Semester in Washington Politics through George Washington University.


Semester in Washington Politics through George Washington University

Offered in Spring semesters, Jan. 17 – May 5

Applications are due by October 10.

Apply Now


Semester in Washington Politics offers an invaluable up-close view of Washington, D.C. Students learn how political decisions are made, how power is wielded and how government is run – because you’ll be right in the center of the process. Students will be immersed in the processes that define our political system.

The Academic Program

The Washington Semester is operated by George Washington University in partnership with Drew. The program takes students inside the Beltway for an up-close look at the machinery of America’s government. During an intense internship, students work side-by-side with politicians, journalists, lobbyists or researchers. In a challenging seminar, students discuss current political issues with guest speakers from all areas of government. While conducting a demanding research project, students explore in depth a topic of their choosing. Though the focus is on the American political system, the program’s structure is such that it would benefit students in any major.

The Washington Semester is a sixteen-credit program in which students enroll in two required courses for a total of 8 credits and an internship for an additional 8 credits.

Course Descriptions

Required Courses:

Electoral and Legislative Processes (4 credits)
The Electoral and Legislative Processes course looks at the process of democratic representation focusing on the development and practice of electoral campaigning and its linkages to legislative affairs, public affairs, and lobbying. The approach offers an analysis of how individuals, parties, and interest groups use democratic processes to produce practical results in a diverse and fragmented society.

Practicum in Political Management (4 credits)
In the Practicum in Political Management, groups work in “real time” on a mock campaign for the United States Senate. Principles and theories from Electoral and Legislative Processes are put into practice in this practical course. The race for which students develop a plan will always be a race pending in the near future. Students rely heavily on information, data, and materials that are available outside of class, primarily-but not solely- on the Internet. Formal class sessions for the practicum are held once each week but groups develop their own schedules to meet outside of the regular class meetings to plan and execute the project. The course concludes with a final presentation by the two opposing teams in which DC professionals act as judges. As is the case in real political campaigns, a winner is selected based upon the group’s work.

Internship (8 credits)

The Semester in Washington Politics staff work directly with each student to identify professional objectives. They also offer extensive resources to assist students in securing rewarding internships.

Interns can choose to work on Capitol Hill, in the White House, at associations or lobbying firms, with public interest organizations, in public opinion research organizations, at media consulting firms or for news organizations.