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College of the Desert, California
College of the Desert
International Education
43-500 Monterey Avenue
Palm Desert, California
92260 U.S.A.

ph 760-776-7205
fx 760-776-0157

Western Association
of Schools and Colleges

Click to search for
Carnegie Classification

Amount Required on I-20:
US$ 14,000.

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College of the Desert in Palm Springs, California

College of the Desert, California College of the Desert, California College of the Desert, California

The College of the Desert Difference

College of the Desert (COD) is a two-year community college that is located next to the famous resort town of Palm Springs, California. College of the Desert offers the first two years of the four-year university degree, and prepares students for successful transfer to the many public and private universities throughout the United States. College of the Desert is fully accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Founded in 1958, College of the Desert awards both Associate degrees and Occupational Certificates. COD also offers vocational and technical programs for students. Our primary mission is to provide a comprehensive, student-centered community college education to more than 10,000 students currently enrolled. All COD faculty have a Masters degree, and most have a PhD. COD faculty are committed to student learning, and use a variety of teaching methods in the classroom. Small class size ensures that students will have an opportunity to learn from our distinguished faculty.

Our International Education Program provides services for more than 200 international students. Our students are from more than 35 different countries -- making our program quite diverse.

Interested? Click here to proceed with your inquiry process.

Academic Programs (Select your preferences by clicking here.)

At College of the Desert, students can choose from more than 80 degree and certificate programs, including:

Administration of Justice
Air Conditioning
Automotive Technology
Business Administration
Business (General)
Computer Information Systems
Computer Science
Culinary Arts
Digital Design and Production
Early Childhood Education
Environmental Science
Fire Technology
Foreign Languages
Gaseous Fuels Technology
Golf Management
Hotel / Restaurant Management
Liberal Arts
Mass Communication
Natural Resources
Nutrition Care: Dietetic Technician
Plant Science
Political Science
Social Science
Supervision and Management
Theater Arts
Turfgrass Management

University Transfer

University transfer is a primary goal of many of our international students. We have developed a comprehensive university transfer program which includes individualized counseling with our International Student Counselor that will help you from the time you arrive at the COD campus, to the time you transfer to the university. We also offer university transfer workshops, application workshops and individual assistance to help guide you through this process. We have a strong transfer rate with international students transferring to such prestigious institutions as the University of California (UC) Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, California State University (CSU) - Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, and others.

Want to learn more? Select your academic preference to get started.

International Student Services

COD has a diverse student population, and the campus community conducts many activities that reflect diversity. The campus has a friendly atmosphere, and faculty and staff are readily available to meet with students. Student services include academic advising, tutoring center, computer centers, transfer center, career center, health center, student activities and clubs, athletics, dining hall, bookstore and library. Students are encouraged to participate in the many campus clubs and organizations. The student government association (known as ASCOD) plays an active role in providing monthly campus activities. COD Athletics include varsity sports for both men and women; COD teams have won many state and national championships. College of the Desert, California

The International Student Office is dedicated to ensuring that our population of more than 200 international students have a positive experience in America, and reach their educational goals. The International Student Office offers a range of support services to assist the international student during their studies at College of the Desert. Services include:

  • Accommodations: Housing is an important part of the overseas experience. Although COD does not have on-campus housing available, our Housing Coordinator will assist you with housing placement. International students can choose from two housing options: the Host Family Program and Apartment Living. The Host Family Program provides an opportunity for international students to enhance their knowledge of American culture and improve their English. The Room and Board option is the traditional host family option, where meals are provided by the host family. This option costs approximately $550 per month. The Room-Only option provides for the rental of the room only; students will provide their own food. The Room-Only option costs $400 per month. Students may also choose to live in an off-campus apartment. Prices start from approximately $750 per month for an unfurnished, one-bedroom apartment.

  • Activities: Activities at COD offer a break from the rigors of academic study. The International Student Office organizes weekend activities throughout the semester which include trips to Disneyland, Magic Mountain, beach parties and visits to other local attractions. In addition, there are other social activities for the international students including holiday parties and Host Family Global Dinners.

  • Orientation: Our mandatory Orientation Program provides students with their first introduction to COD, the American education system, American culture, host family and apartment living, health care concerns, student services offered on campus and the International Student Program. During this three-day Orientation Program, students will take COD assessment tests and register for classes.

  • Individualized Counseling / University Transfer Assistance: The International Student Office understands that transferring to university is the ultimate goal for many international students. Our International Student Counselor will assist you throughout your studies with us so that you can be sure you are choosing the right classes to reach your goals! The Office also assists international students with the university application process by providing workshops, advising and assistance with completing university applications.

  • Tutoring: For most international students, English is a second language. The International Student Office provides a tutor that is available to assist international students with their English skills. The tutor is a professor on campus who specializes in ESL or English composition. This service is free to international students.

  • Airport Pick-Up: The International Student Office provides Airport Pick-Up service from the Palm Springs Airport for new international students. This is a free service.

Ready to enroll?
Provide us with some information about you, and we will respond to you directly.

Study English at the Intensive English Academy!

In addition to academic programs, students can study intensive English at the Intensive English Academy (IEA). The IEA offers 30 hours per week of instruction in the English language for a period of 8 or 16 weeks. Classes focus on grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and are based on TOEFL preparation. We offer three different levels focusing on beginning to advanced skills. The small class size promotes strong learning among the students, and our teachers are dedicated to student success. There are multiple entry dates throughout the year, including: August, October, January, March and June. We encourage both academic and vacation learners to apply.

Intensive English Academy students will also enjoy social activities that are arranged throughout the study period. Such activities include visits to our local parks, movie days, sporting activities, hikes and holiday parties. We want to make sure that you have fun and have the opportunity to enjoy our beautiful location!

The Palm Springs Resort Community

College of the Desert is located in Palm Desert, California, next to the world famous resort town of Palm Springs. Nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, students at COD pursue their educational goals while enjoying lush landscape and a breathtaking panorama of the mountains. Our location in Southern California is only a short drive to many famous attractions including Los Angeles, San Diego, theme parks, the mountains, and the beach! Outdoor activities are plentiful in our desert oasis, and include championship tennis and golf courses, beautiful hiking destinations, shopping, and camping at both Joshua Tree National Park and Idyllwild.

Our small community is a comfortable and safe environment where students can live and study, and parents can feel secure about sending their children. Visit for more information about the Palm Springs resort area.

College of the Desert, California

Learn more!
Tell us what you want to study, and we will correspond promptly.

Costs and How to Apply

College of the Desert and the Intensive English Academy welcome applications from international students. Students must submit the International Student Application along with financial certification, proof of high school graduation, application fee, the Housing Application and a 97 computer-based or 32 Internet-based TOEFL score. (Note: TOEFL is not required for the Intensive English Academy.) We also accept a 3.5 IELTS score. Application deadlines are approximately one month prior to the session start dates:

College of the Desert Intensive English Academy
Fall Semester: August August
Spring Semester: January October

We estimate one year of tuition and living expenses to be about US $14,000 for both the college and English programs.

Students studying in our 8-week Intensive English Academy can expect to pay approximately US $3,000 for tuition and living expenses. Students studying in our 16-week IEA program can expect to pay approximately US $7,000 for tuition and living expenses.

College of the Desert, California

We look forward to welcoming you to the College of the Desert in California! Please review all of our programs and select the ones that interest you. Complete all data fields on the form, and submit it. Admissions counselors will respond to you directly.