embARC Summer Design Academy

Program Introduction

Are you interested in architecture, urban design and city planning? IPCP is proud to partner with U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design (the #5 ranked architecture and built environment college in the world) to offer the embARC program. In this unique program, you can receive college credit, gain studio experience, enhance your college application and interact with UC Berkeley professors, all while enjoying the sights and sounds of the San Francisco Bay Area.

This intensive, four-week summer design academy brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to study architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning through a series of lectures, field trips, and workshops.

The embARC program is comprised of four components — an Architecture & Urban Design Studio, a Sustainable City Planning Workshop, an Environmental Design Lecture Series, Digital Workshops, and a Community Build project — that together provide a comprehensive framework and multi-disciplinary approach to “placemaking.” True to UC Berkeley’s public mission, embARC will include an overall theme of civic responsibility by partnering with a local community organization to tackle an authentic community improvement project. Through this partnership, students will employ the tools they learn in studios, workshops, and lectures to make a difference on real-world community development and design issues. Please visit the embARC website for more details.

And of course, as part of the IPCP experience, you will enjoy guided tours of the San Francisco Bay Area, housing, meals, mentoring, transportation, and more.

Program Time & Admission Requirements

July 3 – July 28, 2023 (four weeks)

The following are the minimum eligibility requirements for the program:

  • High school students entering their fourth year of high school and exceptional students entering their third year
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • English proficiency with TOEFL scores (iBT) 80 or IELTS 6.5
  • Completed online application with essay
  • USD $50 application fee
  • High school transcripts that include all grades from 9th grade through the fall semester preceding your application
  • Letter of recommendation from a high school guidance counselor, teacher, principal or community leader

Program Housing Fee includes 

  • Room & meals (breakfast and dinner)
  • Two weekend activities
  • Group airport drop off between UC Berkeley campus and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on the check out day
  • Chaperone management


Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Dates and deadlines for 2023 are as follows.

  • May 15, 2022: On-campus housing request deadline for international/domestic students.
  • May 29, 2023: Cancellation deadline for full housing fees refund minus a $300 processing fee.
  • June 12, 2023: Cancellation deadline for 35% of housing fees refund
  • June 13 – July 28, 2023 (Program ends): no refund

Please visit the embARC deadlines for more details.

*Housing rules for embARC students who select on campus housing require that students be picked up immediately should they need to quarantine due to a positive Covid test. If a parent/guardian is not able to fulfill this requirement, then the contact information for an authorized person that can pick up the student immediately needs to be provided. We will not provide any COVID related services and student is financially responsible for all COVID related costs.