University of California-Davis Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


I really love UC Davis. There are certainly things about the school I didn't expect (some pleasant, some unpleasant surprises) but on the whole I'm really happy with my experience here and would recommend the school to anyone. On a big campus like Davis, it definitely takes some extra work on the part of the student to find ways to get involved, but if you take just a little time to look you'll find all kinds of really wonderful organizations and opportunities. In terms of the freshman experience in the dorms, I think people have very mixed experiences. There can be a lot of variability based on who your RA is, and what your housing set-up is like (double, single, apartment-style, etc) and I'm not sure that all the RAs are really involved out of an interest in students' lives - a lot of them just need free housing. On the other hand, if you get involved in activities freshman year you WILL make great friends through them - exploring organizations through SPAC or checking out the Greek system are probably two good ways to start out. My biggest advice for students is to get involved EARLY and know that it will be on you to seek out these organizations (no one will really come to you) but once you start looking people are very welcoming and will help you out in whatever way they can.


Davis is a great community. There is ample opportunity to get involved and explore your interests. There should be more opportunity for specialization though.


Davis is a world unto itself, and being here is like being in a microcosm of the world, with a bit less diversity. Students and student groups are cosntantly hosting workshops, teach ins, teach outs, campaigns, lectures, mobilizations, etc. Our students are highly motivated and determined to be heard. Whether it's Students for Justice in Palestine holding a Die In on campus, or MEChA working to organize the annual May 1st International Workers Solidarity Day events, to lectures on what it's like to be a Jew in America today, to addressing the growing self-identifying Mixed ethnicity group, our students are on it. Plus, with the loci of power for the state of California situated 30 minutes away from us, our students always have a chance to address concerns to our state leadership, as well as participate in statewide mobilization efforts.


The best thing about UCD is that there's a lot of service included in your tuition such us bus fare, gym fees, and health care. If you don't intend to use these services then there's nothing you could really do to get your money back. Personally, the prestige that people feel when they say they go to UCD is a lot of hot air. University students tend to always think they're better than others just because they go to this big university with a reputation in research. This is a good school for those who want to impress people that they have UCD on their resume, but for those that want a school that's less of a backyard fairy tale and hot air, then choose a different school.


I love the fact that UCD has alot of school pride and it's constantly encouraged to go to a game and be apart of the "Aggie Pack" (wear Aggie blue and sit in a special section of UCD students only and sing and shout anthems). I find it difficult to do well in all my classes and maintain a high GPA when a majority of the classes only take into account scores on 3 multiple choice exams (50 questions each). I personally love to write essays and have other assignments incorporated into the course because not only does it get me more involved in what we are learning in class, I can also prove myself as a student who does well on assignments and turns them in on time. I think the size of UCD is perfect. I have lecture halls that have 50 students in it and then go to another class with 300! I think it's a nice atmosphere at UCD and alot of students are very friendly. UCD has a friendly feeling campus; if you walk through the quad you will see alot of people hanging out enjoying each other's company, a great majority of whom are smiling and willing to help you if you're lost. I find that the cousselors at the College of Letters and Science are extremely helpful and friendly as well. They seem to really care for your individual needs when you set up meetings with them and they are always open to hear what you have to say, or any questions you need answered.


To me, UC Davis has been a home away from home. Everyday flies by and I can not believe I will be graduating next year. The academics are hard and challenging but I feel I have learned so much and am continuing to learn. I love to think of UC Davis as a big school in a small town and it fits me perfectly. Being from San Diego, I love coming to a small town with such a large student population. The greek system has also been a perfect match for me. I am currently the president of Alpha Phi and have loved every minute of being in my sorority. There is a lot of school pride, everyone loves UC Davis here and you can tell!


It's a big school, but there's a good deal of school pride and it's a great college town.


UC Davis has excellent academics, and students who like to have fun. Davis is truly one of the last college towns, and it is quite unique. Downtown is so adorable and has amazing one-of-a-kind restaurants and cafes. The Farmers Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays is so fun and it has some incredible food! UCD is the perfect size school. You meet new people everyday, but you always see people you know around campus.


UCD is a very large campus. If you are from the city, you would feel like you were dropped into the middle of nowhere, which is somewhat true. But everywhere around you focuses on college life. If you want a good source for information about Davis, visit


I really like the campus and all the trees make it really pretty. It's also nice that there are so many recycling bins. I love the library and there are a lot of really neat places to study in there. The arboretum is a beautiful place to go to when you want be near greenery. It's also a small town, so it's a cute place to go to school and there are a lot of nice places to hang out. If you get sick of Davis, Sacramento is right there and there's a bus that goes there. You can also take the amtrak to the city if you want to get away.


