Washington DC Program

Washington DC Semester Program

MSU has partnered with The Washington Center (TWC) to provide students with hands-on experience in politics, policy, and governance during a semester-long internship spent in Washington D.C.  This is a perfect way to apply your knowledge outside of the classroom and to make connections for your future career. 

Take advantage of the Academic Internship Program’s many DC connections with hundreds of potential placements including: the House and Senate, executive agencies, nonprofit & advocacy groups, communications and journalism outlets, criminal justice and law enforcement sites, and international relations organizations. 

Spring 2023 Program Basics:

  • Application deadline is Nov. 2
  • TWC will provide housing in the heart of DC, courses that will count for MSU credit, and help you with finding an internship placement.
  • The program will introduce you to policymaking and politics at the national level with unique access to hundreds of potential internship sites.
  • TWC application fee is $60, but this can be waived for some applications.
  • The total cost of the program is about $17,000. This includes housing and a program fee that covers tuition costs for course credit.  Food and travel expenses are an additional cost not covered in these fees.
  • Some private scholarships are available, including through MSU.
  • During the program, you will have access to networking events, workshops, and professional development activities through TWC.
  • This opportunitiy if not limited to PLS students. For other majors, contact Oumatie Marajh (marajhou@msu.edu) with the Office of Study Away.

 Applications & Eligibility

 To be eligible to participate in this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be at least a sophomore at MSU and have completed at least two semesters here.
  • Maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least a 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
  • PLS students must meet and seek the approval of PLS’s liaison, Ian Ostrander (ostran45@msu.edu), before submitting application documents.

 All applications to TWC’s program must contain:

  •  A One-Page Resume that outlines your educational background, leadership roles, honors, awards, and experience. See a guide or examples.
  • A Statement of Professional Interest that is about 100 words summarizing your interest in and goals for the internship. See a guide here
  • An Issues Essay or Writing Sample of about 500 words. You can write on an issue that is relevant to the internship that you would like or just submit a writing sample from a prior course.  See sample essays here
  • Transcript. You will need to upload your MSU transcript.  Either an official digital transcript or an unofficial if no digital version is available. 

 Flexibility to Match Your Interests

 The program allows you to choose an internship placement that directly matches your academic, policy, and career interests.  You can develop the connections, specialized knowledge, and work experience to assess possible careers and find a future job.  Participants often develop close friendships by going through the same experiences, but each person gets to focus on their own career path. 

Live and Work in Washington in the Spring

By interning nearly full-time in the spring semester, you will avoid the summer rush and get better placements with greater responsibilities.  You will arrive in town for the opening of a new Congress and stay until the Cherry blossoms line the Tidal Basin.  This is the best time to go.  Washington offers unique opportunities, a thriving economy, a bustling urban life, and a young population that shares your interests.  A semester-long immersion offers more opportunity to learn on the job while experiencing all that life in DC has to offer.

Links & Further Information