College of Environmental Design

Introduction to the College

The College of Environmental Design (CED) is UC Berkeley’s home for environmental design theory, research, innovation, and practice. CED stands among the nation’s top environmental design and planning schools. It is one of the world’s most distinguished laboratories for experimentation, research, and intellectual synergy. CED offers undergraduate degrees in architecture, urban studies, landscape architecture, and sustainable environmental design. All departments offer undergraduate minor programs open to students majoring in other fields.

The mission of CED is to educate diverse students to critically analyze the built environment, preparing them to craft buildings, cities, and landscapes that are ecologically sustainable and resilient; prosperous and fair; healthy and beautiful.

The College trains students in rigorous research and analytic methods, as well as the art of designing memorable, well-loved places that both nurture the senses and challenge the imagination. CED helps students acquire technical expertise and develop transcendent ways of seeing and re-figuring the built environment.

Explore majors and minors available through the College of Environmental Design.

Visit the College of Environmental Design Website

UC and Campus Requirements

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a U.S. resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Campus Requirement

American Cultures

American Cultures (AC) is the one requirement that all undergraduate students at UC Berkeley need to take and pass in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture in the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College Requirements

Summary of College and University Requirements

  • Entry Level Writing
  • American History and Institutions
  • American Cultures
  • Reading and Composition
  • Seven Course Breadth
  • Lower Division Environmental Design (3 courses)
  • Upper Division Environmental Design (3 courses)

University of California Requirements
 

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a U.S. resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Campus Requirement

American Cultures

American Cultures (AC) is the one requirement that all undergraduate students at UC Berkeley need to take and pass in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College Requirements

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking, the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester. CED students admitted to UCB as freshmen must complete the first half of the R&C requirement at Berkeley.

College Requirements: Seven Course Breadth

Choose one course from each of the following categories:

Guidelines include the following:

  1. Up to two CED courses or courses cross-listed with CED may be used to complete Seven Course Breadth (students admitted to UCB Fall 2013 and later only).
  2. For students admitted to UC Berkeley Fall 2013 and later, only lower division ENV DES courses (ENV DES 1, ENV DES 4A, ENV DES 4B, ENV DES 4C) and lower division major requirements may simultaneously fulfill Seven Course Breadth. A course used to fulfill either an upper division major requirement or the upper division CED outside of architecture requirement may not also satisfy Seven Course Breadth. Upper division CED courses that are not fulfilling another upper division requirement may fulfill Seven Course Breadth.
  3. No more than two courses from any one academic department may be used to satisfy breadth requirements.
  4. A Seven Course Breadth class that is also being used to complete another CED requirement must be completed with a letter grade of C- or better.
  5. Only one of the remaining Seven Course Breadth may be taken on a Passed/Not Passed basis.
  6. The International Studies (IS) breadth requirement may be satisfied by participation in the UC Education Abroad Program or a recognized equivalent program.
  7. CED students may apply high school exam credit (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Exam) towards many of the above requirements. See the CED website section on High School Exam Credit for more information: http://ced.berkeley.edu/ced/students/undergraduate-advising/forms-documents/

Lower Division Major Requirements that May be Used to Simultaneously Fulfill Seven Course Breadth Requirement

Architecture Majors
Physical Sciences
Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Introductory Physics
Landscape Architecture Majors
Biological Sciences
General Biology Lecture and Laboratory
The Biosphere
Environmental Biology
Sierra Nevada Ecology
Environmental Science for Sustainable Development
The (Secret) Life of Plants
Physical Sciences
The Planet Earth
Environmental Earth Sciences
Introduction to Environmental Sciences
and Field Study in Environmental Sciences
Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Introductory Physics
Descriptive Introduction to Physics
NOTE: ENV SCI 10 & ENV SCI 10L can only be used to complete this requirement if taken prior to FL 2011.
Sustainable Environmental Design Majors
Biological Sciences
Environmental Science for Sustainable Development
Physical Sciences
Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Introductory Physics
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Introduction to Economics
Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy
Urban Studies Majors
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Introduction to Economics
Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy
Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy

Lower Division Environmental Design (Three Courses Required) *

ENV DES 1Introduction to Environmental Design3
Choose 2 of the following, to be completed during the first two years:6
Design and Activism
Global Cities
Future Ecologies: Urban Design, Climate Adaptation, and Thermodynamics
*

These requirements apply to all students admitted to Berkeley as a freshman in Fall 2013 and later, including students admitted to other colleges at UC Berkeley who enter CED through the Change of College process.

