Sequoia Erasmus, a double masters major in Community Developement and Landscape Design, model the new UC Davis branded masks at the Train Station on August 28, 2020.

A Message From the Dean - March 2021

On the path to an in-person Aggie experience

Congratulations to our newly admitted Aggies! This spring we celebrate the freshman class of 2025 admits, and if all goes well with the pandemic and vaccination roll out, we will officially welcome them in person on campus this fall. Our transfer class of 2023 will receive their official admit notifications later this spring, and we are excited to welcome them into our college community, too.

Nearly 105,850 prospective freshman and transfer students applied for admission to UC Davis last fall. That’s an 11.7 percent increase over the previous year’s 94,763 applicants. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences received more than 14,400 applications from throughout the state, nation and world. The range of majors offered in the college, the extensive hands-on learning experiences in laboratories, field and studio settings, and numerous internship and research opportunities make CA&ES a top choice for many prospective students. By next fall, we anticipate more than 9,000 new students will be enrolled campus-wide and approximately 2,000 of those will be enrolled in our college.

What this shows is that UC Davis is very high on the list of those seeking a top-notch education at the best public university system in the country. That shouldn’t be surprising. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings puts UC Davis at No. 5 overall among public universities and No. 1 in agriculture and agricultural sciences. Our standing on the global scale also reflects the quality of a UC Davis education. Earlier in March, QS World University Rankings, considered one of the most influential international university rankings providers, ranked UC Davis first in the nation and second in the world in the agriculture and forestry segment, as well as in veterinary science. And this year we ranked fifth in the nation for environmental studies.

Looking at the broader UC applicant pool also reveals progress in another important area: diversity, equity and inclusion. Systemwide, Chicano/Latino applicants make up the largest proportion of prospective in-state students with 37.8 percent of freshman applicants and 33 percent of California Community College transfers. Among California freshman applicants, 36.7 percent are from historically underrepresented groups (African American, Native American, Chicanx/Latinx and Pacific Islander). This year, the data show the following increases in applications:

  • 20.6 percent among African Americans
  • 11.8 percent among Chicanx/Latinx
  • 22 percent among Pacific Islanders
  • 7.9 percent among Native Americans

As I mentioned earlier, we hope to welcome our new and continuing students back to campus for a more normal Aggie experience of in-person instruction. Of course, that decision will be made with guidance from the public health system and the progress made in overcoming the pandemic.

To echo what Chancellor May said in his recent state of the campus address: we’re not just surviving; we’re thriving. The future does indeed look bright, for all our current students, staff and faculty who have worked so hard this past year to persevere and adapt through an incredibly challenging time. They are an example for our incoming students to be inspired by and to keep UC Davis on its upward trajectory. Go Aggies!

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