University of California, Davis
(UCD) is a public
research university located in Davis, California, and one of ten campuses in the University of California
system. Commonly referred to as UC
Davis, the school was originally established in 1905 as the University Farm, an extension of UC Berkeley.
UC Davis welcomed its first class in
. It was later formally established as a UC
campus by the Regents of the
University of California
graduate and professional programs include the UC Davis School of Medicine
(which includes the UC Davis Medical Center), the UC Davis School of
Veterinary Medicine, the UC
Davis School of Law, UC
Davis Graduate Studies, and the UC Davis Graduate School
The UC Davis Aggies
compete in the
NCAA Division I level primarily in the Big West Conference
as well as Great West Conference
, Pacific-10 Conference
, and Mountain Pacific Sports
in other sports. In its first year of full Division
I status, 11 UC Davis teams qualified for NCAA post-season.
Early Creamery and Horticulture
buildings, University Farm
In 1905, Governor George Pardee signed into law an act to establish a university farm school for the University of California (at the time, the Berkeley campus was the sole campus of the University). It would be more than a year before that commission selected a tiny town, then known as Davisville, as the site. What was to become the third UC Campus opened its doors to 40 degree students (all male) from UC Berkeley in January 1909 as the "University Farm." (The farm had begun accepting non-degree farmers' short courses in October 1908; there were initially around 115 such attendees.) The establishment of the Farm was largely the result of the vision and perseverance of Peter J. Shields, secretary of the State Agricultural Society, and the namesake of the future Peter J. Shields Library at UC Davis.
Shields, the "Father of the Farm."
Shields began to champion the cause of a University Farm to teach agriculture in a more applied fashion after hearing about California students who chose to go to out-of-state universities due to the lack of such programs in the University of California at that time. He later stated:
There was a College of Agriculture at Berkeley in
connection with the University of California, but it was purely
academic. It was largely confined to the study of botany and
chemistry; it had no farm and little prestige; it was apt to be
thought of as a snap curriculum, attracting students who wanted to
go to college but wanted to avoid its more difficult
After two failed bills, a law authorizing the creation of a
University Farm was passed in March 18, 1905, and Yolo County
, home to some of
California's prime farmland, was chosen as the site. The Farm
accepted its first female students in 1914 from Berkeley. Renamed
in 1922 the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture
it continued growing at a breakneck pace: in 1916 the Farm's 314
students occupied the original campus, but by 1951 it had already
expanded to a size of . In 1959, the campus was declared by the
Regents of the
University of California
as the seventh general campus in the
University of California
Organization and administration
The undergraduate student government of UC Davis is the Associated Students of
(ASUCD), and has an annual operating budget of 10.5
million dollars, making it the best-funded student government in
the United States. ASUCD includes an Executive, Legislative, and
Judicial branch. Other than representing the student body on
campus, the task of ASUCD is to lobby student interests to local
and state government. Also under the purview of ASUCD are the
student-run Coffee House is an ASUCD unit and Unitrans
, the Davis public bus system. ASUCD
employs thousands of students annually across its many units.
UC Davis is organized into the following schools and colleges:
The east campus entrance
Aerial view of UC Davis
The University of California, Davis campus is the largest campus in
the UC system, spanning over across two counties: Yolo
west of Sacramento in the Sacramento
Valley, part of California's Central Valley, it is adjacent to Interstate Highway 80. The Davis campus is
the only school within the UC system with an airport, just west of main campus, and is one of two UC
schools with its own fire
department; the other being UCSC. It is also one of only two schools in the
University of California system, the other being UC Berkeley, with a nuclear
[University of California, Davis Fire
Towards the northeast end of campus is the Quad, a large
rectangular field which sits adjacent to Freeborn Hall and the
Memorial Union, which houses various establishments such as the UC
Davis Bookstore, ASUCD Coffee House, food courts, Post Office, Sky
Room, and the MU Games Area. The northeast side of campus holds
more of the core buildings that were built earlier in UC Davis's
history, such as Wellman Hall, Shields Library, Mrak Hall
, and Hutchison Hall, as well as the
North Entry Parking Structure. Also notable in this northeastern
corner is the labyrinthical Social Sciences and Humanities building
designed by Antoine Predock
to students as the "Death Star
" for its
angular, metallic design.
