Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design


Applying and Admissions

Who should apply?
  • The Summer [IN]STITUTE is designed for participants interested in any of the following:
  • Buiding a polished design portfolio and competitive application to graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture or urban planning.
  • Testing their affinity for graduate-level work in the field of environmental design.
  • Experiencing first-hand the culture of a design or planning studio.
  • Building a network of peers and mentors that will last far beyond the summer. 
  • Immersing themselves in a new way of thinking, seeing and working that will serve them in a wide range of academic, professional and personal pursuits.
Am I eligible to apply?

[IN]CITY, [IN]LAND and [IN]ARCH are open to holders of an undergraduate degree in any discipline outside the field of environmental design. We will also consider exceptional students who will complete their junior or senior year of college by June 2022. [IN]ARCH ADV is open to students who have already obtained an undergraduate degree in the field of architecture or who will complete their junior year in an architecture program by June 2022.

How do I apply?

The online application launches in mid-December. Students must submit a brief statement of interest, a resume/CV, and an unofficial college transcript, along with an $80 application fee. See the How to Apply page for more details.

Am I required to submit a portfolio with my application?

Since the program does not require previous design experience, a portfolio is not required.


I missed the application deadline and really want to join the program this summer. What can I do?

There might be a chance for domestic students, as long as the program has not started yet: Please send an email to and indicate which cohort you are interested in. Sometimes, seats become available during the last few weeks before the program starts. International students who do not already have a visa that allows you to attend a university over the summer need to wait for the next summer. If you have a valid student visa or permanent residency, please contact us ( If you are unclear about your visa status, please refer to the following websites: and 

I am an international student. May I apply to the Summer Institute?

Yes! International students are encouraged to apply to the Summer Institute. However, since the Summer Institute is considered a full-time course of study, you must be issued an F-1 or J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State. The Berkeley International Office can help you with this process. International students will be enrolled in 5 units of credit in order to be eligible for the visa. The visa application process can be lengthy, and international students are encouraged to submit their applications as far in advance of the deadline as possible. 

Can I apply for one of the Summer Institute programs while still completing my undergraduate degree?

The Summer Institute is geared towards post-baccalaureate students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in an environmental design discipline. While we will consider current college students for the program, you are encouraged to consider the  Disc* (Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities) summer program. This program has been designed specifically for current college students and may be a better fit. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which program is right for you and your academic and professional goals.

Can I apply for one of the Summer Institute programs with an undergraduate degree in that same field?

The Summer Institute is structured as a broad introduction to architecture, city planning and landscape architecture, and would be largely redundant for those with an undergraduate degree in the same field. The Summer Institute offers an advanced studio,  [IN]ARCH ADV, for students with an undergraduate degree in architecture who are looking to refine and build upon their skill set as well as update their portfolio. At this time we are not offering advanced studios in landscape architecture or city and regional planning.

I am not eligible for the Summer Institute. Are there any other design courses offered during the summer?

Yes! The College of Environmental Design offers two additional summer programs - one for high school students (embARC) and one for current college students (Disc* [Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities])

Program Cost

What is the total cost of the program, including UC Berkeley Summer Sessions fees?

Tuition and fees for the 2022 Summer Institute are as follows:

  • Approximately $4,500 for domestic students
  • Approximately $7,183 for international students

For more information on total costs, please visit the Program Cost page.

What is the refund policy?

CED reserves the right to cancel any course for which there is insufficient enrollment; students already enrolled will receive a full refund. For student-initiated cancellations, the deadlines are as follows:

  • June 10: Contact the CED Summer Programs Office to cancel your enrollment by this date and you will receive a full refund of the CED Summer Program fee and all Summer Sessions fees. The $25 Summer Sessions application fee is non-refundable. For international students, the $400 I-20 processing fee is non-refundable as well.
  • For cancellations after this deadline, please notify the CED Programs Office. Some of the Summer Sessions fees might still be refundable - more details on the Summer Sessions website.

Scholarship and Financial Aid

Are scholarships or Financial Aid available?

A small handful of need-based stipends are available to accepted students. Applicants will have the opportunity to request a stipend while filling out the program application. Program applications must be submitted before April 9 in order to be eligible for consideration for a stipend. 


How do I find housing in Berkeley?

In consideration of the significant time commitment required by the program, Summer Institute participants are strongly encouraged to live on or close to campus. You have several options for housing, some of which include meals. The following links will give you an idea of housing costs in the Berkeley area.

  • UC Berkeley Student Co-Op Housing
  • Many summer students find sublets in the neighborhood using online listings such as Craigslist. Keep in mind that many more options become available during the summertime.
  • Another option would be to take a room at the International House, which is a five-minute walk from the College of Environmental Design and offers meals.
  • UC Berkeley residence halls also become available to visiting students during the summer sessions. 
  • Cal Rentals is a subscription service is set up specifically to help summer student visitors find sublets around campus. You can also email them after March 1 to request their Summer Housing Bulletin.
  • is a platform originally created for international exchange and internship students that has been highly effective for Summer Institute participants in the past.
  • The CED Summer Programs Facebook Page is used by incoming Institute students to trade house-hunting tips and share leads. Once you have enrolled you will be invited to this group.


What equipment and/or materials will I need to bring?

It is recommended that all students have a laptop or access to a desktop computer. Upon completion of enrollment, software will become available to students for download. Students will also have access to to computers, printers and any required graphic or technical software in CED computing labs. Additionally, some drawing materials will be supplied to participants. Other supplies are available for purchase at the CED Materials Store adjacent to the Fabrication Shop, The Ink Stone in Berkeley, and elsewhere near campus. See the Facilities + Resources page for details on sourcing materials, lab access and supplies that will be provided.

Academic Credit

How does the Summer Institute feed into the master's programs at the College of Environmental Design?

The Summer Institute is not part of the master's programs at CED. Students who wish to apply for admission into the master's programs offered at CED must submit their applications with the general applicant pool. Please see the departmental websites for more information about admission to the master's programs in architecture, city and regional planning, and landscape architecture and environmental planning.

Can credit from the Summer Institute later be applied toward a master's degree?

No. Completion of the Summer Institute does not offer credit toward a master's degree in architecture, city and regional planning, or landscape architecture and environmental planning.

Can credit from the Summer Institute later be transferred to another university?

Potentially. ENV DES 2 is the course that all Summer Institute students enroll in for 1 unit of credit, and students have the option of taking the course for a letter grade or a pass/no pass assessment. ENV DES 98 is a 4 unit course that international students enroll in, and the assessment is pass/no pass only. An academic institution may count some, all, or none of these credits towards the total number of units required for a degree. Any student seeking to transfer credit should consult with a counselor or advisor at their home institution before enrolling in the Institute.