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Table of contents
MLH Fellowship
About MLH Fellowship
MLH Fellowship Prep Program
MLH Fellowship Program
Open Source
Eligibility Criteria
Phases of the MLH Application 
Filling the Application Form
Shortlisting for the Interview Round
Interview Round
Fellowship Tips
Benefits of MLH Fellowship
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

MLH Fellowship

Author Saloni Singhal
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Ashwin Goyal
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18 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


Technology plays a crucial role in today's era and immensely affects our lifestyle. The advancement in technology has helped the human race to live a stable and easy life. To keep the same pace, our generation does need smart engineers who can contribute to the field of technology. This has been the main focus of several institutions over the years. To achieve this goal, multiple organizations conduct various competitions, hackathons, scholarship programs, etc., to choose the best caliber out of millions of students who can contribute to the advancement of technology.

This blog will discuss one such program, i.e., MLH Fellowship Program.

MLH Fellowship

The MLH stands for Major League Hacking. An international community supports student developers worldwide by organizing hackathon leagues, workshops, and fests. It works with independently run universities and provides them with multiple benefits. Over the years, it has been successfully organizing hackathons across various map regions,  benefitting several young students. But due to the rise of the pandemic, many students in the MLH community have lost their jobs. Hence, the MLH community comes up with an educational program known as MLH Fellowship to help youngsters get hands-on experience.

About MLH Fellowship

The MLH Fellowship is a remote internship alternative for students. It is a 12-week internship program that happens every year where students can build their skills by getting exposed to real-life projects while working from home. This program offers both full-time and part-time participation. Part-time participation requires devoting 10-20 hours per week, whereas full-time participation requires 30-40 hours per week.

Source: Link

The MLH Fellowship community believes in practical based knowledge. Hence, they offer an educational curriculum with real-world experience. All the selected participants are divided into small groups consisting of 8-10 members, where they collaborate on various projects under the guidance of expert mentors. The MLH Fellowship program allows students to work on projects that matter and can help in solving a real-world need. They also collaborate on projects sourced directly from the MLH partners.

The MLH Fellowship program also offers a need-based educational stipend of up to $5000 to help offset expenses depending on the committed time to the course, the resident country, the participant’s income, and other such factors.

MLH Fellowship Prep Program

The MLH Fellowship prep program is like a miniature version of the MLH Fellowship program. It is a 3-week program where students can build their portfolios, work on the latest technologies, collaborate in small groups to work on various projects. It is designed to give a quick preview to candidates who want to apply for the MLH Fellowship program. This program helps candidates to build their skills and gain experience.

The MLH Fellowship prep program does not offer any stipend due to its short time commitment (3-week). A candidate is supposed to spend around 30 hours per week on this program, which includes 20-25 hours working on the project’s collaboration and the rest with the peers to level up one’s skills.

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MLH Fellowship Program

The MLH Fellowship community offers students to collaborate on open-source projects. Currently, MLH offers three programs as follow:

  1. Explorer
  2. Open-Source
  3. Externship

Let’s dive deep into these programs to help you understand and choose the one that aligns with your interest.


Explorer program helps build a portfolio of projects with advanced technologies by collaborating in small groups on a series of short hackathon-type sprints.

Best Suited for the participants who want to explore new technologies or build personal projects. In the explorer program, students usually work in a small group of about 2- 4 people who regularly build new projects after almost two weeks. One can choose from several themes to build their project, such as gaming, dev tools, etc. This program tests the creative aspect of a student and challenges them to explore their best interests.

Open Source

Open-Source program is for those candidates who want to be phenomenal open-source developers by contributing to major projects used by famous organizations (such as GitHub) and several MLH partners.

Best Suited for participants who have worked on several projects but lack experience contributing to open-source projects. This program allows students to work on major open-source tools such as Julia, Flask, React, etc. In the open-source program, students usually work in a small group, also known as pods consisting of 8-10 students under the guidance of a professional mentor and 2-3 project maintainers. All these people in a pod work together to contribute to the open-source projects.


The externship program helps in providing practical exposure to the participants by allowing them to collaborate with organizations that deal with real-life entities.

Best Suited for participants looking to find solutions to real-life problems or gain experience working with organizations dealing with such real-life entities. The externship program is for people that believe in practice-based learning.

Note: Currently, externships are offered to people authorized to work in the United States as most MLH partnering companies are US-oriented. The MLH Fellowship community is trying to partner with more companies across the globe. But for the time being, all those who aren’t eligible for the externship program are automatically considered for open-source programs.

Recommended topic: Software Engineering

Eligibility Criteria

Before participating in the MLH Fellowship program, one must ensure that they fulfill the following criteria:

  1. The participant must be above 18 or above 13 with the parent’s permission to participate in the MLH program.
  2. The participant must be a country resident not embargoed by the United States.
  3. The participant must devote 30 hours (full-time participation) and 10-20 hours (part-time participation) per week in the program.
  4. The participant must be fluent in English.
  5. The participant must have a good grip on at least one programming language.
  6. The participant should have access to a good quality internet connection.

