Washington Semester International Non-Credit Program

Washington Semester Program International Students

The Washington Semester Non-Credit International Certificate Program has enabled thousands of students from international universities to live, work, and study in Washington, DC with American University. Offered in conjunction with American University’s Washington Semester Program, the International Certificate Program allows international students from partner universities to take AU courses that can count towards the requirements of their home school degrees.   

The unique value of the program is that it combines coursework from a nationally-ranked university, experiential learning through topical seminars, and a structured and supervised career practicum at one of DC’s most dynamic institutions. The program-specific seminars, 3-days-a-week career practicum, and AU elective courses allow students to earn the noncredit equivalent of 8 to 16 credits. 

Students study at AU for the fall or spring and enjoy the services and benefits of full-time AU students. Additionally, students learn from experienced AU faculty and are supported by dedicated program administrators and academic advisors. Students can participate in AU’s hundreds of clubs and activities and immerse themselves in the richly diverse campus community. 

The International Certificate Program’s signature course is the WSP Seminar, which allows students to explore headline topics from a distinctly DC perspective. Taught by experienced AU faculty, the 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.  

Each week will consist of 3 days of career related practicum and 2 days of academic seminars. In all, the program is equivalent to 12-16 credit hours. You will enroll in:

  • 2 seminar courses
  • 1 career practicum course (supplemental to your career practicum)
  • An optional Program elective or research project.

Your career practicum will provide you with experience in a selected field that relates directly to your Washington Semester seminar. Through your practicum, you will develop valuable contacts and gain career experience in the field by completing substantive projects. A career practicum course will complement your practicum by way of discussions and assignments that will reinforce:

  • Professional skills of resume and cover letter writing, job search, communication skills, and problem solving;
  • Knowledge to help you engage with diverse and complex workplace environments; and
  • Your own self-analysis of your practicum experience, including an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses and possible future career paths.

The advantages of attending the Washington Semester International Certificate Program include:

  • Your academic practicum experience is run by an accredited American university and provides academic and practicum experiences that are equivalent to 12-16 US credits.
  • You have access to AU's student and support services can attend campus lectures and forums, join student clubs and social activities, plus participate in the WSP and AU Internship Fair and professional development programs.
  • You can choose to live in WSP affiliated off campus housing or off campus on your own.

Learn more about the academic and practicum experience through Washington Semester Program student blogs.

Tuition for the non-credit program is US$8,500 per semester, a substantial discount from standard American University tuition.  There are approximately US $380 in additional fees, including a Technology Fee, Student Activity Fee, Sports Center Fee, U*Pass, and AU health insurance. You can find additional information regarding program costs on the Tuition & Costs page.

The admission process, dates for nomination from your home school, and application requirements align with the requirements of the credit-bearing Washington Semester Program

When you complete the International Certificate Program, you will be graded and receive an American University non-credit transcript listing the courses and your grades. American University administrators work with you and your home school to have program courses and grades count on your home school transcript/mark sheet. 

You will be assessed on your academic courses, which will include class attendance and participation, completion of readings and selected assignments, as well as the hours worked and the grade from your practicum supervisor.