Regional Community Colleges

Sacramento City College is the most conveniently located Community College for Davis residents with an outreach campus located in South DavisWoodland Community College is also very convenient, approximately 7 miles from Davis. WCC always has lots of open classes and tons of parking.  D-Q University, a Native American community college, was located in Davis, out towards Winters, but it closed in 2005.

Why Community College?

People attend community college for many reasons. Some people aren't interested in completing a full four-year degree, and use community college to earn an Associate's Degree or professional certificate. Some complete their first two years of college before transferring to a four-year university due to the lower cost. Current four-year university students may take classes during the summer as a low cost alternative to summer school. People who already have careers may take classes for professional development. Finally, many people take classes simply for personal enrichment - because they are interested in a subject and love learning.

Community College Transfer Students

UCD transfer students can come from any Community College. The websites and have rather comprehensive lists of California State Community Colleges with links to their respective websites.

There are two options for community college students wanting to transfer to UC Davis:

  • Completion of transferable courses as specified in the articulation agreement between your community college and UC Davis. See for school-specific lists.
  • Completion of the IGETC (Intersegemental General Education Transfer Curriculum).
    • Completing the IGETC is advantageous to many students who want to transfer to Universities that do not offer transfer agreements (such as UC Berkeley). While the IGETC is neither required nor guarantees admission into a four-year University, completion increases an applicant's chances of being admitted. Theoretically, completing the IGETC fulfills lower-division general education requirements, but students choosing this option must usually complete additional transferable classes specific to their intended major.
    • IGETC has the effect of imposing a UC-wide (and to some extent Cal State-wide) set of requirements for breadth requirements, despite the fact that breath requirements actually vary from campus to campus. So because UC Davis actually requires a several classes more than the IGETC requirements, an IGETC UC Davis student can effectively get a "good deal," especially as a humanities major.
      • For example, a humanities major, for example, can get away with taking no language classes under the IGETC, provided you took language in high school (which the IGETC recognizes). (At Davis you would have to completely a third quarter-course in language, or score very high on a proficiency test (either AP, SAT II, or a test offered by some departments). And of course, this greatly benefits people who no longer remember what they learned in high school (which may not be much anyway, depending on the rigor of the program).


  • Lower tuition
  • More compatible with working
  • There's usually a community college close to home
  • Does not require the SAT and allows transfer to University of California without SAT, as well.
  • Because transfer admissions are based almost entirely on community college performance, a student with poor performance in high school has a second chance to attend college.
    • Transfer students may be given higher admissions priority over high-school students with similar GPAs.
  • Opportunity to distinguish yourself athletically if you had an undistinguished high school athletic career.
  • Broader age profile of students. Students who are used to working with peers of the same age may consider this a disadvantage, but older students provide a greater diversity of experience that is beneficial to the classroom.
    • Some people argue that community college students receive a poorer education, but certain statistics do not bear this out. Community college transfers traditionally have higher upper-division GPAs than non-transfers.
      • Someone please provide supporting evidence.
        • I suppose this is only anecdotal evidence, but I am a transfer student and my UCD GPA is 3.80. My husband, who was also a transfer student, graduated with a UCD GPA of 3.98.
  • No dorm life.
  • Professors, for the most part, are there because they enjoy teaching.


  • Less "college experience."
  • No dorm life.
  • Faculty quality more uneven.
  • Can sometimes seem too much like high school and not enough like college
    • (Freshmen here don't seem highschool???).
  • Frequently looked down-upon by employers or relatives who are college-snobs. However, transferring upon graduation (or sooner) usually fixes this.
  • "Slow you down" in a sense that if you jump into 4 year immediately, you can be taking upper div your Freshman year if you work hard

Current UC Davis Students and Community Colleges

Currently enrolled UC Davis undergrads can take classes at other schools, and transfer the units in. Note, however, that there is generally a limit to how many courses that can be transferred in, subject to earning a minimum grade in the course. Not all courses are transferable. Visit to determine what courses transfer—this varies from school to school, governed by an "articulation agreement" by the two campuses. UC Davis students must receive prior permission from the Registrar's Office to be concurrently enrolled during the Fall, Winter and Spring quarter for the units to be transfered in. You must give a good reason for wanting to take a course at a community college at the same time you are enrolled at UCD. If you don't receive permission first, the courses will not be accepted by UCD. Summer is the exception - you don't need prior authorization to take courses at a community college during the summer.

