Undergraduate Research & Scholarships


Application Form and Instructions

Applications for Spring 2024 EXTENDED DEADLINE: Tuesday, September 26, 2023.  Applications received after that will be reviewed on a space available basis.  

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

Before you apply (application link at the bottom of the page), please keep the following in mind:

The UCDC Program is an academic and professional development program that combines taking courses with an 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 20pp. You will also take a 4-unit elective. Students receive 6.5 units of pass/no pass credit for a 3-4 day a week internship (minimum 24hrs/wk) . Our role is to work with you to find an internship that will help you clarify your career goals, develop skills, pursue your academic interests, and foster your professional and personal network.

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 want to experience and explore DC without the academic component, consider 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 and demonstrated interest is taken into account.

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. Generally, internship application deadlines fall after you find out if you have been accepted into UCDC, but it’s always a good idea to start thinking early about the types of internship you would like.

Preparing Your Application 

The application consists of several components that you will submit electronically:

  • the application form;
  • a personal statement of no more than two typed, double-spaced pages (uploaded as PDF); 
  • a resume (ONE page only! Please upload as a PDF);
  • transcripts from every college or university you have attended after high school (uploaded as PDFs–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,
  • two letters of recommendation to be submitted online – one from an academic source, preferably a UCB professor or GSI, and one from anyone else you like: an employer, a volunteer supervisor, etc. Letters should be addressed “To Whom It May Concern.”  Instructions are in the application form (Letters of Recommendation for the Spring 2024 semester can be submitted at the following link: https://forms.gle/eVtdJnCpqc7NTHSf9 .  If they have problems using the Google form, they can send their letters of recommendation directly to ucdc@berkeley.edu .

Statement of Purpose, Resume and Writing Sample

The statement of purpose should be no more than two typed pages, double-spaced. 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 and internship; 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 statement of interest will be shared with the people who review your application, including staff, faculty, and student alumni of the program.

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 resume should be 1 page.

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.

Application materials are shared with reviewers for selection purposes, and, if you are selected for UCDC, your resume, writing sample, and letters of recommendation will be shared with staff at the Washington Center. 

Submitting your Application

Here is the link the the Spring 2024 UCDC application: https://forms.gle/D9mXGViTpR4yyhvj6

(Note: You have to be logged into your Berkeley email account to access the form. 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.)

Thanks again for your interest, and good luck!