There are 4 steps in applying to the UCDC Washington Program

  1. Submit a preliminary application to receive supplementary information about internships (strongly suggested, but not required). 
  2. Review the application instructions (below)
  3. Fill out an application form 
  4. Fill out or download a recommendation form 

Application Instructions

Schedule an Online Appointment

Before you apply, please keep the following in mind:

The UCDC Program is an academic program that combines a substantial research project and an elective with a professional internship in Washington, DC. While in DC, all students will enroll in a total of 14.5 units. The core of the program is a 4- unit letter-graded research seminar in which you will develop and write a research paper of about 25 pages. You will also take a 4-unit elective. The internship is 6.5 units of pass/no pass credit. Our role is to work with you to find an internship that will give you access to information, people, and resources related to your research and career interests.

One of the goals of the UCDC Program is to assist you in the transition from undergraduate work to either graduate school or professional employment. To be successful in the Program, you will need to be fairly focused. If you are not sure what you want to research, or how a semester in DC fits into your larger academic and professional goals, we suggest you think hard about those. If you simply want to experience and explore DC, we suggest you investigate Cal in the Capital, a non-academic, student-run, summer internship program. People who have participated in Cal-in-the-Capital are welcome to apply to the UCDC  Program as well.

If you are not accepted to the UCB Washington program the first time you apply, you are welcome to reapply for a future semester. There is no penalty or prejudice against people who re-apply -- a number of students have been accepted on their second try.

Please apply for the Program the semester before you wish to attend.

The application deadline to apply for Spring 2018 is Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 4 p.m. in 243 Evans.

Important: if you want to intern in a federal government agency that requires a security clearance (Department of Defense, Department of State, FBI, etc.), you should start the process of applying for clearance right away -- even before you apply for UCDC. Please check the websites of the organizations that interest you, to find out about their procedures and deadlines for requesting security clearances. (If you don't want to work in such an agency, you don't need to worry about this. If you have questions about this, see the Program Coordinator.)

Some friendly advice: Follow these instructions carefully. Make a good first impression by being well organized and prepared.

Preparing Your Application: Electronically and on Paper

The application consists of several parts:

  • the application form (completed online); 
  • a personal statement of no more than two typed, double-spaced pages (500 words); 
  • a resume (ONE page only!); 
  • a writing sample (no more than five typed, double-spaced pages); 
  • official transcripts from every college or university you have attended after high school; and 
  • two letters of recommendation  -  one from a UCB professor or GSI, and one from anyone else you like: an employer, a non-UCB instructor, a volunteer supervisor, etc. (Recommendation Forms for these letters are online.) They should be addressed "To Whom It May Concern:"

You will submit the application, personal statement, resume and writing sample in both electronic and paper forms. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Request official transcripts from every college you have attended.
    Please arrange to have paper copies of official transcripts mailed to YOU, in sealed envelopes, so you can be sure they have arrived. Do NOT open the envelopes: deliver them sealed to the Program Office along with your other application materials. If the envelope seal is broken, the transcript is not official. Do NOT have transcripts mailed directly to the Program Office. If your transcripts do not arrive by the application deadline, you may submit unofficial transcripts and BearFacts printouts as an interim measure until the official transcripts arrive. Official UCB transcripts can be obtained in 24 hours from Sproul Hall if necessary; simply request a "Rush" and pay a fee, then pick up the transcript in person the following day. 
  2. Fill out the Application Form online.
    If you don't have all the necessary information handy, you can download a PDF version of the application by clicking the link above, and print a blank copy for reference while you gather your information. Please submit the online application form only one time this semester. After you have submitted the online application, you will see a confirmation screen. You will be asked to print TWO copies of this confirmation. Keep one for your records. Submit the second copy to the Program Office on the Berkeley campus, with your other application materials. (Please note that you cannot make any further changes to your application once you have submitted it.)
  3. Fill out the Recommender Forms online.
    Please note: You may want to ask people to write you letters of recommendation well before you are ready to complete the online application. If so, you can download a PDF version of the Recommender form, and print out copies to give to your recommenders right away. After you complete and submit your application online, you should also complete and submit the Recommender forms online. (The application is set up so that you must submit it before you can complete the Recommender forms online.) You will be asked to provide the names, professional titles, addresses (snail mail and e-mail), and phone numbers of the people who will be writing letters for you. We keep this information in a database so we can contact you or your recommenders if we have any questions. You will complete a separate online form for each recommender. (Two recommendations are required; you can submit a third if you wish). Again, when you have completed these forms online, you will receive confirmations. You can edit each form if necessary. Print at least one copy of each completed form. Keep one set for your records. Distribute a second set to your recommenders, if you haven't already given them the PDF version. They should submit the forms electronically to our office, as cover sheets with their letters. 
  4. Ask your Recommenders to scan and submit the recommendation forms and their letters electronically to both: ucwash@berkeley.edu and ucdc@berkeley.edu. Make sure they are aware of the application deadline. 
  5. Assemble your Personal Statement, Resume and Writing Sample.
    The personal statement should be no more than two typed pages, double-spaced (500 words). It should explain: what issues you care about and why; what you want to research; how you have prepared to do that research; and what resources are available in DC that you cannot get on the Berkeley campus. When reviewing applications, we look for clarity of purpose, academic readiness, and personal maturity. Please think carefully about how a semester in DC fits into your future academic and/or professional plans. The personal statement will be shared only with the people who review your application. The resume and writing sample will be shared with prospective internship supervisors, if you are selected for the Program. The resume should be formatted so that it is easy to scan your skills and experience. Be sure to mention your computer skills. You can include volunteer work in addition to paid employment. Your writing sample should demonstrate your ability to write clearly and coherently, research a topic, and analyze the data you have gathered. It is helpful, but not essential, that the writing sample be related to the topic you wish to research in DC. Ideally, it will be a paper from an upper-division class at UC Berkeley. It can be an excerpt from a longer paper: just select 3-5 pages, and provide an introductory paragraph or, so the reader understands the context of the sample you submit. 
  6. Submit electronic copies of your personal statement, resume, and writing sample to the Program Office. The documents should be in MS Word, Rich Text, or Text-only format. Attach all three documents to a single e-mail message if possible. Address the message to both: ucwash@berkeley.edu and ucdc@berkeley.edu. In the subject line, type "Application Materials for <your name>." In the body of the e-mail, be sure to include your full name, local phone number, and the semester you want to go to DC. 
  7. By the application deadline, submit to the Program Office:
    one paper copy (unstapled) each of: 
    • the application form 
    • your personal statement 
    • your resume (ONE page only!), 
    • your writing sample, and 
    • official transcripts from every college you have attended after high school. 

Thanks again for your interest, and good luck!