Program description: The low residency MFA program at UCR-Palm Desert, the first such program in the University of California system, is unique in that it directly marries your academic pursuits with a real world emphasis on the next stage of your writing career—namely publication and production.
Students work one-on-one with their professors during the course of seven quarters of online study and five intensive 10-day residencies at the beautiful Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA. The program was designed and is taught by writers for writers and is open to all genres of writing—including fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting and poetry—and all forms within those genres, including mystery, crime, science fiction and slipstream, commercial Hollywood films and television—and at the same time is open to the wildest kind of experimental, arty, fringy writing. Students also work in a secondary genre during the course of their study which we believe helps create a well-rounded writer and provides a more in depth immersion in literature.
UCR-Palm Desert is also home to the student-edited The Coachella Review, a top online literary journal, which provides our MFA candidates with the opportunity to gain real world publishing experience and which provides limited grants to editors within the various genres.
University of California Riverside – Palm Desert Center
- Subtitle: MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts (low-res)
- Mailing Address 1: 75-080 Frank Sinatra Drive
- Mailing City: Palm Desert
- Mailing State: CA
- Mailing Postal Code: 92211
- Program Director: Tod Goldberg
- Program Contact: Agam Patel
- Phone Number: (760) 834-0926
- Website: www.palmdesertmfa.ucr.edu
- Degree: MFA
- Type: low-residency
- Length of Program: 2 years
- Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Screenwriting, Playwriting
- Total Credits Required: 56
- Application Deadlines: August 1 and February 1
- Scholarships: yes (see website)
- Assistantships: no
- Core Faculty: Michael Birnbaum, Elizabeth Crane, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Gina Frangello, Tod Goldberg, Stephen Graham Jones, Joshua Malkin, Anthony McCann, Mary Otis, William Rabkin, Emily Rapp, Rob Roberge, John Schimmel, Mark Haskell Smith, Deanne Stillman, David L. Ulin, Mary Yukari Waters
- Visiting Faculty: See website for an updated list.
- Publishing/Editing Courses: yes (see website)
- Literary Magazine: The Coachella Review
- Reading Series: yes (see website)
- Recent Visiting Writers: Attica Locke, Joshua Mohr, Sarah Hepola, Dorothea Lasky, Ron Currie Jr., Rider Strong, Janet Fitch, Natalie Baszile, Matt Bell, Amber Benson, Melissa Rosenberg, Andrea Seigel, Douglas Kearney, editors from Tor, Grove, Two Dollar Radio, Counterpoint, Harper Collins, top literary agents, producers, and development executives
- Short Program Description: The low residency MFA program at UCR-Palm Desert, the first of its kind in the University of California system, offers a full academic and professional immersion into the writing world. In addition to their creative work, students meet one-on-one with industry professionals to help guide them towards the next step of their careers.
- Contact Person: Agam Patel
- Contact Email:
- Contact Phone: (760) 834-0926
- State: California