Guidelines for lower division Environmental Design courses:

  • Must be completed with a letter grade of C- or better.
  • Any of the courses used to fulfill this requirement may simultaneously fulfill the Seven Course Breadth Requirement. However, no more than two CED courses (or courses cross-listed with CED courses) may be used to complete Seven Course Breadth.

Upper Division Environmental Design (Three Courses Required)

  1. Three upper division CED courses from departments outside the major (minimum of 9 units).
  2. Must be completed with a letter grade of C- or better.
  3. Each of the three courses must be at least 2 units and must be within the 100-299 course range (excluding 197, 198, and 199).
  4. Depending on the major, this requirement may be fulfilled with courses in Architecture, Environmental Design, Visual Studies, Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning.
  5. A course used to fulfill this requirement may not also be used to fulfill Seven Course Breadth or major requirements.

High School Exam Credit

CED students may apply high school exam credit (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Exam) towards many College and Major Requirements. Please see the High School Exam Credit section on the CED website for more information.

Unit Requirements

Students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:

  • A maximum of 16 units of Special Studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed towards the 120 units; a maximum of four is allowed in a given semester; only upper division students (60 or more units completed) may enroll in 197, 198, or 199 coursework.
  • A maximum of 4 units of Physical Education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
  • Students may receive unit credit for courses graded P (including P/NP units taken through EAP) up to a limit of one-third of the total units taken and passed on the Berkeley campus at the time of graduation.
  • No more than 60 units from a single department can be used towards the 120 minimum.

​Semester Unit Minimum

All CED students must enroll in at least 12 units each fall and spring semester. (Students entering UC Berkeley as freshmen with no prior units need to complete 15 units per semester to graduate in four years.)

Semester Unit Maximum

To request permission to take more than 20.5 units in a semester, please see the major adviser.

Semester Limit

Students admitted as freshmen must graduate within eight fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students admitted as transfer students must graduate within four fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. EAP and UCDC count towards this semester limit; summer session, UC Extension, and study abroad through non-UC programs do not. Students approved for simultaneous degrees in two colleges may be granted an additional semester. CED does not limit the number of total units a student can accrue.

Senior Residence Requirement

After reaching senior status (90 semester units earned), students must be registered in the College of Environmental Design and must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in at least two semesters in residence at UC Berkeley as CED students. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least six passed units. Inter-campus Visitor, Education Abroad Program, UC Berkeley Washington Program, and UC Berkeley Extension units do not count toward this requirement.

Students may use Berkeley Summer Sessions to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence Requirement, provided that six units of coursework are completed.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) or the UC Berkeley Washington Program may meet a modified Senior Residence Requirement by completing 24 of their final 60 semester units in residence (excluding UCEAP). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after senior status is reached.

Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless students go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through University Extension during their senior year. In these cases, students should make an appointment to see an adviser to determine how they can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Grade Requirements

  • A 2.0 UC GPA is required for graduation.
  • A 2.0 GPA within the major is required at time of graduation.

Graduating With Honors

To graduate with distinction, students must meet the grade point average (GPA) requirement and complete at least 50 units in residence at Berkeley (this may include UCB Extension XB units and up to 20 units from UCDC or EAP), of which 43 units must be letter-graded (not including physical education activities courses). Transfer students must make sure they complete 50 units at Berkeley to qualify for honors.

Students' GPA in all letter-graded courses taken at Berkeley must be equal to or higher than the GPA established for honors in the year in which they graduate. These GPA cut-offs change slightly each year and are posted on the CED website.

