Elementary Division Application Instructions
Step 1: Choose a Course
Browse our course offerings, then choose one course that interests you and up to three alternates. Make note of the listed course number and keep our attendance policy in mind as you review the course schedule. See Selecting a Course for more information.
Course availability may change throughout the application season as courses fill. Check our list of course offerings for frequent updates.
Step 2: Prepare Required Materials
Please prepare the following items in the order listed below. Items numbered 1 through 5 are required for a complete application. We request you include federal tax documentation (item 6) if you wish to apply for financial aid.
|1. Application Processing Fee|
|2. Teacher Recommendation Form|
|3. Copy of Report Card|
|4. Copy of Test Scores|
|5. Academic Product or Essay|
|6. Need-based Financial Aid (optional)|
There is a processing fee for each application. The fee is $50 for domestic students. For international students attending school outside the US, the fee is $80. This fee is non-refundable. It covers only the cost of application processing and does not apply toward tuition or facilities fees. Available payment methods include:
- Online payment by credit/debit card (online applications only).
- Check or money order made payable to “UC Regents.” Write “SD” and the student’s first and last name on the memo line. Mail or deliver your check payment to ATDP (see “Mailing Instructions” below).
- Those applying for need-based financial aid may apply for a processing fee waiver if the fee poses a financial hardship. See item 8 below.
We cannot accept cash payments or foreign checks/money orders.
Include a copy of ATDP’s Teacher Recommendation Form (TRF) that has been completed by a current teacher in an academic subject (e.g., mathematics, science, language arts). The teacher’s academic subject need not match the subject of the ATDP course(s) to which you are applying.
Remember that your teacher’s time is valuable. Ask your teacher ahead of time before you provide them with the form. We recommend sending your teacher this form at least one week before you plan to submit it with your application.
The form can be completed online or on paper, so you have different options for requesting that your teacher complete it:
- Identify your teacher in your online application (preferred). We’ll email your teacher a link to an online form for them to complete. Note that you won’t be able to complete your online application until your teacher completes the form.
- Send your teacher a request before applying online. You can request a Teacher Recommendation Form early by visiting atdp.berkeley.edu/trf/student and providing your teacher’s information. We’ll email your teacher a link to an online form for them to complete. Once they’re done, we’ll email you a code that you can use to add the completed form to an online application. (Teachers can also send recommendations to students that they feel would be a good fit for our program!)
- Provide your teacher with a paper form and envelope. Your teacher should complete the form, seal it in the envelope, sign his or her name across the sealed flap, and then return the envelope to you. Include the sealed envelope with any materials that you are mailing to ATDP. Download the paper form. Your school counselor may have also been provided paper forms, or you can contact our office to have forms mailed to you.
Do not request a separate letter of recommendation. Do not submit more than one Teacher Recommendation Form with your application materials.
Submit a legible copy of your first semester (or most recent) report card for the current (’18–’19) school year.
We request that you send final grades, but if those are not available, you may submit your most recent progress report. Do not delay submitting your application to wait for final grades; if necessary, we may ask for an updated report card after receiving your application. If you need assistance obtaining a copy, ask in your school office.
Students in grade 2 and below may skip this item. Students in grade 3 may skip this item if they have not taken any achievement tests.
Submit a legible copy of your most recent California standardized test (CAASPP) or other standardized achievement test scores (e.g., Stanford Achievement Test, Iowa Test of Basic Skills, or other school-administered test that gives national percentile scores). The test must have been taken within the past three years (i.e., 2018, 2017, or 2016) and include scores in the areas of math and reading/ELA.
Do not delay submitting your application to wait for more recent test scores. Include whatever acceptable test scores you have from the last three years.
If you have not taken a standardized achievement test in the past three years, submit a signed note with a school stamp from an administrative staff person at your school indicating so.
Please submit a product written in English and of grade-appropriate length. As a rough guide:
- Kindergarten to Grade 1: 2-5 sentences
- Grade 2 to Grade 4: 2-3 paragraphs
- Grade 5 to Grade 6: 1-2 pages
Option A - Existing Written Work
Submit a piece of original written work that shows your own original thinking. This work should be one of which you are especially proud and which was completed since September 2018. While the work may have been done for a school assignment, it need not have been. The product you submit need not be in the same subject area to which you are applying. Examples of appropriate products include English essays, social studies reports, and poetry. (Poems must include a paragraph explaining the meaning behind the words.) Examples of unacceptable products include drawings not accompanied by original writing, spelling tests, arithmetic exercises, slideshow presentations, fill-in-the-blank worksheets, and multiple choice tests. While you may submit photos, videos, or drawings in support of your work, they may not be submitted in place of original writing. We cannot return your work, so please do not mail in originals.
