Welcome to Aggie-land! UC Davis’ mascot has connections to its 1908 origins as the University Farm, an extension of UC Berkeley.
By 1959, UC Davis existed as a campus in its own right, with distinct assets and student accomplishments.
Many of UC Davis’ traditions have connections to its original conception. On the annual Picnic Day, students amble up to the cow-milking station to learn the art of milking a cow! Not your thing?
No worries! On the same day, the Doxie Derby brings hordes of dachshunds to campus to compete in the funniest race and largest student-run event in the United States – no milking required (or possible!)
There are many ways you can celebrate your first year as an Aggie. Compete in the “Running of the First-Years” at the first home football game.
Participate in the Pajamarinio Homecoming event of attending the downtown bonfire in your most comfortable pajamas. Finally, you can “kiss the egghead” in front of Peter J. Shields Library to boost your luck during finals week.
UC Davis boasts a highly diverse campus of 24% Hispanic/Latinx students, 28% Asian students, and 21.5% white students, among other ethnicities.
Nearly half of all undergraduates pursue a degree in biological sciences, social sciences, psychology, or engineering. The school runs on a quarter system, so out-of-state attendees may have a greater ability to enroll in more classes before committing to a major.
Other amenities to living in Davis include beautiful greenways, a quintessential college town atmosphere, ample opportunities for creative projects, and more bicycle pathways than one could possibly count.
We’ve detailed the most up-to-date information regarding UC Davis’ out-of-state acceptance rate, tuition, admission requirements, and tips.
We conclude with a smattering of reasons why ambitious out-of-state students might gravitate to a campus like UC Davis. We’re confident you’ll see whether UC Davis is the ideal location to spend your next four years!
UC Davis Out-of-State Acceptance Rate
There is no available data on the out of state acceptance rate at UC Davis.
However, the overall acceptance rate is about 39%, making the school competitive for admission.
In recent years, California residents have received higher rates of admission to UC Davis, which may help out-of-state applicants as they consider schools to which they should apply. In the same vein, UC Davis is also a “waitlist-friendly” school.
In the 2020-2021 application cycle, over 13,000 candidates were extended a space on the waitlist. Of the 4,960 who accepted, over 79% eventually received an offer of admission.
UC Davis Out-of-State Tuition
Out-of-state tuition for UC Davis is approximately $68,279 to $70,267 per year, based on 2022-2023 estimates.
This range represents the total cost of attendance for a non-California resident living on-campus in either the residence halls or an apartment complex.
In-state students who live on campus, in comparison, can expect a total cost of attendance of $37,253 to $39,241 – significantly lower than out-of-state expenses. For both in-state and out-of-state cohorts, tuition expenses comprise the bulk of the total balance. Other factors incorporated into the total attendance estimate include room and board, transportation, required fees, and other expenses associated with collegiate life.
The most recent scholarship data comes from the 2020-2021 UC Davis Common Data Set, which reveals a strong commitment to providing need-based financial aid, student loan assistance, and other non-need-based awards.
Of the 3,049 applicants determined to have a genuine need, over 98% were awarded financial aid (primarily through need-based avenues).
On average, UC Davis met 79.6% of demonstrated financial need with an average financial aid package of $22,391 per student. Most financial aid – over $326.1 million – was awarded through state and institutional scholarships.
If you are an out-of-state student hoping to receive financial assistance to attend UC Davis, you will apply for scholarships at the same time you apply for admission.
Make sure, when filling out the application, to thoroughly review the restricted scholarship eligibility codes. For priority consideration, you must also submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Dream Act Application by March 2.
UC Davis Requirements and Tips for Out-of-State Students
For enrollment consideration, those applying to UC Davis should have an academic transcript that includes a minimum of 15 required credits.
Eleven of those credits relate to core subjects like English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies/history, while UC Davis additionally requires two credits in a foreign language.
Those who meet the minimum enrollment requirements can start working on their UC Davis application as early as August 1, with the goal of submitting all their materials between October 1 and November 30.
Candidates can apply to as many UC campuses as they’d like within a single application, and it is highly recommended that they do so.
