The Washington, DC Multimedia and Journalism Program offers graduate and undergraduate students an exciting semester in the nation’s capital. In addition to an internship in Journalism with an accompanying internship course, students can opt to take a course on Government & the Media or Beat Reporting at the BU Washington, DC Academic Center. The Washington Program makes a concerted effort to bring COM alums together with students; students will meet and connect with newsmakers, editors, bureau chiefs, reporters, multimedia designers, and PR practitioners.

  • All students must enroll according to, and remain in compliance with, the Boston University Study Abroad Course Load Policy.
  • Intended for advanced second-semester juniors, seniors, and graduate students in journalism/communications who have already had a professional internship or other writing and reporting experience
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Classes are taught at the BU Washington, DC Academic Center, both by distinguished scholars and practitioners in various fields (think tanks, Capitol Hill, universities, news bureaus). Instructors know Washington well and provide an excellent academic perspective along with professional expertise.

Students participate in the internship and 3 elective courses.

Students participating in the program work at their internship four days a week and enroll in evening courses. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Course

Students take the following course:

  • COM JO 411 Internship in Journalism (4 credits)

Internship placements are contingent upon the student’s past experience, professional interests, and available opportunities in any given semester; flexibility is essential.

The internship course, also known as “The Washington Experience,” meets bi-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 working world by helping students make connections within their field of study. The course includes guest speakers representing different fields, field trips and special events.

Elective Courses

Students must take 3 of the following electives.

Suggested Electives

The following courses are recommended (but not required) because of their relevance to the internship.

  • COM JO 310 Beat Reporting (4 credits)
    • Students learn to cover a city neighborhood or a nearby community beat. Students will branch out across the city and suburbs to cover courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting. Students will be encouraged to develop their own sources and story ideas with the goal of professional publication in the Boston University News Service. Students produce stories, photos, audio, and video for the Web.
  • COM JO 510 Government and the Media (4)
    • Advanced course in public affairs reporting. Through lectures, class discussion, and readings, students learn about the development of political reporting and also analyze contemporary public affairs reporting. Students gain experience through reporting assignments on Congress and federal agencies. For their final project students complete a magazine-length enterprise article on a public affairs issue.

Additional Electives

  • CAS HI 281/CAS PO 201/CAS IR 356 American Governance: Foreign Affairs (4 credits)
    • Formerly CAS HI/PO/IR 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 HI 327/CAS PO 204 The Modern US Senate: From Collaboration to Confrontation (4)
    • Examines the history of the US Senate with a special focus on increasing partisanship since WWII. Addresses major policy issues and landmark pieces of legislation as well as the lives and legacies of prominent individual Senators. Includes guest lecturers.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS IR 324E/CAS PO 280E American Policy-Making in the Global Era: International Trade, Finance, Innovation, and the Global Corporation (4)
    • Course examines American international economic decision-making in a changing global economy and addresses current theories of International Political Economy with respect to trade, finance, and the development of global corporations. Explores how American policy shaped the post-World War II global economy.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS IR 338 Conflict, Violence and Peacebuilding (4)
    • This course introduces the field of peacebuilding and conflict and examines its various facets to equip students to analyze the social and political dynamics of peace and conflict. Students will learn about the basics of the field, the importance of conflict analysis, and the options for nonviolent responses to prevent and resolve conflicts and ensure sustainable post-conflict transformation. The last part of the course will offer students an opportunity to simulate real-world conflict negotiations and problem-solving efforts experienced by policy makers involved in conflict resolution. There are no prerequisites for the course but the ideal student will have an interest and background in international relations and be a keen follower of current affairs.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS IR 391/PO 246 Democratization: Its History and Future Challenges (4)
    • Comparative perspective on the history of democracy and democratization. Explores conditions, catalysts, and processes of democratic change with a focus on current trends in the democratization debate. Special focus on Iran as a case study.
    • 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
  • 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 US 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
  • COM CM 409 Persuasion & Public Opinion (4)
    • The theories, strategy, and techniques of persuasion as a means of shaping public opinion and attitudes. How individuals, business, government, and institutions craft messages and communicate through the press, entertainment media, advertising, and public relations. Ascertaining and understanding the beliefs, attitudes, and values of groups and society.
  • COM CM 305 Public Relations Inside the Beltway (4)
    • Provides students with an overview of professional principles and practice for public relations/public affairs in the Washington area with a special emphasis on governmental public relations. Includes an examination of the history, organization, and scope of the public relations field throughout the country and in the nation’s capital. Theories, strategies, and tactics of current public relations practices are emphasized as well as opportunities and requirements for work in the field.
    • Syllabus

The George Washington University

Students also have the option to take up to two classes at The George Washington University in place of electives. They can enroll in any of George Washington's seven undergraduate colleges, and the full spectrum of course offerings is open to them while they are enrolled in the Washington Journalism & Multimedia Program.

The Global Learning Experience: An Online Course

Students in all Fall and Spring programs have the opportunity to enroll in The Global Learning Experience at no additional cost.

  • CAS IP101 The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)
    • All program participants have the opportunity to make the most of their semester abroad with The Global Learning Experience, a self-paced, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and experiential assignments that accompany them while living and studying in a country and culture different from their own. Students post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform to trace and articulate their achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. The course links students with the faculty instructors as well as peers studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. Students earn one credit in addition to the total program credits mentioned below at no additional cost.
    • Syllabus
Program Residence

  • Students live in suite-style apartments with shared kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas.
  • Two occupants per bedroom and up to 12 students per suite. Each suite has a shared kitchen stocked with cooking utensils.
  • Singles are available on a space-available basis for a supplemental fee.
  • The apartments are centrally located in the Woodley Park area of Washington, DC.  Just steps from the Washington, DC metro.  Although board isn’t included, there are many nearby grocery stores and restaurants.
  • The apartments have on-site laundry facilities.
  • Fall Semester: late August to mid-December
    • Spring Semester: mid-January to mid-May
    • Fall Semester: April 1
    • Spring Semester: November 1