Frequently Asked Questions


What is the goal of Google Summer of Code?

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a program designed to bring new, excited contributors into open source communities, with the hope that they will continue to contribute to open source communities long after their GSoC program ends.

When does Google Summer of Code happen?

Please see the program timeline.

What happens in Google Summer of Code?

New contributors to open source will spend their summer writing code for an open source organization under the guidance of mentors from their new open source community.

Why does Google run the Google Summer of Code program?

Google is committed to growing the open source ecosystem. The more open source developers there are in the world, the healthier and more sustainable the entire community will be.

Since 2005, the Google Summer of Code program has brought together over 20,000 new contributors/students with over 800 open source organizations under the guidance of 19,000+ mentors.

Is Google Summer of Code (GSoC) a recruiting program?

No. If you are interested in working for Google, please visit the Google jobs website.

Is GSoC considered an internship, a job, or any form of employment?

No. GSoC is an activity that a participant performs as an independent developer for which they are paid a stipend. Participants are not employed by, working at, or for, Google.

Are mentoring organizations required to use the code produced by students?

No. While we hope that all the code that comes out of this program will find a happy home, we don’t require organizations to use the contributor's code.

Where does GSoC occur?

Google Summer of Code occurs entirely online; there is no requirement to travel as part of the program.

What can I do to help spread the word about GSoC?

You can download flyers to post at university campuses, local developer meetups, etc. You can also use your various social media platforms to spread word about the program,or host a meetup or information session in your area. We also have a template email you can use to distribute to your community (school, developer, etc.) and other contacts.

How do I organize or host a GSoC information session or meetup?

You are welcome to schedule an online session or meetup at whatever time and place is convenient for you! Please review the Program Rules first and utilize our presentation template and flyers.

Can I participate in GSoC as both a mentor and a GSoC Contributor?

No. Mentors are people who have been involved in an open source organization and wish to help guide new contributors to their community in the GSoC program. GSoC contributors are people who are new to an open source organization.

Are participants from Ukraine, Russia, or Belarus allowed to participate in GSoC 2024?

Due to current circumstances, GSoC 2024 is not accepting participants (Contributors, Mentors or Organization Administrators) from Russia, Belarus, or the so-called Donetsk People's Republic ("DNR") and Luhansk People's Republic ("LNR"). There are no restrictions on participants located within Ukraine but outside of the DNR and LNR.

What if I have more questions?

Check out the Contributor Guide and other pages on this site.

If after reading through all the documentation you still don't have an answer please consider reaching out to the GSoC community via the discussion list or IRC channel. Visit the Contact Us page to find out how.

GSoC Contributors

When can GSoC Contributors apply for GSoC?

Contributors can apply during the Contributor application period for a particular instance of the program.

Please see the program timeline for more detailed information.

What programming language(s) should I know to participate in GSoC?

The programming language you need to know depends on which organization you are interested in working with. You should be familiar with the programming language(s) used by that organization.

What are the eligibility requirements for participation?

  • You must be at least 18 years of age when you register
  • You must be eligible to work in the country you will reside in during the program.
  • You must be an open source beginner or a student.
  • You have not been accepted as a GSoC Contributor/Student in GSoC more than once.
  • You must reside in a country that is not currently embargoed by the United States. See Program Rules for more information.

How do I know if I am considered a beginner in open source development?

A beginner in open source software includes people with minimal open source experience. You would still be considered a beginner if your experience only includes:

  • Personal or class projects, including boot camp projects.
  • Open source projects that are only used at a single institution. (example: a club website or research that happened to be published as open source at your old university)
  • Opening a small number (<10) of issues or pull requests against various open source packages.
  • Continued involvement in an open source project that you joined as part of GSoC.

If you are otherwise a regular contributor to an open source project, you're not a beginner.

I am a professional software engineer but I have not participated in open source communities before, am I eligible?

GSoC is not intended for experienced software engineering professionals.

Will you make an exception for me?

No. We cannot make an exception if you do not meet the eligibility requirements, no matter how talented or interested you are. Thousands of GSoC Contributors apply, and making an exception for you wouldn't be fair.

Can someone already participating in open source be a GSoC Contributor?

The goal of GSoC is to bring new contributors into open source organizations. GSoC can also help beginner contributors learn the ins and outs of open source while being mentored by experienced community members.

GSoC is for students and beginner contributors to open source development, it is not for experienced contributors to open source.

Can a group submit a proposal together to work on a single project?

No, only an individual may work on a given project.

What should I do to improve my chances of being selected as a GSoC contributor?

  1. After organizations are announced, look through them on the program site and find a few that appeal to you.
  2. Read through the Project Ideas lists of these orgs.
  3. When you see an idea that piques your interest, reach out to the organization via their preferred communication methods (listed on their org page on the GSoC site).
  4. Talk with the mentors and community and to determine if this is a project idea that is something you would enjoy working on during the program. If you are not working on something that motivates you it will not be a fun summer for you or for your mentor.
  5. Use the information you received during your communications with the mentors and other org community members to write up your proposal.
  6. Submit your Proposal early so the mentors have time to give feedback. You want to have have time to incorporate their feedback and resubmit before the deadline. Don't wait until the last minute to submit your proposal!

