University of California, Riverside

Palm Desert Center

Academic Programs

Graduate Programs

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

MFAThe MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts is a unique seven quarter low residency program that provides writers with a path toward publication and production in all genres of writing including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Students explore multiple genres, allowing for a cross-disciplinary approach that is ideal for writers seeking the artistic latitude to move fluidly within the field. A unique feature of the program is that each student meets with a literary agent in their last quarter to examine their work. Visit MFA for more information.

Future Physician Leaders (FPL)

FPLThe Future Physician Leaders (FPL) program is a long-term summer mentorship program for prospective medical students who also want to fulfill a mission of service to the community. The seven-week summer program is made up of three components: the Leadership Lecture Series, Community Service and Research Project, and Physician Shadowing Rotations. One program site is here in the Coachella Valley based out of UCR Palm Desert! The community-based, collaborative program was started in 2009 by Dr. Raul Ruiz. For more information, please contact Sophia Rodriguez, Program Coordinator at (951) 827-6030 or sophia.rodriguez@medsch.ucr.eduAPPLY NOW!

Continuing Education

Explore. Advance. Connect.

Whether you're looking to train for a new career; advance in your current field; exploreUNEX the wonders of our changing world; or connect with people who share your interests, UCR Extension offers you more than 90 certificate programs and enrichment courses online and in classroom settings to meet your educational, career and enrichment needs. Visit UCR Extension,  search for classes, or find out more about the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute.

Digital Photography: Beyond the Basics
Meets Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. July 12 - Aug. 9 (5 meetings)
Become better friends with your digital camera in this class designed to show you how to use your camera's special features and extended capabilities. Learn to control contrast, color, and sharpness; convert color images to black and white photographs; manipulate images using Adobe Photoshop
You will use your own camera to produce images for assignments in a real studio, and employ lab computers to learn and apply manipulation techniques. Enroll now!
Defining Your Photographic Vision 
Meets Thursdays 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 to Sept. 20 (5 meetings)
Designed to help photographers identify and define their personal photographic vision. By evaluating your previous work and images produced during the course, writing assignments and creative exercises, you will identify the themes and ideas that revolve around your photography, and how to apply your vision as a business or fine art sales. Through a process of discussion and various editing assignments, you will create a portfolio collection of images that best represent your personal vision. Images will be shown in a month-long exhibit in a gallery. Enroll now!
Project Procurement Management
Meets Mondays 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 6 to Oct. 15 (no meeting Sept. 3)
Explore the procurement planning process from request for proposal to contract closeout, including preparing a needs analysis, review of internal and external goods and services, negotiating contracts, development and execution of plans, integrated change control, cost/benefit analysis, earned value project management, contract administration, and more. Enroll now.
Communicating Effectively
Meets Thursdays 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 16 to Aug. 30
Explores the techniques supervisors can use to translate technical skills and on-the-job expertise to others. Topics include communication strategies for delivering technical information, how to ask the right questions to ensure that everyone received the right message, how to provide positive expectations about job performance, giving clear directions that others can follow, effective meeting management, and presentation skills. Enroll now
Project and Process Management
Meets Thursdays 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 12 to Aug. 2
Examines how to map out and set-up basic project and process management strategies to improve productivity and outcomes. You will cover project management tools, cost/benefit analysis, identifying project goals and objectives, creating the project team, scheduling a project, developing key performance standard, and more. Enroll now


California Naturalist Program


The UC California Naturalist Program is designed to introduce Californians to the wonders of our unique ecology and engage the public in study and stewardship of California's natural communities. The program uses a science curriculum to instill a deep appreciation for the natural communities of the state and to inspire individuals to become stewards of their local resources.
Courses combine classroom and field experience in science, problem-solving, communication training and community service. Students are taught by UCR lead instructor Dr. Cameron Barrows and a team of experts. Subjects covered include ecology, geology, plant communities, wildlife, communication and interpretation, citizen science, energy/global environmental issues, and much more. The current session is taking place right now, but more sessions will be added in the future. Find out more here!

STEM summer camps


Our premier summer learning experience for high-achieving, motivated and academically gifted students returns this summer with challenging and creative classes. 
Grades 3-5
STEM Discovery (July 23-27): Students will rotate through classes that focus on science and mathematics through activities such as computer programming and engineering.
Expanding Horizons (July 30 - Aug 3): Innovative classes in art, math, science and music. Students rotate through a variety of classes led by dynamic teachers.
Grades 6-8
STEM Discovery (July 23-27): Challenging classes in math, science, technology and engineering.
Grades 7-12
Tech UC - Video Game Design and Content Creation (July 30-Aug. 3): An introduction to the fundamentals of designing art and content  for video games. Includes first-level game development.
Find out more here

Become A Master Gardener


Would you like to learn more about gardening in the desert and share that information with the community? Beyond the joy of gardening, all Master Gardeners give back to the community through volunteer work, educating and training other home gardeners in safe and sustainable gardening practices.

For more information call: 951-683-6491 ext. 230, or email:

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

UCR Palm Desert Center
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Tel: (760) 834-0800
Fax: (760) 834-0796

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