Summer Programs FAQ
Below you may find many frequently asked questions answered in detail. If you don't find the information you are looking for, please contact us via the email address indicated at the bottom of the program page of your interest.
Application and Admissions
- Who can apply?
- What are the dates for the summer 2023 programs?
- How do I apply?
- What do I need for the application?
- Am I required to submit a portfolio with my application?
- I am an international student. May I apply to a CED Summer Program?
- I am already a UC Berkeley student. Can I just enroll in the program?
- When will I find out if I've been accepted?
- Are there any other environmental design courses offered during the summer if I’m not eligible for the program that I want?
- I missed the application deadline and really want to join a program this summer. What can I do?
- What should I do if I am an international student and want to join a program this summer, but I missed the application deadline?
- Is the COVID-19 vaccination required?
- Do I need to have health insurance to participate in CED Summer Programs?
Anyone who is eligible can apply to the CED Summer Programs. Please refer to the main pages of the individual programs for specific eligibility criteria (embARC, DISC, Summer [In]stitute) and to the Application and Admissions page. We encourage international students as well as minorities and first generation college students to apply.
embARC Summer Design Academy: July 3–28, 2023 (4 weeks)
DISC (Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities): July 3–August 4, 2023 (5 weeks)
Summer [In]stitute, on-campus programs: July 3–August 11, 2023 (6 weeks)
The online program [IN]DESIGN begins on June 20, 2023 and runs for 8 weeks. The workload per week is about 3/4 of the in-person 6-week (full-time) program.
Students must complete an online application via SlideRoom and pay the application fee before submitting the application. You can preview the application form by clicking on the link of your desired program and click “Preview Full Application” on the bottom of the page.
The general application requirements for each of the summer programs can also be found on the Application & Registration page.
The general application requirements for each of the summer programs can be found on the Application & Registration page. You can preview the application form by following the link to the online application and then clicking on the link of your desired program. Then you can follow the “Preview Full Application”-link on the bottom of the page.
No, submission of a portfolio is not required to apply to a CED Summer Program.
Yes, international students are encouraged to apply to any of the CED Summer Programs, based on eligibility. Once accepted to the on-campus program, UC Berkeley Summer Sessions will guide students through the steps of the student visa application process. International students will be enrolled in the course for five units of credit, which is the minimum amount required to be considered a full-time student and eligible for a visa. Please make note of special deadlines for international students with visa requirements.
International students attending the online program [IN]DESIGN will not need a visa, but need to show English proficiency.
No, CED Summer Programs are immersive, full-time programs and require a high level of engagement and commitment. Therefore, we require you to formally apply and show your qualifications and interest.
Applications are reviewed for admission beginning in mid-February and decisions are released on a rolling basis, about two weeks after they are reviewed. Admission decisions are sent via email. Please check your spam folder!
Yes, the College of Environmental Design offers the following summer programs:
embARC Summer Design Academy — for rising high school 11th and 12th graders
DISC (Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities) — for current undergraduate students
Summer [In]stitute — for post-baccalaureate students and career professionals
If you are a domestic student, there may still be a chance for you to apply as long as the program has not started yet and there is space is available. Please send an email with your inquiry to the CED Summer Program of interest – embARC, DISC, Summer [In]stitute (see the bottom of the respective program page for the email address).
International students who miss the application deadline (and who do not already have a valid visa allowing them to attend a university over the summer) will need to wait until next year to apply for an on-campus program.
International students who missed the application deadline but who already have a valid student visa or permanent residency should contact the CED Summer Program of interest – embARC, DISC, or Summer [In]stitute (see the bottom of the respective program page for the email address).
Likewise, please contact the Summer [In]stitute if you would like to attend the online program to determine if seats are still available.
If you are unclear about your visa status, please refer to the following page: https://summer.berkeley.edu/international/are-you-an-international-student
Yes, currently, the University of California requires all students, staff, and faculty who are accessing campus facilities to be fully immunized against COVID-19, including a booster shot as soon as they are eligible. For more details, information about exemptions, and to find out if requirements have changed, see University Health Services.
Important: Compliance with the COVID-19 policy will be required prior to enrollment in classes.
Health insurance coverage is strongly recommended to meet unexpected health expenses when you attend an on-campus program. If you don’t have one, you should purchase a health insurance policy before you arrive in Berkeley.
