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By Elizabeth Forrest Lambert on January 8, 2018

Did you know that UC Davis is home to over 7,000 graduate and professional students across ?  In 2017, UC Davis welcomed more than 2,200 new graduate students in the colleges and professional students in medicine, nursing, law, veterinary medicine, business and education. Altogether, it’s the largest incoming graduate class in UC Davis history.

Here are 10 graduate and professional programs that received the highest number of applications last year:

Medical students Ifrah Ali, left, and Talin Arslanian, right, chat with a chats with an undergraduate volunteer, Simirin Atwal,  during their shift at the Shifa Community Clinic
Medical students Ifrah Ali, left, and Talin Arslanian, right, chat with a chats with an undergraduate volunteer, Simirin Atwal, during their shift at the in downtown Sacramento. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

The UC Davis Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree is a four-year program that provides comprehensive preparation for graduate medical training in any specialty. The curriculum for the degree provides flexibility for and encourages , such as the and programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked among America's best medical schools for the quality of its educational programs in and .


UC Davis law students gather for a photo with their professor, Jack Chin
UC Davis law students worked with their professor, Jack Chin (center), to get a lawyer of Chinese descent admitted to the State Bar of California posthumously. He had been banned due to his ethnicity in the 1800s. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

With its nationally recognized faculty, a world-class student body and an international reputation to match, it’s no wonder that the program in the is one of UC Davis’ most popular. King Hall students complement classroom learning with experience participating in research and real-world lawyering. In the most recent , the UC Davis School of Law ranked among the top 40 Best Law Schools.


Kwan-Liu Ma, a UC Davis professor of computer science, with his World Plankton Populations table
Graduate students can work on creative projects, such as this one created by Kwan-Liu Ma, a UC Davis professor of computer science. Featured in a science museum collaboration, Ma's World Plankton Populations table that shows visitors small creatures and facts about them. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Offering both and degrees, the UC Davis program offers interdisciplinary research opportunities through campuswide initiatives and national collaborative research projects. Computer scientists design, maintain and improve upon information systems, focusing on designing systems for application in science, industry and management. Student and pupils choose from a variety of different areas of research, from computer graphics and big data to human-computer interfaces. They benefit from UC Davis’ proximity to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area by taking advantage of numerous internship and job opportunities. The program was ranked 34th in .


Not only is the program one of the most popular graduate programs at UC Davis, it’s also ranked first in . The world-renowned program provides a solid foundation of comparative knowledge for research training and careers in veterinary care, public health, emerging infectious diseases and food safety. impact is evident in the accomplishments of clinicians who have developed novel treatments and basic scientists who continue to make major discoveries in animal, human and environmental health.


Cristian Heredia, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering
Cristian Heredia, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, graduated as a data scientist in 2017. He now works for a Swedish-based video game company, King, as a platform data scientist analyzing the impact global campaigns have on the business. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Among the top 40 programs of its kind in the country according to , the also offers and doctorate degree work in hardware, software, theory or electronics. It provides graduate instruction and cutting-edge research in a wide spectrum of areas including communications, control, networking and signal processing; computer engineering; electronic circuits; optoelectronics; radio frequency; micro- and millimeter waves; and physical electronics. The graduate program is tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual student. Interdisciplinary research is encouraged, and the graduate program works closely with other departments and programs on campus.


UC Davis statistics graduate student Erin Melcon
UC Davis statistics graduate student Erin Melcon, one of eight winners of the 2014 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, teaches an undergraduate class of students. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Tied for 27th in the most recent , the graduate program at UC Davis offers both and degrees. The master’s degree program provides students with broad familiarity with the most widely used statistical methods and with solid background in statistical computing, while the Ph.D. program combines advanced coursework in probability and theoretical, applied and computational statistics — balancing methodology, computing, and applications. The program offers the opportunity for in-depth concurrent study in an applied field for all graduate students, and Ph.D. students can elect a subspecialty in the area of biostatistics.



UC Davis civil and environmental engineering graduate student Kaveh Zamani, right, showing a student how to use an instrument
UC Davis civil and environmental engineering graduate student Kaveh Zamani, right, teaches undergraduates in the hydrophonics lab in Bainer Hall. He was also a winner of the 2014 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Master’s and doctorate students in UC Davis’ gain advanced knowledge of designing, building, operating and maintaining the physical infrastructure and protecting the natural environment. These together support human society in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. The program is one of the most highly regarded in the country, having recently nabbed the 12th spot in the .


Rachel Houtz, a doctoral candidate in physics at UC Davis, teaching
Rachel Houtz, a doctoral candidate in physics at UC Davis, shown here teaching a class, also earned a Master of Science in physics here. (UC Davis)

Tied for 29th in the , the UC Davis graduate program in provides a dynamic and diverse environment for master’s and Ph.D. students alike. Student and pupils work with faculty experts in research areas such as condensed matter physics, cosmology and high energy/elementary particle physics, with smaller groups studying biophysics, complexity, gravitation, nuclear physics and physics education. Student and pupils in this program often travel to national and international facilities for parts of their Ph.D. work, and most students find physics jobs in industry, academia, or at national labs after graduation.


Mechanical and aeronautical engineering graduate student Kenneth Lyons, left, with professor Sanjay Joshi, lab volunteer Adam Shapiro and Maria Skavhaug
In the Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Controls Laboratory, graduate student Kenneth Lyons (far left) works with Sanjay Joshi, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering (standing behind him on the left), lab volunteer Adam Shapiro (right of Lyons)  who has quadriplegia and postdoc Maria Skavhaug (standing right) on a project developing brain-controlled robots. (UC Davis)

Offering both Ph.D. and M.S. degrees, the graduate program at UC Davis allows students to address fundamental issues in fields such as manufacturing, micro- and nano-technology, vehicles, biomechanics, aerostructures, sensors, controls, mechatronics, combustion and energy systems. Student and pupils graduate with the qualitative and quantitative skills necessary for professional research and teaching in mechanical and aeronautical engineering. The program earned the 23rd spot in the most recent .


economics graduate student Henry Hao
UC Davis economics graduate student Henry Hao, an Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award winner, instructs students. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Housed in the , this doctoral program attracts students from across the globe who are interested in conducting original research leading to new insights about financial structures in the global economy. Graduates of the program are prepared for careers with a wide variety of governmental and business organizations. The program was ranked 29th in the .

Didn’t see your program of choice in this list? UC Davis offers graduate and professional degrees ranging from to . Learn more about UC Davis graduate programs, admissions requirements and application deadlines by .

Get great tips on what you should do to prepare for graduate school from “5 Ways to Get a Head Start on Graduate School.”

Elizabeth Forrest Lambert is the marketing and communications manager for UC Davis Graduate Studies, leading the development of strategic and digital communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Southern Oregon University and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Drexel University.

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