The northwest end of campus holds the majority of the Segundo
undergraduate housing complex and various alternative
non-undergraduate housing such as Orchard Park, Russell Park, and
The Colleges at LaRue Apartments. The Activities and Recreation
Center, or the ARC, is also located near the Segundo complex.
Off-campus to the northwest is the Cuarto undergraduate housing
complex, which has two dining commons.
The Tercero undergraduate housing complex is located near the true
geographic center of the UC Davis campus, to the north of the
Aboretum Waterway, which stretches longitudinally through almost
the entirety of the south end of campus. The Arboretum is a public garden with over 4,000 kinds of trees
and plants that stretches for over along the Waterway.
The majority of Veterinary Medicine, Equestrian Center, and Animal
Sciences buildings are located near the Arboretum Waterway, away
from the core campus; the West Entry Parking Complex, the Silo
Union, and the newly constructed Science Lecture Hall and the
Science Laboratory Building are located nearer to the Tercero
residence halls and the core of campus. The Mondavi Center
, home of the University
Symphony Orchestra and other cultural events, is also located near
the Tercero complex.
See No Evil/Hear No Evil Egghead
There are five public art statues found around campus, collectively
, sculpted by former art professor Robert Arneson
who taught at Davis from
1962-1991 before his death in 1992. The egghead statues are
considered by many to be among the most recognizable features of UC
Davis's campus, and have even inspired a recent blog
maintained by University staff. Additional pieces of Arneson's work
are part of the Fine Arts Collection maintained by the Richard L.
located in the Art Building.
The Silo Union
"Bookhead" is located at the Shields Library plaza, "Yin &
Yang" is located at the Fine Arts Complex, "See No Evil/Hear No
Evil" is at the east lawn of King Hall (the main building for UC
Davis' School of Law), "Eye on Mrak (Fatal Laff)" is outside Mrak
Hall (housing the registrar office and other administrative
offices), and "Stargazer" is located between North Hall and Young
"Yin & Yang" egg heads have been recast and duplicated for
installment near the Port of San Francisco Ferry Building in
Bicycles, UC Davis
One of the double deckers in the city's student-run (and
student-driven) bus system
UC Davis is famous for its large number of bicycles and bicyclists.
of Davis boasts the highest number of bikes per capita of any
The city of Davis once held the record for the World's Largest
bicycle parade. Bicyclists are ubiquitous around campus as well as
the city, and thus a lot of bike-only infrastructure exists, such
as bike circles, large bike lanes, and traffic signals exclusively
for bikes. The police department also has some of its officers
patrol on bicycles. Furthermore, the police take bicycling under
the influence ("BUI") and bicycling without a headlight at night
very seriously. All bikes on the UC Davis campus must be registered
with a California Bicycle license.
UC Davis is also well known for its bus
, and its trademark London double decker buses
. It has been in
operation since 1968 and is believed to be the only general purpose
(non-sightseeing) transit system in the U.S. to operate vintage
double deck buses in daily service. The system is operated and
managed entirely by students and offers fixed-route transportation
throughout the city. There is also an inter-campus bus service that ferries back and
forth between UC Davis and UC Berkeley twice daily, from Monday to Friday.
UC Davis is bounded by freeways on two sides (Highway 113 and
). All other UC campuses
are either somewhat distant from the closest freeway or are
directly adjacent to only one freeway. Two freeway exits are
entirely within UCD's boundaries. One, off Highway 113, is signed
"UC Davis / Hutchison Drive" and the other, off Interstate 80, is
signed exclusively as "UC Davis."
Easy freeway access, coupled with increasing housing costs in the
city of Davis, have led to increased numbers of students commuting
via automobile. Some students choose to live in the
neighboring communities of Sacramento, Dixon or Woodland, and use their own cars or the county-wide Yolobus
to get to UC Davis.
