Berkeley’s International Undergraduate Prize 2022 for Architectural Design Excellence (USD$ 35,000 Prize)

Application Deadline: November 1, 2021

The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence endowment was established in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design to promote the investigation of architecture as a social art. Each year the Prize Committee selects a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world that becomes the focus of the Essay Competition. 

The Committee poses a Question on this website related to the topic. Students enrolled in any accredited undergraduate architecture program or diploma in architecture program throughout the world are invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal in English responding to the Question.  Qualified students may also team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs and submit proposals in teams of two. (For specific yearly requirements see the To Enter page). 

From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25-28 are selected by the Prize Committee as particularly promising. The selected student teams become Semifinalists. These Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2,500-word essay, again in English, expanding on their proposals. A group of readers, composed of the Prize Committee members selects five-to-eight of the best essays and sends these Finalist essays to a jury of international academics and architects to select the winners.

At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all Semifinalists are also invited to submit a proposal for a BERKELEY PRIZE summer Fellowship. This year, the opportunity is a Community Service Fellowship. Details for this Fellowship, now in its second year, will be announced in early 2022. 


You have been asked to design a housing project for the disadvantaged in your  local community. What do you need to know to insure that your design will both reflect the lives and aspirations of those for whom you design and for the project to be a proud, long-term addition to the fabric of your community?

Eligibility / Teams

  1. The competition is open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program or undergraduates majoring in architecture in accredited schools of architecture worldwide. Diploma in Architecture students who have not yet completed their Diploma are also eligible.
  2. This year’s special team opportunity urges and recommends that you team with a full-time undergraduate social sciences student at your college or university or equally-accredited college or university in your local community. Two students maximum may collaborate. Both of their names must appear on their Proprosal and potential Essay.  If awarded a prize, the prize is to be equally shared. 
  3. If you are and undergradute architecture student who wishes to submit a Proposal and potential Essay without the equal work of a social science team member, you are permitted to do so and submit as an individual.  This year, however, you are not permitted to team with another architecture student.
  4. Essays must be submitted in English.
  5. Finalists will be required to provide proof of current registration in the form of copies of actual school transcripts. You are still eligible to compete if you were an undergraduate student on September 15, 2021, but graduate before the awards are scheduled to be given.


  • There is a total prize of 35,000USD, minimum 8,500USD first prize.  The remaining purse is to be allocated at the discretion of the Jury.


September 15, 2021Launch of 2022 Essay Competition.
November 1, 2021(Stage One) 500-word essay proposal due.
Mid-December, 2021Essay Semifinalists announced.
February 1, 2022(Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists’ 2,500-word essays due.
February 8, 2022Launch of Community Service Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists.
Early-March, 2022Essay Finalists announced.
March 12, 2022Community Service Fellowship proposals due.
Mid-April, 2022Essay winners and Community Service Fellowship winners announced.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Berkeley’s International Undergraduate Prize 2022


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