This information is archived from 2021. For updated information, see our current programs on offer.

Secondary Division Online 2021

Program Information




Even during a global pandemic, ATDP remains committed to helping you make the most of your summer. This page contains comprehensive information about our online Secondary Division program for 2021.

Rigorous coursework

Secondary Division courses can help meet a diverse variety of scholastic goals. Some aim to help middle school students to transition to high school topics, or high school students to college-level study. Others are equivalent to full-year high school or Advanced Placement curricula, offering the potential for students to accelerate through more advanced levels in a subject.

Live online interaction

We’ve always united teachers who are passionate about their subject with students who love to learn. Class sessions will include a mix of live (“synchronous”) and self-directed (“asynchronous”) instruction and activity. A typical schedule averages two hours of face-to-face time with the instructor and classmates per meeting.

A community of learners

ATDP courses aren’t just about the curriculum. Every summer, students come from far and wide to share their interests with one another, work in class together, and make new friends. In a time of social distancing, it is all the more important that we find ways to maintain students’ opportunities for connection.


Key details

Class Schedule

  • June 21–July 30, 2021 (six weeks*) meeting 2 or 3 times per week
  • Online meetings take place within our AM window (8:30-12 noon) or PM window (1:00-4:30pm).
*A small number of courses have a compressed 4-week schedule.

App Deadlines

  • Early Deadline: March 3, 2021
  • Standard Deadline: March 31, 2021
  • Extended Deadline (rolling admissions): May 28, 2021


  • For students currently in grades 7 through 11.* Some courses have academic prerequisites.
*Current 6th graders who have attended ATDP previously and who submit a strong application may apply for a small selection of Secondary Division courses.

New This Year

New Courses for 2021

These courses have never been held at ATDP before, and demand for these spots may be very high. As applications are evaluated in the order completed, we strongly recommend applying as early as you can!

Returning Courses

These Secondary Division courses are back from hiatus, and may include revisions and updated curricula for this summer:




Program calendar

Application dates

ATDP evaluates applications on an ongoing basis in the order they are received, beginning when an application is complete. The earlier you submit a complete application, the better your chances at receiving placement into your preferred course!

Early – Returning students receive priority · Financial Aid available
Application Deadline Wed., March 3, 2021
Placement Information Available Wed., April 7, 2021
Tuition Deadline (or first tuition installment) Mon., May 3, 2021
StandardFinancial Aid available
Application Deadline Wed., March 31, 2021
Placement Information Available Thurs., April 22, 2021
Tuition Deadline (or first tuition installment) Mon., May 3, 2021
ExtendedFinancial Aid NOT available · Limited course availability · Rolling acceptance
Application Deadline Fri., May 28, 2021
Placement Information Available within 2 weeks of completed application
Tuition Deadline (or first tuition installment) within 2 weeks of placement notification

Pre-program dates

Math placement testing Saturday, May 15, 2021 Placement & diagnostic testing for students in accelerated math courses
Full refund deadline Wed., May 19, 2021 Last day to request a full refund
Welcome & Orientation Sun., June 6, 2021

Program dates

Classes begin Mon., June 21, 2021
Tuition deadline for second installment Thurs., July 2, 2020
Holiday Mon., July 5, 2020 Mon. classes will hold a make-up session, TBA
Classes end Fri., July 30, 2021

Post-program dates

Final evaluations issued Mid-/late-August





Browse the online course catalog  

Unlike many other summer programs, ATDP offers courses that focus on acquisition of deep knowledge in a single topic. Secondary Division students are invited to immerse themselves and gain expertise in a subject that interests them. Some ATDP classes are designed to accelerate students through high school curricula. Many ATDP courses now count toward UC and CSU college entrance requirements.


Choosing a Course

With over 40 different courses to choose from, it is sometimes difficult for students to find the one course that is just right for them! We encourage you to read through the course descriptions to carefully identify a course that interests you and for which you are academically prepared. It is important to note course prerequisites and grade level requirements when you are selecting your course choices, as not all courses are open to all students. In addition to selecting the course that you are most interested in taking, you may select up to three other courses as alternatives.