Mondavi Center for the performing
The university has 102 undergraduate majors and 87 graduate
programs. It has a Department of
Viticulture and Enology
(concerning the scientific study of
grape-growing and winemaking) that has been and continues to be
responsible for significant advancements in winemaking utilized by
many Californian wineries. The campus is noted for its Agricultural
and Resource Economics programs, and the large Department of Animal
Science through which students can study at the university's own
, meat-processing plant,
facility, and experimental
. Students of Environmental Horticulture and
other botanical sciences have many acres of campus farmland and the
University of California, Davis,
Arboretum at their disposal.
The Department of Applied
Science was founded and formerly chaired by physicist Edward Teller
. Dance, music, studio arts, and
theatre are studied extensively on the campus, and the Mondavi Center
for the Performing Arts
features artists from all over the globe.
UC Davis has several professional schools: UC Davis Graduate Studies
, School of
, School of
, and School of Veterinary
The university is also host to the largest Army Reserve Officer
Training Corps (ROTC) program in California, with more than 120
cadets. With more than sixty years in existence, it currently
commissions roughly 30 to 40 graduating seniors as second
lieutenants every year.
In 2009 U.S. News and World Report ranked UC Davis as the
11th best public university in the United States, and the 4th best
of the UC schools, tying with UC Santa
Barbara and after UC
Berkeley, UCLA, and
UC Davis was also ranked 42nd overall
In terms of Graduate Studies rankings, in 2006 U.S. News & World Report
UC Davis First Nationally in Ecology and Evolution.
ranked UC Davis 8th in its 2007 National College
UC Davis was ranked 42nd in the world and 34th in the Americas by an annual listing of the Top 500 World
Universities published by the Institute of Higher Education in
In 2007, UC Davis was ranked 96th in the world by 2007 The Times
Higher Education Supplement Rankings.
As of January 2008, UC Davis was ranked 42nd among the top 4000
universities in the world by the Webometrics
Ranking of World Universities, which
bases its rankings on a quantitative analysis of internet content
specially related to the generation and communication of scientific
The 2009 College Sustainability Report Card, which grades schools
on their level of environmental sustainability, awarded UC Davis a
B+. Only 15 schools received a higher grade.
Admission to UC Davis is rated as "most selective" by U.S. News and World Report
Between 2007 and 2008, UC Davis saw the largest increase in
freshman applicants out of all UC campuses - from 35,088 to 42,311,
a 20.6% increase.
For Fall 2009, with a record high of 39,288 applicants from
California high schools, UC Davis admitted 18,146 students, or
46.2%. The average GPA of admitted students increased to a 4.0.
Also showing gains were the average scores on admission tests and
the percentage from the top 4 percent of their high school
31% of admitted students receive federal Pell
Davis University Library, which includes the Peter
J. Shields Library, the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library,
the Carlson Health Sciences Library, and the Medical Center Library
in Sacramento, contains more than 3.5 million volumes and offers
a number of special collections and services.
Inside of the Peter J.
The Peter J.
Shields Library has three different architectural styles due to
various construction and extensions being added; it is the main
library where students study on-campus, with a 24-hour reading
room, open computer labs, and unique furniture.
Faculty and research
According to the National
, UC Davis spent $456,653,000 on research and
development in the fiscal year 2002-2003, ranking it 14th in the
nation. Specifically, UC Davis's expenditures nationally ranked
first in agricultural research ($25,683,000), seventh in biological
research ($118,477,000), and 13th in the life sciences
faculty includes 18 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 6 members of the National Academy of
Engineering, 7 members of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2 Pulitzer Prize
winners, 2 MacArthur Fellows
and one member of the Royal
The campus supports a number of research centers including: the
Center for the Environment
, the Center for Visual Sciences
Advanced Highway Maintenance Construction
Technology Research Laboratory
, the MIND Institute
, the University of California Pavement Research Center
among others. The campus maintains a web site
that publishes information and supports discussion about its
UC Davis is also one of 62 members in the prestigious Association of American
(as of 1996). The Association of American
Universities is an organization of leading research universities
devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and
education. It consists of sixty universities in the United States
(both public and private) and two universities in Canada.
