uc davis majors

UC Davis majors – Introduction

The UC system is made up of nine campuses, each with their own distinct campus culture and academic offerings. Located in Davis, CA, UC Davis is ranked #38 by U.S. News. In recent years, UC Davis applications have skyrocketed, reaching a record number in the latest admissions cycle. This means that UC Davis admissions is more competitive than ever. When considering UC Davis, it’s important to consider the many offered UC Davis majors.

As you build your college list and prepare for the UC Davis admissions process, you’ll likely consider what to major in. At UC Davis, students can explore 102 college majors across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. So, UC Davis academics certainly has a lot to offer.

In this guide to UC Davis majors, we’ll discuss:

  • What UC Davis majors are out there
  • How UC Davis compares to other UC schools
  • The best college majors at UC Davis
  • Which UC Davis majors are the most renowned
  • How to build your UC Davis majors list
  • Pursuing multiple majors at UC Davis 
  • The UC Davis admissions process 
  • And more!

Choosing what to major in is no easy task. As you explore the UC Davis majors, keep your own needs and interests in mind. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the UC Davis majors. 

UC Davis majors: what is offered?

As you look at any college major list, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the options. In high school, your courses are limited to basic subject areas: English, biology, chemistry, history, and other core fields. However, as you prepare to choose a major in college and explore the UC Davis academics website, you’ll find fields that you’ve never even heard of before. 

There’s no shortage of University of California Davis majors and minors. With 102 available UC Davis majors across four world-class colleges, UC Davis academics allows students to explore a wide variety of fields. 

The UC Davis majors are each housed in specific colleges. When you complete your UC Davis application, you’ll select one of the UC Davis majors to pursue. This will automatically place you in one of the undergraduate colleges during the UC Davis admissions process. Each college has its own distinct programs as well as its own UC Davis majors list.  

The four UC Davis colleges include:

1. The College of Agriculture and Environmental Science

In this college, students can choose between 30 UC Davis majors. Available UC Davis majors at this college include managerial economics, human development, and global disease biology. 

2. The College of Biological Sciences

Within the College of Biological Sciences, you can choose between 10 college majors within the life sciences. Some popular University of California Davis majors in this college include biochemistry and molecular biology, biological sciences, and neurobiology. 

3. The College of Engineering

Many top-ranked research universities have strong engineering colleges, and UC Davis is no exception. In the College of Engineering, students can choose between 12 UC Davis majors. These include computer science, biomedical engineering, and civil engineering.

4. The College of Letters and Sciences

As the largest college at UC Davis, this school—which focuses on the liberal arts and sciences—offers students the choice between 56 college majors. Some of the most popular UC Davis majors in the College of Letters and Sciences include psychology, economics, communication, and political science. 

Note that while you will declare a college major on your UC Davis application, you can also apply undecided. You can also change your major during your time at UC Davis, though you will need to secure approval from your academic advisors. Students can even change their major to one housed in a different college, though note that this requires approval from the Dean’s office. 

So, don’t feel overwhelmed by choosing one of the UC Davis majors during the UC Davis admissions process. While it’s good to have a sense of your future college major in high school, things can change. Once you arrive on campus, you might find yourself inspired by a class you never thought you’d even take. When it comes to UC Davis majors and minors, the possibilities are endless. 

UC Davis majors: finding your niche

uc davis majors

On the UC Davis majors page on their website, you can sort through the different UC Davis majors by college, career field, and area of interest. This can help you narrow down your UC Davis majors list. You can also use their website to take a closer look at faculty, courses, and requirements for each of the UC Davis majors. 

When you look at the available University of California Davis majors, you’ll find subjects like:

  • Aerospace Science and Engineering
  • International Agricultural Development
  • Art History
  • Civil Engineering
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Marine and Coastal Science
  • Entomology
  • Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry
  • Political Science — Public Service

This short college major list does not begin to exhaust the available UC Davis majors. Whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find UC Davis majors and minors that fit the bill. 

On the off chance that you don’t see the perfect major for you on the UC Davis majors list, UC Davis also allows students to declare an “individual major.” This means that students can design their own UC Davis majors to suit their specific needs. These will each need to be approved by an academic advisor. Note that individual UC Davis majors are rare, and most students choose established UC Davis majors. However, you might choose to keep this option in mind if you have specific interests that don’t accord with the available University of California Davis majors. 