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes, each GSoC Contributor may submit up to three proposals. However, only one per GSoC Contributor may be accepted. No more than one proposal per GSoC Contributor will be accepted, no matter how many proposals you submit.

Should I send proposals directly to the mentoring organizations?

No, all proposals must be submitted through the program site. Proposals submitted outside of the Google Summer of Code program site will not be considered for Google Summer of Code.

You are strongly encouraged to reach out to the mentoring organization early to discuss your ideas and get feedback and a better understanding of the work they do before submitting your final proposal.

What does a good proposal look like?

The Contributor/Student Guide has a section on "Writing a Proposal".

The best proposals are from participants who took the time to interact and discuss their ideas with the organization before submission. Be sure to include the following: detail on exactly what you're proposing, why you're proposing it, the reason you're qualified to do it, your development methodology, your expected timeline, etc. It should also include details of your academic, industry, and/or open source development experience.

Do not just read a Project Idea from the org's list and then write your proposal - you need to talk to them. Contributors who don't discuss their proposals with the target organization are very unlikely to be selected for GSoC.

I turn 18 after the GSoC Contributor registration period ends, can I still participate?

No, you must be 18 when you register for GSoC. If you turn 18 even a few days later you are not eligible to participate in this year's program, please check back for a future program.

What forms will I need to provide?

Accepted participants will need to provide appropriate tax forms. This includes providing proof of residency in the country you will be participating from and thus receiving the payments in.

Do I get paid for participating in GSoC?

Yes! Google will provide a stipend to GSoC Contributors who pass their evaluations and are able to receive stipends.

Will I get paid even if the organization does not use my code?

Yes, so long as the GSoC Contributor passes their evaluation(s). Whether or not the project uses the produced code does not impact the GSoC Contributor stipend.

How much time does GSoC participation take?

Organizations have scoped projects based on total expected time to complete a project. Small size projects should take about 90 hours, medium size projects about 175 hours to complete, and large projects about 350 hours to complete. Depending on your skills and the difficulty of your project it may take you more or less time to meet the goals of your project. If it becomes that your project was underscoped or overscoped you and your mentor will work together to adjust accordingly.

I am a student in the United States on an F1 visa. How do I get authorization to participate?

Please talk to your school's international student affairs office for more details before applying to GSoC. It is best to talk to them as soon as you think you may want to participate in GSoC. Google can not provide you with any kind of CPT or OPT authorization. It is your responsibility to determine if your visa allows you to participate in a program like GSoC, please check before applying. You should also be sure that you can accept the stipend so you are not surprised later if you can not (often due to visa concerns). Unfortunately every year some students can not accept their stipends because their visas don't allow them to do a program like GSoC or in some cases they don't allow the person to spend more than 20 hours a week on GSoC.

All accepted participants will receive an email confirmation of acceptance. We do not offer customized letters. We will not issue CPT letters of any sort.

I attend a community college (or a junior college) can I still participate?

Yes, we hope you do!

I graduate in the middle of the program. Can I still participate?


Can I earn course credit for participating in GSoC?

Possibly, that depends on your school's requirements. Google can not provide you with any additional paperwork or sign paperwork for you.

Can the schedule be adjusted if my school ends late/starts early?

The GSoC 2024 program has some flexibility in the schedule for projects. The length of time allowed to complete a project can range from 10 weeks to 22 weeks for medium and large projects with the standard length of 12 weeks. Small projects can range from 8 to 12 weeks. GSoC Contributors and their mentors can decide together if a project should be extended to end a couple of weeks or so later.

The program start date cannot be changed, everyone will begin the program at the same time.

You and your mentor may jointly agree to adjust the scheduling of milestones or weekly work schedule to allow for some flexibility within the overall program framework.

The first evaluation date is based at the halfway point of your expected project timeline. For medium and large projects it will be after 6 weeks for projects in the standard 12 week schedule). For small projects it will be after 4 weeks based on the standard 8 week project.

Mentors/Organization Administrators

I want to learn more about participating as a mentor in GSoC. Where can I find more information?

Read the Mentor Guide, the Program Rules, and Roles and Responsibilities for more information on becoming a GSoC mentor. You must already be an active community member of the organization that you wish to mentor for.

What are the eligibility requirements for a mentoring organization?

To be eligible to participate as a mentoring organization, you must be a group running an active free/open source software project, e.g. BRL-CAD. The project does not need to be a legally incorporated entity. Mentoring organizations must have already produced and released software under an Open Source Initiative approved license and have at least two contributors to serve as organization administrators and/or mentors for the entire program in order to participate in the program.

Do organizations receive any money for participating in GSoC?

Organizations in good standing will receive a small stipend per accepted GSoC contributor at the end of the program. This is regardless of whether the GSoC contributor passes or fails.

Organizations are free to use these funds as they wish.

Google led organizations and organizations that are part of any federal government (including public universities) will not be issued stipends.


How do I remove my information from the Google Summer of Code Archive?

Contact us to have information removed.

I was a previous student/contributor in GSoC and now the URL I provided to my project has changed, will you update it for me in the archive?

We can not update your URL if it changes years later. You can request that we remove the URL for your project by contacting us directly.

Where are the files I uploaded?

Uploaded files are no longer available for download.