Why currently enrolled students would take a community college course:

  • Less expensive than regular tuition
  • Gives flexibility to travel while taking classes during summer or other quarters.
  • Does not affect GPA. (And if you don't pass, you don't have to try to transfer the units.) Note that when transferring units, you must transfer all of the units from the community college. You usually cannot pick and choose your best grades.
  • One strategy to avoiding weeder classes. (Pay special attention to whether your department prohibits transferred courses for specific pre-requisites.)
  • Enables the truly ambitious to overcome quarter unit maximums.


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2005-03-21 10:09:54   Transfer students do it better! —JimSchwab

2005-05-26 12:13:19   They save lots of money too. —JaimeRaba

2005-05-26 13:59:35   Sometimes I wish I were a transfer student. Then I remember what it was like to live at home. Although VC is nice, I needed to get away from my family. —CindySperry

2005-05-26 20:45:45   I'm a transfer student, and I didn't live at home... Then again, I didn't decide to go to school until I was 20 and had already grown weary of the "real world." —SummerSong

2005-05-26 21:55:10   COOL!! Diablo Vallley is across the street from my old high school and middle school, and it is down the street from my elementary school. —JenniferChu

Comment: A lot of the above was pretty biased, and, really, just bullshit. Higher GPAs because of less burnout? Less competitive classmates? More like highschool? Sounds like commentary from someone who doesn't have the foggiest idea what they're talking about. —ss

  • It was a (humorous?) stab at explaining why community college students can achieve higher GPAs. A few points:
    • In all honestly, I think the reason why community college folks tend to do so well has to do with the fact that many them have had the benefit of fewer social distractions in their previous community college life (despite the fact that many CCers are working part or full time), and therefore developed better study habbits and are less likely to be distracted by the party scene. And many of them treat school like a job and benefit from that attitude. But then again, that IS a generalization, but I'm just trying to explain why products of less competitive classes (i.e., student body, not courses) do so well. [And I agree with Jessica, below, that the courses are uneven in terms of difficulty, but I wasn't really getting into that. But I actually think community colleges are fairly free of "weeder" classes, which is why I think there's less burn-out.]
    • And as far as the high school character of community college, I think this probably varies quite a bit: There are a lot of schools that sell themselves as "we tranfer the highest rate to university X", and I would guess those schools have stronger student bodies. But most of the community colleges in the state are not of that mentality, which makes sense because their mission is different. After all they have virtually no admission requirements whatsoever. They can be seen as an extention of high school in terms of high school (or equivalent) being the only pre-requisite, with a remarkably similar social structure, football team, and seating arrangmenet. But then again, maybe this is all just bullshit and I don't know what I'm talking about. At least you automatically go to the most reasonable explanation. -jr
    • Community college is EASIER. I mean academically. —SS
      • Compared to upper-division courses, certainly. Compared to lower-division, not at all (at least in my experience). My Bio major cousin transferred from Sierra College to UCD and waited to take O-Chem until after she transferred because it was—this is according to her, not me—easier here. Likewise, my sister, a Toxicology major, is taking some lower-division courses at UC Berkeley when she transfers in the fall instead of at her JC. I really do wonder if there is a quantifiable and verifiable difference between JC classes and lower-division UC/CSU classes. Has anyone else transferred? What do you think? What JC did you go to?
        • I second this. Organic chemistry was a lot more difficult at my community college than at UCD. It had midterm exams that lasted 4-8 hours, and each lab required at least an extra two to three hours outside of scheduled lab time to complete. After watching my husband suffer through it, I decided to wait until I transferred to fulfull my o-chem requirement. Even aside from that, I wouldn't say that it's academically easier. Very few of the classes I took at Los Medanos College were curved. You couldn't just rely on everyone doing worse than you, like I did in many classes at UCD. -AnnaJones
        • I really think it depends on the community college. I took classes at Woodland Community College in high school (while I was in high school) and maintained a 4.0 college gpa. The classes seemed easier than some of my high school classes...I couldn't understand why anyone could fail them. Even classes I found difficult at Davis (i.e. CHEMISTRY) seemed like a walk in the park. I was nearly a transfer student when I entered Davis after high school because of all the classes I took at the J.C. Thought, I can only speak from my own experience. Also, I am a fond believer that any effort made to attend any kind of institution of higher education is admirable (I also aspire to teach community college classes, shocking huh?). —ArianeMetz