Choosing a Major

Students must declare one of the CED majors at the time of application to the College. Even if students are certain about which major they wish to pursue, they can still benefit from doing some research about the content of the programs before applying:

  • Come to a prospective student information session. For information regarding these sessions, please see the CED schedule of events on the CED website
  • Talk with a CED adviser to clarify the nature of the major and the types of skills and coursework required.
  • If possible, visit the campus, attend some classes, including upper-division courses. Talk to students, faculty, and graduate student instructors (GSI’s).

Admission to Berkeley and the College of Environmental Design

For more information regarding admission, please see the College of Environmental Design website.

Admission as a Transfer Applicant

Transfer applicants must complete two years worth of lower division coursework to be considered for admission to CED. See the CED website for detailed information about admission criteria.

CED Admissions Ambassadors

Students are invited to meet with a CED admissions ambassador—a current undergraduate who can talk about what life is like at CED and at UC Berkeley.

To personalize visits to Wurster Hall, CED offers the following:

  • Tours of Wurster Hall
  • Student panel discussions about the CED student experience
  • Presentations about CED
  • One-on-one conversations with ambassador(s)
  • Webinars, online chats, and email exchanges with ambassador(s)

For further information regarding Admissions Ambassadors, please see the CED website.

Changing Colleges or Majors

Current UC Berkeley students may apply to change into the College of Environmental Design if they:

  • Apply by the end of their third semester (exception: prospective Architecture majors must apply by July 1 at the end of their first year at UC Berkeley).

  • Have completed at least one semester of coursework at UC Berkeley

  • Have completed the required lower division courses outlined in the Change of College petition for their desired major

  • Are able to complete their degree within CED’s semester limit

  • Have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above (a 3.0 GPA is required for Sustainable Environmental Design and the CED Individual Major)

Download the Change of College application here.

Advising

The CED Office of Undergraduate Advising provides a wide array of programmatic and individual advising services to prospective and current students as well as to students in other colleges who are pursuing CED minors or taking CED courses. The professional advising team assists students with a range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.

Advising Staff

Architecture Major Adviser: Rhommel Canare
250 Wurster Hall, rhommel.canare@berkeley.edu, 510-642-4944

Landscape Architecture Major Adviser: Omar Ramirez
250 Wurster Hall, oramirez@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0926

Sustainable Environmental Design and College Evaluator: Nancy Trinh
250 Wurster Hall,
nantrinh@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0928

Urban Studies Major Adviser: Omar Ramirez
250 Wurster Hall, oramirez@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0926

Director, Undergraduate Advising: Susan Hagstrom
250 Wurster Hall,
hagstrom@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0408

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies: Renee Chow
382D Wurster Hall, rychow@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advising Hours

Fall/Spring: Monday though Friday, 10 to noon; 1 to 4 p.m. (Office opens at 9 a.m.)
Summer: Monday through Friday, 10 to noon; 1 to 3 p.m.

Address

Office of Undergraduate Advising
College of Environmental Design
250 Wurster Hall #1800
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1800

Phone

510-642-4943

CED Career Services

The CED Career Services Center (CSC) offers personalized career counseling, a yearly CED Career Fair, and a wide variety of professional-development workshops on topics such as licensure, internships, and applying for graduate school. For further information or to schedule an appointment with the Career Counselor, please see the CED Career Services website.

CED Counseling Services

CED has partnered as a satellite office with Counseling and Psychological Services at the University Health Services (UHS) Tang Center to provide free and confidential consultations by appointment to CED graduate and undergraduate students related to personal, professional and academic concerns.

Program Requirements

For the most current information regarding major and minor program requirements and college-wide policies, please see the following pages on the CED website:

Mission

The College of Environmental Design (CED) Office of Undergraduate Advising helps students graduate in a timely way with a meaningful educational experience at Berkeley. In alignment with the College's Vision and Principles, the Office collaborates with CED faculty, deans, and student service units across campus toward the common objective of supporting students as they achieve their educational and career goals. The Office of Undergraduate Advising seeks to achieve the following:

  • Attract a highly-motivated, diverse pool of applicants
  • Connect students with resources that match their goals and aspirations
  • Support the development and transformation of our undergraduates as they become educated, active and socially just citizens of the world
  • Prepare graduates who are uniquely qualified and highly sought after in their field of choice

Advising Values

Student Success. Above all, the Office of Undergraduate Advising dedicates itself to maximizing student potential and to helping students succeed in their university experiences. Advisors encourage students to explore their minds and their hearts, challenge them to do their best work, and help them realize their talents and passions and achieve their goals.

