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The University of California - Davis

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB+ Faculty AccessibilityB-
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionB+
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationB-
Individual ValueB- University Resource UseB+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA- FriendlinessA-
Campus MaintenanceA- Social LifeC+
Surrounding CityB Extra CurricularsB-
SafetyA
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Helpful, Self Absorbed

Male
SAT1400
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Social Life
C+
Highest Rating
Safety
A
He rated most things higher than other students did.
Date: Jul 25 2002
Major: Computer Science (This Major's Salary over time)
Although the University of California, Davis is currently ranked fourth overall in the UC system, that does not necessarily make this school "bad." That is one of the BIG misconceptions about UCD. Before coming to Davis, I had to decide on whether I should go to UCD or UCSD. Sure, I have heard all of the stereotypes about UCD—that UCD sucks, that the city of Davis is lame, and that Davis is for hicks who want to study agriculture. It should have been an obvious choice for me to pick UCSD, but I decided to go with UCD and I have never regretted that decision since.

The City of Davis: While Davis may not be the most appealing city in northern California (or even the United States), it definitely isn't the worst. Frankly, I do not understand why people make such a big deal about the univeristy and/or the city itself. Generally, I have found out that people who have never visited the city or the university make such bold and irrational comments. It's true that Davis may be a small and boring city, but it really isn't THAT bad. It's not as rural as some may think. There are certainly things to do in this city… just go downtown; if you really can't figure out anything to do, visit nearby Sacramento (10-15 minutes away). In fact, there aren't that many UC's (even universities for that matter) that are next to big cities, so you might as well get used to the small city life. Because of this setting, it's actually much easier to be both academically and socially active, than if you were in a big city. I definitely enjoy the surroundings here, as it has benefitted me in my academic pursuits.

Academics: UCD is fairly strong in its science/ag/biotech programs, while not so much in engineering. However, over the years, the engineering department is making improvements, and they are definitely showing by the college rankings in US News and World Report. One of the reasons why I picked UCD is because of their curriculum. The courses that are required at UCD seem to be used in practice quite often, while at other universities, the courses focus more on theory than practibility (even at the lower division level!). There is also another misconception about Davis. Most people think that since it is ranked fourth (out of the entire UCs), that all classes are fairly easy. Classes can be very competitive at Davis (especially math and engineering). Usually 10-15% get A's and F's while the rest fall in between. Most profs follow the bell curve, and some don't even curve at all… or even give out A's! However, there are several classes where getting an A is fairly simple. Expect to study quite often, as 1) the courses are quite demanding and 2) the quarter system goes by pretty fast. Faculty are generally nice, and are more concerned about undergraduate teaching than doing research.

Negatives: One of the things that I don't like about Davis is that it seems that a lot of faculty members (that include TA's) speak English as a second language. This is especially true for the math and engineering department. I have a really tough time understanding most of my profs and tas. However, I am not sure if this problem is only restricted to those departments. Also, another drawback about Davis is that they accept way too many people. The school is slightly overpopulated. Don't be surprised to see students with different backgrounds here… SAT of students at UCD range from 1000-1500 (may even lower and higher). The price of a Davis education is also not as cheap as it used to be… also Davis apartments can be quite expensive, so you might want to room with several of your friends if you can't afford it. Speaking of apartments, getting an apartment is fairly diffcult in Davis, as there is more demand than supply. Advice: Start looking for one early! Other than that, there aren't any major problems that I can think of about this university or the city itself.

To conclude, I would suggest that anyone who has even the slightest interest in this school should come and visit it and see what it is all about. This school isn't just for people who got rejected by UCB/UCLA/UCSD, as some of my friends got into one of those schools (including myself), but came to UCD instead. Perhaps, the thing that will turn people off is the location of this school. If you don't want to be in the small town environment, or are planning to have fun and party at UCD, go to Chico or Santa Barbara instead because you won't find anything here. Watch MTV's "Sorority Life" and you will know what I mean. For those who want to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of the valley and the rigorous academics, then this university may be for you. Good luck!

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