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Summer Internship Program in Washington, DC

The Washington Semester Summer Internship Program gives you an excellent opportunity to gain career-related, on-the-job experience while getting a first-hand view of the action in Washington, D.C. With our Summer Internship Program you get more than an internship. You also gain unparalleled insight from our knowledgeable faculty. You will have a dedicated professor-mentor who will help you find your internship, orient you in the city, and work with you throughout the semester to provide you with guidance and advice. Depending on your status, you can earn three to six undergraduate or graduate credits in the program.

The Washington Semester Summer Internship Program is a great way to:

  • gain valuable work experience
  • establish contacts for the future
  • meet face-to-face with public officials and decision makers
  • earn three to six academic credits while working in a professional environment
  • become part of the pulse and excitement of Washington, D.C.
  • meet bright, ambitious students from across the U.S. and around the world

Program Structure

The Summer Internship Program is an academic program with two components. Students gain hands-on skills interning full-time for a professional organization in Washington, and augment their experiences through a seminar class in their field of study which meets one half day a week. The internship is definitely the way to gain experience for your résumé, but the relationship you build with your professor will help you place your experiences in an academic context and provide you with a forum to share your thoughts on the internship process.
You will submit a comprehensive portfolio of your internship experience in D.C. to your professor mentor at the end of your program. Your portfolio & internship evaluation (and research paper if you elect the six credit option) will determine your final grade.

Curriculum Choices - Internships

You receive on-the-job training with an internship in just about any field to fit your career and academic goals.

You take an active role in securing your full-time internship. With the assistance of your Washington Semester Faculty Advisor, you will interview with several organizations in your area of study. You can intern with a congressional office, the media, the courts, a museum, an interest group, or a political organization, among others.

Your placement will depend on the current needs of the organization and their individual interview process.The faculty advisor uses your resume, your comments and our program's excellent reputation to make contacts with potential internship sites. However, your faculty advisor won't simply make a call and land you an internship. You will take an active part in the internship placement process. You should expect to interview over the phone or in person to secure your summer internship.

Following is a short sampling of internships held by students in the
Summer Internship Program divided by subject areas:

 American Politics
 International Affairs
 Economics & International Business
 Justice and Law
 Print and Broadcast Journalism

Grades & Credits

You may opt to earn either 3 or 6 academic credits and will receive a letter grade or grades for your summer program.

Your grade is based on an evaluation by your on-site internship supervisor as well as academic work including a comprehensive portfolio that you submit to your professor. American University issues your official transcript which documents your grade and the number of academic credits earned. Students who opt for the six credit program must also complete an in-depth research project with guidance from their professor.

Depending on your present academic status, you may receive either undergraduate or graduate credit. While course credit is readily transferable, we encourage you to consult your home university and/or your academic advisor to be certain that these credits fit within your degree objective.

Program Dates

June1, 2009-July 31, 2009

The priority application deadline is February 1, 2009. The more popular internships fill quickly, so apply as early as possible. The final application deadline is March 3.


3 WEEK/3 CREDIT SEMINAR EXPERIENCE - June 15 2009-July 2, 2009 This is such an extraordinary time to be in Washington, DC that we're offering another way to participate in our program. In just three weeks, you can earn academic credit and make important contacts with Washington decision-makers through in-class seminars and site visits. Two courses will be offered - both taught by faculty experts with outstanding credentials in experiental learning. You can choose from:

American Politics: How Washington works with the new Obama Presidency and Congress
Foreign Policy: The New American Foreign Policy (under the Obama administration)

Living in DC

The extraordinary city of Washington, D.C. is what makes this once-in-a-lifetime program possible. We draw from the bountiful sources D.C. has to offer to provide you with this interactive learning opportunity. D.C. lets you learn through living.
Students come to D.C for the internship but they soon realize that this city is far more than just the power capital. It is beautiful and full of art and culture, outdoor activities, national monuments, historic scenes, and interesting people. The city is brimming with energy and sports a charm all its own. In fact, our students grow so fond of D.C., many of them return after graduation.

Our students live on the Tenley Campus of American University (AU) with other students in the program. Tenley Campus is located in beautiful upper-Northwest D.C., the closest AU Campus to the Metro (just one block away) making travel to your internship, downtown, Georgetown, and other locations quick and easy. Tenley Campus is a one-stop-shop, with modern residence halls, dining facilities, and is in a safe neighborhood, next to diplomatic residences, embassies, and the homes of Senators and dignitaries. Find out more about life in Washington D.C. and as an AU student through the following links:

 Washington, D.C. links
 American University resources
 Tenley Campus information
 Student Services  
 Other Amenities

Please note that the program reserves the right to alter program details or costs if necessary.