Equity & Inclusion. Commitment to creating an inclusive environment in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued. Advisors aspire to provide fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all students and to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of all.

Health & Well-Being. Collaboration with campus partners to keep the CED community healthy by helping students balance the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual and environmental aspects of life.

Advising Excellence. In all that they do, advisors strive to deliver personalized advising services of the highest quality. They also seek to continuously educate themselves on developments in the field and to evaluate, improve, and streamline services to support students in obtaining the best education and experience possible.

Academic Opportunities

Study Abroad

The College of Environmental Design (CED) encourages all undergraduates in the College to study abroad. Whether students are interested in fulfilling general education requirements, taking courses related to their major/career, or simply living and studying in a country that is of interest to them, CED will work with students to make it happen.

CED Career Services

The CED Career Services Center (CSC) offers personalized career counseling, a yearly CED Career Fair, and a wide variety of professional-development workshops on topics such as licensure, internships, and applying for graduate school. For further information, please see the CED Career Services website.

Prizes and Awards

CED offers a number of annual prizes, awards, scholarships, fellowships, and grants to its currently enrolled students. Some of these prizes and awards are college-wide, and some are geared toward students in specific majors. For information regarding CED prizes and awards, including application instructions and a deadline calendar, please click here.

CED Events and Exhibits Calendar

CED and Wurster Hall is home to a variety of events, lectures, and exhibitions that welcome professors, professionals, and friends to the College to discuss and celebrate the community and professions. Through events and media, CED is constantly creating ways to keep the college connected and up-to-date. To view the calendar, please click here

Cal Design Lab

The Cal Design Lab at Wurster Hall is an experimental studio space to promote hands-on, interdisciplinary design activities. Faculty and students from UC Berkeley's many schools and departments can come together at the Cal Design Lab to work on critical design challenges. The goal of the lab is to be a nexus for design research and practice and to facilitate discourse that transcends different design disciplines. For further information on the Cal Design Lab, please click here.

CED Lecture Series

The departments of Architecture, City and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning each sponsor lecture series, which offers students the opportunity to hear internationally-acclaimed speakers for free. These speakers often also participate in classes and seminars as part of their visit to campus. For a schedule of speakers and events in these lecture series, please see the CED website.

CED Connects

CED Connects on LinkedIn is an online networking resource connecting CED students with alumni who can provide advice, information, and support. Students can gain perspective on long-term career goals; acquire advice on balancing education, career, and extracurricular activities; and receive honest feedback and encouragement. Alumni have the opportunity to build a student's confidence, knowledge, and motivation needed to succeed by sharing  expertise and support. CED Connects on LinkedIn provides a powerful tool to let students and alumni broaden their network and networking skills.

Research Opportunities, Internships, Public Service, and Volunteer Opportunities

For additional opportunities, please see the CED Advising website.

CED on Facebook

CED on Twitter

CED on Instagram

Contact Information

Dean

Jennifer Wolch

230 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-642-0831

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Susan Ubbelohde

803 Wurster Hall

subb@berkeley.edu

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Renee Chow

382D Wurster Hall

rychow@berkeley.edu

Department of Architecture Chair

Tom J. Buresh

232A Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-642-4942

buresh@berkeley.edu

Department of City and Regional Planning Chair

Teresa Caldeira, Ph.D.

228 Wurster Hall

dcrpchair@berkeley.edu

Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Chair

Louise Mozingo

310 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-643-9804

lmozingo@berkeley.edu

Director of Undergraduate Advising

Susan Hagstrom

250 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-642-4943

hagstrom@berkeley.edu

CED Office of Undergraduate Advising

Undergraduate Advisers

250 Wurster Hall

Phone: 510-642-4943

http://ced.berkeley.edu/advising

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