U.S./Domestic Off-Campus Study
The Washington Semester Program at American University
The Washington Semester Program has been in existence for over 60 years, and Skidmore students have been participating in the program for over 40 of those years. It is the preeminent program of its kind, bringing undergraduate students to the nation's capital for first-hand experiences and contact with political, business, and community leaders.
Students combine classroom work with practical experience to gain a better understanding of American government or a specific public policy area. Each program consists of an 8-creditseminar that meets 3 days a week, a 4-credit internship that you will participate in two days a week, and either a4-credit research paper or a 3-credit elective course taken at American University (AU).
The SeminarsPrograms of study within the Washington Semester include:
- American Politics
- Middle East and World Affairs*
- Foreign Policy
- Global Economics and Business*
- International Environment and Development*
- International Law and Organizations*
- Justice and Law
- Peace and Conflict Resolution*
- Transforming Communities
* These programs include a short-term study abroad component. Interested applicants must submit a petition statement, one faculty letter of support, and a copy of a valid passport with their application. Contact OCSE for details as soon as possible.
Students may receive credit for up to 18 semester credits for the Washington Semester program.Credit earned through the program will count as transfer credit and will not affect the Skidmore GPA. However, all courses and grades do appear on a Skidmore transcript.Students must earn a "C" or above for Skidmore to accept the transfer credits. Transfer credits may be applied toward major, minor, and all-college requirements with the approval of the student's major or minor department and the Registrar's Office.Courses taken at the 300 level will fulfill Skidmore's all-college maturity-level requirement.OCSE can not guarantee transfer credit for coursework that has not been pre-approved.
The internship is an integral and required component of the Washington Semester Program. It represents one-fourth of the semester curriculum. Notwithstanding the academic requirements, the internship provides the student with on-the-job experience, integrates classroom learning into real world situations, develops individual and interpersonal work skills and allows students to test career interests.
The Washington Semester Program has a fully searchable online internship database that boasts over 2,000 different internships at thousands of sites-all in the D.C. metro area. Past internship sites include American Red Cross (National Headquarters), Children's Defense Fund, U.S. Department of Commerce, World Bank Group, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Amnesty International, U.S. State Department, United Press International, NBC Washington, National Press Foundation, CNN, C-SPAN, U.S. Department of Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, and the offices of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Research Project or Elective Course
Each participant, in addition to their program seminar and internship, will enroll in an elective course on the Tenley Campus or the main American University campus oran in-depth research project that uses D.C. as multi-faceted resource. Elective course offerings can be found online at AU's Web site.
PLEASE NOTE: Students wishing to enroll in an elective course may only enroll in a course that begins at or after 5:00 PM in order to accommodate the Seminar and internship hours. Moreover, students approved for a Washington Semester program that includes a study abroad component and who also wish to enroll in an elective course are advised to select only from the course offerings at the Tenley Campus. Typically only four (4) or five (5) courses are offered in the areas of Public Affairs and International Service. Final course offerings on the Tenley Campus will be publicized by AU within 2-6 weeks prior to the start of a new semester.
Housing & Meals
Student housing is available through American University and the Washington Semester in the Berkshire Apartments, located directly across the street from the main campus, or in off-campus apartments on Capitol Hill. The Berkshire Apartments are only one block from main campus at American University and right next to a Metro station, providing easy access to transportation throughout D.C. All apartments have a full kitchen and cable and internet. There is a 24 hour front desk and a grocery store with a diner. Some students will also have the opportunity to live in WISH housing. WISH housing is apartment style housing located in Woodley Park and Capitol Hill near major metro and bus transit. It is comprised of (limited) singles, doubles, triples and quad rooms. All apartments have a full kitchen.
Students are charged Skidmore tuition, which covers tuition for the Washington Semester Program and the elective course at American University. Students are responsible for paying room and board charges directly to American University. In addition, students will have sole financial responsibility for transportation to/from D.C., books and supplies and personal expenses.
Skidmore students may apply all financial aid to the cost of the program.Students should meet with the Office of Student Aid and Family Finance to review their financial aid package when considering an off-campus study opportunity.
Requirements & Application
Please apply to Off-Campus Study & Exchanges by the following deadlines:
- Fall Semester:April 1
- Spring Semester:November 1
Students must be enrolled full-time, possess a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA, be in good academic, financial and social standing at Skidmore and have the ability to demonstrate, through personal essay and recommendations, the level of maturity and self-motivation needed to succeed in an off-campus experience to be eligible to participate in the Washington Semester Program.
After you have submitted your Domestic Program application to Off-Campus Study & Exchanges and are approved to study off campus, you can apply online directly to Washington Semester Program.