UC Davis Transfer Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

Even if they already attend a fine university, most college students dream of attending an Ivy League school. 

But just as good are the “Public Ivies,” public schools that have the same quality and prestige as private institutions like Harvard and Yale.

Founded in 1905 as the University Farm, the University of California at Davis has risen the ranks to become not only one of the best schools in the University of California system but also one of the Public Ivies.

It’s not hard to see how the school reached this lofty designation. UC Davis has long been committed to first-class research and real social change, as demonstrated by its excellent centers.

It’s at UC Davis where you’ll find the California International Law Center. Partnering with organizations such as the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the CILC finds new ways of approaching international, comparative, and transnational law.

UC Davis also houses the  California National Primate Research Center. With its 300-acre reserve, home to over 4,700 primates, the CNPRC advances our understanding of diseases affecting both humans and animals, including AIDS and Alzheimer’s.

With such fine offerings, it’s easy to see why one would want to leave their current institution and join the student body at UC Davis. Here’s everything you need to know about the transfer process.

UC Davis Transfer Acceptance Rate

UC Davis
Daderot, Earth and Physical Sciences building – University of California, Davis, CC0 1.0

The transfer acceptance rate at UC Davis is 57%.

For nearly every university, the transfer acceptance rate is significantly lower than the rate for freshman acceptance. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, ranging from the desire to train students from the beginning to financial concerns.

But that’s not the case at UC Davis. The school’s 57% transfer rate is actually higher than its standard freshman acceptance rate, which is 46.4%.

However, that rate only makes sense when understood in context. As a state school within the University of California system, UC Davis has an agreement with community colleges in the state, streamlining the transfer process. 

So while the overall transfer rate at UC Davis is 57%, 94% of those transfers come from California community colleges.

In fact, UC Davis offers the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) to these students. Through TAG, the school ensures that students at community colleges are well prepared to make the move to UC Davis with as much credit as possible.

While it is much easier to transfer to UC Davis from a California community college, it’s not impossible to transfer from a different school. But the rate drops quite a bit in these cases, and those accepted for transfer tend to have military connections, necessitating the change in school.

Application Requirements & GPA for UC Davis Transfers

The average GPA for accepted students at UC Davis is 4.03.

Although UC Davis does everything it can to simplify the transfer process for students coming from California community colleges, it is still an elite school with very high standards. 

On average, students entering the program have a very impressive GPA, demonstrating that they can handle the workload demanded by UC Davis.

That might not sound fair, but it’s important to remember that transfer students are different than those admitted as freshmen. 

Freshmen students are coming from high school and are taking 100 and 200-level courses, which tend to be much easier than those at higher levels.

But transfer students are jumping right into those higher-level courses, which will have a much greater workload.

For that reason, UC Davis only allows students to transfer into their junior year (with some exceptions. In other words, they must accrue 60 hours’ worth of transferable credit.

Most of these credit hours will involve prerequisite classes, such as those in writing, basic math, and critical thinking. However, some will also involve the fundamentals of your major.

With your success in these classes, you’ll be best prepared to join classes filled with people who have been studying at UC Davis for years.

UC Davis Transfer Deadline

UC Davis School of Law
Davidbrianholt, Main Entrance of King Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0

The transfer deadline for UC Davis is March 31st.

If you’re planning to transfer to UC Davis, it is incredibly important to follow the timeline provided by the school. With this highly detailed breakdown of important dates, you’ll have a much easier time making your way from one school to another.

Of particular note is the fact that UC Davis offers a priority application deadline along with its standard application deadline. 

The priority deadline of January 31st means that admissions counselors will give your application greater attention and will have a decision for you faster than normal.

That said, it’s important to avoid rushing to meet that priority deadline. A transfer application may seem fairly straightforward, but there are still many things that could take more time than anticipated.

That’s especially true for those applying to programs that require additional materials, such as art or dance. 

To transfer to these programs, you will need to complete an audition or submit a portfolio. It will take extra time to gather those materials, and you want to make sure you can put your best foot forward.

While it may be overwhelming to meet these deadlines, it’s important to remember that UC Davis strives to make things simple for transfer students. 

Should you get lost or have questions, consider reaching out to the school to speak with their transfer counselors, who can make sure that you have everything you need before the March 31st deadline.

What is the Decision Date for UC Davis Transfers?

The decision date for UC Davis transfers is April 22.

After submitting their materials, transfer students don’t need to wait long after the March 31st deadline to get a response. The UC system has a standard decision date for transfer students of April 22nd. By that date, schools need to inform transfer applicants of their future plans, via the application portal online.

That decision certainly comes later than the standard decision date at UC Davis. First-year students find out about their application status in Mid-March, usually by March 11th.

That might seem unfair at first, but it’s essential to keep things in perspective. Obviously, the standard deadline is March 31st, which means that you couldn’t get a decision two weeks earlier.

But more importantly, the short amount of time between application and decision means that you don’t need to wait long before knowing about your status with the school. 

With this information, you can decide if you will continue at your current institution or make other plans.

Furthermore, the short decision time is a result of the school’s partnerships with other colleges. 

Because UC Davis gives much higher priority to those coming from California community colleges, it has processes in place to streamline the process. Simply put, students should know when they apply if they are well-prepared to join UC Davis.

Deciding Whether to Transfer to UC Davis

If you’re considering transferring to UC Davis, you’re probably well aware of its academic reputation. 

You’re willing to go through all of the hoops of preparing your application and working hard enough to meet the minimum requirements because you want to join one of the country’s most respected student bodies.

But you may not know that it is also an enjoyable campus. As a full-on college town, Davis has everything a budding academic needs to rest and relax.

To blow off steam and enjoy some time together, students regularly gather at the Hutchinson Parking Garage to watch the sunset. Largely devoid of cars by that time of night, the structure provides ample space for dancing or skating, or just hanging out.

If you relax by getting close to nature, then the Dairy Barn at UC-Davis may be of interest. The Dairy Barn houses livestock with more than 100 cows, horses, and geese. 

Although these animals are part of the animal science degree program, the school encourages visitors to pet and love them.

To be sure, these offerings won’t be the main reason to leave your school and come to UC Davis. But they do show just how much fun can be had in Davis.

Recap – How to Transfer to UC Davis

Anyone who wants to transfer to UC Davis must have their application submitted by March 31st. If they want priority consideration, they need to have materials submitted even earlier, by January 31st

However, they won’t have to wait long to get a decision, as the school informs applicants of their status by April 22nd.

That sounds simple, but it really isn’t. While UC Davis has a seemingly high transfer acceptance rate at 57%, that number is skewed by its association with California community colleges. 

For the best chance to finish your degree at UC Davis, you need to earn a GPA that matches their 4.07 average.

If you’re coming from outside of the state of California, you’ll need to have an even higher GPA and excellent credentials, as the school prefers to accept transfers from inside the state.

But if you’re transferring from a community college in California, your path is a little more straightforward. 

Take advantage of programs such as TAG and the resources made available to you, as they’ll lay out each step of the process. You’ll still need to earn high grades, but these guidelines will help keep your focus.

Will the transfer process be easy? Of course not. But the chance to study at a Public Ivy and one of the best schools in the United States is undoubtedly worth it.

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