College of the Desert

College of the Desert


Brief information

According to AbbreviationFinder, the College of the Desert in California, founded in 1958, opened its doors in 1962 and is subordinate to the Desert Community College District. Today it offers a wide range of study programs that are very much tailored to the needs of the region. For example, you can study Turf Grass Management & Ornamental Horticulture or Advanced Transportation Technologies.

On the one hand, international students have the opportunity to complete vocational training, which is primarily recognized in the USA, and on the other hand, to complete the first two years of an academically oriented course of study. After these two years, they earn an associate ‘s degree and can then transfer to a bachelor’s degree at an American university.

There is a close community between students on campus, making for a particularly friendly and safe atmosphere. The teachers are also happy to get involved in campus life.

The average class sizes are relatively small and therefore the students are optimally supported by the teachers in class. This leads to particularly good learning results.

  • College of the Desert website

University facts

Year of foundation: 1958

Type of university: State university

Number of students: total 10000, international 220


  • WASC-ACCJC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges)

Academic year:

The academic year at College of the Desert is divided into two semesters.

Study programs

  • Academic gap year
  • associate degree
  • language courses

As part of the gap year program, both high school and high school graduates can study for one or two semesters at the College of the Desert and take courses in various disciplines.

  • Information on the Academic Gap Year at the College of the Desert


  • Fall semester 2022



Health Insurance


Enrollment Fee


application fee


The fees refer to units (3-4 courses) per semester.


To apply for a gap year at College of the Desert, you must be at least 18 years old, have completed high school and have an average level of English.

Proof of language proficiency can be provided by taking the TOEFL or IELTS language tests or by using the Duolingo app.

The language skills can be proven by one of the following test results or documents:

Duolingo 70
TOEFL (internet based) 40

The language certificate cannot be submitted later.

  • Requirements for an Academic Gap Year at College of the Desert


Degrees/Courses in English – Undergraduate

  • Administration of Justice
  • Advanced Transportation Technologies
  • Agri business
  • Agriculture – General
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alcohol/Drug Studies
  • Anthropology (Transfer)
  • Architectural Technology
  • automotive technology
  • Biological Sciences (Transfer)
  • Business-General
  • Business administration (transfer)
  • Chemistry (Transfer)
  • Communication Studies (Transfer)
  • composition
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science (Transfer)
  • construction management
  • Culinary Management
  • Digital design and production
  • Early Childhood Education (Transfer)
  • Economics (Transfer)
  • Environmental Horticulture
  • Environmental Horticulture (Transfer)
  • Environmental Sciences (Transfer)
  • French or Spanish (Transfer)
  • General Drafting (Transfer)
  • Geography (Transfer)
  • geology
  • gulf management
  • History (transfer)
  • Hospitality Management (Transfer)
  • Interdepartmental Environmental Studies (Transfer)
  • Journalism (Transfer)
  • Kinesiology (Transfer)
  • Liberal Arts (Transfer)
  • Literature (Transfer)
  • Mass communication (transfer)
  • Mathematics (Transfer)
  • Mathematics (Transfer)
  • music
  • Natural Resources
  • philosophy
  • Physics (Transfer)
  • Plant Science
  • Political Science (Transfer)
  • Psychology (Transfer)
  • Recreation (transfer)
  • Registered Nurse
  • Social Science (Transfer)
  • Sociology (Transfer)
  • Studio Arts (Transfer)
  • Theater Arts
  • Turf Grass Management
  • Vocational Nurse


The College of the Desert campus is located in California ‘s Coachella Valley in the city of Palm Desert. Since its foundation, the location has grown steadily thanks to active supporters, for example with the Jeane and Justin Hilb Student Center, the Marks Center for the Arts or the Carol L. Meier Lecture Hall.

The library building deserves a special mention: it is the only library in California that is shared between a college, a city (Palm Desert) and a county (Riverside).

  • College of the Desert campus map


The college does not offer its own accommodation, but the Office of Student Life is happy to help with finding off-site accommodation or homestay accommodation.

The following accommodation options are available:

  • Private apartments / hotels
  • guest families

The college town of Palm Desert

Palm Desert is a city in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County in the US state of California with almost 50,000 inhabitants and beautiful scenery. Surrounded by three mountain ranges, it has a very sheltered climate with 350 days of sunshine a year and average temperatures of 14°C in January and 32°C in July.

Los Angeles and San Diego are just two hours’ drive and Palm Springs is just 15 miles; there is also the Palm Springs International Airport. Art in Public Places can be seen across the city – a remarkable program that will see 130 open-air artistic exhibits across the city.

Palm Desert is also known for its vacation resorts, golf courses and spas. Other places worth visiting include the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, the McCallum Theater and the Palm Springs Air Museum. Civic Center Park features tennis courts, beach volleyball courts, two skate parks, two dog parks, baseball fields and an amphitheater. In total there are over 150 restaurants in the city and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the nightlife in this very special atmosphere.

College of the Desert

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