History of UC Davis

The University of California, Davis campus, originally known as the University Farm, was established by an act of the State Legislature in 1905.

A committee appointed by the Regents purchased land near Davisville in 1906. The Regents officially took control of the property in September 1906 and constructed four buildings in 1907. By 1930, the campus had grown to 1,000 acres and by 1951, it had become 3,000 acres. In 2007, the campus has expanded to 5,300 acres, making it the largest UC campus in acreage.

Short courses were first offered in 1908 and a three year non-degree program set up in 1909. In 1911, the first class graduated from the University Farm. The three year non-degree program continued until 1923. At that time, a two year non-degree program began and continued until 1958. In 1922, a four year undergraduate program began with the first class graduating in 1926.

In 1959, the Regents declared that Davis was to be a general campus of the University and in 1962, the College of Engineering was established. Davis’ own Graduate Division was established in 1961. The School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1946 and received its first students in 1948. The Law School opened for classes in Fall 1966 and the School of Medicine began instruction in Fall 1968.

For further information, see the history of the University as described in Abundant Harvest: The History of the University of California, Davis, by Ann Scheuring. Davis: The Regents of the University of California, 2001 [Call number: LD781 D3 S34 2001] and The Centennial Record of the University of California, by Verne A. Stadtman. Berkeley: UC Printing Department, 1967 [LC call number LD758 C4 and online]

Historical Information about UC Davis Campus Buildings

Information compiled by Sara Gunasekara from the following sources:

  • Centennial Record of the University of California. [Berkeley, Calif.] University of California, [1967].
  • Dateline UCD: a Newspaper for Faculty and Staff of the University of California, Davis. [Davis, CA]: The University, 1987-.
  • Scheuring, Ann Foley. Abundant Harvest: the History of the University of California, Davis. [Davis, Calif.]: UC Davis History Project, c2001.
  • Spectator. Davis, Calif.: University of California, Davis, 1970-1988.
  • Windows on the Past: A Personal History of Campus Buildings, University of California, Davis. Davis, Calif. (Box 197, University of California, Davis, Davis, Calif. 95616) : The Pyrtanean Honor Society, Student Activities, c2000.