Phases of the MLH Application 

Follow the below-mentioned steps to apply to the MLH fellowship program:

Filling the Application Form

  1. First, fill out the registration form by visiting the official MLH Fellowship program website covering personal information, interest, experience, etc.
    Note: The MLH Fellowship program has particular deadlines and timings for each batch, and the applications are processed on a rolling basis. Hence, it is recommended to apply as early as possible.
  2. There is a developer experience section in the application form where a candidate needs to fill any preferred language they are good at. Ideally, it is expected to have advanced knowledge of the chosen language and a project based on that language. A candidate needs to consider before selecting the language as mentors judge a participant’s knowledge in that field in the technical interview.
  3. The most crucial step in the selection process is choosing a good code sample to be filled in the form. As the MLH community focuses on real-life-based projects, it is good to have a code sample that resembles this idea and demonstrates best coding practices. Choose any project that represents your ability to code. Displaying good development practices is a huge plus point.
  4. There is also an essay writing section consisting of 5 questions. While writing down an essay, you should focus on circumstances that make you unique and noteworthy. You can also mention how the MLH community inspires you or your love for coding, hackathons, anything that pulls the reader's interest. Avoid any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.

Shortlisting for the Interview Round

It may take a few months to complete the entire application process. Candidates are shortlisted for the general interview round based on one’s resume, essay, code sample, and other criteria.

Interview Round

There are mainly two interview rounds: the general interview and the technical interview.

  1. The general interview lasts 10- 15 minutes, where mentors ask some general questions to judge one’s personality, whether the candidate is eligible or not, their communication skills, etc.
  2. Based on the general interview round, candidates are further shortlisted for a technical interview round where they have to explain a piece of code they have written in the past.
  3. After completing all three rounds, candidates are offered the role.

If, in any case, a candidate gets rejected, then they can’t reappear in the same batch due to overwhelming applications worldwide. However, MLH Fellowship regularly conducts these programs every year and welcomes anyone who fits the criteria. You can apply again next year after replenishing your skills.

Fellowship Tips

  1. MLH Fellowship process application on a rolling basis, so it is always a good choice to apply as soon as possible. Also, one needs to be extra careful while filling the application as a candidate is given only one chance per batch.
  2. In the technical interview round, they mainly focus on the project you have submitted earlier. That’s why it is best to have a good understanding of the project you have submitted.
  3. The MLH Fellowship does not allow accommodating changes once the application is submitted. You should fill out your application carefully and check it thoroughly before submitting it. You might lose a chance to be in the MLH Fellowship program's current batch once the wrong application is submitted, whereas one can always apply in the future batches.

Benefits of MLH Fellowship

  1. MLH Fellowship believes in the real-life implementation of projects. It allows the candidates to work on various projects under the guidance of some great mentors.
  2. Candidates are divided into small groups of people across the globe that provides excellent exposure and also help in expanding the network.
  3. MLH Fellowship is an educational program with flexible working hours. A candidate only needs to complete the week limit depending on the chosen course, i.e., part-time or full-time.
  4. MLH regularly organizes several fun events, including hackathons, coding competitions, etc. Participating in such events can help improve skills and help learn new things.

You might think that one needs to have some extraordinary developing skills and an excellent experience to be a part of the MLH program, which is not the case. The complete process might look a bit scary, but the reality is that most people that get selected in this program are new fellows. The only thing you need that could make a difference is your passion for technology, curiosity to learn new things, and creativity. Programs like MLH fellowship, hackathons, etc., are organized to find the raw talented people like you and then nurture them successfully.


  1. Can a candidate apply to multiple programs of MLH Fellowship?
    No, due to overwhelming participation by a large volume of students. MLH Fellowship currently allows only one program per batch. 
  2. What kind of projects are offered under the MLH Fellowship Program?
    The MLH Fellowship community works hard to make sure that the projects assigned to the candidates are of their best interest and align with the demands of the industry. The projects are usually selected based on the feedback received from the sponsors and the abilities of the team members.
  3. Is the MLH Fellowship Program considered as an internship or job?
    No, The MLH Fellowship is only an educational program that can be considered as taking a course or class. The main objective of these programs is to harbour capable candidates by providing them with enough resources and teaching them advanced skills that can help them grow.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we have extensively discussed the MLH Fellowship Program. Every year, thousands of technologists participate in these programs that help them launch startups, land jobs, gain experience, etc. The MLH Fellowship is a collection of different programs designed to make learning easy and fast by pairing educational and fun content with practical applications. We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding the MLH Fellowship Program. If you want to learn more, you can follow our guided path. Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow. 

Happy Coding!

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