International students: J-1 students are required as a condition of their status to maintain a strict and certain minimum level of coverage from the day that they are admitted to the U.S. For more information on J-1 health insurance requirements, see Health Insurance Requirements for J-1/J-2 Visitors. If insurance cannot be purchased before leaving home, information about health insurance enrollment can be obtained from the UHS website.
IMPORTANT: Many insurance plans are now excluding COVID-19 coverage due to CDC travel warnings and/or U.S Department of State travel warnings. However, there are many insurance plans that would cover COVID-19 treatment expenses just like any other new medical condition that occurs after the effective date of the policy. Students are required to make sure that their insurance plan covers COVID-19 related expenses.
PROGRAM COST & FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- What is the total cost of the program?
- Is there any financial support offered for CED Summer Programs?
- Can I apply to the program after I know whether I will receive financial support?
- I am not eligible for financial support and I do not have enough funds to cover the full cost of the program. What else can I do?
- Can I work during the program to afford attending it?
- Are international students eligible for financial support?
- How can international students get financial support for CED Summer Programs?
- I missed the deadline for the financial support application. What can I do?
Information regarding the cost of CED Summer Programs can be found on the Deadlines & Fees page.
A small number of scholarships and stipends are available to accepted students with U.S. citizenship or residency. The awards are based on financial need. CED Summer Program financial support is not federally subsidized. Applicants have the opportunity to request the application for financial support when filling out the program application in SlideRoom if they apply before the scholarship deadline.
No. The program application AND financial support application must be submitted before the financial support application deadline. Requests for financial support will not be considered without a completed program application.
Applicants and admitted students are encouraged to research other funds, which might include funds from your home college/university, foundations, regional scholarship funds, or stipends based on other criteria. The AmeriCorp Education Award is an option, too.
Some students have been able to support the program cost with prior savings. Others look for financial support from a family member, or are able to secure a loan. We have also had students who have succeeded in fundraising, for example through a crowd-funding campaign. We encourage you to investigate all options.
View this list of scholarship databases to get started.
We strongly discourage CED Summer Program students from working during their participation in our on-campus programs. This is because our on-campus summer programs run on a full-time schedule. Further, homework and class preparation are required, as well as a student’s full commitment.
If you attend the online Summer[In]stitute [IN]DESIGN, an 8 week program with a somewhat lighter workload per week (about 75% of the other full-time, in-person Summer [In]stitute programs), part-time work might be possible, depending on the individual and the nature of the work.
No. CED Summer Programs financial support is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.
International students might be able to apply for funds in their home college/university. Many countries have their own options, such as foundations that may offer financial support for international exchange and university visits. We encourage you to research online or through your college/university for potential funding opportunities.
In rare circumstances, exceptions to the financial support application deadline can be made if there are still funds available and depending on the personal circumstances of the student. Contact the CED Summer Program of your choice with further questions.
- Will I earn credit?
- Can I transfer credit from CED Summer Programs to my home college?
- I am on a quarter system. How does semester credit relate?
Upon successful completion of the program, students will generally earn 1 semester unit of college credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript. International students who need to qualify for a student visa will need to enroll in 5 semester units which they will earn upon successful completion of the program.
Students also have the option to add additional college-level semester units for consideration at their home school. Whether these credits will fulfill any degree requirements on an undergraduate level is solely at the discretion of the institution the student attends. Students will need to contact their advisor of their home institution.
Consult with your home institution regarding transfer of CED Summer Programs coursework. Be prepared to provide course descriptions, syllabi, transcripts, and other course information as required by your home institution.
Please refer to this page to learn more about units of credits and how to convert them to the quarter system.
How to Prepare
- Will I need to bring my own laptop?
- Will I need to set aside time before the program starts for readings or other preparations?
- Where can I purchase materials and supplies?
- How should I dress for studio, final presentations, and site visits?
It is recommended that all students bring a laptop with a functional built-in or add-on camera (the camera is recommended in case remote presentation or participation becomes necessary). Upon completion of enrollment, software will be made available to students for download. Students will also have access to computers, printers, and any required graphic or technical software in the CED computing labs.
Additionally, some instructors recommend bringing a mouse, as it may help to work with details in the design programs (particularly on a Windows laptop).
