DC is Our Classroom

The Washington Semester Program’s signature course is the WSP Seminar.  

These courses allow students to explore headline topics from a distinctly DC perspective. Taught by experienced AU faculty, the WSP Seminar makes DC your classroom, bringing you face-to-face with local, national, and global experts in the government, non-profit, media and corporate sectors.  

Additionally, you may choose to enroll in a WSP or AU elective, or a research course, that can also satisfy your home school requirements. 

Fall and Spring Courses

To curate your Washington Semester, we have designed interdisciplinary seminars to provide broad opportunities for students pursuing diverse academic fields: American Politics, Foreign Policy, Global Economics & Business, Justice & Law, Public Health, Communications, and Journalism. You may select two of the interdisciplinary seminars. 

Spring 2023

Political Transitions and Policy ImplicationsAmerican Politics, Global Economics & Business, Justice & Law Concentrations

Criminal Legal System: Roots of Mass Incarceration and Racial DisparityJustice & Law, American Politics Concentrations

National Conversations in Times of CrisisJournalism & New Media, Foreign Policy, Global Economics and Business Concentrations

Globalization in Crisis International Business, Law and Organization Policy Issues 

International Peace and Security (New for Spring 2023)

Click here to read seminar descriptions
 

Fall 2023

The US Presidency: History and Current Controversies

Criminal Legal System: Mass Incarceration and Racial DisparityJustice & Law, American Politics Concentrations

National Conversations in Times of CrisisJournalism & New Media, Foreign Policy, Global Economics and Business Concentrations

Globalization in Crisis International Business, Law and Organization Policy Issues 

International Peace and Security

Click here to read seminar descriptions

You will choose one of a series of internship course topics that most closely align with your professional interests. This course focuses on the key skills you need to land an internship and become a successful employee in today's workplace.

In this course you will:

  • Set goals for your internship
  • Explore common challenges and opportunities in the workplace
  • Communicate effectively with co-workers
  • Build awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in the workplace
  • Reflect on projects and share experiences
  • Access extensive faculty supervision

New for 2022: WSP students can now enter the WSP Global Economics and Business Track – offered in conjunction with American University’s Kogod School of Business.

Students in the track work with the Kogod School of Business Office of Career Engagement to secure a business-oriented internship placement. 

Take the following courses:

  • WSP Seminar #1: Globalization in Crisis: International Business, Law and Organization Policy Issues (4 credits)
  • WSP Seminar #2: One of the following course topics (4 credits):
    • Politcal Transitions and Policy Implications
    • Managing the Pandemic in Globalized Societies
    • National Conversatoins in Times of Crisis
    • Criminal Legal System: Roots of Mass Incarceration and Racial Disparity
  • WSP Global Economics and Business Internship Course (4 credits)
  • One Kogod School of Business elective course (3 credits)

View the brochure here for more information

You can enroll in a WSP or AU elective course in addition to your WSP coursework. Your elective choice can be a topic of general interest or can help you satisfy requirements at your home school.  

Your WSP academic advisor will review course selections during the registration process to ensure that electives do not conflict with your WSP course or internship schedule.

Spring 2023 Elective

The U.S. Presidency: History and Current Controversies
Do executive orders undermine democracy? Should the president be limited to two terms? May the president pardon himself? In this course, we will take an in-depth look at the presidency from three complementary perspectives. First, we will undertake a broad, historical overview of the institution and the men who have served as president. Second, we will examine classic political science texts to track the evolution of our understanding of the job. Third, we will conduct an in-depth analysis of key issues facing the modern chief executive, and then discuss how recent presidents have handled them.

Fall 2023 Elective

TBD in International Relations

WSP offers rigorous research project courses in which you will take advantage of the myriad of primary resources at AU and our nation's capital. Students will often take this course to satisfy a senior seminar or other home school requirement.  

You'll work one-on-one with an experienced WSP faculty member who will help you develop a research topic and guide you in the methodology and presentation of your research.

The WSP Research Project is available as a 3-credit, 4-credit, or non-credit course.

Summer Courses

Choose between a Politics & Law, International Affairs, or Social Justice internship course where you'll come face-to-face with national and global expert guest speakers.

Learn Career Skills:

  • Set goals for your internship
  • Explore common challenges and opportunities in the workplace
  • Communicate effectively with co-workers
  • Build awareness to diversity in the workplace
  • Reflect on projects and share experiences
  • Access extensive faculty supervision

For more information about summer courses, please visit the WSP Summer Page.