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fresh vegetables

Maternal and Child Nutrition

During the last decade, the need for nutrition specialists in public health and maternal and child health programs has increased, along with the recognition that low birth weight, diabetes, and childhood overweight and obesity are important national health concerns. There is also an increasing demand for lactation specialists, as greater numbers of women choose to breast-feed their infants. In response, private and public health agencies have focused on improving the nutrition of mothers and children.

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three students work to pull of the fish trap during a carp research project in the west end of Arboretum Waterway

Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology

Are you passionate about the conservation of all wildlife and fish species? Do you want to help resolve conflicts between people and wildlife? Majors in wildlife, fish and conservation biology study the relationships between human needs—including recreation, resource use and hunting—and wildlife needs for shelter and habitat preservation. The major offers many opportunities for hands-on experiences with wildlife through laboratory classes, fieldwork, research and internships.

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uc davis viticulture and enology majors taste grapes together in vineyard

Viticulture and Enology

Could there be a more romantic major than wine? Students of viticulture and enology swish mouthfuls of Merlot and compare them to notes of coffee, lavender, wormwood and star anise for a grade. They roam the campus vineyards with a professor and classmates who don wide-brimmed sun hats as they test grape leaves for their hydration. They can crush grapes, ferment wine and travel to France for internships.

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Two female students evaluate their crops

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

Are you interested in the sustainability of our food systems? Do you want to gain skills through hands-on learning, active engagement and internships? Then our major is perfect for you! Students acquire the critical thinking skills and practical knowledge needed to become successful agriculturalists, entrepreneurs and researchers. We take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding complex issues ranging from food security to food policy to growing crops on a farm.

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A male student poses with several grass samples

Plant Sciences

Why study plants? Because we need them! We need plants for food, shelter, clothes, biofuels and to improve and beautify our environment. When you study plant sciences, you get hands-on experience with plants and agriculture, experience that can lead to a lucrative, rewarding career and a healthier planet for us all. The combination of science and practical experience prepares graduates to be innovators in sustaining agricultural productivity and environmental quality.

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A male student poses with fruits and veggies in the research kitchen

Nutrition Science

Do you want to help people live longer, healthier lives? Nutrition scientists study the components of food that may hold the key to living longer, healthier lives. Students in the major also examine food availability and safety in less industrialized parts of the world. Nutritionists and nutrition scientists work in research lab settings, food companies, health systems, public health organizations, nutrition education programs and nutrition policy. In addition, nutritionists educate people in healthy food choices, helping them manage and potentially prevent common diseases.

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Two Graduate students pose with a laptop that shows the app that they created.

Managerial Economics

Managerial economics is a dynamic degree that prepares students for a variety of careers in business and beyond. The major goes beyond the limits of traditional economics and business. Students gain a thorough grounding in economic theory and practical business applications. They cultivate skills in quantitative methods, problem-solving strategies, critical thinking and effective communication that lead to promising careers.

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A professor discusses a corn crop with this students

International Agricultural Development

Are you interested in the ways that culture, economics and technology affect agriculture? Do you want to build your skills and knowledge to help produce and distribute food to the people of emerging economies? Students in the international agricultural development major learn about how to improve food production, nutrition, marketing and health in less technically advanced countries. Students in this major are trained in technical and societal areas of agriculture that can be applied to the problems of world hunger and health. 

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A nurse in full hazmat attends to a patient

Global Disease Biology

Global disease biology allows students to study disease and its relationship to the health of people, animals, plants and the environment in a global context. The program uses an interdisciplinary approach to advance understanding of diseases, societal and personal impacts, and the science behind discoveries, causes, evolution, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. Students interested in the health sciences will integrate concepts from multiple disciplines to learn how to solve global disease and health challenges using innovative approaches.

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A female student mixes a food preparation in the UC Davis food lab

Food Science

Do you know where your next meal is coming from? Whatever you choose, it was probably grown, processed, delivered and prepared using techniques developed by food scientists and technologists. Food scientists help solve problems of producing and distributing food safely across broad geographical ranges and in varying climatic conditions. They also respond to market demands by creating food products that meet modern consumers’ needs for nutrition, taste and convenience.

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Students examine a field specimen

Environmental Toxicology

Are you interested in environmental toxins, their environmental fate and regulation, and their impacts on humans and other species? If so, we hope you will consider a major in environmental toxicology. Our graduates are well versed in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and toxicology — and are very unique! They have a tremendous selection of career opportunities upon graduation. With the growing environmental challenges we face today, students in the environmental toxicology major have the cutting-edge education needed to make a significant impact on the future of the world.

