College of the Desert - Intensive English Academy

Students can choose from over 85 degree and certificate programs including Business Administration, Computer Science, Digital Design, Hotel/Restaurant Management, Early Childhood Education and many other programs in both the liberal arts and sciences.

Welcome to College of the Desert and the Intensive English Academy!

Study in the Beautiful Palm Springs Area

College of the Desert (COD) is a thriving two year community college located next to the famous resort town of Palm Springs, California.  At COD, students can choose from over 60 degree and certificate programs such as Biology, Business Administration, Computer Science, Hotel/Restaurant Management, Architecture and many other transfer options. We also welcome students with low English proficiency to begin their studies in our supportive Intensive English Academy. Our beautiful location is only a short drive from Los Angeles, San Diego, Disneyland and the stunning California beaches. Transfer success is a passion at COD. Our faculty, counselors, and staff are focused on helping students transfer to the best public and private universities throughout the United States, such as UCLA, UC Berkeley and many more. COD’s affordable tuition, homestay program, and low cost of living make it one of the best value community colleges in the United States!

College of the Desert is a fully accredited community college that was founded in 1958 and offers:

  • Strong transfer rates to the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems!
  • Low TOEFL requirement: only 45 (iBT) or 450 (paper) required for admission
  • With low tuition and living expenses, College of the Desert is one of the best value colleges in California!
  • Study English at our Intensive English Academy! Enjoy 30 hours per week of English training.
  • Simple admission process! Only one application is needed for English and college level study!
  • Extensive services for students provided by the International Student Office
  • An ideal location for students who want a comfortable, safe, and exciting  Southern California lifestyle.

Transfer Opportunities

In addition to the University of California and California State University campuses, College of the Desert prepares students for successful transfer to private universities and other prestigious universities throughout the United States. Our international student counselor will help you reach your transfer goals through individualized counseling, group workshops and application assistance. If value is a top priority for you, we can help you find excellent transfer universities that offer generous transfer scholarships for international students!  In addition we often take our international students to visit local universities, and university recruiters frequently come to College of the Desert to meet with our international students!

Intensive English Academy

The Intensive English Academy (IEA) is perfect for students who are looking to improve their English before beginning college level study or students who just want to learn English in our beautiful Palm Springs location! The IEA offers 30 hours per week of instruction in English for a period of 16 weeks. 8 week programs are also available for those with only a limited time to study in America. Classes focus on grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Classes are offered from the beginning to advanced level. Students who complete the Advanced Level can enter COD without the TOEFL!

Student Services

International students will find extensive services at College of the Desert and the Intensive English Academy, including academic advising, tutoring center, computer centers, transfer center, career center, health center, student activities & clubs, athletics, dining hall, bookstore and library.

Experienced staff at International Student Office offer additional services including:

  • University transfer assistance
  • Academic counseling
  • Frequent cultural and social activities
  • American Host Family program
  • Immigration advising
  • Tutoring services
  • …and more!

Applying for Admissions

Application to COD and the IEA is easy! Simply submit the International Student Application and required documents listed below:

  • Proof of high school graduation
  • Evidence of financial support to cover tuition and living expenses
  • Application fee of US $30.00
  • Housing application
  • COD requires a 45 (iBT) or 450 (paper) TOEFL, 5 IELTS or EIKEN STEP 2
  • IEA: TOEFL is not required

Submit the required documents by the deadlines for your program:

College of the Desert: Offers two entry dates per year and deadlines are: Fall semester - July 1; Spring semester - December 1

Intensive English Academy: Offers five entry dates per year and deadlines are: Rolling admission

What Students Say About COD and the IEA:

I would recommend COD to other international students because I felt that the international student program at COD was very supportive and helpful for the student who is not used to living in the United States. - Sumire, Japan

Instructors at COD are competent academically and pedagogically. Their lectures are presented in a constructive and interesting way to address the subject. Yongcheng, China

Palm Desert is a really friendly place and all the people are really helpful and nice at COD. I really like variety of many classes at COD and the choice between day classes and night classes. - Joanna, Poland

I can tell you that I had my best time in my life studying at COD. I was able to meet people from all over the world. - Klaus, Austria

We hope to see you at College of the Desert and the Intensive English Academy!


$15,000—$20,000 Semester

Fast facts

Afiiliation icon



Top Programs icon

Top Programs

Business, Computer Science, Hospitality Business Management

Type of school icon

Type of School

2yr/Community College

  • School Size

  • Student Body Gender

  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation
  • Scholarships for International Students

  • Conditional Admission Available

  • Setting

  • Type of Housing

    Homestay, Apartment

Palm Desert CA
Visit us
International Education Program 43-500 Monterey Avenue Palm Desert, CA

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