UC Davis Facts: Distinctions

UC Davis distinctions

Two women looking at art materials

UC Davis Chicana/o studies student Gilda Posada helps high school student Eva Garcia during an art class at TANA in Woodland. UC Davis students are prepared for leadership through such outreach projects.  (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

UC Davis has earned its stellar reputation through outstanding students and a breadth of academic programs, global leadership in sustainability, and a commitment to addressing society’s needs through innovative research and public service.

Comprehensive education

  • Outstanding students: UC Davis admits outstanding students and prepares them for future leadership. The average GPA of fall 2012 admitted freshmen was 4.05 and 3.48 for transfer students. The majority of UC Davis graduates pursuing a post-secondary degree attend their first- or second-choice institution.
  • Comprehensive majors: UC Davis offers 99 academic majors and 90 graduate programs in four globally respected colleges: Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Biological Sciences; Engineering; and Letters and Science.
  • Most professional schools: UC Davis is the only UC campus with professional schools in all of the following disciplines: business management, education, law, medicine, nursing and veterinary medicine.
  • Interdisciplinary study: UC Davis excels in interdisciplinary study, with a tradition dating to its founding of programs collaborating to address real-world challenges. Graduate groups, institutes and centers, and other programs bring students and faculty of different academic disciplines together.

Research giant

woman with plitchfork dumping produce into a bin

UC Davis biological and agricultural engineer Ruihong Zhang shovels fresh table scraps from San Francisco restaurants into a biogas energy digester that she invented. Zhang has developed this machine for the commercial market. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

  • Leader in sustainability: UC Davis is a global leader in sustainability-related research and instruction, applied technology, and transformative projects and programs that advance knowledge and serve as models for the world. Among its initiatives, the university is currently constructing UC Davis West Village, a net zero energy mixed-use community that will serve as an experiential laboratory for sustainable living.
  • 13th in research funding among U.S. ranked public universities and 21st among public and private universities: UC Davis received $713 million in research awards in 2011-12, according to a survey by the National Science Foundation.
  • Global warning system for diseases: UC Davis is at the forefront of identifying and controlling diseases that move between wildlife and people through a global early warning system. Funded with up to $75 million over five years, the UC Davis PREDICT program is one of five new initiatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development and is known in combination as the Emerging Pandemic Threats Program.
  • Nutrition for the poorest: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently awarded UC Davis a $16 million grant to support research on preventing childhood malnutrition in developing countries. With this support, UC Davis leads an international network of researchers at public and private institutions in Burkina Faso, Finland, France, Ghana, Malawi and the United States to research a cost-effective, fortified peanut butter-like nutritional supplement to improve nutrition for children and women in impoverished nations.
  • Stem-cell research: UC Davis is on the leading edge of stem cell research with the newly opened Institute for Regenerative Cures, funded by the National Institutes of Health to translate human stem cell research into therapies.

A male lion at the Sacramento Zoo gets a routine checkup by zoo veterinarians that are being shadowed by UC Davis vet students (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Engaged in public service

  • Full-service medical center: The UC Davis Health System operates the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, comprehensive children’s hospital, transplant services, vascular center and an institute for neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as a world-renowned telemedicine network. The UC Davis Medical Center’s new Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion added a state-of-the-art 472,000-square-foot facility for surgery, trauma, emergency and burn service in 2010.
  • Teaching animal hospital: UC Davis’ Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital cares for more than 45,000 small and large animals each year while teaching veterinary students essential clinical skills.
  • Collaborating with entrepreneurs: The UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Management brings science, engineering and business students and faculty together with experienced entrepreneurs, investors and corporate leaders in a highly collaborative environment that blends effective theory with hands-on participation and solution-driven innovation.
  • Law clinics for the public: The UC Davis School of Law offers community support in the areas of immigration, prison law, civil rights litigation and family protection.
  • Providing the best teachers: Since its inception in 2002, the UC Davis School of Education has prepared nearly 6,000 teachers for California classrooms and for two consecutive years, UC Davis alumni were named California Teachers of the Year.