FirstGen student Daniel Van Patten in the arboretum

Resources for First Gen Students

If you're a first-generation college student, congratulations!

Just getting here has required you to push yourself, stretch and grow. You may have a lot of questions and anxieties. There are many resources on campus to help you succeed.  

This website was set up to let you know that you're not alone; in fact, many of your professors have faced the challenges of being first-generation students and gone on to become researchers and teachers -- there are nearly 400 first-generation faculty at UC Davis. Their stories and advice are offered as points of connection for you.  And what they'll tell you is this: ask questions. Ask for help. Talk to your professors. Visit office hours. Trust your instincts. You don't have to know everything. Participate. Be open to the opportunities you encounter here.

Sample Email

Dear Professor (LastName),

I’m a first generation student at UC Davis and I found your name on the First Generation Faculty list.

[pick one]

  • I have some questions about your experience as a first gen student, and how you chose to go to graduate school.
  • I’m interested in your research and would like to talk to you about working your lab.
  • I’m seeking a mentor in the _____ field and was wondering if you would give me some guidance.


Sam Student

How to Use the Faculty Directory

  • Browse or search the FirstGen faculty list
  • Find professors you’d like to reach out to
  • Reach out to them!
    • Go to office hours
    • Send them an e-mail

First-Year Seminars

First Gen has teamed up with First-Year Seminars to offer seminars specifically designed for First Gen students! First Gen Seminars pair first-generation faculty and students in a small, for-credit class environment where they share a common experience, foster a sense of belonging, and engage intellectual curiosity. Explore First Gen Seminars on the FYS website.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) strives to improve the access, retention, and graduation rates of students who are low-income and first in their families to attend college. Learn how to apply to EOP.

First Gen Mentorship Pilot Program

The First-Generation Mentor Pilot Program connects current UC Davis undergraduates with UC Davis graduate students and staff through the shared experience of being a first-generation college student. Our goal is to provide first-generation students the knowledge, confidence, and tools to grow their network and advance in their research and career endeavors. Learn more here.

First Gen Social Media

Our social media accounts regularly share First Gen resources and highlight stories from First Gen students and faculty. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Additional Resources