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History of Graduate Studies

To say that Graduate Studies at UC Davis puts their students first and foremost would be an understatement. This way of thinking finds its origins from Graduate Studies' rich beginnings at Davis, and continues to be emulated at the campus today with the division recognizing and celebrating their exceptional graduate students.

For over 80 years, graduate ​education has been a major feature on the UC Davis campus. In fall of 1925, the first 12 students graduated from the College of Agriculture.

At UC Davis, a key concept of graduate education is the graduate group. The UC Davis graduate programs are organized as interdisciplinary graduate groups, giving students intellectual freedom to transcend disciplines and areas of research.

Graduate groups embody the collaborative spirit at UC Davis by bringing together faculty from departments across campus that share common research interests, either in academic discipline or area of application.

For example: the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology group provides access to more than 133 faculty in over 25 different departments in both basic and applied sciences. Their research and instruction are offered through a variety of departments spanning the Colleges of Letters and Sciences, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Biological Sciences. This is merely one example of the unique graduate groups offered at UC Davis. As part of a collaborative team, each student contributes his or her talent and expertise while learning from students and faculty across disciplines

​The graduate group concept has established a culture of interaction across departmental lines and has helped to shape the distinctive character of the campus. The extensive use of graduate groups as a vehicle for administering graduate academic programs has expanded the scope and strengthened the quality of graduate education at UC Davis. More graduate groups are offered at UC Davis today than at any other campus in the UC system - currently it is an impressive 47 groups from nearly 90 programs!

UC Davis attracts the brightest and most creative individuals by offering an unparalleled education. Many of our graduates have had major impacts on the nation and world - creating much of California's biotechnology and computer industries; developing research breakthroughs that have led to major medical advances; shaping ideas about our world and culture; creating the economic and social infrastructure of our communities; and assuming political leadership in California and the nation.

Remember those original students who were the first to complete their graduate courses at UC Davis? They were the first 12 of the tens of thousands who have since received their UC Davis graduate degree. We're just as proud of that small group of 12 as we are of the 1,000 plus who earn a master's or doctoral degree each year.