UC Davis vs Colgate: A Comprehensive Look at Two Top Universities

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young man taking an exam but looking at the camera.

UC Davis vs Colgate: A Comprehensive Look at Two Top Universities

Choosing the right university can be a daunting task, but by comparing the pros and cons of different options, you can make an informed decision. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at two top universities: UC Davis vs Colgate. From location and campus to academic reputation and research achievements, we will cover all the important aspects of these institutions to help you make the best choice for your future.

Location and Campus: UC Davis vs Colgate

The location and campus of a university can greatly impact your experience. UC Davis is located in Davis, California, a suburban town with a population of approximately 70,000. The campus covers over 5,000 acres and is known for its agricultural research and sustainability initiatives.

Colgate, on the other hand, is situated in Hamilton, New York, a rural village with a population of just over 4,000. The campus spans over 575 acres and is characterized by its historic buildings and natural beauty. Both universities offer a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities that make their respective campuses vibrant and diverse.

Despite their differences in location and size, both UC Davis and Colgate have a strong sense of community. UC Davis has a large student body of over 38,000 students, but the campus is designed to create a small community feel with its many residential colleges and student organizations.

Similarly, Colgate’s small size fosters a tight-knit community where students and faculty are able to form close relationships.

Another similarity between the two universities is their commitment to sustainability. UC Davis is known for its research in sustainable agriculture and has implemented many eco-friendly initiatives on campus, such as solar panels and bike-sharing programs. Colgate has also made sustainability a priority, with efforts to reduce waste and promote renewable energy sources.

Admissions Criteria and Process: UC Davis vs Colgate

UC Davis and Colgate have different admissions processes, but both are highly competitive. UC Davis received over 100,000 applications in 2020 and had an acceptance rate of 49%, while Colgate received over 9,000 applications and had an acceptance rate of 17%.

Group of people taking a tests in a desk.

Admissions criteria vary, but both universities take into account academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. Additionally, both universities offer need-based and merit-based financial aid to qualified students, making their education accessible to all.

It is important to note that both UC Davis and Colgate also consider other factors in their admissions process. UC Davis takes into account the applicant’s geographic location, socioeconomic background, and whether they are a first-generation college student.

Colgate values demonstrated interest in the university, such as attending information sessions or meeting with admissions counselors. Both universities also encourage applicants to submit letters of recommendation and personal essays to provide a more holistic view of the applicant.

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs: UC Davis vs Colgate

UC Davis and Colgate offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. UC Davis is known for its excellence in agricultural and environmental sciences but also offers programs in humanities, social sciences, engineering, and more.

Colgate is known for its liberal arts programs but also offers professional programs in business, journalism, and education, among others. Both universities have award-winning faculty members who are experts in their fields and provide students with the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and develop critical thinking skills.

Additionally, UC Davis and Colgate offer various opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities and gain practical experience in their fields of study. UC Davis has a strong focus on community engagement and offers service-learning courses, internships, and research opportunities that allow students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems.

Colgate has a robust network of alumni who provide mentorship and internship opportunities to students, and the university’s location in upstate New York offers unique opportunities for outdoor recreation and environmental exploration.

Faculty and Student Body: UC Davis vs Colgate

The faculty and student body of a university also plays an important role in your education. UC Davis has over 40,000 students and over 2,000 faculty members, while Colgate has around 3,000 students and over 300 faculty members.

Both universities value diversity and have a range of student organizations, cultural centers, and initiatives that promote inclusion and equity. Additionally, both universities have a high faculty-to-student ratio, meaning that students receive individualized attention and support from their professors.

Furthermore, UC Davis and Colgate have a reputation for having highly qualified and experienced faculty members. Many professors at both universities have received prestigious awards and grants for their research and teaching.

This means that students have the opportunity to learn from experts in their fields and engage in cutting-edge research projects. Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to undergraduate education, with faculty members who prioritize teaching and mentorship.

Resources for Students: UC Davis vs Colgate

UC Davis and Colgate have top-notch resources for students, including libraries, laboratories, and other facilities. UC Davis has over 20 libraries and research centers, including the Peter J. Shields Library, which houses over 3 million volumes.

Colgate also has several libraries, including the Case Memorial Library, which has over half a million print volumes. Both universities have state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities that provide students with hands-on experience and opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects.

Group of students working on their desks.

In addition to libraries and laboratories, both UC Davis and Colgate offer a variety of other facilities to enhance the student experience. UC Davis has a Student Community Center, which provides a space for students to gather, study, and participate in events and activities. The university also has a state-of-the-art recreation center, which includes a gym, pool, and fitness classes.

Colgate has a similar recreation center, as well as an arts center that hosts performances and exhibitions throughout the year. Both universities also have extensive outdoor spaces, including parks, gardens, and hiking trails, that students can explore and enjoy.

Extracurricular Activities: UC Davis vs Colgate

Extracurricular activities are an important aspect of university life, and both UC Davis and Colgate offer a range of sports, clubs, and organizations for students to get involved in. UC Davis is a Division I school and has 25 varsity sports teams, as well as over 800 clubs and organizations, including the Aggie Pack, which is known for its enthusiastic support of UC Davis athletics.

Colgate has 25 varsity sports teams, including hockey and football, and over 200 clubs and organizations, including the Colgate Thirteen, an a cappella group that has performed at the White House.

Getting involved in extracurricular activities can have many benefits for students. It can help them develop new skills, make new friends, and even improve their academic performance. Both UC Davis and Colgate offer a variety of opportunities for students to get involved, whether they are interested in sports, music, or community service.

Students can also start their own clubs or organizations if they don’t find one that matches their interests. With so many options available, there is something for everyone to enjoy and get involved in at these universities.

