University of California, Davis

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The University of California, Davis, commonly known as UC Davis, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, and was established as the University Farm in 1905. It was formally established as a general UC campus by the Regents of the University of California in 1959. UC Davis is a public, coeducational university located in the city of Davis, California, about fifteen miles west of Sacramento in the Sacramento Valley, part of California's Central Valley.

UC Davis has grown to become a prestigious public research university, especially in the arts, humanities, life sciences, health sciences, and engineering. UCD also has renowned graduate programs, such as 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, and the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

U.S. News & World Report 2008 America's Best Colleges ranked UC Davis the 42nd best university in the United States, 11th best public university in the United States, and 4th best of all the UC schools (after Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego [1]). UC Davis is also the 3rd oldest campus of the University of California system, and is a Public Ivy institution of higher education [2].

In addition to research and academics, the UCD athletics program is also quite respectable; Aggie teams have recently joined NCAA Division I athletics. UC Davis is also one of the only three UC schools with a football team (the other two being Cal and UCLA), playing in the Great West Football Conference.


In 1905, Governor George Pardee signed into law an act to establish a university farm school for the University of California. 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 of 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 UC Davis's Peter J. Shields Library. He 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 work."

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 778 acre (3 km²) campus, but by 1951 it had already expanded to a size of 3,000 acres (12 km²). In 1959, the campus was declared by the Regents of the University of California as the seventh general campus in the University of California system. It has since grown into a vibrant and politically active campus.


The University of California, Davis campus is the largest campus in the UC system, spanning over 5,500 acres (22.2 square km) and 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 UC's, the other being UC Berkeley, with a nuclear lab. It is also one of a handful of universities that spans two counties: Yolo and Solano.

The UC Davis campus is considered world-renowned and has been praised for its architecture and picturesque scenery. UC Davis offers broad green lawns and bubbling fountains, sculpture gardens and fine museums, lush landscaping and an intriguing mix of architectural styles. There are huge amounts of well-kept and attractive open space on the UC Davis campus, from Hutchison, Dobbins, Russell, and Howard Fields to various soccer, rugby, lacrosse, and tennis fields. It is surrounded by the residential area of the city of Davis.

File:UCDavis PeterJShieldsLibrary.jpg
Inside of the Peter J. Shields Library

The UC 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 million volumes and offers a number of special collections and services for undergraduates and graduates. The Peter J. Shields Library is a vast building with 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.

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.

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 beautiful 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 100 acres (.40 square km) and located near 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 is also located near the Tecero complex, a glitzy upscale home for the University Symphony Orchestra and other cultural events.

See No Evil/Hear No Evil Egghead

There are five public art statues found around campus, collectively called The Egghead Series, 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.

"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, "Eye on Mrak (Fatal Laff)" is at the Mrak Hall mall, and "Stargazer" is located between North Hall and Young Hall. The "Yin & Yang" egg heads have been recast and duplicated for installment near the Port of San Francisco Ferry Building in San Francisco.[3]


UC Davis academic spectrum is rich in the arts, humanities, life sciences, health sciences, and engineering. The university has a world-class medical center in downtown Sacramento. The university also 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 on-campus dairy, meat-processing plant, equestrian facility, and experimental farm. 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 university also has world-class faculty in the arts and letters and a large and diverse College of Engineering. The Department of Applied Science was founded and formerly chaired by physicist Edward Teller. Studio arts, theatre, and dance are studied extensively on the campus, and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts features artists from all over the globe.

UC Davis has an excellent reputation in graduate studies and has several professional schools, including the Graduate School of Management, School of Education, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Veterinary Medicine.

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.[4]

Colleges and Schools

UC Davis is organized into the following schools and colleges:[5]


According to the National Science Foundation, 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 ($336,796,000).

Its 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 Society.

The campus supports a number of research centers including: the Information Center for the Environment, the Center for Visual Sciences, the Advanced Highway Maintenance Construction Technology Research Laboratory, the University of California Pavement Research Center, among others. The campus maintains a web site that publishes information and supports discussion about its research activities.


In terms of Graduate Studies rankings, in 2006 U.S. News & World Report placed UC Davis First Nationally in Ecology and Evolution.

In 2006, UC Davis was ranked 42nd in the world and 34th in the Americas by an annual listing of the Top 500 World Universities[6] published by the Institute of Higher Education in Shanghai, China. In 2006, UC Davis was ranked 170th in the world by 2006 The Times Higher Education Supplement Rankings.[7]

In 2007 U.S. News and World Report ranked UC Davis as the 42nd best university in the United States, the 11th best public university in the U.S., and the 4th best of the UC schools (after Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD). UC Davis also ranked in the top 4 public universities in California.[8] The Washington Monthly ranked UC Davis 8th in its 2007 National College Ranking, which focuses on level of contribution to the nation (through fostering social mobility, research, and service).[9]


Admission to UC Davis is very selective. For Fall 2007, 20,452 freshmen were admitted out of an application pool of 35,125 for a freshman acceptance rate of 58.2%. On average, admitted students earned a high school GPA of 3.89, SAT Critical Reasoning score of 601, SAT Mathematics score of 637, SAT Writing score of 607, and ACT composite score of 26.[10]

Student life

File:Ucdavis aggies.gif
UC Davis Athletics logo


The UC Davis Aggies (or Ags) compete in NCAA Division I sports in the Big West Conference. For football, the Aggies compete in Division I FCS (formerly known as Division I-AA), and are members of the Great West Football Conference. The Aggies are also members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in gymnastics and lacrosse, the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association in rowing, and an associate member of the Pacific Ten Conference in wrestling.

