CFM Education Services

Academic Talent Development Program
UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Education

Program Introduction

What are you doing this summer?
Travel?  Training class?  Volunteering?  Or Come to UC Berkeley!

We're thinking:
3Improve your communication skills!
2Add to your CV, brighten your life!
1Enhance both your knowledge and skills

How you spend your summers is something top-tiered American universities will be interested in when you apply for college.  Universities like to hear about a series of meaningful, well-planned, self-motivated, and challenging life experiences, demonstrating a persistent drive to challenge oneself to accomplish goals. The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education ATDP program is exactly the program designed to challenge you and sharpen your academic profile for your future educational pursuits.  For international students, this is a valuable opportunity to expose oneself to American education at a world renowned university, develop independent critical thinking skills, get a taste of American campus life, and participate in exciting cultural events and tours.

This is more than a recreational summer camp or an elite college campus tour; ATDP is an academic enrichment program that promotes learning and academic exploration, giving motivated students a priceless learning opportunity.

Program Overview

Dates: sJuly 6 - August 3, 2019 (4 weeks)

Awards: 1) ATDP certificate and grade report by UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, 2) Service learning hours and certificate by City of Berkeley organizations

Staffing: UC Berkeley students as around-the-clock residential counselors & academic tutors

Service Learning: Up to 4 hours/week

Cultural Activities: High-value extracurricular activities on weekends and some weekdays that are educational, fun and cultural, and that foster building international friendships

Application Eligibility

  • Academically talented students with decent English proficiency
  • Motivated students who would like to develop independent learning skills and experience American culture and campus life
  • Students who aspire to apply to elite U.S. universities and to study pre-college subjects
  • High school students from Grade 9 to 12, while Grade 7 & 8 may be eligible

Admission Requirements

  • English transcript (2 years)
  • Application form
  • Valid passport copy
  • Resume (include extracurricular activities, honors, and awards)
  • 500 - 800 words Essay (choose one):
    • If I could change one thing about myself
    • If I were my teacher
    • If I am admitted by UC Berkeley for college
  • Teacher recommendation form
  • Skype interview – Evaluating Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing
  • TOEFL/IELTS score, if available
  • Application fee

Program Fee

Including: Curriculum, room & board with all meals, tutoring/residential counselors, supervision, service learning opportunities, airport transportation, inclusive extra-curricular activities, traveler’s insurance, linens, miscellaneous fees

Not including: Visa, round-trip airfare, textbooks and course materials, personal expenses

Curriculum & Course Description

Architecture Track
For high school students who are interested in the arts, this course provides an opportunity for a priceless experience and challenge. Ever hoped to become an artist or designer but have no clue about how to blend your interests with academia and how to extend your interests into a profession? Students will get the opportunity in this course to delve into the world of architecture through the exploration of architectural concepts and working individually and collaboratively on projects. Students will be required to complete a project, which can be a significant part of their portfolio and become a solid foundation for applying to college in the arts in the future.

  • Architectural Design
    (5 classes/week, 3 hours each, assignments 3-8 hours/class)

Architectural Design
This course explores the built environment and introduces students to the architectural profession. The class focuses primarily on the formal principles of architectural design by examining examples from lectures and by visiting buildings on and off campus. Students will also develop an understanding of concepts in two-dimensional composition, furniture design, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Students will express their ideas in scaled models and drawings. The course consists of several weeklong projects, including architectural drawings of existing buildings, abstract sculptural design, furniture design, and designing new landscape and architectural structures. While working individually and in teams, students will be able to explore their creative potential and develop their ability to work effectively in groups. Knowing how to draw or build models is not a prerequisite.

Note: Additional fee-based class materials are needed.

Business Track
The best way to gain further understanding about the American society, the culture of the business and professional world, or even the values and reasoning logics is to directly explore the subject of American business, finance, and economy and examine American law and relevant practices. This program provides the perfect pathway for those who will come to the US for undergraduate or graduate studies. It will be a productive time of going abroad to experience the world away from home and create new memories, ultimately reaping long-term benefits in the learning process.

  • Business, Finance and the US Economy
    (3 classes/week, 3.5 hours each, assignments 2-4 hours/class)
  • The Practice of Law
    (2 classes/week, 3.5 hours each, assignments 3-5 hours/class)

Business, Finance and the US Economy
This course is a concentrated, practical and exciting introduction to business for high school students. Students will explore fundamental principles of finance and economics, including the basics of valuation, risk and return, and demand and supply. The course will emphasize real-world application through applied problems and projects, and guest speakers, including financial industry professionals and entrepreneurs. We will study how firms make decisions, the role of banks and markets, and we will explore timely macroeconomic topics such as government debt and deficits, currency fluctuation, recession, and financial and currency crises. Throughout, students will increase their financial literacy and gain tools for personal financial planning for college and beyond, including how interest accumulates, the pitfalls of credit, and understanding residential mortgage terms and risks. Students will find that the connections between these topics and the mathematical concepts they have learned in school will make their math classes more interesting and relevant.

