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 a 4-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
- Foreign Policy
- Global Economics and Business
- International Law and Organizations
- Journalism & New Media
- Justice and Law
- Religion, Politics, Peace, and Security
- Public Health
- Sustainable Development
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 courseoran 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.
Washington Semester offers several elective travel courses each semester. Students wishing to participate in a travel course must submit a petition to the Director of OCSEprior to applying to the Washington Semester program directly. The petition should address how the travel course will enhance the student's academics for the semester, specifically focusing on the location and the student's background and previously stated academic goals. Petitions should be one page in length and will be reviewed within two weeks of submission.
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 an on-campus residence hall. 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.
Students studying on the Washington Semester program are charged the Skidmore comprehensive fee. This fee is equal to Skidmore tuition, room at the on campus apartment rate, and board, as applicable. Skidmore College will handle payments to Washington Semester on behalf of students. The payment will cover tuition, double occupancy housing, board, as applicable and mandatory program/college fees. If the student elects to not enroll in a board plan, or only elects a partial board plan the Skidmore fee will be adjusted accordingly. 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 at least two weeks before the program's deadline but no later than our general deadline of March 15th (fall semester) and October 15 (spring semester).
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.
After you have submitted your online application through Off-Campus Study & Exchanges and are approved to study off campus, you must apply online directly to Washington Semester Program.