Academic Preparation

Preparation Before the Application

The pre-requisites for our program serve two purposes:

  1. Demonstrate academic preparedness for our program. Academic performance in prerequisite coursework is closely examined by the admissions committee.
  2. Prepare you for a two year graduation track. Students who do not have pre-requisites completed before beginning the program will not be able to register for required courses in the recommended quarters, delaying the graduation timeline. 

Applicants must have attained a minimum GPA of 3.0 ("B" average) in undergraduate and pre-requisite coursework from an institution of acceptable standing to be considered for admission. 

We strongly encourage applicants to obtain some industry experience (i.e. work a harvest) prior to applying to the program if they have not taken formal coursework in Viticulture & Enology. Background courses in Viticulture & Enology are recommended, though we recognize that most applicants will not have the opportunity to complete these courses prior to their arrival (i.e., wine analysis, wine production, sensory analysis, wine microbiology).

Determining Course Equivalency

The best way to determine course equivalencies is by comparing catalog entries/course descriptions between UCD and your institution. UC Davis course descriptions can be viewed by subject in our online catalog. Equivalencies between UCD and California Community College courses can be found at You may also request an equivalency review by sending a course syllabus to the undergraduate advisor for the department of the course (these requests may take 2-3 weeks). For example, you would send your course syllabus for CHEM 24 at Sac State to the UC Davis Chemistry Department advisor to determine if it is equivalent to CHE 8A/B.

The VENGG Advising staff can help with general questions regarding course equivalence questions if you have additional equivalency questions.


All pre-requisites listed below should be completed prior to beginning the program, unless otherwise noted. The UC Davis catalog descriptions for each course are also noted below to help applicants determine equivalency at their local institutions. Pre-requisites are accepted from any accredited post-secondary institution, so long as they are taken for credit and a letter grade (unless course is only offered Pass/No Pass). 


General Biology (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. Fundamentals of biochemical processes, with emphasis on protein structure and activity; energy metabolism; catabolism of sugars, amino acids, and lipids; and gluconeogenesis.


General Chemistry with Lab (one year)

CHE2A. General Chemistry. Lecture—3 hours; laboratory/discussion—4 hours.  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. 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. 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.


Organic Chemistry (two courses)

CHE8A. Organic Chemistry. Lecture—2 hours.  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. 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. May complete during first quarter of program, but not recommended. 

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. May complete during first quarter of program, but not recommended.


Mathematics (two courses or one of equivalent Calculus)

MAT16A. Calculus. Lecture—3 hours. Limits; differentiation of algebraic functions; analytic geometry; applications, in particular to maxima and minima problems.

MAT16B. Calculus. Lecture—3 hours. Integration; calculus for trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions; applications.


Microbiology with Lab (one course)

MIC102 + MIC 103L. Introductory Microbiology. Lecture—4 hours; laboratory—3 hours. 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. May complete during first quarter of program, but not recommended. 


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

STA106. Applied Statistical Methods: Analysis of Variance. Lecture—4 hours.  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. May complete during first quarter of program, but not recommended. 


PLS 120—Applied Statistics in Agricultural Sciences. Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—3 hour(s).  Application of statistical methods to design and analysis of research trials for plant, animal, behavioral, nutritional, and consumer sciences. Basic concepts and statistical methods are presented in lectures, laboratories emphasize data processing techniques, problem solving, and interpretation in specialized fields. May complete during first quarter of program, but not recommended.