The Practice of Law
This course will provide an overview of social institutions and functions addressed in the practice of law. Students will participate in each of the lawyer’s roles: investigation, research, advocacy, negotiation, trial preparation, and dispute resolution. In the process, students will examine the nature and history of law, interrogate parties, argue hypothetical cases, arbitrate conflicts, and draft legal documents. This class will require active participation in lively classroom activities and projects, which will include simulated trials, oral argument, and case briefing. Students will be encouraged to participate freely in robust classroom discussions and debates, with a premium placed on the open exchange of ideas and opinions. The course will culminate in a mock trial conducted in a local courtroom before a judge. College-level texts will be used.

Engineering Track
Don’t assume you learn programming only if you want to major in computer or software. The modern mindset is you simply need programming to help solve problems whichever engineering subject you are in. Are you brand new to coding? Want to see how fun and easy it can be? This course provides an introduction to programming with Python. Students will get the opportunity to learn from a basic idea to translating that idea into code, and everything in between. Gain a new skill or complete a task by the end of the program, and you will be programming in Python! The class is appropriate for high school students who do not have computer programming experience and have completed at least Algebra I. Come and learn using Python to define a practical problem, construct the elements of problem solving, and eventually derive solutions to the problem.

  • Introduction to Programming: Solving Problems with Python
    (3 lectures/week, 2 labs/week, 3 hours each; assignments 3-8 hours/class)

Introduction to Programming: Solving Problems with Python
This beginning programming course will introduce students to the central ideas of computer science using the language Python. No programming experience is necessary. This course touches on many of the main ideas in AP Computer Science Principles, such as abstraction, algorithms, and the societal impact of computing. We will learn about common control structures, including logic statements and loops, as well as simple data structures. The course presents students with common programming problems, includes computational and critical thinking skills, and engages students in the creative aspects of the field.


  • Students are required to bring and use their own computers for Python programming.
  • No special computer system requirements. Students will need to be able to go to the Python website to download and install Python - there are both Windows and Mac versions, so any modern laptop will be able to do this.

Science Track
Are you eager to get hands-on experience in exploring the sciences? Are you also feeling anxious about being lost in the numerous English scientific vocabulary and terminology when later you start college in the U.S.? The combination of the Advanced Biotechnology and Advanced Chemistry courses will feed your curiosity and bring you a summer filled with exploration, experimentation, and learning. This is your perfect opportunity to use your creativity in research, experimental design, and discover exciting new scientific knowledge through various lab activities.

  • Advanced Biotechnology
    (3 classes/week, 3.5 hours each, assignments 4-6 hours/class)
  • Advanced Chemistry
    (2 times/week, 3.5 hours/class, assignments 4-6 hours/class)

Advanced Biotechnology
In this course, students will conduct advanced biotechnology experiments, including DNA extraction, PCR, bacterial transformation, and protein gel electrophoresis. Students will also research and design their own inquiry-driven experiments, which they can then continue during the school year in preparation for the science fair. Additionally, we will explore ethical and political implications of biotechnology; topics include genetically modified organisms, cloning, reproductive biotechnology, and stem cell research. Students who have already taken “Introduction to Biotechnology” are welcome to apply.

Advanced Chemistry
This course provides an opportunity for students who have already taken high school chemistry to deepen their knowledge. Laboratory activities and discussions focus on how chemists can control the types of reactions that occur—everything from color changes to explosions. Topics include bonding, chemical reactions, moles, elementary thermodynamics, and quantum chemistry. This class is ideal for students who want either to review their knowledge or to learn more chemistry in preparation for an AP Chemistry course.

Social Studies Track
The American Culture & Society course brings together topics of history, politics and culture to guide students in the exploration of American way of thinking and the values, cultural differences, and ultimately gaining the understanding to communicate effectively. On the other hand, the Social Psychology course aims to discover the different ways in which people interact with others and helps you understand yourself, others and society at large by examining scientific studies of various areas. Engaging classroom discussions, collaborative work, and stimulating writing activities will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone to think critically and formulate your own opinions and arguments.

  • American Culture & Society
    (3 classes/week, 3.5 hours each, 3-6 hours of assignments/class)
  • Social Psychology
    (2 classes/week, 3.5 hours each, 2-4 hours of assignments/class)

American Culture & Society
Students in this course will use tools from the social sciences and humanities to pursue a rich understanding of American culture. We will consider a variety of source material, including key events in American history and politics, themes in American literature and popular culture, and rituals and symbols that represent and permeate daily life in America. Through ongoing discussion and a variety of reading and writing exercises, students will identify the ways in which American habits, beliefs, and values are communicated and maintained. This language‐heavy course will also give students an opportunity to strengthen their English fluency. Topics include education, family, diversity, business, and government.

Social Psychology
Social psychology is the scientific study of the way people think about, feel, and behave in social situations. It involves understanding how people influence, and are influenced by, others around them. A primary goal of this course is to introduce you to the perspectives, research methods, and empirical findings of social psychology. We will use a college-level textbook along with supplementary readings to cover topics including: impression formation, conformity, pro-social behavior, interpersonal attraction, persuasion, stereotyping and prejudice. Equally important is the goal of cultivating your skills for analyzing the social situations and events that you encounter in your everyday lives. Finally, throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on developing critical and integrative ways of thinking about theory and research in social psychology.