Berkeley MDes Deferral Policy

Below you’ll find the policies for deferral of admission for the Fall 2022 cohort.


Because of the uncertainty of the impacts of the pandemic on travel, visa processing or finances, we are sharing the following policy for deferring admission. We are inspired by this cohort and excited by the thought of all of you coming together. While we want to see the entire group in the Fall 2021, we are aware that some students, beyond their own control, may be unable to attend. We want to ensure those students that they will be welcomed into the MDes program next Fall by following these guidelines.

  • Students who have been admitted to the MDes program as part of the second cohort starting in Fall 2021 may request a deferral of admission to Fall 2022.
  • Deferral requests are considered on a case by case basis and are usually granted for unforeseen circumstances such as medical or family emergencies, federally mandated travel restrictions, or US visa processing delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, etc.
  • Students may request a deferral by sending an email to Please include “Admission Deferral Request” in the subject of the email. 
  • Requests for deferral to Fall 2022 need to be submitted by May 27, 2021.*
    *Because the responses to COVID-19 are somewhat unpredictable, we will review COVID-related deferrals, as needed, on a rolling basis. Please note that requests for deferral cannot be processed after the first day of classes of the fall term (August 25, 2021).
  • MDes Distinguished Scholar, Opportunity Grant or Design Excellence funds awarded as part of a student’s acceptance will continue to be honored for deferred candidates who enroll in the program in Fall 2022.
  • A deferred candidate does not need to reapply for admission but will need to confirm their intention to enroll in Fall 2022 by February 1, 2022. Confirmations can be sent by email to
  • Deferred candidates will receive all on-boarding notifications for the Fall 2022 term in April/May 2022 and will need to complete mandatory on-boarding tasks prior to enrollment. Deferred candidates need to keep track of their CalNet ID and passphrase in order to access Cal Central. If you have forgotten your passphrase, you will need to contact the Cal 1 Card Office: or
  • A deferral of admission is valid only for the Fall 2022 semester. Deferred candidates who cannot enroll in the program by Fall 2022, are welcome to reapply to the MDes program.
  • TOEFL exam scores must be valid for the deferral period.

Return to the MDes Admitted Student webpage.