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Washington Semester Program FAQs - Academics

How many credits does the Washington Semester Program offer?

The core of the Washington Semester Program is comprised of your seminar and internship experience. The seminar classes meet three days each week and are worth 8 American University (AU) credits as you will be registered for two 4-credit seminar courses. Your internship is worth 4 AU credits.

Students from US-based institutions are eligible to enroll in an independent research project course for the equivalent of AU 4 credits or any evening elective class at American University for the equivalent of 3-4 AU credits. Most students will complete the equivalent of 12-16 AU credits during their semester in DC, but you may have the option of completing up to the equivalent of 17 AU credits in the 12-17 flat fee tuition rate.

Students from international universities are automatically enrolled in the core of the Washington Semester Program and will receive an AU transcript with 12 credits. We recognize that some institutions require additional credits and do everything we can to provide additional research or elective courses within the School of Professional & Extended Studies to meet your academic requirements. Overseas students wishing to enroll in an elective course on main campus will incur an additional per credit fee.

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Which electives are available?

Elective class options vary based on the program that you choose and the courses offered by AU during a given semester.

You will receive more information about elective options once you have been admitted into the Washington Semester Program.

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Am I allowed to take an elective if I am participating in the travel program?

Yes, you may register for one of WSP’s electives. You will receive more information about elective options once you have been admitted into the Washington Semester Program.

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Can I enroll in a program that travels beyond Washington, DC and complete the program without taking the trip?

Yes, you may complete a travel program without participating in the travel portion. If you choose to opt out of travel, you will have an appropriate alternative program to complete while your classmates travel. Alternative activities will vary depending on your specific program. You may attend additional seminars or professional development events on the topic; undertake an additional service learning project related to the course; meet with another professor to discuss a related special assignment or directed readings, and so on. Our goal is for you to get a full and meaningful experience from the program even though you were not able to participate in the travel portion.

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If I have a documented learning disability and need assistance, who should I contact?

The Academic Support and Access Center provides extensive services to support you academically and will be able to work with all students with disabilities. You should be prepared to submit documentation from your home school regarding accommodations you currently receive. Be sure to mention you are a Washington Semester Program student.

Academic Support & Access Center can be reached by email or phone +1-202-885-3360


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When does the program begin?

  • Summer 2014 begins with orientation for all participants on Monday, June 2nd.
  • Fall 2014:
    • August 19th & 20th: International Student Pre-Orientation (required for all J-1 exchange visitors)
    • Washington Semester Program orientation begins on August 21st.
  • Spring 2015:
    • January 6th & 7th: International Student Pre-Orientation (required for all J-1 exchange visitors)
    • Washington Semester Program orientation begins on January 8th.
  • Summer 2015:
    • Summer orientation for all participants begins Monday, June 1st.


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How will I get my transcript after I finish my program?

You will complete a Transcript Request Form during the program. You may also request transcripts online through the myAU portal or through the AU Registrar's website.

You may fax your written request for your official transcript to: +1-202-885-1016

You may mail your request to:

Office of the Registrar
Attn: Student Record Services
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016-8064 USA


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