Tips for applying to UC Davis as a freshman
Find out what our admission advisors are looking for in your UC application.
Reporting coursework and grades
Your academic record is the core of your application. It’s important to report all your UC-approved college preparatory coursework — whether taken at a high school or college — completely and accurately. Include courses in which you have enrolled, regardless of grades, transferability, withdrawal or if they were repeated.
The honors box on the UC application form is used to designate a course for which an extra grade point is awarded for a letter grade of C or better. There are four different types of honors courses:
- Advanced Placement (AP)
- Designated International Baccalaureate (IB) courses
- College courses (CL); applies only to UC-transferable college courses
- UC-approved school-designated honors-level courses (HL)
If you attend a California public high school, see your high school’s UC-approved course list for more information about honors courses. Only UC-approved courses that are listed as honors are eligible to receive an extra grade point.
Nonresident applicants should check the box for both AP, IB and UC-transferable college courses—you should mark the honors box (AP, IB, CL) as appropriate for all of the above.
If you are a domestic applicant and your school uses a non-letter grade system, you will need to take some additional steps in completing the application. First, check with your high school counseling office to see if there is a conversion scale to the A-B-C-D-F letter grade system. If a conversion scale does not exist, do not attempt to translate your grades yourself. List the grades exactly as they appear on your transcript, and check the box that indicates your school uses a grading system other than A-B-C-D-F. Your application will be reviewed by a UC advisor who will translate these marks accordingly.
College courses taken while in high school
If any college/university-level courses were completed while in high school, add the college information after the high school information.
If UC-transferable courses were taken at a California community college (CCC), a course list will appear:
- Select the course(s) taken, grade earned (or enter IP for In Progress, PL for Planned courses) and the "a-g" subject area in which the course fits. UC-transferable courses taken at a CCC can be found on Assist.org under the “College courses taken while in high school” section.
If non-UC-transferable or non-CCC courses were taken while in high school, students must manually input course information:
- Only non-UC-transferable courses in English and math can be reported in this section of the application.
- If there are other CCC courses that are non-UC-transferable, report them in the ‘Non a-g Coursework’ area later in the application.
- If college/university courses were not taken at a CCC, enter each course and grade earned as it appears on the official academic record from the college/university attended.
Any gaps in your educational chronology should be explained in the Additional Information section of the UC application; only a brief description of what you were doing during these breaks in your education is necessary.
Letters of recommendation and other materials
Please do not include letters of recommendation, copies of awards, transcripts or samples of your academic or creative work with your application. They will not be reviewed or returned to you.
During the selection process, UC Davis conducts a comprehensive review of every freshman application to ensure each applicant is assessed thoroughly and fairly.
We evaluate every application using 14 criteria that all UC campuses adhere to. We consider a broad range of factors, from traditional academics to extracurricular achievement and response to life challenges. It is the strength of your high school academic record that is the single most important component, but we're looking beyond the numbers to find out who you really are!
Admission decisions are made based upon the qualifications of the applicant pool and the number of available spaces within each academic area:
- College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences admits by college
- College of Biological Sciences admits by college
- College of Letters and Science admits by college
(Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Social Sciences)
- College of Engineering admits by academic department
Students applying as "undeclared" or "undeclared/exploratory" are considered within the college/division to which they applied.