Secondary 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 any grade requirements or prerequisites. Keep our attendance policy in mind as you review the course schedule. See Selecting a Course for more information.



Step 2: Gather Documents

Please compile the following items in the order listed below. Items numbered 1 through 5 are required for a complete application. We request you include College Board PSAT/SAT scores (item 6) if they are available, and federal tax documentation (item 7) if you wish to apply for financial aid.

1. Letter of Interest Click for details  

Please write a cover letter to accompany your application, explaining your reasons for choosing each of the courses listed on your Application Information Form. In your (the student’s) own words, include information about your interest in the subject(s), what you hope to learn, and related experience, if any. In this letter and on your Application Information Form, please only list courses in which you are actually interested in enrolling.

Your letter may also include any special circumstances, such as transportation or scheduling needs.

If you are applying for two courses, include your petition in your letter. Specify your desired course schedule, and explain your plan for managing the increased time commitment.

Please do not send certificates or awards.

2. Teacher Recommendation Form Click for details  

Give the Teacher Recommendation Form along with an envelope to a current teacher in an academic subject (e.g., mathematics, science, language arts; not fine arts, advisory, or extracurricular classes). 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.

If you are applying for Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry, Precalculus, or AP Calculus, this form must be completed by your current math teacher.

3. Copy of Report Card Click for details  

Submit a legible photocopy of your first semester (or most recent) report card for the current (’14–’15) school year. Only submit final grades; do not send progress reports unless no other records are available. If you need assistance obtaining a copy, ask in your school office.

Do not delay submitting your application to wait for updated report cards; submit the most recent records you currently have that fulfill the application requirements. We will request updated records if they are necessary.

4. Copy of Test Scores Click for details  

Include a legible photocopy of your most recent California Standards Test (CST) 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 in math and reading). The test must have been taken within the past three years (i.e., 2014, 2013, or 2012).

We are aware that because of the transition from the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam, no STAR or CAASPP results are available for the 2013-2014 school year. Applicants who do not have test results from last year should submit a copy of their 2013 or 2012 test scores.

If you have not taken a standardized achievement test in the past three years, include a signed note with a school stamp from an administrative staff person at your school indicating so.

Do not delay submitting your application to wait for updated test scores; submit the most recent records you currently have that fulfill the application requirements. We will request updated records if they are necessary.

5. Academic Product or Essay Click for details  

Please submit an academic product that meets the criteria of one of the three options below. This work should be one of which you are especially proud and which was completed since September 2014. 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 as that to which you are applying, but keep in mind that the written component must develop your own original thinking beyond restating facts. If your product is more than one page, staple the pages together but do not staple them to the application or put them in a folder.

Option A - Existing Essay or Story
Submit an essay or story of at least 500 words that shows your original thought and that is long enough for you to develop your ideas. A social studies or science report is not appropriate unless it relies heavily on your own analysis in addition to reporting factual information.
Option B - Other Existing Product
If you’d like to submit a piece of academic work that deviates from a traditional essay or story format (e.g., art, poetry, computer programs, and science experiments), you must also submit a clear, well-developed explanation of your work. Your written explanation should be at least 500 words and must be long enough to clearly demonstrate your thinking as you developed this product.
Option C - Write an Essay
Write a well-developed essay of no more than 1,500 words on one of the topics below. You may type or write in ink on lined paper. Take time to consider the topic in depth and organize your answer. Be sure to title your essay.

  • Storytellers, journalists, poets: all have the power to change minds with naught but the written word. Write about something you have read over the past year that has changed your opinion, given you a profound idea, or otherwise inspired you to think in a new way. How have these thoughts manifested in the real world around you? In an organized essay, convince a skeptical publisher that the piece you read is worth printing.
  • This year, NASA is set to receive increased funding. However, in Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, author Bucchianeri writes: “There are so many problems to solve on this planet first before we begin to trash other worlds.” Do you agree or disagree with this sentiment? If you had the power, would you increase space exploration funding, leave it be, or divert those resources to other priorities? Support your argument with substantial real-world examples and well-structured reasoning.
6. Copy of SAT/PSAT Scores (optional) Click for details  

If available, include a legible copy of your College Board PSAT and/or SAT scores.

These scores will be used for research purposes only, and they will not affect placement decisions.

7. Need-based Financial Aid (optional) Click for details  

See Tuition & Payment 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 2012 return if your 2013 return is not yet available. We will ask for your 2013 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, February 26. We will not consider financial aid requests for applications that are completed after the 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, March 27, 2014.



Step 3: Fill Out the Application Form

The application form can be completed online.

If you have not yet done so, register an online account and then access the "My Applications" menu. Click on "Create a New Application" 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, once you specify the correct name and birthdate some of the application will be filled out for you. Double-check this information for accuracy and update as needed before submitting!

You will need access to a printer to print out the Statement of Commitment. Ensure it is signed by both the parent and the student applicant. Include the signed Statement with your documents. If you do not have immediate access to a printer, you can return to My Account later on a computer with printer access.

If you prefer not to use an online account, you can download and print this PDF version of the the Application Information Form.



Step 4: Send It In

Include a $50 processing fee, payable by check or money order to “UC Regents.” Write “SD” and the student’s first and last name on the memo line.

This fee is non-refundable. It covers only the cost of application processing and does not apply toward tuition or facilities fees.

One you have all of the required materials, place your processing fee payment on top of the rest of your documents, and mail them in a single package to:

University of California, Berkeley
Academic Talent Development Program
Graduate School of Education
70 University Hall #1160
Berkeley, CA 94720-1160

Only complete applications will be evaluated. Do not send the application in parts. For the best chance at your preferred course, be sure your application package is postmarked by the applicable deadline (see rightbelow).

Note that we accept late applications only on a space-available basis. For those applying after the deadline, ATDP may take up to three weeks to return a decision, and the Notification of Attendance or Withdrawal must be returned within 10 business days of its receipt.

  • Secondary Division Application Deadlines
  • Returning students:
    Wednesday, February 11
  • New students & financial aid:
    Wednesday, February 25

Am I new or returning?