Washington DC Program

Washington DC Semester Program

Want to apply your knowledge outside the classroom, make connections, and obtain hands-on training in politics, policy, and governance at the center of the action? Join us in Washington, DC for the Washington Semester Study & Internship Program.

MSU’s Washington Program has a successful track record of placing interns and improving their employment prospects. Starting next year, the Political Science Department will take a leadership role in its educational component, help students find internships through our alumni network, and offer generous scholarships for our majors. Participants will develop their skills and learn about national politics within a likeminded group in an enjoyable setting.

Here are the basics:

  • Apply by October 15
  • Earn 12 credits to help you fulfill PLS, ISS, and other requirements
  • Work at a 32-hour per week internship related to your career interests
  • Take advantage of faculty, staff and alumni connections to be placed in a congressional office, an administrative agency, an international institution, an advocacy organization, or a media or political group of your choosing.
  • Learn about American national policymaking in a unique hybrid course and via networking events and field trips to important institutions.
  • Develop marketable skills by collecting and analyzing data, writing reports for policymakers, and working alongside political professionals.
  • The cost is MSU tuition plus travel, books, a $4,500 fee for housing (with breakfast), and a $100 application fee.
  • Take advantage of new scholarships from the Department to reduce costs.
  • Application materials are available here: http://www.socialscience.msu.edu/students/experiential-learning/study-away/washington-dc/

The Washington Program offers several key advantages:

Learn About Politics and Policy

A political science faculty member will be teaching a hybrid online/in-person course: American Policymaking Inside the Beltway Bubble. The course will cover the role of Congress, the White House, Executive Branch agencies, the federal courts, interest groups and lobbyists, and political parties in developing national policy. They will integrate ongoing events and use hands-on examples with a focus on Obamacare implementation and debates over climate change and immigration. Students will practice analyzing data on lobbying, campaign finance, national budgets, and policymaking, producing reports to guide policymakers.

Flexibility to Match Your Interests

You choose an internship and major paper topic to match your academic, policy, and career interests. You can develop the connections, specialized knowledge, and track record of work experience to assess possible careers and find a job. Participants develop close friendships by going through the same experiences, but each person gets to choose the specific credits and career ties that they need.

Live and Work in Washington in the Spring

By interning nearly full-time during the semester, you will avoid the summer rush and get better placements with greater responsibility. You will arrive in town for the opening of a new session of Congress and stay until the Cherry blossoms line the Tidal Basin. Washington offers a thriving economy, a bustling urban life, and a young population that shares your interests. The shortened semester also gives you time to travel and explore.

Take Advantage of Diverse Experiences

Before you leave, the program prepares you to obtain a useful internship and make the best of your time away. During the program, you will have access to networking events, workshops, guest speakers, and other professional development activities. There are even two guided trips and advice to help you be an enlightened tourist.

New Scholarships

The College of Social Science has traditionally offered several potential scholarships to help defray the cost of attendance and we encourage you to apply. To encourage participation this Spring, the Department of Political Science is offering thousands of additional dollars for full or partial scholarships. To be considered, you submit the same application materials required for the program to me at the same time.

If you are interested in participating, take these steps: