Selecting a Course

With nearly 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.


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 mathematics courses have rigid prerequisites and a special application process. These courses are marked with the   symbol next to their descriptions. Please review requirements and instructions for applying to these courses.


Advanced Placement

Courses designated as “Advanced Placement” are especially rigorous 10-unit courses designed to prepare students for the AP exam in the subsequent spring. Take special note of these courses’ prerequisites and anticipated homework time per class meeting.



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 Weekly Hours listed in the course index 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 5-unit courses, or one 10-unit course with a lower time commitment and one 5-unit course.

Please also consider Explorations if your goal is to plan a full day of activity.