Dartmouth vs UC Davis: Which College is Right for You?

July 12, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Dartmouth vs UC Davis: Which College is Right for You?

Deciding where to attend college is a big decision and requires careful consideration. Two popular options often compared with each other are Dartmouth College vs UC Davis. In this article, we will compare these two schools across various categories to help you make an informed decision on which college is right for you.

Dartmouth vs UC Davis: An Overview of the Two Schools

Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League institution located in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was founded in 1769 and has a total undergraduate population of approximately 4,400 students. On the other hand, UC Davis is a public research university located in Davis, California. Founded in 1905, it has a larger undergraduate population of around 31,000 students.

Despite their differences in size and location, both Dartmouth and UC Davis offer a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities for their students. Dartmouth is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum and its emphasis on undergraduate research opportunities. UC Davis, on the other hand, is renowned for its programs in agriculture, veterinary medicine, and environmental science.

Another notable difference between the two schools is their athletic programs. Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and has a strong tradition of competitive athletics, particularly in sports like football, ice hockey, and skiing. UC Davis, meanwhile, is a member of the Big West Conference and has a strong reputation in sports like basketball, soccer, and track and field.

University of California-Davis sign

Admission Requirements: What You Need to Know Before Applying

Dartmouth and UC Davis have similar admission requirements. Both schools require SAT or ACT scores, transcripts, essays, and recommendations. However, Dartmouth has a much lower acceptance rate of around 8% compared to UC Davis’ acceptance rate of 40%. This means that Dartmouth is much more selective, so be sure to have a strong academic record and extracurricular activities to stand out.

In addition to the standard admission requirements, both Dartmouth and UC Davis also consider other factors when evaluating applicants. Dartmouth, for example, places a strong emphasis on demonstrated leadership and community involvement, while UC Davis values diversity and a commitment to social justice. It’s important to research each school’s specific values and priorities and tailor your application accordingly.

Campus Life: A Comparison of Student Activities and Social Scene

The campus life experience at Dartmouth and UC Davis is vastly different. Dartmouth has a strong Greek life presence, with around 60% of students participating in fraternities or sororities. It also has a strong tradition of outdoor activities, with opportunities for skiing and hiking nearby. UC Davis, on the other hand, has more of a laid-back California vibe with plenty of sunshine and a variety of social clubs and organizations to get involved in. Both schools have a diverse range of student-led activities, events, and social scenes to suit all interests.

One unique aspect of campus life at Dartmouth is the school’s emphasis on undergraduate research. Many students have the opportunity to work alongside faculty members on research projects, which can lead to valuable experience and even publication in academic journals. UC Davis also offers research opportunities, but the focus is more on graduate-level research.

Another notable difference between the two schools is the size of their respective campuses. Dartmouth’s campus is relatively small, with a tight-knit community feel. UC Davis, on the other hand, has a sprawling campus with a diverse student population. This can lead to a wider range of perspectives and experiences, but it can also make it more difficult to form close connections with fellow students.

Location, Location, Location: A Look at the Surrounding Area and Community

Dartmouth is located in a small, rural town in New England with a tight-knit community of students and locals. UC Davis, on the other hand, is located in a bustling college town in California with access to the nearby cities of Sacramento and San Francisco. Both locations offer unique opportunities and experiences, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what type of environment you prefer.

One of the advantages of living in a small town like Dartmouth is the sense of community and the opportunity to get to know your neighbors. The town is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including forests, rivers, and mountains, which provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and fishing. In contrast, UC Davis is located in a vibrant college town with a diverse population and a thriving arts and culture scene. The town is home to numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as a variety of restaurants and shops. Whether you prefer the quiet charm of a small town or the excitement of a bustling city, both Dartmouth and UC Davis have something to offer.

Cheerful Indian asian young group of college students or friends laughing together in campus

Academics: The Differences in Course Offerings and Degree Programs

Both schools offer a wide range of degree programs across various academic disciplines. Dartmouth is primarily known for its strong programs in the liberal arts, engineering, and business, while UC Davis is known for its agriculture, environmental science, and veterinary medicine programs. It’s important to research the specific programs you are interested in and which school offers the best fit for your academic goals.

Additionally, both schools have unique course offerings that set them apart from each other. Dartmouth offers a variety of interdisciplinary courses, such as “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” and “Global Health and Society,” that allow students to explore topics from multiple perspectives. UC Davis, on the other hand, offers courses like “Wine and Culture” and “The Science of Chocolate” that showcase the school’s expertise in agriculture and food science. These unique courses can provide students with a well-rounded education and valuable skills for their future careers.