Course Load

An ATDP course requires a serious time commitment. Students should expect to spend between three and ten hours preparing for each class meeting. The average number of hours of self-study to expect per class meeting is provided in each course description and new students especially should expect to be spending time on homework that is at the upper end of the range provided.

Half-year equivalent courses cover about a semester of course content in six weeks. The pace is accelerated but not rushed. Some of these courses are excellent options for current middle school students (including those continuing from the Elementary Division) who seek an introduction to high school-level topics. Others feature unique or special topics suitable for high schoolers preparing to transition to college; these advanced courses typically have academic prerequisites.

Full-year equivalent courses cover the equivalent of two semesters of course content in six weeks. The pace is extremely fast. Students should expect to dedicate a large amount of time to homework and self-study outside of class, and we recommend that they schedule no other summer activities during the program. Most of these courses have academic prerequisites.


Schedule & Size

ATDP offers courses that meet either two or three days each week. Most run the full six weeks of the Secondary Division (June 22 – July 31), though a small number run on unique four-week schedules.

Classes generally have a cap of 20 to 24 students. The low teacher-to-student ratio, as well as the academic and administrative staff support, ensure instruction of the highest quality.


Types of Courses

A–G Approved Courses

If approved, each course lists the UC/CSU A-G subject requirement met. Many high school-level ATDP courses are intended for college preparation (G). The online course catalog will list any updates as ATDP courses are approved throughout the year. For ATDP courses currently listed as “in process,” approval will be retroactive and will include this summer. Only A-G courses taken after the beginning of 9th grade can be reported on the UC application. (Courses designed exclusively for students completing 7th and 8th grade are not eligible for A-G approval.)

UC Honors Designation

Due to the pace and depth of the curricula, all ATDP courses for high school students are taught at what most schools would list as “honors” level. This is different from the UC honors designation, which is an optional part of each course’s A-G status. Courses designated by UC as “honors” are comparable to introductory college-level courses in the subject, and always include a culminating final exam or project.

AP-aligned Courses

AP-aligned courses are especially rigorous full-year courses designed to help prepare students for an Advanced Placement exam in the subsequent spring. Take special note of these courses’ prerequisites and homework & self-study time required per class meeting. Review during the school year is highly recommended, and additional self-study may be required for full exam preparation. Students who pass the AP exam may be eligible for college credit, and some AP exam scores may be counted toward the UC/CSU A-G subject requirement.

Choosing a Writing Course

Applicants sometimes have trouble figuring out which writing course is most appropriate for their skill level, age, and grade. Aside from creative writing, all of our writing courses share very similar learning goals, just at different levels. We recommend including all acceptable writing course alternatives on your application form. Based on your academic product, grade, age, and Letter of Interest, we will place you in the most appropriate class.

Choosing a Math Course

Accelerated core math courses are intensive full-year courses that are equivalent to the traditional high school math sequence, and are recommended only for students seeking acceleration at their school. They have rigid prerequisites and a special application process. Please review the special requirements and instructions for applying to these courses.

Other math courses are designed to help students who want to gain a deeper understanding of specialized math topics and who are not seeking acceleration at their school.


Applying for Two Courses

Only students with strong academic backgrounds are allowed to take two courses, and new Secondary Division students (including those who previously attended ATDP’s Elementary Division) are less likely to be allowed to enroll in two courses. Remember that expectations are high in every ATDP course, and many former students have reported that taking two courses was more time-consuming than they expected. Add together the two courses’ estimated hours per week listed in the course catalog for an approximate time commitment.

If you are interested in enrolling in two courses, you must petition to do so in your Letter of Interest that accompanies your application. The petition should explain your summer plan: clearly identify your desired schedule of two courses, making sure their meeting times do not conflict, as well as any alternatives (single courses or other two-course combinations) in order of preference. Also describe how you plan to manage time commitments outside of class meetings. Successful petitions tend to be for two half-year equivalent courses, or one full-year equivalent course with a smaller time commitment and one half-year course.

