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Washington Semester Program - American Politics

WSP American Politics

Washington, D.C. is the heart and soul of politics in America. If you want to see how the game is played from the inside, apply for this program which has attracted politically interested students for more than 50 years. As an American Politics student, you will observe in-depth the machinations of our national government.

In seminars, students will meet with politicos, key staff, lobbyists, and policy makers to discuss campaigns, current legislative priorities, and hot-button issues. Ultimately, you will gain first-hand experience by talking with the nation's top decision makers. Your interactive seminar can bring you to Capitol Hill, the White House complex, the Supreme Court, campaign organizations, and powerful interest groups. Seminars include talks by influential leaders followed by a question and answer session. Recent topics include presidential elections, campaign reform, religion and politics, health care reform, energy policy, ethics reform, education policy, and homeland security.

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WSP Student Elayne Allen with House Speaker Paul Ryan
WSP Student Elayne Allen with House Speaker Paul Ryan

Student Reaction

"Studying American Politics with the Washington Semester Program opened the door to a new world for me. The program's structure of coursework combined with an internship immerses students in the life of politics that is simply unavailable outside of Washington, DC. 

Once I became acquainted with the professional life in DC and established myself through my internship, opportunities continued to become available even beyond the semester program.

The study of American Politics is especially valuable because students are exposed to the machinations of the political process while simultaneously participating in it through internship. This experience was certainly foundational in my life as an undergraduate." 

Elayne Allen

Past Speakers Include...

  • Lissa Muscatine, former Senior Advisor and Speechwriter, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI)
  • Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA)
  • Justice Samuel Alito
  • Seymour Hirsch, investigative journalist

Past Internship Sites

  • Democratic National Committee
  • Republican National Committee
  • U.S. Justice Department
  • Heritage Foundation
  • CATO Institute

Past Seminar Topics

  • Presidency
  • The Financial Crisis
  • Health Care Reform
  • Religion and American Politics
  • Civil Liberties and Rights