Faculty and Staff: A Comparison of Teaching Styles and Faculty Credentials

Dartmouth and UC Davis both have top-notch faculty and staff with impressive credentials. However, Dartmouth places a strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching and has a much lower student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1 compared to UC Davis’ 20:1. This means that students at Dartmouth have more opportunities for personalized learning and mentorship.

In addition to the lower student-to-faculty ratio, Dartmouth also has a unique teaching style that emphasizes small class sizes and discussion-based learning. Professors at Dartmouth are encouraged to engage with their students in a more personal and interactive way, which fosters a deeper understanding of the material and encourages critical thinking.

On the other hand, UC Davis has a more research-focused teaching style, with many professors balancing their teaching responsibilities with ongoing research projects. This can be beneficial for students who are interested in pursuing research opportunities, as they may have the chance to work alongside their professors on cutting-edge projects.

Student Success: Graduation Rates, Job Placement, and Alumni Networks

Graduation rates at both schools are impressive, with Dartmouth at around 95% and UC Davis at around 86%. Dartmouth also has a strong job placement record, with around 80% of graduates employed within six months of graduation. Both schools have active alumni networks that offer valuable connections and resources for current students and recent graduates.

Additionally, UC Davis has a Career Center that provides students with career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities. The center also hosts career fairs and workshops throughout the year to help students prepare for their future careers. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has a robust internship program that allows students to gain hands-on experience in their field of study. The program partners with various organizations and companies to provide students with diverse internship opportunities.

Financial Aid and Tuition Costs: Which School is More Affordable?

The cost of tuition and financial aid options for both schools varies depending on individual circumstances. However, Dartmouth has a higher tuition cost of around $57,000 compared to UC Davis’ tuition of around $14,000 for in-state students and $44,000 for out-of-state students. Both schools offer financial aid to students, so it’s important to research and compare the different options available to you.

It’s also important to consider the cost of living when comparing the affordability of these two schools. Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, which has a higher cost of living compared to Davis, California, where UC Davis is located. This means that students attending Dartmouth may need to budget more for housing, food, and other expenses.

Another factor to consider is the availability of scholarships. While both schools offer financial aid, Dartmouth has a higher percentage of students receiving scholarships compared to UC Davis. This may make Dartmouth a more affordable option for some students, especially those who excel academically or have unique talents or backgrounds that make them eligible for specific scholarships.

Class Of University Students Using Laptops In Lecture

Diversity on Campus: Comparing the Student Body Demographics

Dartmouth and UC Davis both have diverse student populations, but Dartmouth has a slightly higher percentage of students from minority backgrounds. However, UC Davis has a larger international student population, making it a more diverse campus when it comes to cultural backgrounds.

It is important to note that while Dartmouth has a higher percentage of students from minority backgrounds, UC Davis has a more even distribution of different ethnicities. This means that students at UC Davis have the opportunity to interact with a wider range of cultures and perspectives.

Additionally, both schools have made efforts to increase diversity on campus through various initiatives and programs. Dartmouth has implemented a diversity and inclusion action plan, which includes increasing the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students and faculty. UC Davis has a similar program called the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative, which aims to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment for all students.

Athletics and Sports Programs: A Look at Varsity Teams and Facilities

Dartmouth and UC Davis both have strong athletics programs with a range of varsity teams and excellent facilities. Dartmouth is primarily known for its skiing and lacrosse programs, while UC Davis is known for its strong women’s basketball team and equestrian program. Both schools offer opportunities for students to get involved in intramural and club sports as well.

At Dartmouth, the athletics program is deeply rooted in the school’s history and culture. The Dartmouth Outing Club, founded in 1909, is the oldest and largest collegiate outing club in the country. The club offers students the opportunity to participate in a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. The skiing program at Dartmouth is particularly strong, with the school consistently ranking among the top in the country.

UC Davis has a unique athletics program that includes a strong focus on equestrian sports. The school has a state-of-the-art equestrian center that includes a covered arena, multiple outdoor arenas, and a cross-country course. The center is home to the UC Davis Equestrian Team, which competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. The school also has a strong women’s basketball program, with the team consistently ranking among the top in the Big West Conference.

Dartmouth vs UC Davis: Campus Culture

Both schools have strong campus cultures with unique traditions, events, and student organizations. Dartmouth has a strong emphasis on community and brotherhood/sisterhood within its Greek life organizations and a range of annual traditions such as Winter Carnival and The Dartmouth Outing Club. UC Davis has a diverse range of student-led organizations and a strong commitment to sustainability and environmentalism.

In addition to these unique aspects of campus culture, Dartmouth also has a strong focus on athletics and school spirit. The Big Green sports teams are a source of pride for the student body and the community, with events such as Homecoming and the Dartmouth vs. Harvard football game drawing large crowds.