Please also consider Explorations if your goal is to plan a full day of activity. Students enrolled in a Secondary Division course can register for Explorations without applying separately.






Acceptance Notification

Students who have been accepted to ATDP and who applied by the early or standard postmark deadlines will receive their acceptance notification in their online account and via email approximately one month later (see the program calendar). This notification contains important information and instructions for confirming your enrollment and preparing to attend class.


Confirming Enrollment

To confirm course placement, a parent or guardian of a student who plans to attend must complete the online Enrollment Form—which includes emergency information, policy agreement, and tuition payment—by the May 3 tuition deadline.

Total cost for each ATDP course can be found under the individual course’s description. This includes the base tuition fee and program fee, but does not include the application processing fee, nor expenses for textbooks, supplies, or transportation.

Sibling Discount

For families confirming enrollment for two or more siblings, a $35 tuition discount is available for each student. For example, if two siblings attended, each student would receive one $35 discount from tuition, for a total family discount of $70. This discount is taken from course’s base tuition only, not from the application processing fee or the program fee.


A parent or guardian whose registered student is unable to attend must withdraw the student in writing and may request a tuition refund prior to Wed., May 19, 2021. No refund will be made in the case of a student who fails to attend classes or is withdrawn from ATDP for failure to meet the standards of appropriate behavior, including completion of homework. See our refund policy.



There are no excused absences at ATDP. As expectations are high and courses are fast-paced, even one absence makes it difficult to keep pace. Therefore, students are expected to attend every class session. Missing too much class time for any reason may result in dismissal from the program without refund. See our attendance policy.

Independence Day Holiday

UC Berkeley will be closed on Monday, July 5, 2021, in observance of Independence Day. Any course which is normally held on a Monday will have a make-up class session. Make-up classes will be determined and announced per class by the course instructor; most are rescheduled for that same week.






Please review the application instructions below before applying.

Ready to go? Log in or register a new account, then go to your account menu.

The Application Process

ATDP evaluates applications on an ongoing basis in the order they are received, beginning when an application is marked complete. The earlier you submit a complete application, the better your chances at receiving placement into your preferred course!

  • The application process is the same for new and returning students.
  • Students must reapply every year, and returning students are not guaranteed automatic readmission or placement in their first choice of course.
  • Incomplete applications are not considered for placement.

Am I a new or returning student?

A student who applied in a previous year and then withdrew without completing a course will be considered a new student for admission purposes. Students who have attended the Elementary Division previously and are applying to the Secondary Division for the first time are also considered new students, but their previous participation is noted.

Continuing from Elementary Division to Secondary Division

Many students return summer after summer, taking advanced courses they cannot take at their regular schools. ATDP is committed to serving returning students through their elementary, middle, and high school years.

Former Elementary Division students applying to the Secondary Division must demonstrate continued academic achievement as well as good work habits and citizenship. While participation in previous summers’ Elementary Division is acknowledged, it is important for students and their families to remember that readmission to ATDP is never automatic, and the academic requirements for SD courses are increased relative to ED.


Early Application Deadline – Wed., March 3, 2021

  • Financial aid available
  • Returning students receive priority
  • A limited number of spots in each course will be reserved for early applicants. Based on the number and relative strength of other early applications, an early applicant may be automatically deferred to a standard applicant if no early acceptance decision is possible.

Standard Application Deadline – Wed., March 31, 2021

  • Financial aid available
  • Availability may be limited in the case of very popular courses

Extended Application Deadline – Fri., May 28, 2021

  • Financial aid NOT available
  • Course availability may be very limited


Step 1: Choose a Course

Browse our course offerings, then choose one course that interests you and up to three alternates. Make note of any grade requirements or prerequisites. Keep our attendance policy in mind as you review the course schedule. See the Courses section above for more information about differences between the large variety of SD courses.

All courses run during the six weeks of June 21–July 30, 2021 unless otherwise noted.

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 6 are required for a complete application. We request you include College Board PSAT/SAT scores (item 7) if they are available, and federal tax documentation (item 8) if you wish to apply for financial aid.