UC Davis Athletics logo
UC Davis Aggies Marching
, UC Davis's annual
Open House, is the largest student-run event in the United States.
It attracts thousands of visitors each year with its many
attractions. These include a parade, a magic show performed by the
chemistry department, the Doxie Derby (dachshund
races), film screenings, and a Battle of the Bands
between the Band-uh!
other college bands including the Cal Band
the Stanford Band
, and the Humboldt
State Marching Band.
highlight of UC Davis is its student-run freeform radio station, KDVS.
station began operations on February 1, 1964 from the laundry room
of the all-male dormitory Beckett Hall. The station soon gained a
reputation by airing interviews with Angela
and a live call-in show with then California Governor Ronald Reagan
in 1969. The station can now be
heard on 90.3 FM
and online at its website.
UC Davis has some 400 registered student organizations, ranging
from political clubs to professional societies to language clubs.
Student clubs are managed through the Student Programs and
Activities Center (SPAC).
The academic Graduate Students and management students are
represented by the Graduate Student Association
(GSA). The Law Students
are represented by Law Students Association
The UC Davis Tae Kwon Do club
One less-known student tradition occurs during the commencement
ceremonies, where students toss tortillas into the air at the
beginning of the ceremony. Tortillas are smuggled into the building
under graduation gowns and released into the air after all the
graduates have taken their seats.
Other student activities
- Unitrans, the student run (and driven)
- The Coffee House, a student run restaurant serving 7000
- The Bike Barn, a bicycle shop that sells and rents bicycles and
cycling equipment, also operating a repair shop.
- KDVS, student
- The Entertainment Council, responsible for bringing famous
musicians to campus and organizing student events.
- US Post Office, a completely student-run official United States
Postal Service Contract Station.
The California Aggie
UC Davis also publishes a daily student newspaper, The California Aggie.
was first published in 1915 as the Weekly
after its approval by the Associated Student
Executive Committee. At this point, UC Davis was considered the
University Farm, an extension of UC Berkeley.
Initially, the Weekly Agricola
was focused on both student
news and farming-related topics. Novelist Jack London
was one of the first readers of the
. In 1922, it was renamed to match the
school's athletic name. Today, the Aggie
has the largest
print distribution in Yolo County
around 12,000 copies distributed daily.
UC Davis water tower
Social fraternities and sororities have been a part of the
University of California at Davis since 1923. Approximately 8% of
the university's undergraduate students are involved in the
school's fraternities and sororities. One sorority, Sigma Alpha Epsilon
, was featured during the first season of the MTV reality show
The Phi chapter of
Alpha Gamma Rho
was established on May 1 of 1923 at UC Davis
making it the first fraternity on campus. Many campus buildings are
named after alumni of Alpha Gamma Rho such as Emil Mrak (Mrak Hal,
Registrar's office), Orville Thompson (Thompson Hall, Segundo
student housing), and Dean De Carli (the De Carli room, 2nd floor
MU), and many more. AGR Hall is located inside the Buehler Alumni /
Visitor's Center and is commonly used as a conference room. There
are both national and local fraternities and sororities at UCD with
diverse backgrounds and histories.
The UC Davis Aggies
(or Ags) compete in NCAA
sports in the Big West Conference
. For football, the Aggies compete in Division I
(formerly known as Division I-AA), and are members of the Great West Conference, granting UC
Davis the distinction of being one of only three UC campuses to
field a football team (Cal and UCLA being the
The Aggies are also members of the Mountain Pacific Sports
in gymnastics and lacrosse, the Western
Intercollegiate Rowing Association in rowing
, and an associate member of the
Pacific Ten Conference
The UC Davis Men's Crew Club
is one of the more successful clubs both on campus and in the west.
In 2006 the JV boat won first in nationals at the ACRA
Championships in Tennessee and in 2009 the Varsity boat got second
place in nationals at the ACRA Championships. They consistently
compete against teams such as Stanford, the University of
Washington and UC Berkeley.
