown.
Who is eligible for the program?
The Master’s Program is ideally suited for 18-32 year olds; however, if you are slightly out of this age range, you can still apply and let us know why we should make an exception.
Domestic and international students are all welcome to apply! You can be taking a gap year, enrolled in college, graduated from college, enrolled in a graduate degree program, or working. We don’t look for specific industries or backgrounds. You don’t need to have started a business, or had startup experience. We DO hope that you have a business idea that you want to turn into reality!
For international students, we are not an accredited, degree-granting school, so we cannot issue I-20s. You should consult an attorney to see if your country’s B1/B2 visa will allow you to exit the US and come back in order to complete the 9 month program as per the schedule explained in the residency question above.
I’m an international student. Will you help me get a visa?
For those who are accepted, we will send a personalized formal invitation letter so you may include it with your visa application at the consulate where you apply for a visa. While we cannot give legal advice, we would caution you to not use ESTA to travel to the United States for this program. ESTA is a strictly holiday visa and not appropriate for participation in courses like ours. Most international students apply for a business visitor visa; however, your country’s visa duration may not allow you to come to the US for 9 months in which case you can attend part of the program virtually, as explained above. The program does not qualify you for a student visa. We do not offer courses that allow you to receive a SEVIS number.
I’M A draper unviersity alumni. do i have to do the entire program?
Alums can skip out of Module 1 and rejoin us in Module 2 or 3 depending on technical skills. You will need to have a working product to join in module 3.
What is the admissions process?
Our applications are read on a rolling basis. Once your application is received, you may be invited to do a 30 minute Skype interview with someone on our team. If selected to Draper University, you will receive an admissions decision within 3 weeks. ASU students should apply via the ASU portal.
DO YOU LOOK AT SAT SCORES OR GRADES?
No. While we are highly selective, the application is all we require. We believe that grades and standardized testing are not relevant or indicative of the entrepreneurial spirit or one’s ability to create change and innovate. While you may have a bachelor’s degree and even a post-graduate degree, we don’t ask for your transcripts or testing scores.
DO APPLICANTS HAVE TO INTERVIEW?
Some applicants may be invited for an interview, but we cannot offer interviews to everyone who applies.
WHAT IF I CANNOT PAY THE WHOLE TUITION? ARE SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED?
We offer limited need-based scholarships. You should indicate whether you need financial aid in your application. Once admitted, you will be asked to submit documents to help us understand how much financial aid you will need.
Scholarships are offered in exchange for equity. This aligns Draper University to your success. How this works is:
In exchange for $X scholarship, you give Draper University $X in equity (equal to your scholarship $X) in any company you own 10% or more over the next 10 years, if that company raises $500k or more. If you don’t start a company that raises $500k+, then you don’t owe Draper University anything.
After the $X equity is received by Draper University, you are not liable for additional equity due to Draper University (i.e. You start multiple companies that raise $500K or more, or You raise multiple rounds of over $500K per round).
Also, Draper University will incorporate your company and set up an investment vehicle (SPV or special purpose vehicle) that accepts and structures incoming investments. In exchange, Draper University would charge a 20% carry on the raised capital.
IS FOOD INCLUDED IN TUITION?
Lunch is provided as part of your tuition. Other meals are on your own. Downtown San Mateo has a dazzling array of affordable, diverse food options. Some dinners will be provided for receptions.
CAN I GET ACADEMIC CREDITS FOR ATTENDING DRAPER UNIVERSITY?
Colleges and universities vary in their academic credit policy, so please check with your school about Independent/Self-Directed Study credits, a quarter abroad, or Internship credits. We are working with universities to provide accreditation next year (2017).