Programs that Make a Difference in Our Community
UCR Palm Desert Center uses the power of education to illuminate the world. Our robust MFA program brings powerful storytelling out of the classroom and into a place where the work connects with others. Meanwhile, our other programs help students support, shape, and protect their communities
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.
Learning Opportunities for Everyone
UCR Palm Desert makes a difference in our community through programs that unite the resources of the University of California with the interests and needs of the Coachella Valley.
UC California Naturalist
The UC California Naturalist Program is an introduction to the wonders of our state’s unique ecology with a focus on the desert. Using a science curriculum, students are instilled with a deep appreciation for the natural communities in California and leave inspired to become stewards of their local resources. Classes are taught by Dr. Cameron Barrows and a team of experts, combining classroom and field experience in science, problem-solving, communication training and community service.
UC Climate Stewards
The UC California Naturalist Climate Stewards Program uses an interdisciplinary curriculum to show how climate is changing both natural and social systems — and teaches students they can do to improve ecosystem and community resilience. UCR's Dr. Cameron Barrows is the lead instructor with a team of experts covering topics that include climate and earth science; interpretation, communication, and education skills; and more. The course, which consists of virtual classes on Saturdays and select Wednesdays, builds community connections and instills agency in participants to seek resiliency in themselves and their communities.
UCR Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is designed to provide a stimulating learning experience at a modest cost that enriches the intellectual, social, and cultural lives of people over the age of 50. Courses are limited to OLLI members, so learning takes place in a peer environment.
UC Master Gardener
The UC Master Gardener program is open to individuals who wish to increase their gardening knowledge and horticultural skills, no previous experience necessary, and give back to the community via volunteer work. Topics include botany, composting, soils, water management, fruit/ornamental tree culture and sustainable landscape practices.
UCR University Extension
UCR University Extension enriches students of all ages through professional development, academic advancement, and personal achievement. Part of the esteemed University of California system, UCR University Extension offers a welcoming and diverse environment to jumpstart existing career paths or embark on new ones, to continue a lifelong learning adventure, or to discover new scholastic journeys.