CAED/Architecture Summer Career Workshop

The Summer Career Workshop is a 4-week in-person workshop culminating in a gallery exhibit open to parents, families and supporters.  Through this hands-on studio experience, students are introduced to design fundamentals such as introducing light and shadow, space and sequence, texture, materiality and climate as well as computer applications, structural engineering, and site and community planning.  Through daily projects, students will develop a portfolio of work over these 4 weeks.  The workshop is led by CAED faculty with small studios led by recent architecture graduates as mentors and guides.  

No previous experience with architecture, drafting or art is necessary.

Participating students live on campus in Cal Poly residence halls, where they become familiar with the dynamics of university life.  Supervision is provided by live-in counselors from the CAED.  Responsibility and social skills develop as long-term friendships emerge.

From this experience, students are able to discern their interest in architecture as a field of study and career, as well as adjacent fields in city and regional planning, landscape architecture, architectural engineering, or construction management. 

This video of the workshop in Summer 2023 provides a great sense of the workshop!

Workshop dates - June 23 - July 19, 2024

The workshop studios are in session from 9am-4pm M-F, and Saturdays from about 10:30-3:30pm. Unlike lecture-based learning that many students are familiar with, in the workshop students are so engaged with hands-on projects they quickly realize that this time passes quite quickly!  Social activities are equally important to the academic life of the workshop, with both evening and Sunday activities planned around student engagement and interaction.  

Cost and Registration

Registration for Summer 2024 is through the following link:


For questions regarding the registration process, please contact Cal Poly Conference and Event Planning ( or at 805 756-7600.

Registration is based on the following requirements:

  • Students must be a minimum of 15 years old to attend, and must be in high-school, consequently most students are rising juniors and seniors.  

  • For students that are graduating this year but plan on attending community college, we will consider their attendance as space allows.  

  • Please note there is not a separate review or admissions process for the workshop, as we recognize all students must begin somewhere!  In previous summers, we have had space for all students that wish to register, about 75-80 students.  If you have successfully registered, you are in the workshop!

The cost for summer 2024 is $6,750 for the 4-week workshop with room and board. 

This covers all expenses for the workshop with the exception of 4-5 meals on the students own (such as during Thursday night farmers market) and a small kit of supplies that will need to be purchased in advance of the workshop.   

For local area students that do not need room and board, we have a commuter rate of $3,300.  This includes lunch and Tuesday night dinners.  

Students are also expected to bring a laptop or Chromebook.   

For students that qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program, we have a limited number of scholarships available through the generosity of ZGF Architects.  Scholarship applications can be found here.

For More Information

If you are interested in this summer or a future summer, please be sure to sign-up on our email Interest List.  And, if you have further questions, please contact Summer Career Workshop Director Mark Cabrinha at


Updated 03.05.2024


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