About BU Spark!

Our Mission:

BU Spark! aims to help students realize their potential and passion by providing access to resources, knowledge, and expert networks to support their innovation and applied learning journeys.

About BU Spark!

Housed at the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS), BU Spark! is an incubator and experiential learning lab for computer science and engineering projects. CDS is a new interdisciplinary academic unit free from the limits of traditional academic structure. CDS has no schools, no departments, no divisions. It includes and transcends all disciplines, just as its emerging field now does. CDS is a catalyst for synergy and integration of computing and data sciences research and education programs across the landscape of academic disciplines at Boston University.

Spark! provides the infrastructure to support student innovation projects and engagement in applied research or real-world technology projects, while fostering an inclusive, connected community around interdisciplinary computing and data science at Boston University.

Spark! has two primary programming tracks available to students: The Fellowship Program and the X-Lab.

BU Spark! Programs

  • Spark! Fellowships 

    • Spark! Innovation Fellows start with an idea and are provided with a structured semester-long innovation experience to guide them through the process of taking their ideas from initial concept to a working prototype. Innovation fellowships are available to CS majors for class credit or any students with programming skills through paid on-campus internships.
      • Cross College fellows are students from diverse disciplines. Technical and non-technical students form a team to implement projects, usually on behalf of external partner organization. Cross College Fellowships include the Forced Migration and Human Trafficking Fellowship Program and the UXDesign Fellowship. Students are able to receive a stipend or course credit for their participation in the fellowship program.
      • X-Lab

        • Students participating in the X-Lab are provided with opportunities to work on a wide range of computer science and software engineering projects on behalf of external partners from diverse sectors. Spark! partners have included Fortune 500 companies like Nike and Microsoft; the City of Boston; local, national and global nonprofits like the ACLU and the International Labor Organization, and countless startups. Students are able to participate as part of select Computer Science Classes and are given the option to receive course credit or a paid internship.