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We’ve nearing the home stretch of UC Application month, and it’s only fitting that we conclude our three-part series focusing on the application’s different segments. Last up: the Activities and Awards section.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Part I: The Basics & Part II: Personal Statements.

UC Application III - Activities & Awards

You might be wondering why this portion deserves its own section – and it’s because the attention to detail that this section requires cannot be overstated. Besides, it’s a rather long section to get through, and how you fill it out has a huge impact on the strength of your application. Let’s get started.

Coursework Other Than A-G: This is constituted of your typical Marching Band, Health, Physical Education, and classes of that sort – in addition to anything you’ve taken for fun or out of interest! You’re allowed to enter descriptions – and as you’ll soon see, the importance of these will be a recurring theme throughout. Even the most mundane activities can be made to sound a bit cooler:

  • Health – Increases social competence through empathy training, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills (resolution and mediation), and anger management.

Naturally, these are just templates to draw guidance from. Try formulating more for your coursework.

Educational Preparation Programs: Especially programs that are sponsored by the University of California, and specifically Berkeley. Having these – such as ATDP, EAOP, PDP, Young Entrepreneurs at Haas, etc. – may show that you’ve made an active effort to be a part of the campus before even coming here. This section has things that don’t really fit into any of the other sections – weeklong programs, training sessions, and things of that nature.

  • My Example: National Youth Leadership Training – Selected for participation by California state committee. Weeklong camp fostering group cooperation and individual leadership through group competition.

Volunteer & Community Service: The critical thing to note here is that you may have done a lot more volunteering work than you think you have. If you’re a member of Key Club, of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, or another similar organizations that has community service as a focus, then you’ve likely lent your efforts to multitudes of entities – and you can list them all separately. Use action verbs to describe all your tasks. Numbers are great to quantify your work. Brevity is valued over wordiness.

  • My Example: Cerritos Senior Center – Helped implement special events for hundreds of Senior Citizens utilizing the facility. Included a recognition dinner, a carnival, and an instrumental clinic
  • My Example: Saint Linus Church – Helped set-up and clean-up for large events, painted 20 benches, built/installed outdoor storage shed and 5 indoor storage cabinets, beautified an outdoor patio.

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