Application Form and Instructions

The application deadline to apply for SPRING 2021 is Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 4 p.m. online and hard-copies submitted in 2422 Dwinelle Hall. (Scroll down for link to application form)

You can sign up for a time to meet with the program advisor, please email ucdc@berkeley.edu

Before you apply, please keep the following in mind:

The UCDC Program is an academic and professional development program that combines taking courses 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 professional employment or graduate school. To be successful in the program, you will need to be fairly focused. If you are not sure what issues you want to research, or how a semester in DC fits into your larger academic and professional goals, you should put some time into thinking about it. If you simply want to experience and explore DC without the academic component, 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 UCDC 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.

Important: if you want to intern in a federal government agency that requires a security clearance (Department of Defense, Department of State, FBI, White House, DOJ, etc.), you may need to apply early for those positions, even before applying for UCDC. Please check the websites of the organizations that interest you to find out about their procedures and deadlines. (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.)

Preparing Your Application 

The application consists of several components that you will submit electronically and as hard copies:

  • the application form (completed online);
  • a personal statement of no more than two typed, double-spaced pages (uploaded as PDF and submitted as hard-copy); 
  • a resume (ONE page only! Please upload as a PDF and submit as a hard-copy);
  • transcripts from every college or university you have attended after high school (uploaded as PDFs and submitted as hard-copies; unofficial are fine, for Berkeley use the Academic Summary on CalCentral); 
  • a writing sample (no more than five typed, double-spaced pages, uploaded as PDF and submitted as hard-copy); and,
  • two letters of recommendation to be submitted online – one from a UCB professor or GSI, and one from anyone else you like: an employer, a non-UCB instructor, a volunteer supervisor, etc. Letters should be addressed “To Whom It May Concern.”  Instructions are in the application form (Letters of Recommendation can be submitted usingthis link, please send it to your letter writers).  If they have problems using the Google Form, they can send their letters of rec directly to ucdc@berkeley.edu .

Personal Statement, Resume and Writing Sample

The personal statement should be no more than two typed pages, double-spaced (~500 words). It should be an essay that addresses why you want to participate in UCDC: what issues do you care about and why; what are some topics you want to explore in a research paper; what type of internship would you like to have; what are your professional goals? 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 with the people who review your application.

The resume should be formatted so that it is easy to scan your skills and experience. 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, so the reader understands the context of the sample you submit.

The resume and writing sample will be shared with reviewers and internship coordinators at the Washington Center, if you are selected for the program. 

Submitting your Application

1. Fill out the application online (Note: Google Forms does not let you save and return to your application form, so you must complete it in one session, though you can edit after you submit.)

 *** SPRING 2021 APPLICATION AVAILABLE IN AUGUST ***

2. Submit the following hard copies to the UCDC Program office in 2422 Dwinelle Hall (unstapled, single-sided, name at the top):

  • your personal statement;
  • your resume (ONE page only!);
  • your writing sample; and,
  • transcripts from every college you have attended after high school

Thanks again for your interest, and good luck!