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A student smiles while using a virtual reality set up.

Science and Technology Studies

How can we address the challenges of our increasingly high-tech world? The science and technology studies (STS) major unites the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences together with science, technology and medicine. STS students learn to think critically, explore controversies, create innovative and responsible solutions to urgent problems, and engage directly with the world-changing effects of scientific, medical and technological revolutions.

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Two female students evaluate the color of a chemical sample

Clinical Nutrition

Do you want to make a difference in the health and lives of people? Nutritionists help people live healthier lives and manage common diseases by educating and guiding them in healthy and/or therapeutic diets. They work in hospitals or other clinical settings, public health, government-funded nutrition programs, food companies and the private sector. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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A UC Davis Animal Science student holds a baby goat

Animal Science

The relationships among people and animals are an integral part of our society, economy and culture. Animals provide us with food, clothing, recreation and companionship. Explore the biology of animals to focus on modern, efficient and humane ways to care for and make the best use of the animals who share our lives.

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A professor gathers students to inspect crops

Agricultural and Environmental Education

Do you want to help people understand their part in creating a sustainable environment? Agricultural and environmental education will empower you to lead and educate others. Students in this major gain a foundation in agricultural and environmental sciences, educational theory and practice. They also develop skills in teaching, communications and outreach.

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A female student takes notes about a rock present on the UC Davis campus


Do you want to explore the natural world and solve global problems? Applied geosciences involve interactions between humans and the environment and include mineral resources such as oil and water, geologic hazards such as earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions, river restoration and understanding climate change. Geologists have the opportunity to impact the health of the planet and its inhabitants through interdisciplinary work in a variety of satisfying careers.

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red apple with dew

Food Science

Students study the application of biological, chemical, physical, and behavioral sciences to the processing, preservation, quality evaluation, public health aspects, and utilization of foods. For the M.S., there are four areas of specialization: chemistry-biochemistry, microbiology, processing, and sensory sciences. Individually designed programs are also accepted. For the Ph.D., there are three areas of emphasis: biochemistry/chemistry, microbiology/ fermentation, and sensory sciences.

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materials science and engineering major works in lab at uc davis

Materials Science and Engineering

Have you ever wondered what your stuff is made of? Then materials science and engineering is the major for you! Cell phones, semiconductors, automobiles, airplanes, tennis rackets, bicycles, space shuttle tiles and surgical implants — all of these objects rely on metals, ceramics, glasses or polymers. Discovering new materials and integrating them into engineering design is a daunting but rewarding task. This is the heart of the discipline. Newly engineered materials play a crucial role in technology, health and the well-being of society. 

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An professor discusses her class with her students

Environmental Engineering

Do you want to design sustainable solutions for society? Environmental engineers design processes and infrastructure to ensure society has access to safe water, clean air, and healthy ecosystems. They apply knowledge from physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences to address a variety of problems. They work on water and wastewater treatment and ecosystem remediation, analysis of chemical fate and transport in the natural environment, and modeling of hydrologic and atmospheric flows.

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A student discusses a plant specimen with her professor in one of UC Davis's several green houses

Plant Biology

Fascinated by plants? Enjoy research? Want to make a difference in agriculture, health, biotechnology, the environment or industry? Plant biology might be the major for you. Plants are the primary source of food on the planet as well as important buffers against climate change. The plant biology major focuses on fundamental aspects of how plants function as organisms and interact with their environment. 

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A student examines a plant specimen with a microscope

Molecular and Medical Microbiology (Formerly Microbiology)

Ever wonder how microorganisms effect human, animal and environmental health? The trillions of tiny organisms dwelling around us and within us affect our lives in profound ways. Some are vital to our bodies or food production; others cause destructive diseases. The field of microbiology contributes to biochemistry, cell biology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, pathogenesis and physiology. The microbiology major prepares students for graduate studies and a variety of health-related careers.

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green plants outside in a field

Viticulture and Enology

The Viticulture and Enology Graduate Group offers advanced studies ranging from the genetics, physiology, and biochemistry of grapevines; the chemistry, microbiology, and sensory science of wines; and the chemical and process engineering of winemaking. Research topics can vary; examples include the molecular biology of grapevines, bacteria, or yeast; the grape and wine chemistry associated with fermentation and aging; and the correlation of analytical and sensory analyses. While only the M.S. is offered through this program, Ph.D.