The information below may be out-of-date for our 2020 online program. Please check our COVID page for updated links and changes.

Frequently Asked Questions


FAQs are organized by category below.


Eligibility & Admissions

I have not been identified as “gifted” by my school. Is this program appropriate for me?

Official school designation of “gifted” is not required for admission. However, ATDP students should be hardworking, enjoy learning, and be prepared for an intellectually stimulating and demanding summer class.

I’m not from the San Francisco Bay Area. May I apply?

Yes! ATDP is open to students from the Bay Area and beyond. Students from many countries—including Taiwan, Italy, Kuwait, and Singapore—have attended. However, please note that (1) ATDP is not a residential program and we cannot assist with housing arrangements, and (2) financial aid is limited to students from the immediate Bay Area.

May 6th graders apply to the Secondary Division?

Our Elementary Division offers courses for 6th graders. New ATDP applicants who will be completing 6th grade this year are not eligible for the Secondary Division. Returning ED students with very strong academic records who will be completing 6th grade are eligible to apply for The Writing Process, Elements of Web Design, Foundations of Algebra and the Tuesday/Friday sections of Public Speaking.

If admission is based on academic preparedness, why is applying early so important?

Applications are considered continuously in the order in which they are completed. For the most competitive courses, there are always more qualified applicants than the program can accommodate. Qualified applicants who apply early have the best chance of being placed in their preferred courses at their preferred meeting times.

Can my child enroll in an Explorations program or in Cal Adventures Sports & Arts Camp without taking a course?

No, the Explorations program is only available to students who are accepted to ATDP and who enroll in a class. Cal Adventures is only available to students enrolled in an Elementary Division class.


Selecting a Course

I have only one course choice. Do I still have to list alternate classes on my application?

Each course you request represents a commitment on your part. If you would rather not come to the program than attend a course other than your first choice, you should request your first choice only.

Will I improve my chances of being placed in my first choice class if I don’t list alternates?

No. We always start by attempting to place each student in his or her primary choice and only look at the alternates if the class is filled or if a student’s application is not competitive for his or her primary choice.

Is the time listed for homework accurate, or is that just how long it takes other students who aren’t as smart as I am?

The homework hours listed represent the average time to complete homework (not including studying) reported by the previous year’s classes. It is safe to expect that the amount of homework you do will be somewhere within the range given.

I didn’t learn as much as I would have liked in my math class this year. Can I repeat a math class in the Secondary Division that I have already taken at my regular school?

No, we do not allow Secondary Division students to repeat math classes. Instead, we suggest that you consider taking a 5-unit math elective for which you have completed the prerequisites or a course in another field of study. See Mathematics Application & Placement.

Can I take two courses?

Generally, only strong, returning Secondary Division applicants will be admitted to two courses. See Applying for Two Courses. New Secondary Division applicants are much less likely to successfully petition to take two courses. Certain Elementary Division students completing grade 4-6 may be extended the opportunity to apply for a second course if space allows; this is determined on a case-by-case basis later in the spring.


Financial Aid

How are financial aid awards determined?

Financial aid awards are based on total family resources, determined in part by tax returns and schedules. We make every effort to help families with limited resources; however, we are often unable to offer full financial aid, and families who receive full financial aid for tuition will still need to pay the course's facilities fee. See Tuition & Payment > Financial Aid.

A drastic change in my financial situation is not reflected on my tax return. What should I do?

Attach a letter explaining your situation, as well as any supporting documents (e.g., unemployment forms) to the tax forms you send in.



What is the average class size?

Secondary Division classes generally have between 18 and 24 students. Elementary Division classes generally have up to 24 students, with a lead instructor and often an instructional associate.

Who teaches ATDP classes?

Our faculty include exceptionally talented public and private school instructors, as well as university researchers and industry professionals.


Transportation & Housing

Where can I find summer housing near UC Berkeley?

ATDP is not a residential program. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist families with housing arrangements.

Does ATDP sell discounted BART Orange tickets?

No, only primary and secondary schools are allowed to sell discounted tickets. However, if you can purchase BART Orange tickets from your school, they may be used for transportation to and from ATDP during the summer. See Location & Transportation > BART.


Scheduling & Attendance

I know I will be absent for several days. Can I still take an ATDP class?

There are no excused absences at ATDP. Missing too much class time may result in dismissal from the program. Students are expected to attend every class session, and any exceptions must be reviewed by ATDP prior to the refund deadline. Even if you miss only one class, it may not be possible for you to compensate for the work and in-class time missed. In the Secondary Division, absences may make it impossible for ATDP to recommend credit for the completion of the course. See Attendance Policy.

My sibling/friend and I need to have class at the same time. What can I do to assure that we can commute together?

Attach notes to both of your applications indicating that you need to travel together and make certain that your courses’ times match. The earlier you both apply, the more likely it is that we will be able to work with your schedules.


If you have specific questions about your application or enrollment, please contact our office directly.