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UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design Summer Programs

UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design Summer Programs

UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design Summer Programs


UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design (CED) offers immersive summer programs in architecture, sustainable city design, and landscape architecture. Explore how design fits into your future career and education at UC Berkeley, the top public university for environmental design according to the 2023 QS World University Rankings. CED Summer programs will fire your imagination, stretch your mind, and set you on the path to achieving your goals. Choose from several in-person programs, each five or six weeks long, beginning on July 1, 2024. No design experience is necessary!

  • Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities (DISC) for current college students of all backgrounds. You'll join with other college students from around the world to tackle the issues of climate change, urban health, and social equity through the design of the built environment. A multidisciplinary approach gives you the tools and expertise to craft innovative design-based solutions to the most pressing problems of our times.
  • Three different Summer [In]stitute cohorts for young professionals with a bachelor's degree, and students finishing their bachelor's degree.
    • [In]Arch: Immerse yourself in the foundational theories, philosophical principles, and technical practices of architectural design. Through studio instruction, faculty reviews, readings, and lectures, you'll be introduced to architectural design, discourse, and representation.
    • [In]Land: 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.
    • [In]City: 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.

About CED

The College of Environmental Design (CED) stands among the nation’s top environmental design schools. It is one of the world’s most distinguished laboratories for experimentation, research, and intellectual synergy. The first school to combine the disciplines of architecture, planning, and landscape architecture into a single college, CED led the way toward an integrated approach to analyzing, understanding, and designing our built environment.

CED was also among the first to conceptualize environmental design as inseparable from its social, political-economic, and cultural contexts. Its faculty and students have always seen environmental design as an exploratory spatial practice, aimed at creating forms of building, landscape, and urban plans that have yet to be imagined. At the same time, CED has historically emphasized environmental design as a profoundly ethical practice, co-produced through dynamic engagements with diverse communities, workers, businesses, and policy-makers.

Today's students have inherited unprecedented global challenges that could not have been foreseen when the college was founded in 1959. This legacy will require radically new ways to fashion the buildings, places, and landscapes that harbor our diverse ways of life. The mission of the college is to produce creative and skilled professionals to help craft built environments & are; ecologically sustainable and resilient, prosperous and fair, healthy and beautiful — whose logic, form, and materials we as teachers cannot yet conjure. We guide students toward a critical understanding of cities around the world, their architectures and landscapes, and their many layers of meaning. We educate students in the art of designing well-loved places that both nurture our senses and challenge our imaginations. We help students not only to acquire technical expertise but also to develop transcendent ways of seeing and refiguring the built environment.

A common thread linking most CED programs is the design studio experience, involving deep immersion in theory, technology, and real-time practice for diverse domestic and international clients. In the studio, fledgling designers take flight, becoming visual thinkers, critical observers, and systems scientists, often working with faculty and classmates from across the college’s departments and programs. This intense, interactive learning arena is the hallmark of a CED education, offering an unparalleled learning environment located at one of the nation’s top public research universities.


Ours is a college of transformational practices that shape resilient and equitable futures, with a reputation for excellence in design, research, education, and community engagement.

Our vision is to launch our graduates to be agents of change for environmental good, disrupting the practices that degrade our environment and accelerating pathways and practices toward resilient, healthy, and equitable futures.

Resilience and equity are this century's primary challenges. Science shows that climate impacts are getting worse – making the planet hotter, affecting well-being, and causing instability from floods, drought, and fire. How we live matters. We urgently need to redesign the physical fabric of our regions, cities, and neighborhoods to make them more adaptable to environmental change while proactively addressing social inequities and dislocations.

To do this, we need to look both backward and forward. The design and development practices of the late 20th century have exacerbated our current challenges. We must critically evaluate existing infrastructures, land-use plans, and buildings — this is the palimpsest in which we are intervening in order to redirect it toward a better future.

Understanding what worked, and what did not, enables us to promote new practices that build our collective capacity for adaptation, renewal, and equity.


Our mission is to advance knowledge and educate students in the critical theories, design practices, and sciences that address the environmental challenges of this century.

As part of a renowned public research university, in a region alive with entrepreneurship and located along the dynamic Pacific Rim, CED is well-positioned to make our mission actionable. This moment calls for a broad convergence — expansion of our impact on the public good through interdisciplinary teaching, research, community outreach, and industry partnerships.

