The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2023
Berkeley Prize 2023

The Question / To Enter



What are the major issues and the best design responses in your local community for the special needs of your senior citizens?




  1. Meet the Eligibility Requirements (see below).
  2. Write a 500-word proposal for an essay on this year's Essay Question, as posted.
  3. Provide one photograph each of what you consider your 2 best chosen projects.
  4. Submit the essay and photographs online.



  1. Be selected as a Semifinalist.
  2. Write a 2500-word Essay based on your Proposal.
  3. Provide four photographs that best describe the content of your essay.
  4. Submit the essay and photographs online.


  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. Essays must be submitted in English.
  3. Winners 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, 2022, but graduate before the awards are scheduled to be given.

Team Up

Two students (maximum) who meet the eligibility requirements above may collaborate as authors. An architecture student may team up with another undergraduate in architecture, landscape architecture, urban studies, arts and humanities, the social sciences, or engineering. If two students collaborate, then both names must appear on their essay and if awarded a prize, the prize is to be equally shared.

Photograph Requirement

The photographs should be digital at a minimum 500 pixels wide, and in .jpg format. The images should be as informative as possible in order to enable those reading the sbmissions to determine how well you have described your subject matter. The Readers are instructed NOT to add or detract points from their evaluation because of the quality of the photograph itself.

Judging Criteria

Judging for the essay competition is on a numeric system. The members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee are asked to evaluate each Proposal in terms of the following criteria:

  1. Does the Proposal address the Question?
  2. How creative, or creatively developed, is the Proposal?
  3. Would the Proposal be clear to a broad audience?
  4. How does the Proposal rank in terms of writing style?
  5. How socially significant is the Proposal?
  6. What is the potential for developing this Proposal into a strong essay?

Each criterion is given a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest). The top approximately 25 scoring Proposals become Semifinalists.


There is a total prize of 35,000USD, minimum 8,500USD first prize. The remaining purse is to be allocated among a minimum of the next three high scoring essays.


September 15, 2022

Launch of 2023 Essay Competition.

November 1, 2022

(Stage One) 500-word essay Proposal due.

Mid-December, 2022

Essay Semifinalists announced.

February 1, 2023

(Stage Two) Essay Semifinalists' 2,500-word essays due.

February 8, 2023

Launch of Travel Fellowship Competition for Essay Semifinalists.

March 12, 2013

Travel Fellowship entries due.

Mid-April, 2023

Essay winners and Travel Fellows announced.




By submitting your essay, you give the BERKELEY PRIZE the nonexclusive, perpetual right to reproduce the essay or any part of the essay, in any and all media at the BERKELEY PRIZE’s discretion.  A “nonexclusive” right means you are not restricted from publishing your paper elsewhere if you use the following attribution that must appear in that new placement: “First submitted to and/or published by the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence ( in competition year 20(--) (and if applicable) and winner of that year’s (First, Second, Third…) Essay prize.” Finally, you warrant the essay does not violate any intellectual property rights of others and indemnify the BERKELEY PRIZE against any costs, loss, or expense arising out of a violation of this warranty.

Registration and Submission

You will be asked to complete a short registration form which will not be seen by members of the BERKELEY PRIZE Committee or Jury.



Additional Help and Information

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