Our six-week summer programs give students the opportunity to test their enthusiasm for the material and culture of environmental design.
The Summer Institute, offered by the College of Environmental Design (CED) at UC Berkeley, consists of three introductory programs in architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable city planning for post-baccalaureate students or senior-level undergraduates, and one advanced studio for students who have undergraduate degrees in architecture or who are senior-level architecture majors. Students in the Summer Institute explore the methods and theories of the fields, experience the culture of design and planning studios, connect to top faculty and practitioners, and build a portfolio for graduate school application.
"The summer I spent at Berkeley was a perfect beginning to my career and academic pursuits in architecture. Not only was the program fun and engaging, but it was extremely motivating. My section teacher played a huge role in motivating and inspiring me. His constant energy and positive attitude were contagious in the studio and had a big impact on the level of my work."
Each program consists of a lecture series, a design or planning studio, and either a seminar or media course, taught by faculty from the Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, and City and Regional Planning. Students enroll in the program under a Pass/No Pass option and, after fulfilling the program requirements, receive a certificate of completion. All classes are held in Wurster Hall, CED's home on the UC Berkeley campus.
For detailed program descriptions and academic lead bios, see the following sections:
See our list of Frequently Asked Questions for additional information about the Summer Institute programs.
Nearly 90% of Summer Institute students surveyed from the 2013 program who applied to graduate school were admitted.
The Summer Institute introductory programs are open to those individuals with an undergraduate degree in a field other than architecture, city and regional planning, and landscape architecture. We will also consider exceptional students who will have completed their junior year of college by June 2014. The advanced architecture studio is open to students who have already obtained an undergraduate degree in the field of architecture or who will be entering their senior year in the architecture major by June 2014.
We recommend a minimum grade-point average of 3.0, and applicants must demonstrate English proficiency as described on the UC Berkeley Summer Sessions website.
To be considered for the program, you must submit the following:
- Completed Summer Institute online application with statement of interest
- $80 application fee
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Copy of your most recent undergraduate transcript
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in mid-February. Early submissions are welcomed. Only complete applications will be reviewed. We will notify all applicants of the status of their application via email. If you are accepted for admission to the program, you will receive detailed instructions on how to register through UC Berkeley Summer Sessions.
"This program helped to reassure me that I can take my passion for social and environmental issues and have a successful and satisfying career in planning. It also gave me the confidence and experience needed to apply and get accepted into grad school."
Summer Institute students will be given a desk to work at in the studio space and will have access to Wurster Hall's computer labs, fabrication shop and Environmental Design Library, as well as to scheduled events, exhibits, lectures and symposiums at the college.
"The studio-based projects allowed me to address real-world design problems. The guest lectures and studio visits exposed me to the breadth of the field — from stormwater management to large-scale master planning. Best of all, the studio projects are the foundation of my portfolio for applying to graduate school."
Rudabeh Pakravan is an architect and educator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the principal of Rudabeh Pakravan Studio, an architecture and design firm. Ms. Pakravan received her Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and has practiced architecture for over ten years. Her built work includes a wide range of commercial, residential and civic projects. Her research on spatial tactics of assembly and protest in Tehran was recently published in Design Observer and presented as part of the "Redefining Public Space" conference at the University of Pennsylvania. "Instant City," a study of alternative futures for Dubai, was a part of the “Politics of Space and Place” conference at the University of Brighton, and most recently, Ms. Pakravan has collaborated on Little, Big, a series of mile-marking devices along the Pan-American Highway. Solar Veil, her design for the Land Art Generator Project, was published in The Time is Now: Public Art of the Sustainable City. She has taught at the USC School of Architecture and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate architecture design studios at UC Berkeley.
Please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions, and if you have additional questions or require assistance, contact:
Summer Programs Office, College of Environmental Design