The Washington, DC program offers students the opportunity to spend 10 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. Students enroll in one course and participate in a professional internship.

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 Course

Students enroll in one of the following courses:

  • CAS HI 281/PO 201/IR 356 American Governance: Foreign Affairs (4 credits)
    • 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 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 PO 202 Introduction to Congressional Policy Making (4)
    • 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
  • CAS PO 203/COM CM 556 Strategies for Issue Development and Policy Change (4)
    • 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
  • QST QM 221 Probabilistic and Statistical Decision Making for Management (4)
    • Sophomore requirement. 
    • Please note: Students may not receive credit for both QST QM 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 director 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.

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 Course, 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.


  • 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 (4 credits)
  • SHA HF 390 Field Placement in Hospitality Administration
Program Residence

  • Students live in suite-style apartments with shared 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.
  • Summer Term: Late May to early August
  • 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.