Master On Campus Online

Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA

University of California, Riverside

24 months
995 USD/credit 27860 USD/year
995 USD/credit 27860 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA at University of California, Riverside, based out of our Palm Desert Center, is one of the premier writing programs in the world.


About this Degree

Our alumni include national and international best-selling authors, Emmy Award winners, PEN USA finalist playwrights, acclaimed journalists and memoirists, award-winning poets, top television and film producers, and even a member of Congress.

You can choose from program tracks in fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, poetry, and writing for both television and the big screen. Select a secondary genre as a minor, or try something new every term. In seven quarters over two years, you will complete a full creative project while working one-on-one online with our acclaimed writing faculty, and in-person at five 10-day residencies* at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa near sunny Palm Springs, California. You’ll meet some of the best writers, agents, editors, producers, and showrunners in the business. At your final residency, they’ll read your work. Past guests include editors from every major New York publishing house; Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning writers, producers, and showrunners; plus studio executives from Amazon, Netflix, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Disney, and some of the top indie voices in the business.

While we do not accept international students at this time, our students do come from all over the world — the benefit of the Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA at University of California, Riverside is that you can receive a University of California education no matter where you live — and that means we have students who’ve lived in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America…and of course, all over the United States. A great number of our students have also been current and ex-military.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Six low-residency workshop courses
  • Six low-residency seminars
  • Six low-residency cross-genre workshops
  • Seven units of thesis and one unit of professional development
  • Five in-person residencies

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


56 SCH


On Campus, Online

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Online application to the UCR Graduate Division. Under program, select Creative Writing Palm Desert Low Residency 
  • Disclaimer with appropriate fee (by credit card).
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Personal history.
  • Writing sample (25 page writing sample of fiction, playwriting, poetry, nonfiction, or screenwriting). Writing sample must only be for your selected major. Do not send work outside your intended course of major study. 
  • Three letters of recommendation (non-academic recommendations accepted).
  • Transcripts (original transcripts from all institutions).
  • Note: Letters of recommendation are submitted online by referrers after submission of your online application. Transcripts may arrive after the deadline date. Creative samples and entrance essays must be submitted by the cut-off dates. GRE is not required.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    27860 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 995 USD per credit during 24 months.
  • National

    27860 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 995 USD per credit during 24 months.
  • $7,960 per quarter ($995 per unit)   

Living costs for Riverside

1100 - 1600 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA
University of California, Riverside


Go to your profile page to get personalised recommendations!