UC Davis minors

Beyond the UC Davis majors, there are also over 100 UC Davis minors available to students. By pursuing one of the UC Davis minors, you can explore a secondary field that interests you without the pressure of a double major. 

Most departments offer both majors and minors. However, some departments solely grant minors.

Some interesting UC Davis minors include:

  • Energy Science and Technology 
  • Film Studies
  • Food Service Management
  • Landscape Restoration
  • Medical-Veterinary Entomology
  • Museum Studies

No matter what your interests are, you’ll find UC Davis minors (and majors) that will excite and challenge you. 

What majors is UC Davis known for?

uc davis majors

UC Davis is a nationally renowned research university with a wide variety of academic offerings. As you craft your UC Davis application, you’ll likely wonder about which programs at UC Davis are most well-known

UC Davis is the #1 agriculture school in the nation. Many of the UC Davis majors focus on the relationship between agriculture and sustainability. UC Davis’ commitment to sustainable living also extends into the campus culture, which is ranked #1 nationally for sustainability. 

 Since California is the largest food supplier in the nation, UC Davis has a unique relationship to the science of food production and sustainable farming. The UC Davis campus extends across 5,300 acres of land, over 2,000 acres of which are dedicated solely to agriculture. So, if you’re looking for a college major that will allow you to make a real-world impact in the sustainable farming sphere, UC Davis might be the school for you. 

Within the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, students can pursue a wide variety of UC Davis majors related to agricultural studies.

  1. Managerial Economics
  2. Animal Science
  3. Human Development

UC Davis is also known for its evolution and ecology program, which ranks #2 nationally at the graduate level. This program offers opportunities for both undergraduates and graduate students alike, making it one of the top UC Davis majors for students to pursue.  

At the graduate level, UC Davis is known for its all-star veterinary sciences program, which ranks #1 in the nation according to U.S. News. 

Other top-ranked UC Davis majors include:

  • Biological Systems Engineering
  • Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
  • Art Studio
  • English
  • History

While UC Davis is particularly known for its agricultural science programs, it has a lot to offer all students within the UC Davis enrollment. Those searching for University of California Davis majors within the humanities can look toward their star-studded art, English, and history programs within the College of Letters and Sciences. 

Spotlight on 5 UC Davis majors and minors

We’ve discussed some of the UC Davis majors and minors available, including some of the most popular majors at UC Davis. However, keep in mind that the UC Davis majors lists we’ve shared are by no means exhaustive. There are many UC Davis majors and minors to choose from. No matter your area of interest, you’ll find something on the full UC Davis majors list that excites you. 

Wondering about the best college majors at UC Davis? Let’s take a closer look at five UC Davis majors and discuss what makes them special. 

1. Managerial Economics

university of california davis majors

Managerial economics is the most popular college major in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. You’ll also find managerial economics on the list of UC Davis minors. This major is UC Davis’ version of a business program, with courses in marketing, finance, international business, business law, and more. Like other UC Davis majors, this world-class program prepares students for success in a variety of fields. Students who graduate with this college major often work in marketing, finance, banking, environmental policy, food distribution, and other fields. If you’re interested in business, this might be one of the best college majors for you. 

2. Human Development

uc davis majors

This program is also housed in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Human development is one of the top 10 majors at UC Davis, with a strong team of faculty and vast opportunities for undergraduates. It also numbers among the many UC Davis minors available. Students who pursue a degree in human development will study how humans change from birth to adulthood, focusing on the social, emotional, and cognitive aspects of development. Alumni can pursue careers in research, health, education, and eldercare. 

3. Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

university of california davis majors

As another one of the top UC Davis majors, this program is housed in the College of Biological Sciences. This college major revolves around how organisms live, grow, and interact with their environments. While this major is particularly popular for pre-health students, graduates also pursue careers in biomedical research or education. This program is one of the best college majors for pre-med students at UC Davis. 

4. Genetics and Genomics

uc davis majors

This college major is also available through the College of Biological Sciences. By studying genetics and genomics, students get hands-on research experience into how genetics function and how evolution impacts planetary diversity. Graduates often pursue careers in biotechnology, research, and higher education.  

5. Economics

university of california davis majors

As one of the top 10 college majors in the nation, economics is a popular choice for many students, including those in the UC Davis enrollment. Many students think that economics is one of the best college majors, as it offers students high employment rates and starting salaries upon graduation. At UC Davis, the economics program is housed in the College of Letters and Sciences. Students can take a wide variety of courses related to data analytics, technology, and statistics. Graduates often pursue careers in consulting, banking, law, and government. 

