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Academic Talent Search (ATS) provides academically challenging, fast-paced courses to highly able and motivated 4th through 9th grade students in the greater Sacramento area.

ATS is a non-profit organization which receives no state or federal funds. Sponsored by California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State), ATS has an established tradition of providing educational experiences that are both mentally stimulating and fun. Over 1,900 students apply for ATS classes each summer. Since its founding in 1982, ATS has educated and inspired over 40,500 students.

  • ATS brings together intellectual peers from throughout the Sacramento Valley region, allowing them to make new friends and improve social skills.
  • The ATS teaching staff includes University faculty, community college professors, area public and private school instructors, and industry professionals.
  • 4th and 5th grade students can discover new approaches to traditional topics and experience enrichment opportunities in new subject areas.
  • 6th through 9th grade students can experience a collegiate environment while accelerating their learning in traditional subjects like mathematics and foreign language and exploring new topics which are not always available in regular school. Classes are held on the Sacramento State campus, and students are granted many of the same privileges that regular University students receive.

Qualifying for ATS

  • Current 4th through 9th grade students are eligible to take the ATS Qualifying Exam (intermediate for 4/5, advanced for 6-9).
  • Testing is offered at area public and private schools as well as on the Sacramento State campus.

Summer Classes for 6th - 9th Grade Students

  • Over 60 classes offered.
  • Classes are scheduled in one-, three-, and five-week sessions.
  • Course fees for Summer 2014 range from $149 to $439, depending on the length of the course.
  • Financial aid available.

Summer Classes for 4th and 5th Grade Students

  • Over 50 classes offered.
  • Classes are scheduled in one-week sessions.
  • Course fees for Summer 2014: $335 per class.
  • Financial aid available.

Getting to Campus

  • ATS is a commuter program, and students must make their own arrangements to get to and from campus and classes.
  • Sacramento State is located near Highway 50 and Howe Avenue.
  • Carpooling can also be an economical and convenient way of traveling to and from the Sac State campus.

Dates to Remember

  • ATS qualifying exam test dates, summer session schedules, and other important events are included on the calendar of upcoming activities.


  • ATS program materials, including the complete summer catalog, are available for download in pdf format.


  • Answers to the most commonly asked questions about the qualifying exam, classes, and the ATS program in general.

Contact Information

  • How to reach ATS by mail, phone, fax, email, or in person. A listing of office staff is also included.

About ATS

  • Brief historical background on the program.

Accelerated College Entrance (ACE) Center

  • Companion program to ATS. Founded by ATS Executive Director Dr. Terry Thomas in 1985, ACE allows qualified high school students to enroll in classes at Sac State and earn university credits while completing regular school studies.


  • Alphabetical index of all pages on this website.

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Apply by April 30

The Summer 2014 catalog is now available on the website. Printed copies are being mailed to students.

Catalog Cover Summer 2014 Catalog for 6th - 9th Grade Students (9.9 MB)

Catalog Cover Summer 2014 Catalog for 4th & 5th Grade Students (7.9 MB)

ATS in the News

3DTotal, one of the leading CG art websites, wrote a story about the Introduction to 3D Animation class.

The faces of next-gen 3D talent


Good Day Sacramento again paid a visit to ATS, this year stopping by the Forensic Science class.

Good Day Sacramento - June 2013


Four stories about ATS appeared in the local media in 2012:

KCRA 3 - May 2012

KCRA 3 - July 2012

Sac State Public Affairs - July 2012

Good Day Sacramento - August 2012