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International student application to College of the Desert and the Intensive English Academy is easy and the response time is fast! Just complete these simple steps and you can begin your studies in beautiful Palm Springs, California!  


Applicants: Please check back on May 1st for the new Fall 2015 application to College of the Desert and the Intensive English Academy. Students who applied for the Spring 2015 semester and did not recieve admittance will need to reapply and submit new documents for Fall 2015.  



IEA Applicants Only

Download and complete the International Student Application, scan your documents, and then email the completed file (with all listed documents) to our office for processing.  

Send request to or by submitting Request Additional Information form.

Please be advised only IEA applications for Summer Session will be  accepted at this time. 


Submit the following 7 items by the listed deadline to:

College of the Desert, International Student Program
  43-500 Monterey Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260, USA

  1. International Student Application
  2. $30.00 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  3. Proof of high school/secondary school completion
  4. Verification of financial sponsorship of $17,520 (see Intensive English Academy for tuition)
  5. TOEFL/IELTS/iTEP or EIKEN score is required for direct admission to the college.
    • See "English Proficiency" section below. TOEFL is not required for Intensive English Academy
  6. Copy of the information page from your passport.
  7. Housing Application (with $30 non-refundable application fee)


Upon receipt of acceptance documents and the I-20, contact the US Embassy in your home country to apply for the F-1 visa.



Admission to College of the Desert:  Requires submission of one of the English proficiency tests below OR completion of approved level at indicated intensive English school.  (See "English Proficiency Waiver Options" below): 
 English Proficiency scores 
​Test Name: Required Score:​
​TOEFL iBT ​45
​TOEFL Paper ​450
​iTEP ​3.5
​EIKEN ​STEP level 2
TOEFL:  Our institution code is 4085. For more information about TOEFL test locations, please visit
IELTS:  For information about IELTS, please visit IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examination.
iTEP Academic:  For more information about iTEP, please visit
STEP/EIKEN:  For information about the EIKEN test, please visit  

NOTE:  Students will be placed into academic and credit-ESL courses based on college assessment tests.  Students scoring between 450-470 or 45 on the TOEFL should expect to take primarily ESL classes upon arrival. English proficiency tests are not used to determine placement into classes.

Admission to the Intensive English Academy (IEA):  English proficiency tests are not required.


Students who have attended an ESL school in the USA may be able to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/EIKEN requirement. College of the Desert has agreements with the following schools and will waive the English proficiency requirement if students have completed the specified level as listed below:
ESL School Name: Level Required for TOEFL waiver:
COD's Intensive English Academy (IEA): Completion of Level 3
EF Language Schools: Completion of EF Level 107/108
ELS Language Schools: Completion of ELS Level 108
FLS International: Completion of FLS Level 7
Language Studies International (LSI): Completion of LSI Advanced Level
Mentor Language Institute: Completion of Advanced Level
POLY Languages Institute: Completion of POLY Avanced Level
UC Riverside IEP: Completion of UCR Level 600 of UAPP


Application deadlines:
  • Fall semester - 2015 - Application opens May 1, 2015.
  • Spring semester - TBD 
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.  The above dates are the last day we can accept applications and missing documents.

Semester dates:

  • Spring 2015: January 26 - May 22, 2015
  • Fall 2015: (information available May 1st)



Students who are currently studying in the United States and would like to transfer to College of the Desert or the Intensive English Academy must submit the International Student Application and the Transfer Form. The Transfer Form must be completed by your current Advisor in order to have your SEVIS record transferred to our institution. Please download our Transfer Form.  Application deadlines for transfer students are on a rolling admission basis. Early application is encouraged as admission cannot be guaranteed for those applying after the published deadlines. 



College of the Desert (COD) and the Intensive English Academy (IEA) are concerned about the health and safety of our international students.  US health care costs can be very expensive.  This is especially true in cases of catastrophic accident or illness.  We want to make sure that you have the coverage needed to lessen the out-of-pocket expenses that you or your family would have to pay.
For that reason, we require all international students to purchase the COD mandated health insurance plan.  We are not able to accept overseas insurance policies or policies other than the COD mandated health insurance plan. 
Please see the following for more information about our Health Insurance plan:  Health Insurance