Graduate Programs in the College of Letters and Science
Our more than 1,500 graduate students at the College of Letters and Science are an essential driver for the college's strengths, conducting innovative research, leading creative programs and activities, and teaching undergraduates. Master's and doctoral degrees can be obtained in over 30 programs in the college.
Graduate Student Success Stories
Slande Erole, Graduate Student Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies and to the Chancellor
Slande Erole, a doctoral student in political science, is the primary student representative for graduate students at UC Davis throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, serving as a voice for graduate student concerns, needs and perspectives. Learn more about Erole and her research, which focuses on legislative effectiveness of women and minority women, in a profile by UC Davis Graduate Studies.
Nahrain Rasho, Political Science Graduate Student and Grad Slam Finalist
Nahrain Rasho, a doctoral candidate in political science who studies ethnic conflict and policies to reduce it, won People’s Choice and placed third Wednesday in the UC Davis Grad Slam. Rasho was the second College of Letters and Science finalist in two years to win the People’s Choice award in the annual research communication competition. Last year’s People’s Choice winner was anthropology graduate student Mayowa Adegboyega.
UC Davis Composition Students’ Music Heard Far and Wide
When doctoral music composition students at UC Davis hear their music played for the first time, they hear it played by professionals who are champions of new music with years of performance experience. “It’s an absolute luxury to have these professional musicians play our work,” said student Jonathan Favero. “In many programs you have to beg, borrow and steal to find players.”
Claudio Monteza-Moreno: Graduate Student Melds Biology and Anthropology
The story of how Claudio Monteza-Moreno came to UC Davis illustrates how research today often crosses boundaries — reaching across disciplines and around the globe to explore complex problems.
Veronica Vriesman: Research at the intersection of climate science, paleontology, and archaeology
Veronica Vriesman is a doctoral student at UC Davis with bachelor's degrees in geology and Spanish from Colgate University in New York. She divides her time between the Davis campus and Bodega Marine Laboratory. In this interview, Vriesman shares her experiences in science and her goals for the future.
Leading Global Physicists Gather at UC Davis
Nearly 100 of the world’s top students in theoretical physics traveled to UC Davis in June for the week-long Amplitudes Summer School, devoted to the study of scattering amplitudes and related topics in physics. Aimed at graduate students, the school offers introductory lectures from top experts, and a chance for students to present quick-fire summaries of their own research.
Scattering amplitudes are mathematical objects represented by diagrams and formulas that describe interactions among elementary particles such as protons, electrons and neutrinos. The study of scattering amplitudes has applications ranging from predicting the outcomes at particle colliders to melding quantum theory with the standard model of physics.
The summer school was hosted by the UC Davis Center for Quantum Mathematics and Physics (QMAP). At QMAP, researchers, postdocs, visitors and students work in concert to tackle questions such as the origin of space and time, quantum gravity and string theory. The school preceded the 10th annual Amplitudes international conference, held at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park.
Ph.D. Student Receives Mellon Fellowship for Oral History Research in Peru
History graduate student Renzo Aroni has been awarded a Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship to document a 1992 massacre of 18 peasants by the Maoist Shining Path in Peru.
As part of his doctoral research, Aroni is interviewing survivors and some perpetrators of the slaughter in the village of Huamanquiquia in the Ayacucho region where the Shining Path waged its 1980–99 guerrilla war against the Peruvian government.
He is among 70 fellows selected by the international nonprofit Social Science Research Council from a total of 988 graduate student applicants at universities nationwide. Read more about Aroni's award and his research.
Native American Studies Graduate Students Deepen Understanding Through Public Engagement
For Sarah Biscarra Dilley and Vanessa Esquivido, community interaction is a critical part of academic work. In engaging with the public, fellow students and those who share their cultural heritage, they’ve come to better understand their own research and found strong personal motivations for scholarship.
The Ph.D. students in Native American Studies shared insights into recognition struggles and Indigenous visual culture, creativity and innovation at Roseville’s Maidu Museum and Historic Site October 2017.
“Sometimes we’re in academia so much that we forget to connect back with other communities. It’s important to have an avenue open and encourage communication but to keep ourselves balanced as well,” Esquivido said. “For the talk, Sarah and I decided to share some of our personal narratives by interweaving them through our research.” Read more about Sarah and Vanessa.