Items 1-7 can be submitted in the online application as a PDF (recommended) or image file. Due to campus policy, tax documents (item 8) must be provided as a paper copy via fax or mail.

  1. 1. Application Processing Fee

    There is a processing fee for each application. The fee is $50 for domestic students. For 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 (preferred)
    • Check or money order made payable to “UC Regents.” Write “SD” and the student’s first and last name on the memo line. Mail your check payment to ATDP (see “Mailing Instructions” below).
      COVID update: Because we are working from home, mailed payments WILL delay your application. We strongly recommend making your payment online if at all possible.
    • Those applying for need-based financial aid may apply for a processing fee waiver if the fee poses a financial hardship. See our Financial Aid page for details.
  2. 2. Letter of Interest

    Please write a cover letter to accompany your application, 200 word minimum, explaining your reasons for choosing each of the courses listed on your application. 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. If the course(s) you list have prerequisites, mention how you have met them. In this letter, only discuss courses in which you are actually interested in enrolling. Remember, this letter should be about YOU and your personal interest & qualifications, not about the relevance of the course(s) in general.

    You or your parent or guardian may also append any written notes at the end of your letter if you wish to have them considered as part of your application. This may include any special circumstances, such as transportation or scheduling needs, for example.

    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.

  3. 3. Teacher Recommendation Form

    Include a copy of ATDP’s Teacher Recommendation Form (TRF) that has been completed by a current teacher in any academic subject (e.g., mathematics, science, language arts; not elective, advisory, or extracurricular classes).

    The teacher’s academic subject need not match the subject of the ATDP course(s) to which you are applying, with one exception. If you are applying for Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry, or Precalculus this form must be completed by your current math teacher (see all accelerated core mathematics prerequisites).

    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.

    You have two 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 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!)

    Do not request a separate letter of recommendation. Do not submit more than one Teacher Recommendation Form with your application materials.

  4. 4. Copy of Report Card

    Submit a legible copy of your first semester (or most recent) report card for the current (’20–’21) 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, contact your school office.

    Screenshots of online reports are only acceptable if they clearly include the student’s name and date of the grades displayed, and we may ask for an updated report card after receiving your application.

  5. 5. Copy of Achievement Test Scores

    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., 2020, 2019, or 2018) and include scores in the areas of math and reading/ELA.

    Note: Since CAASPP testing did not occur in 2020, most California public school students should submit the CAASPP scores they received in 2019.

    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 note signed by an administrative staff person at your school indicating so.

  6. 6. Academic Product or Essay

    Please submit an academic product that meets the criteria of one of the following three options (A, B or C). This work should be one of which you are especially proud and which was completed since September 2020. 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.

    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 and discussion 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, or 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.

    • If you could implement a new public health initiative now or in the future, what would it be and why? Your idea can be anything that helps to improve health, safety, or wellbeing in your community. When should your plan be implemented and who would benefit from it? Present your proposal in well-reasoned and organized paragraphs with cited, supporting evidence.
    • Write about something you’ve read that changed your opinion on a topic. How did you encounter this piece of writing, and what was compelling about it? Were you most moved by the content, format, or writing style, or did these components work together to have an impact? End your essay with one or more recommendations you would have for someone who is interested in learning about this topic.
  7. 7. Copy of SAT/PSAT Scores (optional)

    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. Note that the SAT and PSAT are aptitude tests, not achievement tests, so they are not acceptable substitutes for item 5.

  8. 8. Need-based Financial Aid (optional)

    See our Financial Aid page for complete information & detailed instructions.

    To apply for financial aid, please provide both parents’ most recent Federal Tax Return AND ALL SCHEDULES (i.e., the complete tax return) for each applicant.

    If the $50 processing fee poses a financial hardship, submit a letter of explanation and supporting documents. You may include these in your financial aid documents or as part of the student’s Letter of Interest.

    Send your supporting materials no later than Wednesday, March 31, the standard application deadline.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

If you have not yet done so, register a new 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!

You can log in at any time to check the status of your application, review placement information, make payments by credit/debit card, print receipts, and access your educational records from previously completed courses.