8 Study Spaces on Campus

A group of students study together in a sunny atrium.
Natural light enhances many study spaces on campus, including the lobby of the new International Center. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

As a UC Davis student, you’re on a quest to discover and innovate. Along the way to knowledge and change, you’ll put in countless hours of studying. Finding study space at UC Davis doesn't necessarily have to mean sitting in an isolated silent chamber. Not unless you want it to, anyway. Why not spend them in one of these eight campus spaces poised to enhance collaboration, reflection and creativity?

1. Peter J. Shields Library

Student reading on sunny windowsill
Students take advantage of the many study settings available at the Peter J. Shields Library. (Karin Higgins/ UC Davis)

Close the book on conventional libraries — the Peter J. Shields Library is a hub at the center of campus and a treasure trove of unique study nooks. From the airy main reading room to the quiet outdoor courtyard, and reservable group study rooms, tried-and-true individual carrels and countless wide windowsills on which to perch with your laptop or books, our library can suit your many study styles. Voted the best place to study by students in 2016, the library is only getting better: Therapy Fluffies and now the CoffeeHouse visit around finals, and a bold re-visioning plan will bring new furniture and new technology in the near future.

This fall quarter, from Sunday, Dec. 10, to Wednesday, Dec. 13, the library will open new sections for 24-hour use, namely the Sally Porter, Main Reading and Nelle Branch rooms. These rooms will be patrolled by security for student safety.

Enter through the Study Room entrance on the north side of Shields, across from the Quad. Check out the full list of the library’s hours during finals and the holiday break. (The library is trying out these new sections, evaluating whether it will continue with the program.)

And you can snack! The library is partnering with the CoHo to have coffee, tea, packaged baked goods, energy bars and fresh fruit during finals. You can get that caffeine and sugar boost 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 8-10, and 7 p.m.-midnight. Dec. 11 – 14.

2. Activities and Recreation Center

Student with laptop reclining on couch
The ARC offers a relaxed environment for students to flex their academic muscles. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

UC Davis takes your wellness to heart — just visit the campus Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) to experience firsthand how physical activity can help you focus. Stimulate positive energy by breaking a sweat on the mat or court, or build a workout seamlessly into your study sessions by bringing your books with you. With its tables and couches, and snacks at the ProShop and Starbucks, the ARC is fully equipped to strengthen your body and brain.

3. Student Community Center

Students occupy tables and couches in building's lobby
The first-floor lounge of the Student Community Center (SCC) is one of several places for students to gather and study inside the building. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The Student Community Center (commonly called the SCC) is a great place for community — and for cramming. The building’s lobby is open until 2 a.m., and lights by meeting room doors light up green when the rooms are available, making collaboration efficient for you and your team. So study away, then skip the line to get your Scantron or blue book — the SCC has a vending machine stocked with them on site. 

4. Mondavi Center for Performing Arts

Lobby filled with students at tables and desks
The Mondavi Center’s lobby buzzes with students during finals week while its many nooks become havens for anyone seeking silence, solitude or inspiration. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

There’s an art to succeeding in college, isn’t there? You can master it by basking in the natural light and grand views in the three levels of open seating at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for Performing Arts. The expansive lobbies are open weekdays, with a food truck right outside. Keep close watch during finals week because the center turns into the best kind of study hall: large tables ideal for group work, plenty of outlets for your devices, classical music streaming in the background, and freely flowing coffee and tea.

5. Residence Hall Study Lounges

Small group of students talking in lounge with large windows
Convenience and comfort can’t be beat in the residence hall study lounges, open 24/7. (UC Davis)

Each residence hall has a common area study lounge open all day and all night during the academic year, so inhabitants can be supremely comfortable and seriously studious at the same time. Just a few steps or doors away from bed are tables, chairs and couches, outlets and even whiteboards for your use — bring your own midnight snacks. If a computer, printer or scanner is what you need, you can find those in the residence hall’s computer center, also open all the time, every day.

6. Student Resource Centers

Students in deep concentration at small desks in bright room
Each resource center creates its own community and welcomes all students to join, especially for studying and relaxing. (Elena Zhukova/UC Office of the President)

Intimate yet social spaces, the student resource centers provide supportive structure for dialogue. Some student scholar organizations sponsor study events in the evenings — check the Center for African Diaspora Student SuccessAB540 and Undocumented Student CenterLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource CenterCross Cultural CenterStudent Recruitment and Retention Center and Women’s Resources and Research Center for offerings throughout the year, and delve into the digital homes of various Latino/a and Chicano/a, Native American and Middle Eastern student resources.

7. The CoHo

Small groups of students talking and studying in cafe
The ASUCD Coffee House serves up a café atmosphere where students can pour into their studies. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

A coffeehouse on campus — need we say more? The ASUCD CoffeeHouse in the Memorial Union is run for students by students (with a handful of other staff). That means friendly faces, special attention to sustainable practices, and a wide variety of offerings and hours tailored to your study needs.

8. Arboretum  

Small groups of students studying on grass by the water
The Arboretum is 100 acres of uniquely refreshing collaborative and contemplative study space. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Let your thoughts expand from a grassy seat on the bank by Spafford Lake in the UC Davis Arboretum. It’s just one of the 17 different gardens and collections in the “living museum” along Putah Creek. If the serene surroundings get you daydreaming, you’ve learned quickly that the Arboretum, and several other campus spots, have a place on the UC Davis Nap Map from Student Health and Counseling Services. 

Media Resources

Amy Whitcomb, Strategic Communications, 530-752-2542, aawhitcomb@ucdavis.edu

Primary Category