College of the Desert (COD)
43-500 Monterey Ave, Palm Desert, CA
- FAFSA School Code: 001182
- Phone: (760) 346-8041
- School Homepage
- Phone: (760) 773-2516
Financial Aid Office
- Phone: (760) 773-8532
College of the Desert, located in Palm Desert, California, was founded in 1958, opening for enrollment in 1962. The school is one of 110 colleges that comprise the California Community College System. Since the school's founding donations by benefactors have facilitated the school's growth, allowing for the addition of new facilities and the expansion of program offerings to better serve residents within the school's growth area. Additionally, the increase growth of the regions has seen an increase in overall enrollment, which is currently nearly 10,000 students annually. COD is dedicated to providing a quality education and college experience for students, providing services and facilities as well as programs that are reviewed to remain current and relevant for modern students.
College of the Desert provides an extensive number of programs for students to choose from, allowing them the opportunity to take the career or academic transfer program that interests them most. Career programs develop the skills and abilities necessary to enter the workforce as a professional, usually in fields reflective of community's needs and in high demand. Programs usually take between one and two years to complete, resulting in a certificate or associate degree that demonstrates competency in the area of study. Graduates can seek employment after graduation having gained the experience and knowledge required for entry level work through practical and classroom courses.
Programs for transfer complete the first two years of a four year education at low cost, followed by transfer to a four year institution to complete a bachelor's degree. Transfer to public California institutions is facilitated through agreements allowing for admission if transfer guidelines are met. Students may choose to pursue transfer to out of state or private institutions, each with their own transfer admissions requirements. As such, it is recommended students meet with a counselor to develop a curriculum that meets the requirements of the student's desired school or schools.
Programs offered include:
Admissions and Financial Aid
College of the Desert is a two year open enrollment institution, and as such allows any individuals that meets the minimum requirements for enrollment to submit an application and be admitted. Students must provide transcripts and complete the placement exam, submit financial aid applications, and participate in orientation prior to registration of classes. Students should also meet with an academic advisor to prepare a plan for their education. Registration takes place prior to the start of each semester with tuition fees due shortly thereafter.
Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Aid is awarded based on need and is determined by the information submitted through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students in need of assistance will have their FAFSA reviewed by the financial aid office which will determine how much and which aid the student will receive. Students may be asked to provide additional information prior to the disbursement of funds to ensure the FAFSA's accuracy. Financial aid must be must be applied for prior to the start of each academic year.
The College of the Desert Roadrunners participate in intercollegiate athletics through the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA), which allows for an environment of healthy competition among California's many community colleges. Participating students will be able to develop skills and abilities such as good health, discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork, that may be useful in one's personal, academic and professional life. Students will also be able to experience the camaraderie that comes with the successes and failures of pursuing a goal alongside teammates. Athletic will have different schedules, interested students should contact the athletic department to obtain tryout dates, times, schedules, and forms.
COD Athletic programs:
- Cross Country
Get an idea of how College of the Desert ranks among other community colleges in California by looking at the transfer-out rates of students to other colleges and universities.
Estimated Costs & Financial Aid
The average "out of pocket" cost of attendance, after any grants and scholarships are considered, is around $8,200. To calculate a more personalized cost visit the net price calculator. The figures listed below are for informational purposes only and do not represent current or future tuition, fees, and expenses.
Tuition & Fees Information
- Annual tuition range:
- State Residents: $1,000-$1,200
- Out-of-State: $5,900-$7,022
- Part-time students are charged:
- State Residents: $36-$43 per credit unit
- Nonresidents: $220-$260 per credit unit
Financial Aid Details
The table below breaks down the types of financial aid, the percent of students receiving aid, and average amount of aid per student per year.
|Percent of Students||Average Amount|
|Any Financial Aid||64%||-|
|Receiving Grants & Scholarships||60%||$4,616|
|Receiving Student Loans||3%||$4,272|
Note: The estimated default rate of students taking federal student loans in 2009 was around 12%.
Admissions, Academics, & Student Services
To help students and recent graduates, College of the Desert may provide services to students like those listed below:
- Online classes
- Weekend and night classes available
- Remedial courses
- Academic counseling for students
- Student employment
- Helping students find work after graduation
- Day care for children
Graduation & Transfer Rates
Many community colleges are not only a source of technical or career training but also a stepping stone for students to transfer-out to a 4-year college, therefore we have included both graduation and transfer rates below and how COD compares against other community colleges in Riverside County and the state of California as whole.
The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.
Get more information about the programs offered by College of the Desert by clicking the request information to the right.
(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)
- Architectural Technology (A)
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Biology (A)
Business and Marketing Studies
- Business Administration (A)
- Bookkeeping (C)
- Hospitality Administration and Management (A)
- Commerce (A)
- Resort Management (A, C)
- Retail Management (C)
- Office Management (A)
Communications and Journalism
- Media Studies (A)
Computer and Information Sciences
- Home Construction and Inspection (C)
- Building and Construction Site Management (A)
- Refrigeration Technology (A, C)
English Language and Literature
Family and Consumer Sciences
- Child Care (A)
- Child Care Provider (C)
Foreign Languages and Literature
- Spanish Language and Literature (A)
- French Language and Literature (A)
Health and Clinical Professions
- History (A)
- Biological and Physical Sciences (A)
- Interdisciplinary Studies (A)
Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Humanistic Studies (A)
- Liberal Arts (A)
Mathematics and Statistics
- Math (A)
Mechanic and Repair Technology
- Auto Mechanic (A, C)
Personal and Culinary Services
- Cooking and Related Culinary Arts (A, C)
Philosophy and Religious Studies
- Philosophy (A)
- Physics (A)
- Psychology (A)
Recreation and Fitness Studies
- Sports Medicine (A)
Security and Protective Services
- Police Science (A, C)
- Fire Protection and Safety Technology (A, C)
Visual and Performing Arts
- Art Studies (A)
- Music (A)
Other Community Colleges Nearby
The list of nearby schools has been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to College of the Desert.
- Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree, CA (29 miles away)
- Mt. San Jacinto Community College District in San Jacinto, CA (33 miles away)
- Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, CA (46 miles away)
- Moreno Valley College in Moreno Valley, CA (48 miles away)
- San Bernardino Valley College in San Bernardino, CA (58 miles away)