Our degree programs focus on the formation of the environment as situated in a continuum of histories, societies, economies, materials, systems, and scales. We emphasize critical thinking about the ecological, social, and cultural performance of spaces, landscapes, and infrastructure systems. The diverse intellectual foci of our faculty’s research inform our curriculum and encourage exploration across the college's fields and professions. They all reflect global, multi-scale perspectives that broaden discourses while grounding them in lived experiences.

We aim to instruct and empower the next generation of environmental designers who will help to build better environmental futures, inspire and lead their professions, and serve our communities through practice and public service. Every generation seeks to make its mark, defining excellence anew. We are here to advance this.


We encourage all eligible students to apply, including minorities, first-generation college students (or college-bound high school students), and international students. Specific requirements are listed in the table below.

 EMBARCDISCSummer Institute
Level of education Rising high school juniors   (11th grade) and seniors   (12th grade)Current college studentsPost-baccalaureate*
GPA3.0 or higher3.0 or higher is strongly recommended3.0 or higher is strongly recommended

Subject ExpertiseNo design experience is required, but evidence of academic rigor and intellectual curiosity
English Language SkillsInternational students: Provide proof of English language proficiency (both in terms of exam scores and quality of the written statement in the SlideRoom program application). International applicants who qualify for an English Proficiency Waiver are not required to submit language test scores.

* We will also consider exceptional students who will have completed their junior year of college before the start of the program

Visa Requirements

How do I apply for an F-1 student visa?

To apply for an F-1 student visa, start by locating your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Visit to search for embassy locations in your home country. If you click on the embassy that you would like to visit, you will be directed to that embassy's services.

Complete Form DS-160 by following the instructions listed on the website. Answer all of the questions listed on the form to the best of your abilities. The Form DS-160 is used for many different kinds of visa applications, so be aware that some of the questions may not be relevant to you and your purposes for coming to the U.S.

How do I prepare for the visa interview?

To prepare for a successful visa interview, please ensure that you gather all of your required documents. It is also best to practice how you will respond to common interview questions. Make sure that your answers are clear and concise since visa interviews can be very brief. During your interview, remain calm and answer all the consular officer's questions openly and honestly.

Consular officers do security checks for all visa applicants. They do special security clearances for some applicants as required by law. Students who study scientific and technical subjects are subject to additional background checks. These clearances may take several weeks or longer. Be sure to make your visa appointment well in advance of your intended travel.

If your F-1 visa application is denied, you will receive a formal notification in the mail. Email us right away and attach this notification so we can best advise you on the next steps.

Scholarships and Funding

CED Summer Program financial aid funds are need-based awards, which means that funding is based on the financial situation of the student and the household they live in. Financial aid takes into account many factors; however, as a guide, if the household income of the applicant and/or parents (if appropriate) exceeds US$75,000 (or US$45,000 for an applicant living independently), an aid award is unlikely.

To apply, submit your answers and documentation to the financial assistance questions as part of the CED Summer Program application in SlideRoom by the deadline which is indicated in your program.

Please Note: CED Summer Program financial aid is not federally subsidized and is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.

  • International students are not eligible to apply.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • There is no guarantee that applicants who apply for aid will receive financial assistance.
  • Award amounts vary, depending on the needs of the applicant pool and availability of funds.
  • Applicants who receive a partial scholarship (stipend) will be required to pay the full balance of the program fees before the start of the program.
  • Applicants who are offered financial support are expected to inform us immediately if they plan on accepting it.
  • Students who have accepted financial support from the CED Summer Programs and decided not to join the program need to inform us immediately.

Applicants and admitted students are encouraged to research and apply for additional funding opportunities, which might include funds from your home college/university, foundations, government or regional scholarship funds, or stipends based on other criteria. A College Savings Plan (529 Plan) or the AmeriCorps Education Award may be an option, too.

Over the years, families have shared with us additional ideas they have used to finance the program. Some students have been able to support the program cost with prior savings. Others received financial support from a family member, an inheritance, an employer, local businesses, civic organizations, or churches, or were able to secure a loan. We also had students who have succeeded in fundraising, for example through a crowd-funding campaign. We encourage you to investigate all options.

In addition, you may review the list of scholarship databases. It primarily applies to full-time students, but you may find an opportunity that applies to your situation.


  • Berkeley

    UC Berkeley Berkeley, CA, 94720, Berkeley