2005-05-27 21:58:17   I found the whole "CC is like high school" thing to really vary by class. Low level math and english classes that I took tended to have more of a high school atmosphere, probably because many of the students were new to college and just taking the class because it was required. However, students in most of my classes were a lot more enthusiastic and involved than students in most of my high school classes or lower division UCD classes. —JessicaLuedtke

2005-11-03 21:55:23   I liked going to a CC, up until I began working in Davis. Davis, and probably a lot of college towns, has this stigma with the college. It's weird, but I like Solano CC because it was close to home and way cheaper than relocating to a four-year and finding out my original UC/CSU choices wouldn't have been right for my then-undecided/now-decided major. —MichelleAccurso

2006-05-11 16:49:37   I decided against going to CC first then transfer. I thought I would save money. But I'm glad I went straight to UCD. In my first year, I was already taking upper div classes and by the end of my 2nd year, I only had 5 upper div classes left in my major so I have picked up a second major and minor. I would not have been able to do this if I went to CC initially. —JoAnnaRich

2007-04-26 19:10:35   Crap. I just wrote a huge comment and it was too long and I lost it all. To sum it up: A) More ACTUAL high school students attend community colleges, which might make it seem more like high school. B) Many instructors choose to teach at community colleges. They're not just the scraps the "real" colleges didn't let in. C) Community colleges often have a more personal experience. Your instructors are more likely to know your name, help you out, etc. —BradBenedict

2007-10-25 01:20:14   You also get to "start fresh" from your CC, I graduated De Anza with a 3.25- that ONE D is no longer bringin me down! I do miss the smaller class size, Having most of my teachers know me was a huge plus. —CrystalGallatin

2007-10-25 05:27:51   Three quarters of tuition at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills didn't cost me more than 1,000 a year. I think it's totally worth it financially and I have the spoftest spot in my heart for that school. Downside is, no one lives on campus or by campus, so it's up to you to carve your own social scene. I also feel that once you transfer, you're like a fish being transferred from one bowl to a bigger one, and you can't help but spend time swimming in its expanse and spend another half a year...if not one more year, trying to tie all ends up. I really feel like a two year college ends up becoming one year, and 3 years here. Thats just me though. —AyseG

2008-10-20 14:55:17   Junior College? Uh-oh. —CurlyGirl26

2009-02-15 17:40:25   yeah transfers! Chabot College (Hayward)!!! I was there three years and after I was admited to UCD, I had provisional admission provided I took a summer stats course at Laney College in Oakland. Transfers rock!!!! We are going to own UCD since there will be be more of us in the future, based on the way UC is moving its admissions policy. Also, it is true that community colleges can be kind of stigmatized. I didn't really realize it a whole lot til Davis, though I didn't love my CC since I knew I was going on to bigger and better things. Still I'm very glad the way it turned out becuase in HS I was a solid student at a prep school, but not really intrested in colleges and I only applied to a few state schools. I'm so glad I didn't waste my time and even though it took more than two years (I know people who take longer...they really suck you in); I'm so glad I worked hard and now I'm going here. Go Ags!!! —BryceH