As you can see, when it comes to University of California Davis majors, students have a lot of options. So, get excited about the different college majors available as you consider what to major in. As you prepare your UC Davis application, visit the website for every major on the UC majors list that interests you. Look at their course offerings and career pathways. Then, choose which are the best college majors for you. 

UC Davis majors: how do they compare to other UC schools?

Choosing your major is a key part of the UC Davis admissions process. As you prepare your UC Davis application and build your college major list, you’ll probably wonder how the UC Davis majors and minors compare to the college majors available at other UC schools. 

All of the UC schools are large research universities. As such, you won’t find a weak program no matter your choice of college major. However, depending on where you choose to apply, you’ll find vast differences in campus culture within the UC system. The college majors available at each UC school reflect this diversity

You might wonder what the best college majors are at UC Davis as you think about what to major in. We’ve discussed UC Davis’ commitment to sustainability and its vast agricultural programs. If you’re looking for a school that will give you an unparalleled education in agriculture or the business around it, UC Davis might be your perfect fit. UC Davis also places a particular emphasis on supporting women in STEM fields. This information can help you decide which UC Davis programs belong on your college major list. 

UC Davis, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara

UC Davis is proud of its small-town feel and sustainability initiatives. Davis is a laid-back college town, much unlike the urban bustle of UCLA or the beachside suburban feel of UC Santa Barbara. As you consider what to major in, you should keep college location in mind, as this might also impact your college major list. For instance, while UC Davis does offer a film studies minor, students interested in film would be better served at UCLA with its top-ranked program and proximity to Hollywood. So, remember that the best college majors will vary by school. 

UC Santa Barbara, by contrast, offers a particularly strong sociology program, and over 10% of 2021 graduates pursued a sociology college major. Sociology does also appear on the UC Davis majors list, but it does not have the same reputation as some of UC Davis’ other programs. 

Essentially, no matter what your choice of college major, you’ll likely find it at multiple UC schools. The key is to find the best college majors for you. Look at the college major list for multiple campuses to get a sense of what’s out there. That way, as you prepare for the UC Davis admissions process and build your college major list, you’ll have a solid understanding of which UC Davis majors are the best college majors for your needs. 

Choosing more than one major at UC Davis

Like many schools, UC Davis offers students the chance to pursue multiple college majors. So, if you’re having trouble choosing what to major in as you review the UC Davis majors list, don’t worry—you can do both. 

Note that pursuing a double major at UC Davis (or any school) isn’t easy. In some programs, you’ll need to complete a thesis or capstone project for both college majors. This can mean a lot of late nights in the library during your senior year. Keep in mind that different UC Davis majors will have different requirements. So, always talk to your academic advisors before you decide to pursue multiple University of California Davis majors. 

uc davis majors

However, if you can handle a heavier workload, choosing two UC Davis majors can be incredibly rewarding. When you pursue two college majors, you get the chance to delve deep into multiple interests. So, you can keep your options open as you review the UC Davis college major list. 

If you choose to double major, you’ll need to secure approval from the academic advisors for both UC Davis majors as well as the Dean’s office. You can choose two UC Davis majors within the same college or across two colleges. However, you will always need to secure the approval of all advisors and academic deans involved. 

UC Davis majors – Final thoughts

As a world-class research university, UC Davis has a lot to offer its students. While some of the best college majors at UC Davis center around agriculture and sustainability, its other programs are also incredibly strong. 

Prepare your UC Davis application carefully, and make sure that your essays are as strong as possible. Then, spend some time exploring the UC Davis majors list to decide which program is right for you. That way, you can find the best college majors for your needs and goals. 

Keep in mind that while it’s great to think about what to major in, things will often change. Don’t get stuck on particular UC Davis majors and minors—instead, use this time to explore. Build a college major list filled with programs that excite you.

Overall, as you consider what to major in, focus on finding the best college majors for you. Do your research and keep an open mind as you review the University of California Davis majors. Make sure you make your UC Davis application as strong as possible to have the best chance during the UC Davis admissions process. Then, if you complete UC Davis enrollment, you’ll have the information you need to succeed in college. Good luck!

uc davis majors

This guide to UC Davis majors was written by Abbie Sage. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.