Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design


Applying and Admissions

Who should apply?

The Summer [IN]STITUTE is designed for participants interested in 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.
  • 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 2021. [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 2021.

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

Yes! International students are encouraged to apply to the Summer Institute. 

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 2020 Summer Institute are as follows:

  • Approximately $4,600 for domestic students
  • Approximately $4,600 for international students

Since this summer's program is offered remotely, domestic and international students can enroll at the same tuition rate.

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 deadline to receive a full refund is Friday, June 18. 

Scholarship and Financial Aid

Are scholarships or Financial Aid available?

A small handful of partial 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 2 in order to be eligible for consideration for a stipend. 

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. The Institute can also be taken as a 5 unit course when combined with ENV DES 98, a 4 unit course that is graded 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. Contact with questions about unit options.