In Fall 2022, our third cohort of 47 students will begin the program. They will graduate in December 2023. They are 57% female and 43% male. 77% of the class are international students and represent 6 different countries and locations from around the world %E2%80%93 including Canada, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, South Korea, and the United Kingdom 6% of the class identify as underrepresented minority (URM). The third cohort’s backgrounds and experiences include a wide range of disciplines and professions, including computer science, cognitive science, art, history, integrated design, textile technology, business and innovation, and advertising.
37 students from our second cohort began the program in the fall of 2021, and they will graduate in the fall of 2022. They are 72% female and 28% male. 49% of the class are international students and represent 8 different countries and locations from around the world %E2%80%93 including Argentina, China, Hong Kong S A. R. , India, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey. 21% of the class identify as underrepresented minority (URM) and the ethnic diversity among the US students is African American/Black (5%); American Indian (3%), Chinese/Chinese American (16%), Japanese/Japanese American (3%), Latin American/Latino (3%), Mexican/Mexican American (5%), Turkish (3%), and White/European descent (11%)
The second cohort’s backgrounds and experiences are diverse, ranging from anthropology, cognitive science, art, physics, interdisciplinary studies, textiles, business, and innovation to design, architecture, and engineering.
Watch and learn:
Only Fall semester applications are accepted for the MDes program. To learn more about the deadline and upcoming events for the following application cycle, go to the Admissions page.
Can I apply if my work experience is not in a design field?
Students in the MDes program have a variety of educational and professional backgrounds and experience levels. Prior experience in either engineering or design (or related fields) is highly recommended but not necessary. We’re curious about the extent to which students can integrate their specialized knowledge into a design practice.
Is there a strict requirement for the amount of work experience one must have in order to apply?
The MDes curriculum is made to complement your prior learning. This will be based on certain academic accomplishments for some, work and industrial successes for others, and still other personal projects for others. As a result, when making admissions decisions, we carefully consider your body of work across all of these dimensions. Your work should best reflect and speak to your unique accomplishments, passions, and interests across these career domains.
Do I need a degree in a specific field to apply?
No. We encourage applications from students who have completed a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.
My GPA Is not on a 4-point scale. How should I complete that section of the application?
Applicants whose GPAs are not based on a 4. They shouldn’t enter WES evaluations or calculate or convert their GPAs. Instead, these candidates should enter “0” or leave the aforementioned GPA fields blank. 00″ and fill out the “Other Scale GPA” section with their cumulative GPA as it appears on their transcript.
Are there concurrent degree or dual degree programs with the MDes?
No concurrent degree programs have been developed for the MDes. Ad hoc joint degree programs are not available at UC Berkeley, and each admissions cycle, applicants may only apply to one single degree program.
For the MDes application, are there word or character limits for the personal essay and statement of purpose?
The two application essays have no set word count, but we advise applicants to heed the following Berkeley Graduate Admission advice.
Be succinct; the ideal essay should say everything clearly and briefly. It is preferable to use 500 to 1000 carefully chosen words (1-2 single space pages in 12 point font) as opposed to more words that are unclear and poorly structured.
Please refer to the MDes Admissions page for detailed instructions on the format and content of these essays. At the links below, the Berkeley Graduate Admission also offers instructions for the application essays.
What core skills should applicants have before starting the MDes, in order to ensure success in the program?
We anticipate admitting a group of students with a diverse range of backgrounds and skill sets. Not all incoming students will be strong in the same areas, so we anticipate that a significant portion of them will want to spend some time before the program starts further developing some fundamental skills. This will help them set themselves up for success and make the most of their time at UC Berkeley.
The list of abilities and resources that students should have upon beginning the program is provided below. Those who apply without these skills are strongly advised to get training in the necessary fields before the program begins. This could be done by enrolling in a formal course, either online or at a community college, or by acquiring the necessary experience in another way.
- The MDes program includes a rigorous technical curriculum. Candidates should be comfortable with programming and have the aptitude to quickly pick up new languages and software tools in order to succeed. Although there isn’t a formal programming language for MDes, students should be able to work with variables, data structures, functions, classes, syntax, and any necessary compilers for a new language with ease. Students will come across a variety of technologies with various APIs and programming environments throughout the program. There will be introductory training on how to interact with each of these technologies and program them using software code. To further develop these systems into desired final designs, students will be required to use their existing programming expertise. Python and Java are two examples of computer languages that are frequently used in MDes. Similar programming abilities will also be required of students in order to fulfill the technical elective requirement.
- Applicants should have a basic understanding of design methods and processes to succeed in a design program like the MDes. This may entail familiarity with formal design methodologies like user research or human-centered design, as well as practical knowledge of tools used in design, like 2D (Adobe Creative Suite) and 3D (Fusion360, Rhino, etc.) software tools.
