University of California Davis

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Updated August 7, 2020

The University of California was chartered in 1868 as a land-grant university under the Morrill Federal Land Grant. In 1899, Peter J. Shields, secretary of the California State Agricultural Society, became interested in dairy education, prompting a proposal or a dairy school in Kings County in 1901. Although there was much discussion about the school, it failed to pass by legislators. In 1903, Shields drafted a bill proposing a State Dairy School and Experimental Farm. This time, the bill passed legislature, but was vetoed by Governor George Pardee because he felt the bill was too narrow. The bill finally passed legislation in 1905 authorizing the University of California to acquire land and establish the school.

Davisville was selected as the location or the University Farm and the legislature appropriated $132,000 for buildings and equipment. In an effort to avoid confusion with the city of Danville, the name of the town was changed to Davis in 1907. The school opened in 1909 with 18 students. In 1914, the first women arrived on campus from the University of California, Berkley.

Today, 36,104 students are enrolled at the University of California, Davis and there are 238,167 living alumni who hold degrees issued by the university. It is the only campus in the University of California system offering professional schools in business management, education, law, medicine, nursing and veterinary medicine. UC Davis is a global leader in sustainability-related research and instruction, applied technology and transformative projects.

University of California Davis Accreditation Details

The University of California Davis is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation demonstrates that the university meets or exceeds criteria set forth by the accrediting agency that indicate excellence in education. In addition, the following industry-specific organizations accredit programs offered at UC Davis:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)
  • American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care
  • American Bar Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Society of Crime Lab Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Association of American Law Schools
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on Teacher Credentialing
  • Computer Science Accreditation Commission
  • Council on Education and Public Health
  • Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL)
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education

University of California Davis Application Requirements

Freshmen applicants must earn a high school diploma or equivalent and must have completed the following courses with a "C" or better:

  • Two years of History or Social Science
  • Four years of English
  • Three years of mathematics, although four years is recommended
  • Two years of laboratory science, although three years is recommended
  • Two years of foreign language, although three years is recommended
  • One year of visual and performing arts
  • One year of college preparatory elective

Students must earn a GPA of 3.0 or better in core classes during tenth and eleventh grade if they are California residents. Non-residents must earn a GPA of 3.4 or better. Students must provide official ACT or SAT scores as well.

Students who have completed 60 semester or 90 quarter credit hours are considered transfer students. Students must complete two transferable college courses in English composition and one in mathematical concepts or quantitative reasoning with a "C" or better. In addition, students must complete four transferable courses with a "C" or better in arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences as well as physical and biological sciences. Students must have earned a 2.4 GPA in transferable courses, although students must have a 2.8 GPA for admission to the college and some programs require higher GPAs.

Graduate students must hold a bachelor's degree or higher and must have earned a "B" average in their undergraduate career. Students must complete an online application and provide letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, writing sample and a current resume.

University of California Davis Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at the University of California Davis is $13,952 for California residents and $38,660 for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $13,165 for California residents and $29,267 for non-residents. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible.

University of California Davis Degree(s) Available


Students may obtain a Master of Arts degree while pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of California Davis, only Ph.D. applications are accepted into the program. Students are provided advanced knowledge of psychology theory including:

  • Developmental
  • Perception
  • Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychobiology
  • Social-personality
  • Quantitative

Graduates are prepared for positions in professional research and teaching in psychology. Students can focus their education in emphases that include Critical Theory, Feminist Theory and Research, Native American Studies or Second Language Acquisition.

Students must complete at least six graduate seminars in the following areas:

  • Physiological
  • Comparative
  • Social
  • Personality
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Cognitive
  • Developmental
  • History of Psychology

Students must complete three courses, with a grade of "B" or higher, in statistics and must complete at least one of these courses prior to taking the preliminary written examination. Each student must complete a publishable report on a research project. The research project begins during the first year and is completed prior to the oral qualifying examination. Once the student completes the written and oral examination, they must file for Ph.D. candidacy and a dissertation committee is appointed. The student may be asked to defend the dissertation to the committee in a formal oral examination.

The Psychology program at the University of California Davis is designed to prepare students for careers in either academics or research. Although the program is not offered completely online, some courses may be available in an online format that provides flexibility for students who may have work, family or social obligations that prevent them from attending traditional classrooms to achieve their higher education goals at the University of California Davis.

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