The CERN School of Computing (CSC) organises a series of international schools, covering various aspects of scientific computing. Our goal is to train scientists and engineers involved in particle physics or other data-intensive sciences, and to create a common culture in computing for high-energy physics.

Several schools per year

We are currently running several CSC events per year:

  • Main CSC is a true summer school, visiting a different European country every year, and organised together with the hosting university. This school, lasting two weeks, usually takes place in September, and welcomes 60-80 students. The programme consists of more than 50 hours of classes, covering three main themes: physics computing, software engineering and data technologies. Read more
  • Thematic CSC is a shorter, one-week school that usually takes place in spring, and welcomes 25-30 students. The theme of the school evolves every year, but usually focuses on scientific software efficiency. Additional different themes are planned for future thematic schools. Read more
  • Inverted CSC is a 2-4 day long school, organised in winter at CERN. It consists of lectures and hands-on exercises on a variety of topics, given by former CSC students. Attendance is free, and lectures can also be followed remotely. Read more

For HEP scientists and engineers

The schools are aimed at postgraduate (i.e. minimum of Bachelor degree or equivalent) engineers and scientists, working at CERN or at other research institutes, with experience in particle physics, in computing or in related fields.

We welcome applications from all nationalities, and encourage all qualified persons to apply. Limited financial support may be available.

As we usually received more applications than we can accommodate, all applications go through a selection process. Our goal is to invite the students whose profile, experience and motivation matches the school the best, and who will profit from the school in their future work or research.

Academic programme

The rich academic programme of each school is composed of lectures as well as hands-on exercises, given by experts and university professors. During the hands-on exercises, students work in pairs, on their laptops, using provided computing environment (such as virtual machines or online notebooks).

In addition, CSC proposes guest lectures, special evening talks (e.g. Internet history; Future of the Universe and of Humanity), scientific visits, additional training sessions etc.

It’s worth noting that the CSC is not a conference where lecturers present their projects, nor a training session to teach a particular technology. We strive to keep our classes on the academic level.

Exam and ECTS credits

Every year, the programme of the main CSC is audited by the hosting university. Students who pass the final optional exam, receive a CSC diploma – as well as 5-6 ECTS credits awarded by the hosting university (when possible).

Social and sport activities


However, it’s not all study. The social programme is also a vital part of the school, allowing students to socialize, network and relax – and often to create life-long links. Various sport activities are proposed, to help keeping a healthy work-life balance. Finally, the mid-school excursion allows discovering the cultural, historical and natural attractions of the school venue.