- Candidates should be familiar with the fundamentals of physical prototyping and fabrication. This may include conventional fabrication methods using materials like wood or metal, as well as modern fabrication methods using laser cutting or 3D printing.
Candidates without these competencies are strongly advised to pursue training before the program begins through community college, online courses, or tutorials. For suggested options, please contact our admissions team at mdes@berkeley. edu.
Who are the Faculty for the MDes Program?
Professors, lecturers, and professionals from the College of Engineering and the College of Environmental Design make up the MDes Faculty.
How many hours per week do MDes students spend on the program?
Full-time and on-campus, the MDes program has a demanding course load. Students should anticipate spending a minimum of 13 hours per week in class and twice that amount of time working outside of the classroom. Studio courses will involve extensive on-site studio work.
Yes. If an offer of admission is extended, then UC Berkeley International Office will assist you in obtaining a visa to study at UC Berkeley. For any questions you have as an international student, please start with the Berkeley International Office (BIO) website. Please see the BIO website for information for new students regarding applying for a visa, or F-1 Visa employment related information.
If you have specific questions not answered on their website, you can contact BIO directly for advising.
Is the MDes STEM OPT-eligible?
Yes. The MDes has been classified as a STEM program under CIP code 14.999 – Engineering, Other. Learn more about STEM OPT from the Berkeley International Office.
How do I apply for department admissions awards or fellowships?
Two different departmental awards are chosen and given out by the MDes Faculty Admissions Committee as part of the admissions procedure. These grants have a monetary value that is applied to the program’s three semesters of tuition and fees. As part of your acceptance, the MDes Departmental Award recipients are notified.
The MDes Distinguished Scholar Award is an honor given only to applicants of the highest caliber in recognition of their accomplishments. Awards for MDes Distinguished Scholars are given to only the most deserving candidates. No separate application is required; decisions are made based on the overall quality of the required materials submitted with the MDes admissions application.
Additionally, the MDes invites students in need of financial aid to submit an application for an MDes Opportunity Grant. These grants are given to applicants whose lives, experiences, and knowledge add to the cohort’s educational diversity and breadth, or to applicants who have struggled to overcome economic disadvantage or limited access to educational resources. By completing an optional section of the MDes admissions application, applicants can submit an application for an MDes Opportunity Grant.
Am I eligible for Graduate Academic Student Employment (ASE) or Graduate Student Instructor positions as an admitted student?
MDes students are eligible to hold Graduate Student Academic Appointments, including Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) and Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions and may apply for ASE appointments in any of the three semesters during which they are enrolled. ASE (Academic Student Employment) positions are selected within the departments according to academic, budgetary, and staffing circumstances. Open positions are listed on Handshake, the Career Center’s recruiting platform (including a job board) for UC Berkeley students and alumni and posted on the Open GSI/GSR Positions webpage.
Although incoming students are eligible to apply, ASE positions are competitive, and the MDes program itself is demanding. Before accepting a position, students should carefully consider their ability to balance employment with their coursework.
Partial Fee Remission for ASE Appointments
Registered MDes students with qualifying ASE appointments (Graduate Student Instructors, Readers, and Tutors working 25% or more time and Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) working 25-44% time) for the semester are eligible to receive partial fee remission up the equivalent in dollar amount to a UC state-supported graduate program tuition, campus fee, and health ins
MDes students who are fully sponsored, which means that a third party or external agency has paid all of their tuition, may decide to work as GSIs and/or Readers. However, you won’t get a partial fee refund from UC Berkeley unless your sponsoring organization cuts the amount of sponsorship by that much. If fees are being paid for by an outside source, fee remissions won’t be given back to the student in the form of a refund.
For comprehensive information about these appointments, please see Berkeley Graduate Division information at the Graduate Student Academic Appointment website.
The UC Berkeley MDes Program
Is it hard to get into grad school at Berkeley?
There are only 17 spots available for graduate school admission at UC Berkeley. 5% of applicants being accepted on average. Out of 42,000 applicants, 3,539 international students were accepted into the graduate program. This represents a 19% acceptance rate for international students.
Is MDes at Berkeley stem?
Yes. The CIP code 14 designates the MDes as a STEM program. 999 – Engineering, Other. Learn more about STEM OPT from the Berkeley International Office.
Is it hard to get accepted to Berkeley?
UC Berkeley’s acceptance rate is estimated to be under 12%, making it the hardest to get into within the University of California system, with the average admitted student boasting a weighted GPA of 4 25 or higher, alongside impressive test scores and stand-out extracurriculars!.
What is the average acceptance rate for UC Berkeley?
University of California, Berkeley admissions is most selective with an acceptance rate of 15% The application deadline is Nov.