DC is Our Classroom

The Washington Semester Program isn't just an opportunity for students to intern in Washington, DC for the semester. It's a unique opportunity to be part of a global network of doers, thinkers, innovators, and change-makers. Through intensive academic seminars at American University and specially-tailored internship opportunities throughout DC, students apply their newfound knowledge to the real world - day in and day out. Truly, the city is their classroom, and WSP is their gateway to professional and academic excellence.


No matter what your academic interests, you’ll find the ideal internship with guidance from our Experiential Education team. Our program has placed students in internships for over 70 years, ranging from government to nonprofit organizations and established corporations to start-ups around the region. We are positive that your internship will fit your goals.

Your internship through the Washington Semester Program won’t just be answering phones and filing. You will gain substantive real-world skills while doing rewarding work as a member of your organization. In addition, you will expand your network and acquire valuable experience that distinguishes you from other students at your home college and in future positions.


Your seminar is not just a lecture! At AU’s Washington Semester Program, you will spend two days a week with your professor, who will introduce you to new concepts and challenge your perspectives. You will have the opportunity to meet with respected experts, either as guests in the classroom or on-site visits to their organizations in the DC area.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Earn 12-17 American University credits that you transfer back to your home university.
  • Learn from guest speakers who are at the top of their fields.
  • Benefit from site visits to Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, NGOs, and international nonprofit organizations.
  • Intern at a diverse range of organizations, government agencies, businesses, or Fortune 500 companies in the DC-area.
  • Unsurpassed experience working with college students coming to DC for internships.
  • Professional internships, in which you will gain practical knowledge of a career field.
  • Comprehensive career guidance toward solidifying your career plan.
  • Individual feedback on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and professional correspondence.
  • Guided training on communication and navigating professional events.
  • International and DC connections by way of your internship and networking events.
  • Opportunities to make personalized connections with professional mentors.
  • Access to AU events, such as Orientation, an internship fair, and Professional Development Day.
  • AU student services & resources and living on campus.

Hot Off the Press!


Kami Simmons, a recent graduate from Columbia Journalism School, is a WSP alumna. From interning at the Obama White House, to interning at CNN and Voice of America, she's a self-proclaimed "Renaissance Woman."

Discovering a Passion for Peace Building


Hear the alumni story of Dr. Joseph Young, an AU Associate Professor and Washington Semester Program alum! He sheds light on the benefit of experiential learning for DC-based college students in today's world.

Program Brochure

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Washington Semester student Tracy Hanqing

A Running Start

Washington Semester Program student Tracy Hanqing interns at a nonprofit that empowers more women to run for office.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden taking selfie with Washington Semester Students

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English as a Second Language students in class

International Students

Improve your English skills before joining the Washington Semester Program!

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First established in 1947 making it one of the first programs of its kind

Top Majors: Political Science, Economics, Business, International Relations, and Journalism

Students from 15 different countries

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#InstagramTakeover by Spring 2020 Washington Semester Program student ambassador Alleyah Caesar @legalize.leiah > Hello Everyone! Thanks for stopping by my #InstagramTakeover. I am so delighted to share my experience with the #WashingtonSemesterProgram. My name is Alleyah. I am a history major and sociology minor at Spelman College @SpelmanCollege in Atlanta, GA. I am an aspiring civil rights attorney who has a strong commitment to uplifting and protecting marginalized communities and identities. I am excited to be working towards this goal by interning at The Council for Court Excellence (CCE) - a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization that makes policy recommendations for courts in the DC area. Interning at CCE is perfect for me because their diversity of projects matches my broad range of criminal reform interests.⠀ ⠀ I am currently working on the District Task Force on Jails & Justice initiative. So far, I have drafted testimonies for hearings, created newsletter content, and worked with stakeholders to find solutions for prison reform. What I enjoy most about working here is being able to collaborate with returning citizens and re-entry service providers. Helping others reintegrate into society remains a continuous source of inspiration for me. Each day, we are making strides in removing racial disparities and restoring equity to some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.⠀ ⠀ #DCisOurClassroom @AmericanUniversity @AU_SPExS #InstagramTakeover #AmericanUniversity #WashingtonDC #DC #DCinterns #internship #DCinternships #WashingtonSemesterProgram ##WashingtonSemesterProgram #WSP #Council for Court Excellence #CCE

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