embARC Summer Design Academy

Cost + Deadlines

July 6 - July 31, 2020

Please note: these deadlines are specific to embARC and vary from those listed on the Summer Sessions website. Most Summer Sessions and Pre-Collegiate Program deadlines do not apply to embARC participants. 

Deadline International Students Domestic Students
Application Opens December 15 December 15
Scholarship Application Deadline N/A March 27
Application Deadline April 17 May 1
On-Campus Housing Request Deadline April 20 April 29
On-Campus Housing Payment Deadline April 30 May 14
Deadline for International Students to Submit VSIS/I-20 Documents May 22 N/A
Cancellation Deadline for Full Housing Refund2 May 29 same
Cancellation Deadline for Refund of Program Fee and Summer Session fees1 June 1 same
Cancellation Deadline for 40% Housing Refund3 June 18 same
Cancellation Deadline for Summer Session Fee Refund Only4 July 7 same
Cancellation Deadline for partial Summer Session Fee Refund  July 14 same
Program Begins July 6 same
Withdrawal Deadline (no refund) July 19 same
Program Ends July 31 same

1 Contact the CED Summer Programs Office to cancel your enrollment by this date and you will receive a full refund of the $3,300 program fee and all Summer Sessions fees, minus a  cancellation fee. (For international students, the $330 I-20 Processing Fee is non-refundable.)

2 Contact the CED Summer Programs Office to cancel your on-campus housing agreement by this date and you will receive a full refund of the housing fee, minus a $200.00 cancellation fee. 

Contact the CED Summer Programs Office to cancel your on-campus housing agreement by this date and you will receive a 40% refund of the housing fee. There are no housing fee refunds after this date.

Contact the CED Summer Programs Office to withdraw from the program by this date and you will receive a refund of all Summer Sessions fees, minus a Withdrawal Processing Fee.

5 See the Scholarships section below for further information.


embARC 2020 Tuition and Fees*

(*Prices are subject to change.)

Student Profile Tuition and Fees   Housing Total
Commuter, domestic $4,358   N/A $4,358
Residential, domestic $4,358   $4,496 $8,854
Residential, international $6,888   $4,496 $11,384

All tuition and fees MUST be paid off prior to the beginning of the session in order to avoid being dropped from the program. Please go to Student Billing and Services and Summer Session Fees for further information.

International students must enroll in the program for five units in order to qualify for a student visa. Included in the total cost is a $330 international service fee.

In addition, a $50 application fee must accompany each application.

Tuition and Fees cover:

  • computer lab fees
  • Digital Fabrication Lab and Fabrication Shop training
  • some materials and supplies
  • catered welcome and commencement events
  • transportation to and from site visits

The housing fee includes:

  • four weeks of campus housing
  • meal plan
  • weekend field trips
  • SFO airport shuttle service
  • chaperone services for students under 18

Students must provide for any additional supplies and their own computer. Students should anticipate spending $50-$100 on additional supplies.


"Thank you all for creating such a dynamic summer program. The [embARC] staff was nothing short of fantastic. Each day they arrived fully vested with awesome energy. Each week they continued to mentor and find ways to listen, help and motivate our student. As a family, many summer night dinners we sat and listened - enthralled really, as our student discussed, shared and even showed us about all the amazing things he had learned, or studied that day. He felt connected. He really enjoyed your local architect speaker and what motivated him to become an architect and designer. He also enjoyed meeting and working with students from around the Bay, country and globe. He gained new perspectives, experiences, and insights. Fabulous program! We hope you continue to expand, help, motivate, and enrich the summers for future students."

--Parent of embARC student



embARC has a small number of need-based scholarships available to accepted students.  These need-based scholarships are available for US citizens or permanent residents only.

Scholarship award amounts are based on:

  • financial need
  • the student's academic achievement
  • completion of the embARC program application and financial aid forms

Program applicants can indicate their interest in receiving financial aid when they complete and submit their embARC application in SlideRoom.  Interested applicants will receive additional information on how to apply for aid upon acceptance into the program. Applicants who wish to be considered for a scholarship must submit their slideroom application before March 27, 2020.

Award amounts vary.  Applicants who receive a scholarship should inform us immediately if they plan on accepting it. Also, applicants that receive partial scholarships will be required to pay the full balance of the program fees prior to the start of the program.

Since scholarship funds are limited, we encourage interested students to apply to the program as early as possible in order to meet the scholarship deadline and before funds are exhausted (which could occur before the scholarship deadline). We cannot guarantee that all applicants who apply for aid will receive scholarship assistance.


Required financial aid materials

  • a completed embARC application form
  • a thoughtful and thorough response to the essay questions and statement of intent on the embARC application
  • a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher or a mentor 
  • submission of school transcripts
  • a completed financial aid application form

Families have also shared with us ideas they have used for grassroots fundraising campaigns of their own. Here are some suggestions:

  • Crowdfunding through sites such as gofundme.com
  • Reaching out to friends, family, local businesses, civic organizations and churches
  • Using social media 
  • Researching and modeling fundraising methods used by your high school's student clubs

Course Cancellation and Refund Policy

CED reserves the right to cancel any course for which there is insufficient enrollment for a full refund, and to withdraw or modify course offerings. 

If a student needs to cancel or withdraw from the program, they should do the following:

  1. Email embarc@berkeley.edu to inform us that they would like to withdraw from the program.
  2. Go to this link and follow the instructions on how to cancel/withdraw via their CalCentral account.  


Students living near the UC Berkeley campus may opt to commute to embARC as a day program, or choose to live on campus. For non-local students, it is mandatory that students either take advantage of the on-campus housing provided by our campus partner Polychrome International Education (DBA Sesame Consulting) or reside with a local guardian, relative or someone officially sanctioned in writing by the student’s parent/guardian prior to arrival. Prospective students have the opportunity to request housing when they fill out the embARC program online application.

The College of Environmental Design partners with Polychrome International Education (DBA Sesame Consulting) to manage the residential component of the embARC program. The cost of residential tuition covers:

  • a group shuttle to and from the San Francisco International airport, 
  • overnight accommodations in the student dormitories on campus,
  • meals in the campus dining hall
  • supervision at all times (24 hours per day, 7 days per week), and
  • weekend excursions off-campus and organized evening activities if students have completed their classroom/studio assignments.

The student housing is located on the UC Berkeley campus within walking distance of the College of Environmental Design, which is located in Wurster Hall on the southeast side of campus. Students will stay in an on-campus dorm with a shared bathroom on each floor. Each bedroom is furnished with a bed, desk, chair, mattress and dresser drawers. The dorm also has wireless internet access available for the residents. A majority of the dorm rooms are triple-occupancy rooms, and students will be grouped in rooms by gender. 

In order to gain access to their dorm, students will need a resident card to open the outer gate as well as all doors inside the building. The dorm floors are separated by gender, and supervisory staff members reside on the floors with the student residents in order to provide evening supervision and to be available throughout the night in the event of an emergency. Our supervisors will take roll call every evening at 9 p.m. After room check is completed, student residents are asked not to leave their rooms for the remainder of the evening for any reason other than emergencies or for necessary restroom visits on their floor. embARC faculty will take roll call every morning at 9 a.m. at the College of Environmental Design and will notify the program office shortly thereafter if a student is not in attendance.