Major Professor

It is very important you find a major professor, who is a faculty member of the Graduate Group in Ecology, who is willing to support your application and would be willing to accept you into their lab.  You are not required to have the commitment of a major professor to submit an application for admission, however, you must have their commitment in order to be admitted.

Eligibility Requirements


The minimum cumulative GPA required for admission to graduate study at the University of California, Davis is 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale. However, most students accepted into the Ecology Graduate Group have a GPA of at least 3.25 for their undergraduate career. The most recent scholastic record receives greater weight; only cumulative GPA's from a completed or in-progress degree will be used. Students coming from universities where a GPA is not calculated are evaluated using other aspects of their file and letters bearing on class performance when available.

Course Requirements

You should complete a majority of the below course entrance requirements before enrolling in the program. You may complete these courses at UC Davis, but you will be expected to complete entrance deficiencies at the earliest possible time.  

Please note, courses listed are UC Davis equivalents. The course designations listed below correspond to UC Davis courses. 

  • Introductory Biology: 2 courses from the following options: Biological Science 2A, B, C Principles of Biology, Botany, Zoology or Biological Sciences
  • Introduction to Chemistry: 2 courses: General Chemistry 2A,B*
  • Physical Science: a choice of - 2 courses in Physics, Physics 1A,B Principles of Physics; or one upper division course in a physical science. Approved courses include: Atmospheric Science 110; Environmental Science and Policy 110, 150A, 152; Hydrology 124, 141, 143; Soil Science 100, 107, 208 or 209. Upper division course substitutions for physics must have introductory physics as a pre-requisite.
  • Calculus: Mathematics 16A Short Calculus or Mathematics 21A Calculus
  • Statistics: Statistics 13 Elementary Statistics or Statistics 102 Introduction to Probability Modeling and Statistical Inference
  • Introduction to Ecology: ESP 100 General Ecology or EVE 101 Introduction to Ecology. It's very important that this requirement is satisfied prior to entrance in the program, it is required for Ecology 200 A,B courses, normally taken in the first year. Although ESP 100 or EVE 101 may be taken concurrently with Ecology 200A, students without a prior grounding in ecological concepts may be at a disadvantage.

*Note: Students that choose the Environmental Policy and Human Ecology Area of Emphasis are only required to complete one course in Introductory Chemistry. In addition, they may substitute one course in social science such as micro- or macro-economics for one chemistry or physics requirement.