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History of UC Davis

Brief University History

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

From University Farm to UC Davis

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.

Sources for More History

For further information, see the history of the university as described in:

UC Davis Campus Buildings

UC Davis Timelines

UC Davis University Timeline

A timeline of UC Davis history including student enrollment, administration, significant changes in course offerings and activities.

Library Centennial Timeline

Over the course of a century the UC Davis University Library has grown from a single room reference collection for farmers and scientists to a world-class research library.

Library Centennial: Technology

Technology plays an important part at the UC Davis library and campus, underpinning how library materials are acquired, preserved and made accessible to users.