Students visiting the Tiny Desk at NPR Students visiting the Tiny Desk at NPR

Apply Now: Fall/Spring Apply Now: Summer

Academic Requirements

  Semester Program Summer Program
Credits* Up to 16 (Undergraduate)
9 credits (Graduate)
6 credits
Weeks 15 weeks 8 weeks
GPA 2.75 minimum 3.0 minimum

*The types of credit and subject areas are up to the discretion of the student’s home school.

The Curriculum

Students in our program typically work at their internships 4 days per week, then spend Fridays in a seminar class, where they meet with various outside experts on selected aspects of public policy as well as visit buildings and museums in the city, such as the US Capitol, the Supreme Court, and various Smithsonian museums. In the fall and spring, students also will spend some Fridays in a research class, where they will learn about research design and methods, and develop a research project over the course of the semester.

The experience also includes:

  • Orientation to Washington and the policy-making process
  • Engagement with program alumni who are working professionals in the DC area
  • Career planning support and exposure to a variety of networking opportunities
  • Guidance by a Political Science professor at SUNY Brockport through the research process

Undergraduate students earn up to 16 credits during the fall/spring semesters and 6 credits during the summer, while graduate students earn up to 9 credits during the fall/spring semesters and 6 credits during the summer.

Courses Credit Hours
Credit hours
Washington Program Internship-OAP-491/591 1 6 3
Washington Program Seminar-OAP-497/597 1 4/3 2 3
Washington Program Research Project-OAP-496 6/ N/A N/A

1 OAP-491/497 apply to undergraduate students and OAP-591/597 apply to graduate students.
2 Undergraduate students earn 4 credits for the seminar course and graduate students earn 3 credits.

The Research Component

One of the academic requirements of the semester program (fall and spring only) is the submission of a 5,000-word research paper. The uniqueness of the Washington setting and internship placement allows students the opportunity to engage in original research, which may involve examining new issues and talking with and interviewing experts on policy and the policy-making process.

Each student will make a half-hour presentation on the subject of the research paper.


Student grades are based on:

  • Internship supervisors’ evaluations
  • Student’s internship journal
  • Speaker analysis papers
  • Internship presentation
  • Internship evaluation paper
  • 15-20 - page research paper and presentation (Fall/Spring)
  • Participation in class meetings