Academic Studies


Whether you're looking to train for a new career; advance in your current field; explore 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.




Webcasts Friday, July 24 from 5:30 to 9 pm, and Saturday, July 25 from 9 am to 3:30 pm 

Effective communication skills are essential in the exchange of information and ideas, both verbal and non-verbal, within our daily lives and in our work environment. Effective workplace communication is important to companies because it allows them to be productive,and operate efficiently and effectively. Understanding each of the three parts of communication, and how each part impacts the final message, is critical to effective communications. 



Meets virtually 6 to 9:30 pm Aug. 4-18

A healthy work environment is critical to the success of an organization. Employees who enjoy their job have better attendance, and are more productive in their job functions. This course examines the strategies and techniques supervisors can use to ensure organizational values, goals, and objectives are met--even in the presence of organizational discord or management conflict. You will also explore the role of diversity in the workplace, and how to create an environment in which men and women of different cultural, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic backgrounds, and disabilities can work together in a harmonious atmosphere.



Meets 5:30 to 9:00 pm & Sat 9:00 am to 3:30 pm Aug. 7 and 8

This course focuses on the supervisor and the skills needed to be successful at developing people, the relevance of emotional intelligence, and creating effective high-performance teams to meet organizational goals. 



Meets virtually Fridays 6 to 9:30 pm, Aug 7 through Aug 21

A thorough introduction to the various methodologies, techniques, and strategies available to business leaders, managers and entrepreneur's seeking to improve their staff's capabilities, engagement, innovation and flexibility. You will also examine the attitudes and attributes successful coaches and mentors use to empower others. 



Online beginning Aug 15 through Aug 22

Projects are a critical factor in business today. Each project comprises multiple processes. In this course, we will examine how to map out and establish basic project and process management strategies to improve productivity and achieve the desired outcome. We will explore how projects and their processes are directly correlated to people, and the expected business results. 

Low Residency MFA logo

Graduate Programs

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The 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. 

Cal Naturalist

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.

Call 760-834-0800 or email for more information. 


CA Naturalist Climate Stewards Initiative

The UC California Naturalist Climate Stewards Program is designed to introduce Californians to how climate is changing both natural and social systems and what they can do to improve ecosystem and community resilience. UCR Palm Desert is one of two CA Naturalist programs to offer this pilot program.

The 10-week course uses an interdisciplinary curriculum, online and hands-on learning in the field, experience sharing, and community service to build community connections and instill agency in participants to seek resiliency in themselves and their communities.

UCR's Dr. Cameron Barrows will be the lead instructor with a team of experts covering topics in the classroom and the field, including: climate and earth science; interpretation, communication, and education skills; and more.

The program begins Oct. 3, 2020, with virtual classes held on Saturdays. Additional program details and application available shortly. 

Call 760-834-0800 or email for more information. Or come to one of our info sessions: 10 a.m. Sept. 5 or 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10


Future Physician Leaders (FPL)

The 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!

Master Gardner

Become A Master Gardener

  • Have you always wanted to join the Master Gardener Volunteer training classes in the Coachella Valley but were unable to because you work during the day? Here’s your opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge, have fun learning about horticulture in the desert, and give back to your community. Evening Master Gardener Volunteer training classes for the 2019/2020  program are Wednesdays from 6 to 9:30 p.m.  
  • Certified Master Gardeners receive more than 50 hours of instruction from University of California Cooperative Extension specialists. In return, Master Gardeners volunteer 50 hours during the first year within the community and continue their gardening education. 
  • The program is open to individuals who wish to increase their knowledge and horticultural skills and share them with the community.

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