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UC Davis Pre-College students at Bodega Bay in life vests
Students from the UC Davis Pre-College Coastal and Marine Sciences Program at Bodega Bay (Ellie Fairbairn/UC Davis)

9 Reasons to Choose UC Davis for Your Summer Pre-College Program

UC Davis is a top school—consistently leading the ranking charts and outdoing other universities. But there’s much more to UC Davis than academics. A friendly, welcoming community and unbeatable campus setting are just some of the reasons that make UC Davis the perfect place for high school students to experience college.

Read on to find out what makes UC Davis the ideal place to participate in a pre-college summer program.

1. Top-Ranked Academics

student studying at UC Davis library

UC Davis is a tier-one research university and highly ranked in the U.S. and the world. Ranked 5th nationally for public universities, UC Davis is the world’s No. 2 in agriculture and forestry and the world’s No. 5 in environmental engineering. Summer Pre-College Programs at UC Davis gives high school students a unique opportunity to work with brilliant professors and researchers, while exploring a major in which UC Davis is an international powerhouse.

2. College-Town Atmosphere

downtown Davis with students and bikes

Davis is the ultimate college town. It’s safe, friendly and bustling with students from around the world. With students representing more than 50% of the population, the city of Davis is designed to serve the university. Featuring weekly events and attractions, food for everyone, spots for studying and unique shops, Davis offers the best of both worlds—a small-town feel with a lively downtown. UC Davis' Summer Pre-College Programs include organized weekend and evening events, giving students time to experience the city.

3. State-of-the-Art Facilities

View of the Bodega Marine Reserve at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory

UC Davis boasts an impressive array of state-of-the-art, modern facilities and world-class research institutes and centers that accommodate the latest technologies. Highlights include the Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory, sitting at the epicenter of one of only four coastal upwelling regions in the world  and where the Pre-College Coastal & Marine Science Program takes place; The Department of Animal Science Horse Barn, which features a teaching and research herd of about 40 horses and where Pre-College Equine Science students participate in hands-on labs; and the UC Davis School of Medicine, one of the nation’s leading medical schools, which students in the Pre-College Pre-Med program get to visit.

4. Unrivaled Student Experience

student bowling at UC Davis Memorial Union Bowling Alley

UC Davis provides students with a great education, but it also provides an incredible home for students to immerse themselves in the college experience—and that includes dorm life! Most UC Davis Pre-College students will spend their two weeks living in the UC Davis residence halls, featuring some of the finest collegiate dining offerings in the country. Students also get a taste of UC Davis’ active campus life and plenty of time to socialize with organized activities, including movie nights, bowling and games at the Memorial Union, swim parties at the Rec Pool and tours of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

5. Exceptional Campus Setting

student sitting under tree along Putah Creek in Arboretum

At UC Davis, students are surrounded by greenery and nature. The 5,300-acre campus, the largest in the UC system, includes the Arboretum—100 acres of beautiful landscape that runs along Putah Creek and a two-mile paved walking trail. It’s no wonder that students often comment that the famous open space of the UC Davis campus contributes to a relaxing environment.

6. In the Middle of Everywhere

map of California with UC Davis and nearby locations marked

Davis is centrally located in Northern California. From sunny beaches to snowy mountains, Davis is a day trip away from some of the world’s most beautiful and famous locations, like San Francisco, Silicon Valley and six national parks. Plus, the state capital is only 15 miles away and there are plenty of local hiking trails in and around Davis, so students have much to explore in Davis’ backyard. Past pre-college students have enjoyed fun day trips to some of these spectacular locations, not to mention fun excursions closer to Davis.

7. A Welcoming and Inclusive Community

UC Davis student in mask next to Mrak Egghead

Ranked 1st in the nation for diversity, inclusiveness and internationalization, UC Davis is a place where students can feel safe to be who they are. Featuring various cultural and community resource centers, UC Davis welcomes and support students from all walks of life.

8. Student-Friendly Transportation

Students ride their bikes on  Hutchison Drive at UC Davis

At UC Davis bicycling is the No. 1 mode of transportation, and that goes for high school pre-college students, too. Known as the bicycle capital of the U.S., Davis has roughly 55 miles of flat, inviting pathways dedicated to bicycles and pedestrian traffic. And, much of campus is closed off to traffic, so walking around is a breeze.

9. Committed to Sustainability

field of solar panels at UC Davis

Ranked 1st in the U.S. four years in a row and 5th in the world for most sustainable universities, UC Davis is a global leader in sustainability and climate change research. From campus farms and greenhouses, to UC Davis’ Zero Waste Pilot Project and the zero net energy campus housing development of West Village, UC Davis’ commitment to sustainability can be seen across the campus.


Ready for an unforgettable summer?

Applications for our summer 2022 Pre-College Programs are now open! Check out all of our available programs.

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