Primary Image
concrete structure

Art History

The Art History Program offers personal attention from faculty and a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary training. Faculty teach the theory of art historical interpretation, the methodology of art historical research and writing, and specialized fields. These fields include the art and architecture of ancient Mediterranean societies, early and modern China, early and modern Islamic societies, early modern Italy, and Europe and America from 1750 to the present. Course of study also includes histories of photography, architecture and urban design, collecting, and museums.

Primary Image
glass sculpture

Art

The degree offers students training in advanced artistry and perceptive abilities for the visual arts, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramic sculpture, photography, video, or electronic arts for careers as practicing artists. Seminars and elective courses provide enrichment in art history and theory, performance, cultural and environmental studies, and new technology. Individual workshops on campus are provided so that students have the opportunity to develop their studio practice while exploring the resources of a large university.

Primary Image
Old reel to reel projector

Cinema and Digital Media

How do digital media and the cinematic arts work together, make meaning and effect change? Cinema and digital media is an interdisciplinary major that combines media theory, media history and media-making to help students develop a robust understanding of creative and computational media technologies. Students are encouraged to engage deeply with media to promote social justice, diversity and inclusivity.

Primary Image
close up of a piano

Music

The program of study includes composition/theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, and conducting. Composition/theory emphasizes theory, analysis, and composition. Musicology embraces the historical study of musical works, their composers, and the cultures in which they figure, welcoming traditional and contemporary modes of inquiry and emphasizing the acquisition of literary technique and style in the scholarly genres.

Primary Image
A student works on several paintings

Art Studio

A major in studio art allows you to explore and expand your creative abilities, regardless of whether you plan a career as a professional artist. As an art student, you will develop and practice skills in problem-solving and cultivate your aesthetic sensitivity and visual awareness. These skills and traits will enrich your life, broaden your perspective and prepare you to succeed in any career requiring creativity and artistic sense.

Primary Image
A female student holds a painting that is part of one of UC Davis's collections

Art History

How can we approach the increasingly complex visual world we find ourselves in today? Through the study of art history! Art historians study the changing visual expression of values, beliefs and experiences across diverse cultures and over time. The art history major provides training in historical, social and aesthetic understanding, critical thinking, scholarly research, and lucid, thoughtful analysis and writing. More than any other discipline, art history sharpens its students’ visual acuity and deepens their visual literacy.

Primary Image
A string instrument close up

Music

Do you want to explore music through history, composition, theory, and performance? The music major at UC Davis provides a specialized, intimate experience. Your professors and lecturers are active researchers and performing musicians, who regularly have works performed, published and recorded around the globe. Students work closely with prominent artists-in-residence who give concerts throughout their year-long tenure. You'll also have the chance to perform with our symphony orchestra, band, chorus, world music ensembles, and a variety of smaller ensembles. 

 

Primary Image
open book

English

The Department of English offers students the chance to pursue a literature Ph.D. in fields from the British Middle Ages and colonial America to global/postcolonial and U.S. contemporary literatures, with further strengths in literature and science, literature and environment, literary theory, translation, and gender studies. Faculty members’ interdisciplinary interests and affiliations with other programs complement the program’s grounding in traditional genres and methods of literary analysis as well as emerging methodologies. This wide range also characterizes the M.A.

Primary Image
Semperoper Dresden in Germany

Dramatic Art

The two-year program in dramatic arts is designed to provide a course of rigorous, advanced training and practice that enables mid-career artists to explore and expand areas of expertise in order to develop artistically and professionally. With the focus firmly on interdisciplinary practice, the program offers artists the opportunity to create and practice new dimensions of classical, contemporary, and experimental performance.

Primary Image
five white pots of colorful cacti

Design

The two-year M.F.A. program in design blends focused research and creative practice with an understanding of key design issues in history, theory, research methodology, and sustainable design practices. The program emphasizes creative ability, interdisciplinary and multicultural projects, and socially responsible design. Collaborations with other departments are highly encouraged. Areas of faculty expertise include exhibition design; interior architecture, including lighting and furniture design; textile and fashion design; and visual communication, including graphic and multimedia design.