Enrolled students will receive instructions to fill out waivers and other forms and they will also be required to complete various tasks via their CalCentral student accounts. In addition, most instructors will request that students install certain software before their arrival in class. Some instructors will also ask students to prepare mandatory readings and a few assignments before the course starts.
We will send all necessary instructions before the start of the course.
Some materials will be provided to program participants. Additional supplies are available for purchase at the CED Materials Store adjacent to the Fabrication Shop, The Ink Stone close to campus, and various other stores in Berkeley.
If your instructors want you to purchase any materials before the first day of the program, they will send a list ahead of time.
Students should wear comfortable clothing and shoes for regular studio course days. In studio, long hair should be pulled back and students should refrain from wearing jewelry that dangles, such as long necklaces or large earrings. For site visits, it is recommended that students bring a sketchbook, sun protection (a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), warm clothing for foggy temperatures in the 50’s, a water bottle, a lunch and snacks, and their Clipper Card (which will be provided at the beginning of the program). Students participating in the DISC program should also bring the handbook issued on the first day of the program. Also, professional business attire or neat clothing is required for some field trips and final presentations.
Housing & Transportation
- How do I find housing?
- How much does housing cost?
- Can I use public transportation to get to campus?
- Do you have student parking on campus?
- Do you have any special housing arrangements for embARC students who are minors?
In consideration of the significant time commitment required by the on-campus CED Summer Programs, students are encouraged to live on or close to campus. There are many options, which are summarized here, linking to the housing sites.
If you like to stay in the student dorms, we recommend reserving a space as soon as possible, as they tend to fill up in the summer. All classes take place in Bauer Wurster Hall, which is located at the south-east corner of campus.
embARC students also have the option to sign-up for campus housing via the program — please review the EMBARC HOUSING-section under the embARC program FAQ.
The cost of housing will depend on the length of the program and the type of accommodation you choose. There are many options which are summarized here.
If you are a minor and choose the housing option with embARC, find the cost here.
Yes! Many students use public transportation to get to campus every day. The public transit system in the East Bay is well-developed, and rail transit connects to San Francisco as well. More information on public transportation here: https://pt.berkeley.edu/transit.
While many students also use a bicycle to get around, you should note that Bauer Wurster Hall is located on the east side of campus which is somewhat elevated over the west side and Berkeley downtown.
Students use the parking structures that are available for all university staff, faculty, and students. You can find more information on parking fees and public transportation options here: https://pt.berkeley.edu/home. Summer students can also use the UC Berkeley Perimeter bus line for free.
Yes. Please review the EMBARC HOUSING-section under the embARC program FAQ below.
Cancellation and Withdrawal
- My plans have changed. How do I cancel my enrollment or withdraw from the program?
- What is the refund policy?
If you do not plan to attend and you are already enrolled in a CED Summer Program, you must drop your course(s) before the refund deadlines or you will be financially responsible for the fees. To do this, you will need to do both of the following:
1) Send an email to your CED Summer Program (embARC, DISC, Summer [In]stitute) to inform us that you need to withdraw.
2) Complete a withdrawal application through CalCentral.
Important: CED Summer Programs students are not automatically dropped from classes for non-payment or non-attendance in the summer term and are financially responsible for all fees unless they drop their course(s) before the refund deadlines. If you decide to enroll in a CED Summer Program after the refund deadline has passed, you automatically accept financial responsibility for the program fees.
The CED Summer Programs fee refund deadline is in early June. Information regarding the Summer Sessions fee refund deadline is available here.
CED reserves the right to cancel any course for which there is insufficient enrollment. If CED cancels a Summer Programs course, students already enrolled will receive a full refund.
For student-initiated cancellations, you must adhere to the cancellation deadlines to receive a refund. The CED Summer Programs fee refund deadline is in early June. Information regarding the Summer Sessions fee refund deadline is available here.
Important: If you do not plan to attend, you must drop your class(es) before the refund deadlines, or you will be financially responsible for the fees. CED Summer Program students are not automatically dropped from classes for non-payment or non-attendance in the summer term. Enrolling in a CED Summer Program after the full refund cancellation deadline automatically implies that you accept financial responsibility for the program fees.
After the Program
- How do I order transcripts?