The Aggies finished first in NCAA Division II six times in 2003 and won the NACDA Director's Cup 4 years in a row from 1999 to 2003. In 1998, the UC Davis men's basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship despite being one of the few non-scholarship institutions in Division II at that time. 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.[11][12]

The 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. 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.

The Aggie football team plays California State University, Sacramento in the annual Causeway Classic for the Causeway Carriage. The team also plays Cal Poly in the annual Battle for the Golden Horseshoe for the Golden Horseshoe (trophy). 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! and its alumni band. Aggie Stadium is the home of the UC Davis football and lacrosse teams.

The official school colors are blue and gold. The blue is due to the UC's early connection to Yale[13] and as a result is often referred to as "Yale Blue" (e.g., see [1] and [2]), although UCD's official blue (sometimes called "Aggie Blue", Pantone 295[14] differs from Yale Blue (approximately Pantone 289[15]).

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, but despite student support this was turned down after opposition from alumni. Many people will call the mustang mascot of UC Davis an Aggie, 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 to UC Davis to supply high-quality stock for cavalry horses. The mustang mascot was selected to honor that cavalry horse.

School Songs

Aggie Fight - The fight song.
Composer: Larry Austin

Lift up your voices, now's the time to sing.
This is the day the Victory Bell will ring.
Loyal Aggies, all for one,
Never stopping 'till we've won.
Because the Mustang will show our team the way to fight,
Charging the enemy with all his might.
Let's go. Let's win. Today's the day,
The Aggies will fight! Fight! Fight!

Sons of California - Every UC Band has this song, but this arrangement is only played at UC Berkeley and UC Davis.
Composer: Clinton Morse
Arrangement: Larry Austin

We're sons of California,
a loyal company.
All shout for California
as we strive for victory.
All sing the joyful chorus,
as her banner we unfold.
Then "Hurrah!" for California,
and for the Blue and Gold.

Big "C"
Composers: Harold P. Williams and N. Loyall McLaren
Arrangement: William Denny

We are Sons of California,
fighting for the Gold and Blue.
Palms of glory we will win
for Alma Mater true.
Sac State's men will soon be routed,
by our dazzling C.
We'll stomp 'em in the mud,
their green will turn to blood,
in our hour of victory!

Hail to California - The UC Alma Mater.
Composer: Clinton Morse
Arrangement: Charles Cushing

Hail to California, Alma Mater dear.
Sing the joyful chorus, sound it far and near.
Rally 'round her banner, we will never fail.
California, Alma Mater,
Hail! Hail! Hail!

Traditions and student activities

Picnic Day, 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! and other college bands including the Cal Band, the Stanford Band, and the Humboldt State Marching Band.

Another highlight of UC Davis is its student-run freeform radio station, KDVS. The 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 Davis 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 their website [3].

The undergraduate student government of UC Davis is the Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD), and has an annual operating budget of 9.7 million dollars, making it the highest funded student government in the United States.[16] UC Davis also has some 400 registered student organizations.

The Letters and Science Graduate Students are represented by the Graduate Student Association (GSA).

Greek life

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 Pi, was featured during the first season of the MTV reality show "Sorority Life."

Fraternities and sororities provide a small group living experience that enhances the co-curricular life of every Greek student through academic, social, educational, leadership, and community service activities. There are both national and local fraternities and sororities at UCD with diverse backgrounds and histories.[17]

Collegiate Pan-Hellenic sororities

National Interfraternity Conference fraternities

Multi-cultural fraternities and sororities

National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations

African American Greek Letter Council


UC Davis is famous for its large number of bicycles and bicyclists. The city of Davis boasts the highest number of bikes per capita of any U.S. city. 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, both of which are punishable by a traffic ticket. All bikes on the UC Davis campus must be registered with a California Bicycle license.

UC Davis is also well known for its bus service, Unitrans, and their 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 Interstate 80). 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.

Notable people at UC Davis

See also

External links


Official websites

Student media

Student clubs and organizations

Research and Academic Centers

Other websites


  1. Template:Cite website
  2. ["" "Comparing Black Enrollments at the Public Ivies"] Check |url= value (help). The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Retrieved November 1. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. "They're egg-cellent!". The California Aggie. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  4. "Features of Volume 24, Number 4". UC Davis Magazine Online. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  5. "UC Davis Academics". UC Davis Site. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  6. "Top 500 World Universities". Institute of Higher Education in Shanghaii, China. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  7. "The Times Higher Education Supplement". Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  8. "America's Best Colleges". U.S. News and World Report. 2007.
  9. "The Washington Monthly College Rankings" (PDF). Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  10. "UC Davis Fall 2007 Admissions Profile". University of California. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  11. "UC Davis Takes to NCAA Division I Playing Field". UC Davis News & Information. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  12. "UC Davis Timeline: The Road to Division I". UC Davis News & Information. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  13. "UC Davis Spotlight". Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  14. "Publication Standards". University Communications. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  15. "Yale's Visual Identity: Yale Blue". Yale University. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  16. "ASUCD Home Page". Associated Students of UC Davis. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)
  17. "Greek Life". Student Programs & Activities Center, UC Davis. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |accessmonthday= ignored (help)

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