UC Davis also has a thriving arts and culture scene, with a variety of student-led groups dedicated to music, theater, and visual arts. The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts hosts a range of events throughout the year, including concerts, dance performances, and lectures by renowned speakers.

Dartmouth vs UC Davis: Career Opportunities Post-Graduation

Both schools have strong career centers that offer resources and support for students and recent graduates. Dartmouth has a wide range of alumni connections and offers robust networking opportunities, making it a strong choice for students looking to enter a variety of industries. UC Davis has strong ties to the Silicon Valley tech industry and is known for its agricultural research, making it a great choice for students with career interests in those areas.

In addition to the career centers, both schools also offer various internship and job opportunities for students. Dartmouth has partnerships with many top companies and organizations, providing students with access to exclusive internships and job openings. UC Davis has a strong focus on hands-on learning and offers many opportunities for students to gain practical experience through internships and research projects.

Furthermore, both schools have active alumni networks that provide valuable career support and mentorship to recent graduates. Dartmouth’s alumni network is particularly strong in the finance and consulting industries, while UC Davis alumni are well-represented in the tech and agriculture sectors.

Portrait of teenage male student standing wall in corridor of a college.

Dartmouth vs UC Davis: Academic Resources

Both schools offer state-of-the-art facilities and resources for students to conduct research and pursue academic interests outside of the classroom. Dartmouth has a wide range of research centers and libraries, including the Baker-Berry Library, one of the largest academic libraries in the world. UC Davis is home to one of the largest agricultural research centers in the world and has a variety of specialized labs and facilities.

In addition to the extensive resources available at Dartmouth and UC Davis, both schools also offer opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty on research projects. Dartmouth’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides funding and support for students to work on research projects with faculty members across various disciplines. UC Davis offers a similar program called the Undergraduate Research Center, which connects students with research opportunities and provides funding for their projects.

Dartmouth vs UC Davis: International Opportunities

Both schools offer a variety of study abroad options for students to gain international experience and cultural exposure. Dartmouth has exchange programs with top universities around the world and offers language study opportunities, while UC Davis has a strong program in Italy specifically for students interested in food and wine studies.

Additionally, both schools offer financial aid and scholarships for students who wish to study abroad. Dartmouth has a dedicated office that helps students find funding opportunities, while UC Davis has a scholarship program specifically for students studying abroad in Italy.

Furthermore, students can choose to participate in short-term study abroad programs during winter or summer breaks. These programs typically last for a few weeks and offer students the opportunity to explore a new culture and gain academic credit at the same time. Both Dartmouth and UC Davis offer a range of short-term study abroad programs in various locations around the world.

Dartmouth vs UC Davis: Campus Safety

Both schools have dedicated safety teams and resources to ensure the safety of their students. Dartmouth has a low crime rate, with only a few reported incidents per year. UC Davis also has a low crime rate, but its larger student population means there are more reported incidents overall. Both schools offer safety escorts and have emergency notification systems in place in case of a crisis.

Ultimately, deciding between Dartmouth and UC Davis comes down to personal preference and what factors are most important to you. Consider the categories outlined above and do your research to determine which school is the best fit for you and your academic and personal goals.

It is important to note that both schools have implemented additional safety measures in response to recent events. Dartmouth has increased its campus security presence and installed additional security cameras. UC Davis has implemented a “See Something, Say Something” campaign to encourage students to report any suspicious activity. Both schools also offer self-defense classes and safety training for students.

Additionally, it is worth considering the surrounding areas of each campus. Dartmouth is located in a small, rural town with a low crime rate, while UC Davis is located in a suburban area with a slightly higher crime rate. It is important to research the safety of the surrounding neighborhoods and take precautions when traveling off-campus.

a female student standing in the middle of a hallway

How AdmissionSight Can Help You With College Admissions

AdmissionSight is a college consulting firm that provides personalized assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. Here are some ways that AdmissionSight can help you:

Admissions strategy: AdmissionSight can help you develop a strategic plan for your college application process. Our professional consultants can assist with identifying schools that are a good fit for your academic, extracurricular, and personal goals and help you plan and prioritize your application strategy.

Application review: AdmissionSight can review your application and provide feedback on how to improve it. We can offer suggestions on making your application stand out and highlighting your strengths and unique qualities.

Essay coaching: AdmissionSight can help you craft compelling essays that showcase your personality, goals, and achievements. We can guide you through the essay writing process and provide feedback on your drafts to help you refine your writing.

Interview preparation: AdmissionSight can provide interview coaching to help you feel confident and prepared for college interviews. Our experts can offer tips on how to present yourself professionally and how to answer common interview questions.

Extracurricular planning: AdmissionSight can help you plan and develop your extracurricular activities to make them more impactful and meaningful. We can suggest activities that align with your interests and goals and provide guidance on demonstrating your leadership and initiative.

Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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