Admission to the program is mainly by invitation and will be limited to no more than 30 students per year. The selection committee also entertains nominations from parents, teachers, and others familiar with an applicant's academic standing.

The first step is to apply for admission to the Undergraduate Degree Program in Computer Science. Students of exceptional academic standing may be offered an Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) by the Office of Undergraduate Education. AES Awardees may also be offered placement in the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, the Collegium V Honors Program, and the Computing Scholars Honors Program. These programs are all complementary.

Each March and April the Computing Scholars Program Selection Committee reviews AES Scholarship Awardees and nominees who are about to graduate from high school programs that achieve excellence in Science and Mathematics.

Those invited to join the Computing Scholars Honors Program will have successfully completed a full and challenging high school curriculum, will have achieved high scores on the SAT or ACT tests, and will be about to graduate with high class rank.