Q: I'm in a different time zone. How will I participate in live content?
A. We believe that it is important for all students to have an opportunity to participate in live content. The embARC teaching team will structure the course in such a way that students will be able to participate in both synchronous and asynchronous instruction regardless of their location.
Q. What types of software will I be using?
A. The course will use the following software for communication, design, and production: Zoom, Miro, Adobe Creative Cloud and Sketchup. Students will need to download and install all software before the first day of instruction. Students will receive a free subscription to all required software for the duration of the program.
Q: What are the program dates?
A. The program will begin on July 6, and will end on August 14th. This year the program has been extended to create additional time between classes, for students to complete work at their own pace and instructors to give written feedback.
Q: How will I interact with the instructors? Other classmates?
A. Live interaction with instructors and classmates during class will be through Zoom Meetings, a virtual classroom where you will be able to video conference into the class. The course will also take advantage of the bcourse platform, which is UC Berkeley's official campus Learning Management System (LMS), using the open-source Canvas platform. This web-based tool provides a resource for instructors and students to enrich the teaching and learning experience.
Q: What is the schedule/time commitment?
A. Students can expect to spend 30-34 hours per week on in-class instruction, lectures, fabrication activities (both in and outside of class) and reading/writing assignments.
Q: How will I learn fabrication and model building remotely?
A. The program will be made up of a mixture of lectures, discussion sessions, virtual desk critiques, reviews and digital tutorials. With moving to a remote course, the program will utilize more digital design software then it has previously in the making of architecture and urban design proposals. In addition there will be a small component of hands-on work that can be done at a table or small desk, that will include skill building around free hand drawing and basic model making.
Q: Can I still earn college credit?
A. Upon successful completion of embARC, students will earn 1 unit of college credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript. Whether these units will fulfill any degree requirements on an undergraduate level is solely at the discretion of the institution you decide to attend.
Q: How much does the virtual program cost?
A. Budget savings on printing, site visits and the like are going to be more than offset by the added costs necessary to deliver a high quality program remotely (primarily the cost of instruction, which must be more intensive if the remote studio experience is going to be effective). Non-local participants will save on travel expenses and the cost of living in the Bay Area, but the cost of the program will remain. It will be a challenge to keep the cost of the program from increasing, but we are committed to finding creative ways to avoid a tuition hike. International students will be able to enroll in the program at the domestic student rate.
Applying and Admissions
- Am I eligible to apply to the embARC Summer Design Academy?
All students who have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school by July 2020 and who are in good academic standing will be considered for the embARC Summer Design Academy.
- How do I apply?
Students must complete an online application that includes a brief statement of interest, an unofficial transcript, and a letter of recommendation from a high school guidance counselor, principal, professor or community leader.
- I am an international student. May I apply to embARC?
Yes, international students are encouraged to apply. The 2020 embARC Summer Design Academy will be offered online. International students are not required to acquire student visas to attend. Students in every timezone will be able to engage in embARC synchronously. International students can enroll for 1 or 5 units of credit.
- When will I find out if I've been accepted?
The embARC program office will review applications on a rolling basis and welcomes early submissions. Applications will be reviewed beginning in February. Admissions decisions are sent approximately two to three weeks after the application is received.
- I am not eligible for embARC. Are there any other design opportunities offered through CED?
Yes! The College of Environmental Design offers two additional summer programs - one for current college students (Disc*: Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities) and one for post-baccalaureate students (the Summer [IN]STITUTE).
- What is the total cost of the program?
Detailed information on the cost of embARC can be found on the Cost page.
Student Type Tuition Summer Sessions Fees Housing Total Domestic Student $3,300 $1060 N/A $4,360 International Student $3,300 $1060 N/A $4,360
Cancelling or Withdrawing
- How can a student cancel their enrollment or withdraw from the program?
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 will need to do so through their CalCentral account. You can find more information on Cancelling and Withdrawing here.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
- Is Financial Aid available?
A small handful of need-based scholarships are available to accepted students. Applicants will have the opportunity to request a scholarship while filling out the program application. Program applications must be submitted before March 27 in order to be eligible for consideration for a stipend. Award amounts are dependent on:
- Financial need.
- The student's academic achievement.
- Timely completion of the embARC application form and essay questions.
- Timely submission of the letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher or a mentor.
- Timely submission of the financial aid application form.
Contact the CED Summer Programs Office to inquire about scholarships.
- Will I earn credit?
Upon successful completion of embARC, students will earn 1 unit of college credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript. Whether these units will fulfill any degree requirements on an undergraduate level is solely at the discretion of the institution you decide to attend.
- Do I need to have experience in design or architecture to participate in the program?
Students participating in the program have a range of experiences, from taking no art/design/engineering classes to having taken many. Although students come to the embARC Summer Design Academy from various backgrounds, what they all have in common is their interest in learning more about the fields of architecture and design. (An early interest in LEGOs is also a running theme among our applicants!)
- Will participating in the program help me to build a portfolio that I can use for my college applications?
embARC students complete the program with individual projects from the Digital Design Workshops and Architecture + Design Studio, as well as group work from the Sustainable Planning Workshop and Community Build. The student work is digitally archived and can be included in a portfolio for college applications.
- How heavy is the workload?
embARC is a condensed, highly rigorous version of a college-level design course, and therefore requires a significant time commitment. Participants should expect to work on assignments after instruction hours on some weeknights and weekends, as they would in any college degree program in the field of environmental design.
- How can I order transcripts?
Students can request paper or electronic transcripts through the UC Berkeley Office of the Registrar Transcript Ordering Service.