The Aggies finished first in NCAA Division II
six times in 2003 and won the
NACDA Directors' Cup
4 years in
a row from 1999 to 2003. In 1998, the UC Davis men's basketball
team won the NCAA Division II
championship despite being one of the few non-scholarship
institutions in Division II at that time. They have also won NCAA
Division II championships in Softball (2003), Men's Tennis (1992),
and Women's Tennis (1990, 1993). These and other achievements
motivated a decision (following a year of heavy discussion by
campus administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the
local community) in 2003 for the athletics program to re-classify
to Division I.
highlight of the recent 4-year transition to Division I occurred on
September 17, 2005, when the Aggies defeated the heavily favored
Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium by a score of 20-17 on a TD pass with 8 seconds
left in the game.
Aggies at Stanford (half-time show),
September 17, 2005
The Aggies also pulled off an upset
against Stanford in basketball just months later, beating the
Cardinal 64-58 with a late rally at home on December 4, 2005. The
win in these two major sports and the addition of the Aggies
beating the Cardinal in soccer earlier in 2005 as well as a win in
wrestling and two wins in baseball pulled the Aggies' win loss
record with Stanford to 5-1 for men's sports the 05-06 year.
football team plays Sacramento State in the annual Causeway
Classic for the Causeway
Carriage. The team also plays Cal
Poly in the annual Battle for the Golden
UC Davis students gather at sporting events
to rally as the Aggie Pack
, the largest
student-run school spirit organization in the United States. The
Aggie Pack cheers on the sports team to the music of the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh!
its alumni band. Aggie Stadium is the home of the UC Davis football and lacrosse
The UC Davis Women's rugby was ranked 4th in the nation in
UC Davis also has a noteworthy wrestling program, which competes in
the Pac-10 at the Division I level. In 2007, UC Davis wrestler
Derek Moore gained All-American status, as well as won the NCAA
Division I Championships for his weight class. In addition, he
received the "Most Outstanding Wrestler" award of the NCAA
tournament. In so doing, Derek Moore became the first UC Davis
student-athlete to become a NCAA champion at the Division I level.
That same year, UC Davis finished within the top 25 for Division I
collegiate wrestling programs in the country.
The official school colors are blue and gold. The blue is due to
the UC's early connection to Yale and as a result is often referred
to as "Yale Blue
" (e.g., see 
), although UCD's official blue, usually
called "Aggie Blue", Pantone 295 differs from Yale Blue
(approximately Pantone 289).
The official school mascot is the mustang
. Students at UC Davis are referred
to as Aggies in honor of the school's agricultural heritage. Unlike
most colleges, there is a distinction between the name for students
and the mascot. There was a movement to change the school's mascot
from the mustang to the cow
despite student support this was turned down after opposition from
alumni. Many people will call the mustang mascot of UC Davis an
, but this is not its proper name; the
mustang mascot is named Gunrock. The name dates to 1921 when the US
Army brought a horse named Gun Rock
Davis to supply high-quality stock for cavalry horses. The mustang
mascot was selected to honor that cavalry horse.
UC Davis has implemented many environmentally sustainable features.
there are two LEED-certified buildings operated by the university –
the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences at Lake Tahoe, and Gladys Valley Hall in the Health Sciences
District of campus – and there are plans to build a green Student
The university was given a Best Practice
Award in 2006 at the fifth annual Sustainability Conference, held
by UC Davis, California State University and the California
Community Colleges, for the campus's student housing lighting
retrofit project. UC Davis uses the olives from the old trees on
campus to produce olive oil for the dining halls, and the school
works hard to restore natural habitats on and around campus. The
campus also operates its own landfill, on which it converts
landfill gas to energy. For its efforts in environmental
sustainability, UC Davis earned a B+ on the College Sustainability
Report Card, published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. The
highest grade was an A-, and only fifteen schools were awarded that
UC Davis is also home to the Agricultural
Sustainability Institute (ASI)
, which is part of the College of
Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). ASI provides
leadership for research, teaching, outreach, and extension efforts
in agricultural and food systems sustainability at the Davis campus
and throughout the UC system.