Gay Desert Hot Springs

Welcome to College of the Desert!

Posted on November 12, 2022

College of the Desert is one of over 115 community colleges in California and a vital part of the world’s largest system of higher education. The governing body of College of the Desert is the Desert Community College District, which has five elected members on its Board of Trustees and a Student Trustee elected by the Student Body.

The college was founded in 1958 and opened its doors for the first time in September 1962. As a two-year college, the College offers transfer students an affordable option for starting college and transferring to a four-year institution. College of the Desert is the number one source of transfer students to California State University at San Bernardino. College of the Desert also offers a number of popular vocational and technical programs, including Nursing and Health Sciences, Digital Design and Production, Turf Grass Management & Ornamental Horticulture, Advanced Transportation Technologies, Culinary Arts, and a full range of Administration of Justice courses at the Public Safety Academy training facility.

Learn how College of the Desert is creating a brighter tomorrow for students.

Academic Programs

A complete list of degree and certificate programs is in the Catalog

View Programs

Associate Degrees fo​r Transfer (ADT)

College of the Desert offers Associate Degrees for Transfer across a variety of disciplines. The Associate in Art for Transfer (AA-T) and the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) degrees are two-year associate degrees that are fully transferable to the CSU and are no more than 60 semester units. When you complete an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) — sometimes called a Degree with a Guarantee​ — and meet the CSU’s minimum eligibility requirements, you are guaranteed priority admission to CSU, though not necessarily to a particular campus or major.

Associat​e Degrees

College of the Desert offers Associate Degrees to prepare students for

  1. careers in a range of industries and pathways (CTE), or
  2. to prepare students for transfer to a particular baccalaureate program or major (transfer preparation).


Certificate of Achievement may be awarded to a student who has completed a required sequence of courses in an occupational field. The certificate requires fewer than 60 units of college work. At least six (6) units in the certificate field shall be completed in residence at College of the Desert.

Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Competency are noncredit programs. These programs prepare students to progress in a career path or to undertake degree-applicable or non degree-applicable credit courses.