I've actually been very disappointed in the individual treatment of students at UC Davis. It's a good school. Academics are good and there are plenty of teams and clubs to join and internships and other opportunities, but you are just a number. Need a particular class to graduate on time? Tough becuase if you don't get it during your pass time your no one is going to do anything to help you get into it. If you pass time is during a class or something else your crazy if you think for one second that they might change it for you. At Davis no one cares about you. You are on your own. There are too many students to worry about any particular one.


The best thing about UC Davis I would say is my social skills. I was a hermit for the first quarter because I feared Academic Probation, or Academic Dismissal. I transfered in as a Junior. Two and half years later I graduated with a Political Science degree. The school was just right. When I interacted with people about UC Davis, their stereotypes was a farm school with cows and out of the middle of no where. I spent a lot of my time in various locations, such as the Library, MU, Arboretum, and more. I do not have much of a opinion about the UC Davis administration. School pride was not shown much, only at sporting games. Unusual things about UC Davis would be the slaughter house on campus, the campus fire station, old original buildings (North and South Hall, and more).


The best thing is how chill everyone is. Everyone feels relatively laid back and friendly. The size of the school doesn't seem too big or small. The reaction that I receive when I say I go to Davis depends on the person. A lot of people think of it as the Berkeley reject school, which I don't believe in considering I never wanted to go to that dreary school. Others think that Davis is better than many other schools though. It seems to usually have a better reputation that state schools, and it doesn't come too far behind Berkeley. I don't pay attention to the administration or controversy on campus. I try to keep my own life off of it as much as possible. I think that there is pride, but it isn't overwhelming, at least not in the athletic sense. Rarely do we sell out at any games. Experiences I remember have to do with long bike rides (typical I know for Davis), walks in gazebos and gardens, swimming and classes at recreational areas. There's a lot of awesome perks in the way of fitness and getting outdoors.


Don't know a best. One thing to change is I wish they ran the school less like a business and more like an actual school. I find that the size is just fine. I know the town is a college town but I see much more diversity here than in others. The biggest recent controversy was a few years back when campus police were forced to shoot and kill a man outside of the Segundo dorms. There is a ton of school pride.


The best thing is the people who are nice and willing to help out with simple requests. I would like to change how the administration makes decisions about exam schedules in order to allow more flexibility for students so they do not have to stress out. The school is very large because I hardly ever run into the people that I want to, so it's hard to just run into each other and say hi, which means serious coordination is needed in order to meet up with someone. When I tell people I go to Davis, they ask me if I want to go into medicine. I spend most of my time on campus in classrooms attending lectures. People do know that we are a college town and I took a while getting used to it because I am more accustomed to the nightlife in the city, with lights on everywhere and the urban environment, but here, all the stores close early and downtown is not very busy, which is the opposite of the big city. My opinion is that there is a lot of bureaucracy in the administration, which discourages student complaint because they think their concerns will not be addressed anyway, so why bother. For example, I would like to know whether we can get a more effective process to change our testing schedules if we have multiple exams on the same day during finals without going through so much paperwork. I was so discouraged at the process that I just took all my tests and they were all in a row, so it was not a pleasant experience. Also, there should be more communication among the administration. I am not sure what the biggest recent controversy on campus was, but there was a food workers' protest a while ago and hey almost went on strike. There might be a lot of school pride from people who often attend sports games. I am not sure if there is anything unusual about UC Davis, besides that it's one of the few real college towns, since I heard that they're not that common anymore. One experience I will remember is going to the AFI concert on campus and rocking out! I'm not sure what the most frequent student complaints are but mine would be with the administration.


The best thing about UC Davis is the people. You see genuinley nice, friendly, and open people who are always willing to help you out, even if it's just with reading a map.


The best thing about Davis is the size. It's not too big, not too small. There isn't a feeling of crowding and because of that you feel a bit more important to the school, not just another nameless face. One thing I'd change would be the cost of tuition. I remember when my brother went to school here, he paid a lot less than I had do, and it's only a 4 year difference. When I tell people I go to Davis, most people don't even know what I'm talking about or where it is. Some people who have heard of it, know it's a great school. Davis is most definitely a college town. From the bars, to the cafe's with internet access, the small town feel, and the majority of the residents being students;it's a college town. The UCD administration seems like it's trying it's best to offer the students the best education and the best opportunities here at UCD. However, it does not seem that enough is being done to ensure that money isn't spent in areas that could probably wait to be funded. The biggest recent controversy would be the bomb materials found in one of the dorms. UCD seems to have have a moderate amount of school pride, I think the Cal Aggie Band has the most though. Once experience here I'll always remember is my amazingly horrible bike accident on my first day.


