UCR Palm Desert


Cameron Barrows



As we all navigate the twists and turns, peaks and valleys of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of our community remains a top priority. UCR Palm Desert has resumed some in-person events and classes but many remain virtual. Face coverings are mandatory both indoors and outdoors. If you are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test, display any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or have been in direct contact with someone who is not feeling well, please stay home.

Daily Wellness Checks are required for all campus faculty, staff, students and visitors who will be on site. Please bring proof of the completed wellness check, either printed or on your phone. 

Academic Programs & Classes

Low Residency MFA logo

Take a class, become a Future Physician Leader, enroll in a certificate program, or apply for the MFA in Creative Writing - all in Palm Desert!

Events Localist

UCR Palm Desert expands the reach of University of California, Riverside into one of the fastest growing regions of California, the Coachella Valley. Established as a teaching and research center in 2005, UCR Palm Desert is a catalyst for diversification by providing relevant regional research, offering innovative academic programs that attract and retain world class talent to the region, convening and creating partnerships that advance the public good, and enriching the cultural life of the community. 

For more than a decade, UCR’s Palm Desert Center has organized hundreds of lectures, conversations, art shows, movie screenings, and other life-enhancing programs – mostly for free – all while teaching others and conducting renowned research. 

Our mission from the beginning has been to provide cultural and life-long learning offerings to the entire desert community. We continue to be committed to that mission. 

Here's what happens through our Center each year: 

  • We curate more than 60 free public lectures in numerous academic fields, bringing together our community with the extraordinary intellectual wealth of UC Riverside’s faculty to explore, discuss, and deepen our understanding of the world around us.
  • We conduct environmental research in Coachella Valley locations, such as the Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, the Salton Sea, Snow Creek and other biologically diverse locations. 
  • UCR Extension offers a wealth of certificate programs that help educate professionals in the Coachella Valley. 
  • UCR’s nationally acclaimed Low-Residency MFA program in creative writing provides a springboard for emerging writers to jump-start their careers in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, television and screenwriting.



UCR Palm Desert Center offers several resources for members of the media, whether they are working on a story about UCR Palm Desert Center, or are looking for insight from one of our faculty members.