- How can I stay in touch?
- How can I tell you what I thought about the program?
- What else can I do after the program?
Alumni of CED Summer Programs can request paper or electronic transcripts through the UC Berkeley Office of the Registrar Transcript Ordering Service.
Students are welcome to use the communication channels used during the program such as Slack or WhatsApp, as well as social media, to stay in touch after the program and share contact information with each other. CED Summer Programs instructors and admin staff also love to hear from students regarding their future plans. Last but not least, follow us on Instagram.
All students receive a survey at the end of each program. It helps us greatly when students provide us with input regarding their experience by completing the survey.
Be proud of what you have accomplished during the summer! Feel free to tell your friends and spread the word about CED Summer Programs. Also, let us know how you’re doing with your career and/or educational goals by filling out our CED Summer Programs Alumni form. We love to hear from you!
embARC General FAQ
- Do I need to have experience in design or architecture to participate in the embARC program?
- Will participating in the embARC program help me to build a portfolio that I can use for my college applications?
- How heavy is the workload?
Students participating in the program have a range of experiences, from taking no art or design classes to having taken many. Although students come to the embARC program from various backgrounds, they all share a common interest in learning about the fields of architecture and design.
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.
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 in/out of the studio after instruction hours on some weeknights and weekends, as they would in any college degree program in the field of environmental design.
- Do I need to live on campus?
- Where will students stay on campus?
- How secure are the dorms?
- What is included in residential housing?
- What happens on the weekends?
- How are dietary needs or restrictions handled?
- How are medical needs handled?
Students living within 45 minutes of the UC Berkeley campus may opt to commute to embARC as a day program. Non-local students can request on campus housing through our campus partner, or reside with a local guardian, relative or someone officially sanctioned in writing by the student’s parent/guardian prior to arrival.
CED Summer Programs partners with a residential housing coordinator to manage the campus housing component of the embARC program. The student dormitories are located on the UC Berkeley campus within walking distance to the College of Environmental Design, which is located in Bauer 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. Dorm rooms are either double or triple-occupancy. Students will be grouped in rooms by gender.
PLEASE NOTE: UC Berkeley’s summer residence halls fill up fast. embARC participants wishing to live on campus must request housing by the posted deadline as indicated on our website’s Deadlines & Fees page.
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. Dorm supervisors take roll every evening. After the evening room check is completed, student residents are asked not to leave their rooms for the remainder of the night 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 CED and will notify the program office shortly thereafter if a student is not in attendance.
The cost of residential tuition covers overnight accommodation in the student dormitories on campus, an 88-point meal plan (approximately 11 prepaid meals per week) in the campus dining halls, supervision at all times (24 hours per day, 7 days per week), weekend excursions off-campus, and organized evening activities if students have completed their classroom/studio assignments.
Students will be expected to work over the weekend to complete embARC assignments. However, our housing coordinator will organize two weekend excursions. Any additional free time may be spent at the discretion of the student. There are many activities and attractions in the Bay Area; however, students will need to return to their dorms before the evening roll call.
Students enrolled in the embARC program will be given meal points that will be uploaded to their student identification card. These points may be used at all Cal Dining cafeterias on campus. If a student has special dietary needs, the housing coordinator will provide parents and guardians with the dining hall manager’s contact information to coordinate needs. Any agreement reached regarding a student’s dietary needs will be made solely between the parent(s) and dining hall services.
If students staying in on-campus housing will be bringing medication with them, or have special medical needs, please indicate this to our summer program housing coordinator. Generally, we ask families to equip their child to store and administer their medication individually. We do not take possession of medication or administer medication directly to a student.
- What materials are included in the cost of the embARC program?
- What else should I bring for the program?
Various materials are provided to students as part of the cost of the program, including:
- Triangle arch scale
- Lead holder
- Mini pointer
- Lead pencils in various grades and sizes
- Sketch book
- X-ACTO knife
- Vinyl eraser
- Clear triangles
Students should expect to spend about an additional $100 on supplies for specific assignments. These supplies can be purchased by students at the CED Materials Store or near campus at The Ink Stone in Berkeley.
Students are encouraged to bring a laptop and a digital camera to class (a cell phone camera is also fine). Additionally, students should anticipate about $100 in additional supplies for model making.
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