embARC Summer Design Academy

A UC Berkeley program for high school students beginning July 8th to August 2nd, 2019

embARC is a 4-week summer design intensive that brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to explore architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design through four main components: an Architecture + Urban Design Studio, a Sustainable City Planning Workshop, a Digital Workshop and a Community Build project.

Why should I attend?

  1. Explore architecture, urban design and city planning as possible college majors and careers
  2. Immerse yourself in design studio culture and the college experience
  3. Work in a team environment with peers who have similar interests
  4. Build a design portfolio to use when applying to college
  5. Get exposure to actual public policy issues and make a real impact on your world
  6. Earn a certificate of completion and 1 unit of credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript

Today’s students have inherited unprecedented global challenges that require radically new ways to fashion the buildings, places and landscapes that harbor our diverse ways of life. UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design guides creative and skilled students to craft built environments that are ecologically sustainable and resilient, prosperous and fair, healthy and beautiful. We show students the art and science of designing well-loved places that both nurture our senses and challenge our imaginations.

embARC’s home is Wurster Hall, a hub for an exceptional array of activities and resources, and participants in the program become a part of one of the world’s leading academic institutions. The University of California, Berkeley is ranked as the No. 2 public university in the nation, and fourth in the world, according to U.S. News and World Report (2018).


  • High school students entering their senior year of school and exceptional students entering their junior year
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher (recommended)
  • English proficiency (international students are required to submit exam scores)

Four main program components

  • Architecture + Urban Design studio: Instruction in freehand sketching, drafting and model building will teach students how to conceptualize and communicate two and three-dimensional design ideas.
  • Sustainable Planning Workshop: Students will engage as genuine stakeholders and participants in a community change process by developing solutions to an authentic urban planning question.
  • Digital Workshop: Building skills in digital representation, this series of workshops focuses on preparing students for techdriven college-level design curricula.
  • Community Build project: Students will work alongside trained fabrication shop staff to build out sustainable infrastructure for the benefit of a local non-profit community partner.

Important embARC deadlines

  • December 15, 2018 Online application opens
  • April 1, 2019: Scholarship request deadline. Send requests to: embarc@berkeley.edu
  • May 1, 2019: Final application deadline for domestic students

How to apply

Students must submit the following by the May 1, 2019 deadline:

  • A completed online application with a brief statement of intent.
  • High school transcripts that include all grades from 9th grade through the fall 2018 semester.
  • A letter of recommendation from a high school guidance counselor, teacher, principal or community leader.

Tuition and Fees

  • The program cost is approximately $4,350 for domestic students and $6,880 for international students.
  • The housing cost is approximately $4,200 for non-commuters.
  • Need-based scholarships are available.
  • Tuition and fees cover instruction, computer lab fees, Digital Fab Lab and Fab Shop training, basic materials and supplies, catered welcome and commencement events, and transportation to and from site visits.
  • The housing cost includes four weeks of on-campus housing, a meal plan, weekend field trips, SFO airport shuttle service, and chaperone services for students under 18.

Enrollment is limited and applicants are encouraged to apply early!

Apply online by May 1, 2019

Visit cedberkeley.slideroom.com to apply

For more information, contact: embarc@berkeley.edu | 510.643.1188