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Academic Preparation

What do you need to be a competitive applicant to our program?


The primary requirement for admission to the Viticulture & Enology M.S. Program is evidence of intellectual achievement and promise.

Applicants must have attained a minimum B (3.0) average in undergraduate course work from an institution of acceptable standing to be considered for admission.


In addition, background courses in Viticulture & Enology are recommended. However, we recognize that most applicants will not have had the opportunity to complete these courses prior to their arrival (i.e., wine analysis, wine production, sensory, wine microbiology).  We strongly encourage applicants to obtain some industry experience prior to applying to the program (e.g. work a harvest).


Below is a list of prerequisite courses (in UC Davis equivalents) that must be completed in order to be a competitive applicant and considered for admission into the Viticulture & Enology Graduate Group. If unsure of course compatibility, applicants are encouraged to supply the admissions committee with a course syllabus from the previous institution. 

Note: most applicants have not completed prerequisites at UC Davis. However, equivalent coursework to that listed below will be expected in your application.  Please feel free to contact our VENGG advising staff for assistance in determining course equivalency.


Biological Sciences (one course)

BIS2A. Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth. Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Essentials of life including sources and use of energy, information storage, responsiveness to natural selection and cellularity. Origin of life and influence of living things on the chemistry of the Earth.


Biochemistry (one course)

BIS105. Biomolecules and Metabolism. Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: courses 1A, 1B, and 1C, or 2A, 2B, and 2C; course 101; Chemistry 8B or 118B or 128B. Fundamentals of biochemical processes, with emphasis on protein structure and activity; energy metabolism; catabolism of sugars, amino acids, and lipids; and gluconeogenesis.


Chemistry (one year General Chemistry, two courses Organic Chemistry)

CHE2A. General Chemistry. Lecture—3 hours; laboratory/discussion—4 hours. Prerequisite: High school chemistry and physics strongly recommended; satisfactory score on diagnostic examinations. Periodic table, stoichiometry, chemical equations, physical properties and kinetic theory of gases, atomic and molecular structure and chemical bonding. Laboratory experiments in stoichiometric relations, properties and collection of gases, atomic spectroscopy, and introductory quantitative analysis.

CHE2B. General Chemistry. Lecture—3 hours; laboratory/discussion—4 hours. Prerequisite: course 2A or 2AH. Continuation of course 2A. Condensed phases and intermolecular forces, chemical thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, acids and bases, solubility. Laboratory experiments in thermochemistry, equilibria, and quantitative analysis using volumetric methods.

CHE2C. General Chemistry. Lecture—3 hours; laboratory/discussion—4 hours. Prerequisite: course 2B or 2BH. Continuation of course 2B. Kinetics, electrochemistry, spectroscopy, structure and bonding in transition metal compounds, application of principles to chemical reactions. Laboratory experiments in selected analytical methods and syntheses.

CHE8A. Organic Chemistry. Lecture—2 hours. Prerequisite: course 2B with a grade of C– or higher. With course 8B, an introduction to the nomenclature, structure, chemistry, and reaction mechanisms of organic compounds. Intended for students majoring in areas other than organic chemistry.

CHE8B. Organic Chemistry. Lecture—3 hours; laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 8A or 118A. Continuation of course 8A. Laboratory concerned primarily with organic laboratory techniques and the chemistry of the common classes of organic compounds.


Economics (two courses)

ECN1A. Principles of Microeconomics. Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Course 1A and 1B may be taken in either order. Analysis of the allocation of resources and the distribution of income through a price system; competition and monopoly; the role of public policy; comparative economic systems.

ECN1B. Principles of Macroeconomics. Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Course 1A and 1B may be taken in either order. Analysis of the economy as a whole; determinants of the level of income, employment and prices; money and banking, economic fluctuations, international trade, economic development; the role of public policy.


Mathematics (two courses or one of equivalent Calculus)

MAT16A. Calculus. Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: two years of high school algebra, plane geometry, plane trigonometry, and satisfying the Mathematics Placement Requirement. Limits; differentiation of algebraic functions; analytic geometry; applications, in particular to maxima and minima problems.

MAT16B. Calculus. Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 16A, 17A, or 21A. Integration; calculus for trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions; applications.


Microbiology (one course with laboratory)

MIC102 + MIC 103L. Introductory Microbiology. Lecture—4 hours; laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: Biological Sciences 1A, or 2A and Chemistry 2B (Chemistry 2B may be taken concurrently). Survey of microorganisms emphasizing their interactions with humans and diseases. Topics include microscopy, survey of various microbes, the immune system, food microbiology, microbial pathogens, and mechanisms of disease transmission. Designed for students requiring microbiology for professional schools.

Plant Sciences (one course)

PLS2. Botany and Physiology of Cultivated Plants. Lecture—3 hours; discussion/laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: high school course in biology and chemistry recommended. A holistic introduction to the underlying botanical and physiological principles of cultivated plants and their response to the environment. Includes concepts behind plant selection, cultivation, and utilization. Laboratories include discussion and interactive demonstrations.


Statistics (one course which must include Analysis of Variance (ANOVA))

STA106. Applied Statistical Methods: Analysis of Variance. Lecture—4 hours. Prerequisite: course 13, 32, or 102. One-way and two-way fixed effects analysis of variance models. Randomized complete and incomplete block design, Latin squares. Multiple comparisons procedures. One-way random effects model.


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