There is a fee of $70 for each UC campus a student applies to (which is $80 per campus for international students). Families can apply for fee waivers for up to four UC campuses through the UC application.
While applying, candidates will need to refer to their academic transcripts (though they will only need to submit official copies if they are offered admission). On this note, completing a UC Davis application may be less time-consuming than other schools’ admissions processes. UC Davis does not consider letters of recommendation or accept standardized test scores for admissions purposes.
UC Davis evaluates each application using 13 criteria common to all UC campus admissions teams. The most important criteria are personal essay responses, cumulative GPA, and the rigor of an applicant’s academic record.
For the 2020-2021 cycle, 64.7% of admitted students had a GPA of 4.0 or above. If a student is within the top 9% of their high school graduating class by the end of their junior year, that looks particularly strong to the admissions officers.
UC Davis seeks to admit high school students whose senior year schedule demonstrates a solid commitment to challenging classes, like AP and IB options.
The personal essay section is a space for students to show their achievements, talents, exploration of other cultures, and leadership experience, all of which are highly valued. If a candidate has completed a unique project, it is worth describing in detail.
UC Davis offers several targeted tips when applying for admission as a first-year student. First, applying to more than one UC campus dramatically increases their chances of being admitted to the UC system. Be sure only to submit one application per term, as multiple applications can cause a delay in processing.
Potential first-years will be prompted to select a major during the application process. It is imperative to choose a major that genuinely interests you and not pick one because you believe it will grant you the best chance of admission. It is highly suggested to include a second choice in case you are not admitted for your first selection.
Another first-year tip candidates should be aware of relates to activities and awards – for UC Davis, quality is more important than quantity. Instead of talking briefly about many extracurricular endeavors, strive to go more in-depth regarding the one or two that are most significant for you.
There are eight potential personal essay questions, of which you may select four to address with a response of no more than 350 words. You can read the prompts here, though we can share several tips provided by the university regarding essay responses.
The first tip is to start early, allowing time for proofreading and revisions. Seeking feedback from a trusted mentor or teacher is always a good idea. Second, endeavor to write persuasively. Now is not the time to be humble or indecisive.
Show confidence in your accomplishments and clarity in your statements. Give examples to support the tips you wish to make. Third, use “I” and “my” statements in your responses so that admissions officers can get to know your personality.
A final tip relates to scholarships – you should absolutely select all scholarship categories that apply to you. There is no limit on the application to how many scholarships you can select, and you never know which opportunity may come your way.
Once you have clicked “Submit,” do your best to relax while keeping your sights set on finishing your senior year strong.
Is UC Davis Right for You?
Many out-of-state students may find a variety of UC Davis’ programs and assets highly appealing.
To start, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is ranked #1 in the world, while the agriculture program is ranked #1 nationally. With California supplying more food than any other state in the U.S., UC Davis is consistently innovating solutions to make its farms more efficient.
Agriculture and animal health are intricately connected; for this and many other reasons, UC Davis is also ranked #1 in the country for campus sustainability.
Students interested in pursuing a career in environmentalism or conservation can live in one of three “green” Tercero 3 residence halls and attend classes throughout 25 buildings with the green-building certification from LEED. UC Davis is also one of the nation’s most bike-friendly campuses.
Out-of-state applicants aspiring to engage in a prestigious STEM program – particularly those who identify as female – will be pleased to hear that UC Davis is ranked the #1 most important school for women in STEM, according to Forbes.
As of 2016, 26% of students specialized in a STEM-related major, with 56% of that cohort identifying as female. UC Davis operates mentorship programs for female students who have declared STEM majors.
What if you’re unsure what you want to study but are still drawn to UC Davis’ location, faculty, or facilities? That’s not a problem!
Out-of-state applicants can be assured of flexibility in designing a schedule that allows them to explore many options. They can apply to one of four undeclared majors in the College of Letters and Science: fine arts, humanities, social sciences, or physical sciences.
Finally, out-of-state applicants yearning to conduct hands-on projects will find ample options for undergraduate research at some of UC Davis’ top-notch facilities.
Opportunities are available via on-campus internships, UC Davis Medical Center placements, or co-operative partnerships facilitated by UC Davis professors.
Over 700 students annually present their research findings at the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Conference.