Career Opportunities: UC Davis vs Colgate

Both universities have strong career centers that offer career counseling, internships, and job placement services to students. UC Davis has a robust internship and cooperative education program, and 91% of its graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.

Colgate has a powerful alumni network, with over 34,000 members worldwide, and 95% of its graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within one year of graduation. Both universities prepare students for successful careers after graduation.

In addition to the career services offered by both universities, UC Davis also has a Career Discovery Group that helps students explore different career paths and connect with professionals in their desired fields.

Colgate offers a unique program called the Thought Into Action Entrepreneurship Institute, which provides resources and mentorship for students interested in starting their own businesses. These additional programs demonstrate the universities’ commitment to helping students achieve their career goals and succeed in their chosen fields.

Student Life: UC Davis vs Colgate

Student life is an important consideration when choosing a university, and both UC Davis and Colgate offer excellent housing options, dining services, and a social scene. UC Davis has several on-campus housing options, including residence halls and apartments, as well as a range of dining options, from food trucks to cafes.

Colgate also has several housing options, including residence halls and theme houses, and a range of dining options, including locally sourced and sustainable food. Both universities have vibrant social scenes, with events and activities that cater to a range of interests.

Male student lounging in the school grounds.

Additionally, UC Davis offers a variety of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in, including sports teams, cultural groups, and academic clubs. Colgate also has a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities, with opportunities for students to participate in community service projects, outdoor adventures, and music and theater performances. Both universities prioritize student wellness, with resources such as counseling services, health clinics, and fitness centers available to all students.

Tuition and Financial Aid: UC Davis vs Colgate

Tuition and financial aid are important factors when choosing a university. UC Davis has a tuition of approximately $14,000 per year for in-state students and $44,000 per year for out-of-state students, while Colgate has a tuition of approximately $59,000 per year.

However, both universities offer a variety of need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants to qualified students. Additionally, both universities offer student loans and work-study opportunities to help students finance their education.

It is important to note that the cost of tuition is not the only factor to consider when evaluating the financial impact of attending a university. Other expenses, such as room and board, textbooks, and transportation, can add up quickly. UC Davis and Colgate both provide estimates of these additional costs on their websites, which can help students and families plan accordingly.

Furthermore, it is important to understand the terms and conditions of any financial aid package offered by a university. Some scholarships and grants may have specific requirements, such as maintaining a certain GPA or participating in certain extracurricular activities. Additionally, student loans must be repaid with interest, so it is important to carefully consider the amount borrowed and the repayment plan.

Academic Reputation: Rankings, Accreditations, and Awards

UC Davis and Colgate have excellent academic reputations, and both universities are ranked highly by various organizations. UC Davis is ranked #11 among public universities in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report and has been designated a “Very High Research Activity” institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Colgate is ranked #12 among liberal arts colleges in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report and has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Both universities have won numerous awards and accolades for their academic excellence.

UC Davis has also been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The university has been named a “Green College” by The Princeton Review for 11 consecutive years and has received a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

Colgate, on the other hand, has been recognized for its strong commitment to community service and civic engagement. The university has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for eight consecutive years and has received the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification.

Research Achievements: UC Davis vs Colgate

UC Davis and Colgate are both known for their cutting-edge research and groundbreaking discoveries. UC Davis has over $1 billion in research funding and has produced over 3,000 publications in 2020.

Colgate has a strong focus on undergraduate research and has produced numerous publications and patents in various fields. Both universities provide students with opportunities to participate in research and make meaningful contributions to their respective fields.

Three students using a laptop in a table.


In addition to their impressive research achievements, UC Davis and Colgate also prioritize collaboration and interdisciplinary research. UC Davis has established partnerships with other universities and research institutions, allowing for a diverse range of research projects and perspectives.

Colgate’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies encourages students and faculty to work across disciplines and explore new areas of research. These collaborative efforts have led to innovative discoveries and solutions to complex problems.

Campus Sustainability Initiatives: UC Davis vs Colgate

Both UC Davis and Colgate are committed to sustainability and have implemented various initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. UC Davis has a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025 and has implemented a range of programs to reduce energy consumption, promote alternative transportation, and develop sustainable food systems.

Colgate has a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2019 and has implemented programs to reduce energy consumption, increase recycling, and educate students about sustainability.

In addition to these initiatives, both universities have also implemented water conservation programs. UC Davis has installed low-flow showerheads and faucets, as well as drought-resistant landscaping. Colgate has implemented a rainwater harvesting system and has installed water-efficient fixtures in all buildings on campus. These efforts have resulted in significant reductions in water usage and have helped to conserve this precious resource.

Diversity Initiatives on Campus: UC Davis vs Colgate

UC Davis and Colgate value diversity and have implemented initiatives to promote inclusion and equity on their respective campuses. UC Davis has a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan that includes a range of initiatives, from recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff to fostering an inclusive campus climate.

Colgate has a diversity, equity, and inclusion action plan that includes initiatives such as LGBTQ+ support services, partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities, and the development of inclusive curricula.

Additionally, both universities have established multicultural centers that provide resources and support for students from diverse backgrounds. These centers offer programming and events that celebrate different cultures and promote cross-cultural understanding.

UC Davis’ Cross Cultural Center provides a safe and welcoming space for students to explore their identities and connect with others, while Colgate’s ALANA Cultural Center focuses on supporting students of African, Latino/a, Asian, and Native American descent. These centers play an important role in creating a sense of community and belonging for students from underrepresented groups.

Group of students talking in the stairs.

In conclusion, UC Davis and Colgate are both top universities with unique strengths and offerings. By comparing the key aspects of these institutions, you can make an informed decision about which university is the best fit for you.

Whether you are interested in agriculture, liberal arts, or any other field, both UC Davis and Colgate offer excellent academic programs, resources, and opportunities to help you achieve your goals and make a meaningful impact in the world.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.

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