The best thing about UC Davis is its small-town atmosphere and the fun downtown. There are lots of restaurants and a few movie theaters in walking distance to the campus. This is especially nice if you are a freshman and not allowed to bring a car with you to school. As a student, I spent a lot of time in the Coffee House. This is a great place to grab lunch, coffee, read the paper, study, or people watch. There is a LOT of indoor and outdoor seating. The Coffee House is the heart of the UCD campus and backs up to the quad area, which is a big grassy lounge when the weather is nice. During the spring, the quad area is bustling with campus groups tabling, frisbee tossers, nap takers, class-ditchers, and friends catching up. Another great thing about Davis is how close it is to a lot of fun places in Northern California. San Francisco, Napa and Tahoe are all close enough to take a day trip. Sports events at UCD are really fun to attend. The Aggie Pack is a big student group on campus that pumps up the crowd at games. At football and basketball games they launch free UCD tube socks and burritos (wrapped in foil) into the crowd. A new football stadium was just constructed and 2007 was the first season it was used. I've heard it's a great facility. UCD just moved into Division 1 sports, so I think the teams are just starting to get better and better. If I could change one thing about Davis, I would add more conservative professors to balance out the unbalanced political rhetoric that gets spewed out in every class ad nauseam. (I discovered only one moderate professor during my four years of studying.) The caliber of professors at UCD, however, is quite impressive. I enjoyed almost all of my classes. Overall, UC Davis is a great school with a lot of fabulous people and wonderful professors.


The best thing about Davis is the people. Everyone here is so friendly and outgoing. As a new student, people would go out of their way to see if I needed help. I didn't even have to ask anyone where anything was--they wanted to help me just because they noticed that I looked a little lost. Davis is definitely a college town. Most of the population here is students, so everything about the place is geared towards us--there are discounts available to students at most of the businesses downtown, most restaurants are open late a accommodate the college lifestyle. The campus is embedded into the community, so you never feel like just another anonymous person in the city. When you see someone with a Davis sweatshirt at the airport or around town, it doesn't feel awkward at all to say hello and have a conversation. The city and the campus both have a comfortable, inclusive feel. Most of the students live on or near campus so Davis doesn't feel like an commuter school. There is a lot of pride and a real connection between students and the school. The biggest complaint about Davis is that it feels like a small, quiet town. People who are used to a face-paced, big-city life style take some time to get used to it. Downtown is really quaint will small bookstores and shops.


I love the campus, it's really pretty and easy to navigate on bike, although sometimes with so many students it can be a bit hectic and nerve-wracking. People always respond really well when I tell them I'm a student at UC Davis, and their eyes widen and they'll say something like, "Wow, that's a really good school!" I love living in a college town and with all the students, there's really a very vibrant, fun feel. I've heard a lot of students complain about the maintenance of the campus buildings- they could be cleaned up a lot.


The best thing about UC Davis is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. You are never alone when you're in Davis. I would make the winters less cold; if you're from a Mediterranean climate like Los Angeles, Davis winters may be a shock for you. The school is large, both in size and population: 5,500 acres and 30,000 students. These both work to its advantage. The campus has lots of trees and open spaces, and the large student body gives it an active, vibrant feel. People usually ask "Where is that?" when I tell them I go to UC Davis, which gives it a "best kept secret" reputation. During the warm falls and springs, the best place to spend tie is on the quad, which is the center of campus. It is surrounded by all the main class buildings, and near the student union known as Memorial Union, so it gets a lot of foot and bike traffic which makes it great for running into your friends. It is also very conducive to Frisbee throwing. With half the population enrolled at the university, Davis is definitely a college town. Local businesses and the city cater to students with student discounts, student-focused events, and even flexible employment hours. Davis faculty are very responsive to student needs; professors are universally open for whatever help a student needs, and roughly half of students are involved in research with their professors. The administration is not as in-tune with the student body or the faculty--a common "You know you're a UC Davis student if..." ends by saying "the first time you saw the chancellor was at your graduation." The chancellor holds quarterly "brown bag chats" that are open to anyone to attend, but most students ignore them. They do their best to be attentive to safety concerns, however. Currently the university contracts its food-service needs out to a private company, despite calls from employees, faculty and students to make these food-service workers official university employees, which would give them higher wages and benefits. UC Davis is the only UC to contract its food service out to a private company, and considers honoring its contract with the food service company a higher priority than making those food-service workers university employees. Despite all this, there is a lot of pride in UC Davis. We have a sense of being a well kept secret, because of our highly ranked programs across the disciplines and our relatively low national profile. The Aggie Pack is the largest student spirit organization in the country, and schools from San Jose State to Notre Dame have come to UC Davis for advice on how to organize their student spirit sections at football and basketball games. The city of Davis is known as the bicycle capital of the world, and UC Davis is very conducive to bikes, with it's many bike paths and bike racks throughout campus. Some city streets even have bicycle only traffic signals. I will always remember when UC Davis beat Stanford in football in the biggest upset in our athletic program's history, only to top it three months later by beating Stanford in basketball. Most complaints are centered around the idea that "there's nothing to do." The Davis Police Department also has a reputation for shutting down parties, though I've never experienced this.