Washington, DC Internship Program (Summer)

This program offers students the opportunity to spend ten weeks studying and interning in one of the world’s most important capital cities. Although known primarily as the capital city of American politics, Washington, DC, plays a pivotal role, both nationally and internationally, in business, law, the sciences, media, and the arts.  The program offers students the opportunity to focus on leadership, public policy and agenda setting in their own area of interest.

Program Curriculum

Students enroll in one course and participate in a professional internship. Upon successful completion of the program students earn eight Boston University credits. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Courses

Students enroll in one of the following courses and an internship course:

CAS HI 281 / PO 201 / IR 356 American Governance: Foreign Affairs (4))

(Formerly CAS HI/IR/PO 356.) Overview of American presidencies of the late twentieth century, specifically considering how politics relates to foreign policy in America. Concepts including isolationism, manifest destiny, moralism, rule of law, national self-interest, and terrorism are discussed. Special focus on Iraq and Afghanistan. Syllabus

CAS PO 202: Introduction to Congressional Policy Making (4)

(Formerly CAS PO 406.) The purpose of this course is for the student to gain a working knowledge of the U.S. Congress, from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. The course features assigned readings and lectures as well as guest speakers, current periodicals, and in-class discussions. Syllabus

CAS PO 203 / COM CM 556: Strategies for Issue Development and Policy Change (4)

(Formerly CAS PO 321 / COM CM 556.) Focuses on the specialized forms of communication that political professionals use to win public support for their issues, candidates, and policy positions; and teaches concrete planning skills for those interested in influencing public policy using both inside and outside (or grassroots) strategies. Syllabus

Questrom SM 221: Probabilistic and Statistical Decision Making for Management (4)

(Sophomore requirement. Please note: Students may not receive credit for both Questrom SM 221 and CAS EC 305.) Exposes students to the fundamentals of probability, decision analysis, and statistics, and their application to business. Topics include probability, decision analysis, distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, and chi-square. 

Internship Areas

The Washington, DC Internship Program provides internship opportunities in almost every discipline, and students from all fields are encouraged to apply. All students are interviewed by the program directors and staff who guide students in their internship placements based on academic training, previous work experience, intellectual objectives, and unique Washington, DC opportunities.

Past placements have included Congressional offices, the Department of Justice, the Heritage Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Smithsonian Institution, People for the American Way, public affairs offices, and advertising agencies.

Internship Courses

Students enroll in a four-credit internship placement. Course numbers depend on the field of specialization in which the students complete their internships. Placements are contingent upon the students’ past experiences, professional interests, and relevant academic history, as well as the availability of opportunities in any given semester; flexibility is essential. Course numbers depend on the field of specialization in which the students complete their internships. The Internship Cours, also known as “The Washington Experience” meets weekly and is intended to complement the internship experience by helping students understand Washington culture, and hot-button topics in the nation’s capital while grooming them for the possibilities of a career in Washington. Syllabus

  • CAS AH 505 Internship in Arts/Architecture
  • CAS EC 497 Internship in Business/Economics
  • CAS EE 404 Internship in Energy/Environmental Policy
  • CAS PO 400 The Washington Internship
  • CAS PO 401/IR 451 Internship in Politics
  • CAS PO 403 Internship in Comparative Law
  • CAS PO 405/IR 455 Internship in International Organizations
  • COM JO 411 Internship in Journalism
  • CAS PS 495 Internship in Health/Human Services
  • COM CM 471 Internship in Advertising/Public Relations
  • COM FT 493/494 Internship in Film/Television
  • SAR HS 405: Health Sciences Practicum
  • SHA HF 390 Field Placement in Hospitality Administration

Program Details

Program Dates
  • Summer Term: Late May to early August
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn eight Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of eight credits.

  • Students live in suite-style apartments with shared kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas. There are usually two occupants per bedroom and up to 12 students per suite. Singles are available. Each common room is wired for telephones and cable television.
  • The housing is situated near the majority of Washington, DC government agencies and bureaus, national and international cultural attractions, and national historical landmarks. The surrounding neighborhood is well-established and boasts a variety of ethnic restaurants along its tree-lined streets. Students are just steps away from the Woodley Park/Zoo Metro stop.
Application Deadlines
  • Summer Term: March 1
  • Summer internships in Washington are extremely competitive. Students are encouraged to submit their applications for the program prior to the application deadline. Every effort will be made to help place students in internships that meet their academic interests, but students who apply after the March 1 deadline cannot be guaranteed a choice of internship and will be considered on a case by case basis.


Program Staff

The Boston University Washington, DC Programs are administered by staff in both our Boston and DC offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in DC. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel, who are responsible for everyday operations. In DC, the staff comprises a resident director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.