Why Berkeley

Drawing on history, shaping the future

Throughout its history, UC Berkeley’s graduates have shaped world-changing technologies, outlined revolutionary approaches to design, and demonstrated a commitment to positive societal change through a wide-ranging set of careers and fields. The MDes draws on this rich history as it prepares you to shape the future. We see an urgent need for designers who can help shape new technologies as they are being developed and direct technical innovation toward meaningful applications. The MDes readies you to fill this role, and to develop as an engaged and responsive social practitioner.

The Bay Area’s Innovation Ecosystem

The San Francisco Bay Area is a vibrant hub of technological innovation, design leadership, and societal change – an ecology in which the MDes is embedded. You’ll engage with practitioners and leaders across a wide range of sectors in the Bay Area, accessing this ecosystem and forging lasting connections throughout your time at Berkeley.

Two World-Class Colleges

The MDes is offered jointly by College of Engineering and the College of Environmental Design, two top tier colleges within the UC Berkeley campus. This unique integration of disciplinary perspectives distinguishes the MDes from other programs and will prepare you for a career that will similarly cut across traditional boundaries.

The College of Engineering (COE) is consistently ranked in the top three engineering schools nationally, and is renowned for offering a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and hands-on education. More than 200 faculty members represent a diverse array of cross-cutting research interests, ranging from clean energy to artificial intelligence. A culture of creativity and imagination combined with a commitment to social good supports students and faculty who are driven and equipped to change the world.

The College of Environmental Design (CED)’s graduate professional programs are ranked #1 among all public universities in the country. As an interdisciplinary hub for exploration in the built environment, CED’s programs create powerful synergies and expose students to a wide range of ideas from adjacent fields. Students work on teams with planners and designers – excellent preparation for the real world of design, where teamwork is the norm.

MDes students have dedicated work spaces with courses and additional resources available in COE’s Jacobs’s Hall and CED’s Wurster Hall.