Academic Talent Search


Academic Talent Search (ATS)

Please note that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Sacramento State has transitioned to virtual operations. This has delayed university processes related to opening the ATS application for our Summer 2020 program.
We apologize for the delay and plan to begin accepting applications by early April. If classes are canceled, all course fees will be refunded.


Sacramento State’s Academic Talent Search (ATS) provides an exciting opportunity for 4th – 9th graders to explore subjects they love in a fast-paced, supportive environment. Founded in 1982 by Dr. Terry Thomas, ATS has given over 47,500 a preview of the college experience through academic, hands-on classes held in real university classrooms and labs.

A wide variety of subjects are covered including art, computer science, engineering, English, math, performing arts and science. Students take classes grouped by grade level: current 4th & 5th graders take classes separately from 6th – 9th graders.

New for 2020: No testing required for program admission.
To improve community engagement and access, Sacramento State has eliminated the previous testing prerequisite for ATS. Now all students in 4th – 9th grades for the 2019-2020 school year can apply for the program!


  • ATS provides students with the opportunity to discover new academic and creative challenges in topics not always available in regular school and the chance to explore potential college majors and career paths.
  • The ATS teaching staff includes University professors, community college faculty, area public and private school teachers, and industry professionals.
  • Through ATS, students can enhance their independence and self-confidence while being treated like “college students” on the Sacramento State campus.
  • ATS brings together intellectual peers from throughout the Sacramento Valley region, allowing them to make new friends, gain self-confidence and improve social skills.


Open to any student in grades 4 – 9 as of January 1, 2020.


ATS offers two different programs each summer

4th & 5th Grade Program
  • For students completing grades 4 or 5 for the 2019-2020 school year (rising 5th and 6th graders)
  • Classes are offered Monday through Friday in one-week sessions during the morning or afternoon.​
6th – 9th Grade Program
  • For students completing grades 6, 7, 8 or 9 for the 2019-2020 school year (rising 7th – 10th graders)
  • Classes meet two to five days a week for 2- 3 hours each day depending on the length of the course. One, three, and five-week sessions are available.