We started as the university farm
We first opened our doors in 1908 as the University Farm, the research and science-based instruction extension of UC Berkeley. As the century evolved, our mission expanded beyond agriculture to match a larger understanding of how we should be serving the public. By 1959, UC Davis had grown into a general campus with its own personality and strengths.
Over the years, as our geographical footprint developed, each new UC Davis presence — in Tahoe, Sacramento, Bodega Bay, Tulare, San Diego and China, to name a few — has strengthened our ability to serve the public through research, academics and public service.
UC Davis is known worldwide for our expertise in agriculture and veterinary medicine. But how did we become one of the top 10 public universities in the United States? Check out our milestones.
In the early days
- 1908: The Farm School launches the first farmers’ short courses, similar to intensive extension classes of today.
- 1909: After University Farm School opens in January with 18 students, in May, more than 2,200 people attend the first Picnic Day.
- 1915: The Division of Agricultural Engineering is established (later named the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering).
- 1916: Animals from the University Farm herd sweep championships at the Chicago International Livestock Show.
- 1922: A four-year degree program is established, and the Davis campus is renamed the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture.
- 1938: The campus is renamed the College of Agriculture at Davis. One hundred and six courses are taught by 76 faculty.
- 1940: The Division of Chemistry acquires the first patents for the entire University of California.
- 1946: The School of Veterinary Medicine is established.
- 1949: Graduate degrees are awarded at a campus commencement.
- 1951: The College of Letters and Science is established
We became a general campus
- 1959: The regents designate UC Davis and UC Riverside general campuses.
- 1962: The College of Engineering opens.
- 1965: The School of Law opens.
- 1966: The School of Medicine opens.
- 1975: The veterinary school is ranked first in the nation by a national survey of deans.
- 1977: A 10-year purchase agreement with the UC Davis Medical Center is signed with Sacramento County for its county hospital.
- 1981: The Graduate School of Management opens as the Graduate School of Administration.
- 1989: The campus leads the nation in the number of Ph.D.s awarded in the biological sciences.
- 1990: The football team wins its 20th consecutive league championship, a national record.
- 1998: Men’s basketball team wins NCAA DII national championship.
UC Davis in the 21st century
- 2002: First vaccine for cat AIDS approved for veterinary use. Agricultural research funding leads the nation.
- 2002: School of Education was founded.
- 2005: The College of Biological Sciences opens.
- 2008: UC Davis receives $16 million Gates Foundation grant to support research to prevent childhood malnutrition.
- 2009: The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing opens.
- 2009: UC Davis leads the identification and control of diseases that move between wildlife and people through a global early warning system.
- 2011: Our women's basketball team advances to the NCAA’s Division I tournament for the first time.
- 2012: UC Davis is recognized for its sustainability and climate change efforts, ranking as Sierra Magazine’s “Coolest School.”
- 2016: UC Davis named the most sustainable university in the world.
- 2016: UC Davis electrical and computer engineers develop the world’s first 1000-processor chip.
- 2016: Temporary Building 9, where UC Davis faculty made art history, placed on National Register of Historic Places.
- 2016: Manetti Shrem Museum opens.
- 2016 and 2017: QS World University Rankings recognizes UC Davis as being 1st in veterinary medicine in the world.
- 2017: Our men's basketball team advances to the NCAA’s Division I tournament for the first time.
- 2018: UC Davis scientists unveil images from the world’s first total body scanner.