Summer [In]stitute is a fast track to launching your environmental design career. Explore the methods and theories driving the field, experience the culture of design and planning studios, and develop a portfolio for job and graduate school applications with the expert guidance of faculty mentors.
Each program includes a lecture series, a design or planning studio, media workshops, and site visits. After fulfilling the program requirements, you'll receive a certificate of completion and credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript. All classes are held in Bauer Wurster Hall, CED's home on the UC Berkeley campus. International students are welcome and encouraged to apply.
Choose your cohort
Choose from three different foundational programs — [IN]ARCH, [IN]CITY, [IN]LAND — and jump-start your future in architecture, city planning, or landscape architecture. These post-baccalaureate programs are geared toward young professionals who are eager to explore career options in environmental design and are seeking to build a portfolio for graduate school. No previous design experience is required.
Immerse yourself in the foundational theories, philosophical principles, and technical practices of architectural design. Through studio instruction, faculty critiques, readings, and lectures, you’ll be introduced to architectural design, discourse, and representation.
Learn the fundamentals of landscape architectural practice through the process of making and experimentation. In a collaborative studio environment, you’ll engage with the concepts of ecology, public space, and sustainability at multiple scales of design.
Gain practical, hands-on experience in sustainable city planning and urban design through projects based on real-world situations in the San Francisco Bay Area. You’ll develop in-depth recommendations, analyses, and proposals that address major themes of planning practice, including housing, transportation, and environmental justice.
“The [IN]CITY program was a supportive and friendly environment for me to take what I learned in college and apply it to real-world projects.”
After the program, Doug received a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University and worked for four years at ARUP. He is now assistant director of economic development & regional planning at the New York City Department of City Planning.
Why Summer [In]stitute?
- Learn the fundamentals of environmental design
- Experience the culture of design and planning studios
- Craft your graduate school portfolio under the guidance of faculty mentors
- Meet students on similar career tracks and connect with practitioners in the field
- Earn college-level credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript
Recent Summer [In]stitute alums have been accepted to graduate programs at Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Rice, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, MIT, University of Washington, University of Illinois, Princeton, Cornell, and Yale, among others.
Before the program
Kaji was a gardener in Japan when he decided to learn more about what graduate studies in landscape architecture in the U.S. look like.
After the program
Kaji received his MLA from the College of Environmental Design (CED) in 2022 and became a landscape designer at Groundworks Office in Berkeley.
Typical Daily Schedule
Mondays – Thursdays
- Media Skills Workshop: 10–11:30 a.m.
- Lecture / Reading & Discussion: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
- Lunch break: 1–2 p.m.
- Studio: 2–5 p.m.
- Guest lecture and happy hour: 5–7 p.m. (Thursdays)
- Site visit: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
In addition, you'll spend time in studio creating plans and models and refining designs in response to frequent feedback from instructors. The curriculum also provides opportunities for collaboration and group work.
“The six-week program was well-organized, intensive, and beyond my expectations. I was introduced to using various media to develop and present my design thinking.”
After the program, Lei earned an MDes degree at Harvard GSD and is now a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge.
Applications & Admissions
Program dates: July 1–August 9, 2024
Applications open in mid-December 2023
Summer [In]stitute programs are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and are considering graduate study in an environmental design discipline. You will graduate from the program with a quality portfolio for the next step of your professional development including graduate school. No previous design experience is necessary.
DEADLINES & FEES
- April 29 for international students who need a student visa
- May 13, 2024 for domestic students (who won’t need a student visa)
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions? Read more about Applications & Admissions, Program Cost & Financial Support, Course Credit, How to Prepare, Housing & Transportation, Cancellation & Withdrawal, After the Program on the Summer Program FAQ page.