Primary Image
oil pastels on white paper

Cultural Studies

Cultural studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of culture and society that highlights how sexuality, race, ability, citizenship, gender, nationality, class, and language organize embodied identities, social relations, and cultural objects. Drawing on faculty from a wide range of disciplines and intellectual interests, the program cuts across the humanities, social sciences, the law school, and agricultural and environmental studies.

Primary Image
calligraphy pen on paper

Creative Writing

Beginning in the academic year 2019-2020, the UC Davis will offer a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing through the Department of English.

This innovative program includes both studio instruction and literature courses. Writers take workshop courses in several genres and can write a thesis in fiction, nonfiction, poetry or “hybrid” (multi-genre) form. Second-year students have the opportunity to teach popular Creative Writing courses, gaining valuable experience and sharing their insight with beginning practitioners.

Primary Image
An English major performs a spoken word poem

English

Do the challenges and pleasures of reading appeal to you? Do you want to master the craft of interpreting and analyzing texts? The English major prepares students for any field that values critical thinking, clear and effective writing, research skills, and the ability to interpret and analyze textual data. From medieval epics to twenty-first-century films, graphic novels, and sound poetry, our courses cast a wide net in order to expand and deepen our understanding of what counts as “English literature.”

Primary Image
Three female students discussing a design model

Design

UC Davis offers the University of California’s only comprehensive Department of Design in which students engage in multiple areas of design practice, rather than pursuing a single path. Why? Because design is increasingly multidisciplinary and collaborative. When they leave campus for their careers, our students are prepared to work with everyone in the room: those doing engineering, coding, manufacturing or actually using our designs.

Primary Image
ballerina dancing

Performance Studies

Composed of four clusters of interest – interactive medias, cultures/ecologies, text/history, and embodiments – the Performance Studies Graduate Group engages students in ways of thinking about performance that are historically, politically, culturally, and rhetorically informed, using tools from theater studies, dance studies, anthropology, sociology, film studies, visual culture, linguistics, literary studies, ethnography, ethnomusicology, computer science, feminist theory and women’s studies, technocultural studies, religion, critical race and ethnic studies, critical theory, cultural st

Primary Image
Old reel to reel projector

Film Studies

This interdisciplinary minor takes one of the most influential art forms of the twentieth century and today — film — as its object of study. The field of film studies addresses the history, theory and culture of this art form and asks questions about film texts themselves: modes of production (including everything from filmmakers’ aesthetic choices to the role of the global economy); historical, national and cultural contexts; and spectators and audiences.

Primary Image
A student works on several paintings

Art Studio

The art studio minor delivers a broad range of hands-on studio practices. Areas of focus include painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, ceramics, printmaking and time-based media. Course choices/sequences are determined by the student according to minor requirements. Students are encouraged to explore different areas of focus and are expected to take advantage of beginning classes that provide a critical introduction to the research possibilities within studio art.

Primary Image
A female student holds a painting that is part of one of UC Davis's collections

Art History

Art history studies the changing visual expression of values, beliefs and experiences across diverse cultures and over time. It provides training in historical, social and aesthetic understanding, critical thinking, scholarly research, and lucid, thoughtful analysis and writing. Art history sharpens students’ visual acuity and deepens their visual literacy. In so doing, it prepares them to face the increasingly complex visual world we find ourselves in today.

Music

A minor in music teaches you to explore and understand the history, theory and performance of music. Your professors and lecturers are active researchers and performing musicians who regularly have works performed, published and recorded around the globe. Students work closely with prominent artists-in-residence who give concerts throughout their year-long tenure.

Primary Image
Two students practice improv

Theatre and Dance

Participation is a unique focus of the theatre and dance minor, encouraging students to become familiar with the myriad roles involved in planning, producing and bringing performances to the stage. You’ll be exposed to techniques of acting, directing, stagecraft or dance as you develop skills in communication, creativity and collaboration that will prepare you to succeed in a variety of careers within and outside the performing arts.

Primary Image
a group of four students sitting around a table discussing something

Social, Ethnic and Gender Relations

The interdisciplinary minor in social, ethnic and gender Relations explores the racial, ethnic, class and gender aspects of human relations in the modern world. Students study human societies and cultures from a multi-ethnic perspective and across established academic departmental lines.