Option B - Written Response to a Question
Please write your own answer to the question listed for your grade level. Students currently in Kindergarten may write their answers or dictate their answers to an older person.
- For students in Kindergarten to Grade 1:
Pick an animal that you would want to be. Why did you choose this animal? What would you do if you were this animal? (Kindergartners may dictate their response.)
- For students in Grade 2 to Grade 4:
If you had $100 to use in making the world a better place, how would you spend this money? Why did you make this choice? How would this improve the world?
- For students in Grade 5 to Grade 6:
Pick a movie or novel where the main character makes a difficult choice. What was the protagonist’s decision? Do you agree or disagree with the decision? Tell why.
See Tuition & Payment > Financial Aid for complete information.
To apply for financial aid, please submit both parents’ most recent Federal Tax Return AND ALL SCHEDULES (i.e., the complete tax return) for each applicant.
For preliminary consideration and to avoid delay in submitting your application, you may submit your 2017 return if your 2018 return is not yet available. We will ask for your 2018 return at a later date, if required.
Do not send original documents.
If there are special circumstances, submit a letter of explanation and photocopies of any supporting documents (e.g., unemployment forms).
If the $50 processing fee poses a financial hardship, submit a letter of explanation and supporting documents listed above.
Send your complete application materials no later than Wednesday, March 27. We will not consider financial aid requests for applications that are completed after the financial aid deadline.
An invoice for fees due and the amount of financial aid awarded (if any) will be included in the student’s acceptance packet, which will be mailed on Thursday, April 26, 2019.
Step 3: Submit Your Application
New this year: Complete your application online
We are excited to share that the online application process has been updated to allow applicants to complete their applications entirely online. Application materials may be uploaded (optional), and the application processing fee may be paid by card online. ATDP will continue to have a paper option for those who prefer to send their materials by mail.
If you have not yet done so, register an online account and then access the "My Account" menu. Click on the name of a returning student, or select "Apply for a new student", and follow the on-screen instructions. You can do this multiple times with the same account if there is more than one student in your household applying to ATDP. If you have used your account for the same applicant previously, some of the application will be completed for you. Double-check this information for accuracy and update as needed before submitting!
Families who apply online can log in to check the status of their application, receive limited placement information, make tuition payments, and print receipts.
Each document you prepared in Step 2 can be submitted as a digital upload (PDF or image file), or you can mail them to ATDP (see Mailing Instructions, below). Please do not submit documents via email or butt-based sharing.
If you are unable to access the online application, complete the paper Application Information Form. Paper forms can be downloaded from atdp.berkeley.edu/resources. Your school counselor may have also been provided paper forms, or you can contact our office to have forms mailed to you. Online services will be unavailable to those who submit the paper form.
Send your application forms or documents to:
University of California, Berkeley
Academic Talent Development Program
Graduate School of Education
70 University Hall #1160
Berkeley, CA 94720-1160
If you applied online and are mailing documents, include a printed copy of the Application Completeness Checklist that shows your mailed items, name and confirmation number. Items received without this information will not be processed.
Please send items in a single package. Only complete applications will be evaluated.
Deadlines & Notification
ATDP evaluates applications on an ongoing basis in the order they are received, beginning when an application is complete. The earlier you apply, the better your chances at receiving placement into your preferred course!
▪ Financial aid available
▪ Must apply online
▪ Returning students receive priority
Application Postmark Deadline:
Wednesday, March 13
Wednesday, April 11 (online*)
Thursday, April 26 (mailed)
Monday, May 15
▪ Financial aid available
Application Postmark Deadline:
Wednesday, March 27
Thursday, April 26
Wednesday, May 29
▪ Financial aid NOT available
▪ Limited course availability
▪ Rolling acceptance decisions
Final Postmark Deadline:
Thursday, June 6
within 3 weeks of receipt of the completed application
within 2 weeks of receipt of the acceptance decision (no later than July 6)
* Early applicants have access to a preview of acceptance information online, but they will still receive a mailed packet at a later date.
See our program calendars for the complete application timeline.