How UC Davis Undergraduates Can Become Journalists

Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward shaking UC Davis alumna Sawsan Morrar's hand
Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward congratulates Sawsan Morrar for receiving a scholarship at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in 2017. (Courtesy)

I always knew I wanted a career in journalism. In fact, I am currently attending UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where I report on various topics including politics and environmental issues.

Last year, I attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where I was awarded a scholarship on stage from the association. But all of these achievements, and my interest in journalism, started with my undergraduate program at UC Davis.

After four years of working at my high school newspaper, I chose to attend UC Davis, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in international relations and minors in communication and Middle East/South Asia studies.

UC Davis offers newspaper experience and journalism classes

While UC Davis doesn’t have a journalism major or minor, I didn’t feel limited in the opportunities to experiment with my interest. I was a  reporter for The California Aggie, our campus newspaper, and took a handful of reporting classes.

I always tell students who are interested in journalism that it’s a great idea to major in a subject that interests you like political science or even science. That way, you are better informed on specific subjects that will help guide your reporting.

I highly recommend getting an internship at a local paper or news station. My interest in political and community reporting continued after graduating, but like a lot of international relations majors, I also considered law school, and a job in education or at a nonprofit.

Journalism through Cap Public Radio and summer program

I knew the best way to be certain of my career choice was to test the waters. I worked at Capital Public Radio, where I assisted in producing a daily, live program. And I took part in a summer journalism program with UC Center Sacramento, where I reported at the California State Capitol.

I enjoyed the work I did and the opportunity to be inquisitive and creative. Every day was different, and immersing myself in the field only furthered my commitment to being a reporter.

Learn more about Sawsan on social media and the web.

International relations graduate Sawsan Morrar ’06 attends the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and will graduate this spring.


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