History & Description
The Washington Semester at American University is an exclusive, unique opportunity to discover today's most complex and compelling fields while living in arguably the most important city in the world right now. This is an education that will not only refine your career path but define your future. This is your life in fast-forward, 24/7. Since its inception in 1947, more than 35,000 students have furthered their career and life goals in the Washington Semester Program. Our alumni serve as living proof that the program can change lives and provide ambitious college students with the tools and networks they need to succeed.
Every person sees Washington differently, because it is a city of multiple personalities. "Outwardly serene and classically beautiful, the Capitol, the White House, and the Supreme Court stand at the heart of Washington, D.C. They are powerful, steadfast symbols of the stability and strength of the nation. But the city that revolves around this axis is in a constant state of change, lived on a more human scale" (http://www.fodors.com/world/north-america/usa/district-of-columbia/washington-dc/feature_30001.html).
About The Program
Please note this program has earlier application deadlines. See Explorations/Study Abroad for more details.
To view updated information regarding housing, please click on this link: http://www.american.edu/ocl/housing/Washingtonsemesterhousing.cfm. Students can select a meal plan through American University. Prices vary depending on the chosen meal plan.
American Political Thought, Public Relations, Politics and the Media, Speechwriting, World Politics, American Environmental Policy & Politics, Business, & Foreign Policy
Internship (4 credits)
- 3 days per week (20 hours per week)
Seminar (8 Credits)
- Local, national, and global experts lead seminars
- Applied learning activities
- Business plan development
- Service Learning
Academic Course or Research (3 or 4 Credits)
- Conduct an in-depth research project
Under the leadership of a Washington Semester professor, for three days each week you'll participate in intellectual, real-world discussions with professionals immersed in your field of study. These pros are all major players at the local, national, and international levels who are passionate about their stance. They'll present valid viewpoints - and welcome your point of view and challenging questions.
To view a full list of seminar subject areas, please click on this link: http://www.american.edu/washingtonsemester/Program-Overview.cfm.
Research or Elective Course (3 or 4 Credits)
At your option, you can choose to conduct an in-depth research project using Washington, DC as a laboratory of information and experience. Or, if you need to fulfill an academic requirement from your home school, you can choose an evening elective class form American University's hundreds of course offerings.
Internship (4 Credits)
Added to the core curriculum in the late 1960's, the internship experience has become an integral element of the Washington Semester Program. While they vary in form and content, all internships can: provide needed on-the-job experience, allow you to test career interests, integrate classroom learning into real world situations, enhance personal development and the development of interpersonal work skills, and provide practical knowledge of and exposure to the real world.
Six weeks prior to the semester's start we'll supply you with online access to a database of potential organizations for internships, all relevant to your selected program. We'll provide insight on each organization and contact information. Then we'll connect you with the resources you need to write an effective resume and cover letter to land the internship of your dreams. While your internship course professor will be happy to assist you with your search once you arrive, you should start looking for an internship as soon as you have access to the database.
Current BW Status
You must be a current BW student and have completed at least one semester of on-campus study at BW before you may submit an application.
Your cumulative grade point average has to be 2.7 or above (the host institution might have a higher GPA requirement.) If lower than a 2.7, students may appeal with the permission of the Explorations Director.
Student Conduct Record
Serious or multiple violations of college policy may jeopardize your eligibility for Explorations/Study Abroad programs. You will not be eligible for a program if you have been found in violation of any of the following policies within the past 12 months: alcohol, drugs, assault (any type), harassment, stalking, vandalism, theft and more (this list is not all-inclusive).
Your account must be paid in full, or at least, making current payments to the University for the current term.
In order to receive transfer credit from your classes abroad, you need to receive a "C" grade or better. You will also receive internship credit.
How Much Does It Cost?
Students who choose to participate in this full semester program can expect to pay charges above BW residential student--current tuition, room and board, for the respective semester. Students will pay the AU full-time tuition (approximately $8,000 more than BW tuition). All of your financial aid and scholarships will apply. Housing for this program is more expensive than housing at BW. Students can expect to pay BW Room & Board and approximately $3,500 more for housing. More details regarding this can be found by contacting Explorations/Study Abroad. Additional financial aid may be available to help with this additional cost. Students should expect to pay out of pocket for airfare and personal expenses. These typically run between $2,000 and $4,000. However, this will depend on your personal spending habits.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
In addition to federal aid, other forms of financial assistance may be available. Public and private organizations, businesses, and churches often award grants, loans, and fellowships to students traveling abroad. Scholarships may be awarded on the basis of personal attributes (ethnic or religious background, parents' field of employment,etc.) For more information about available scholarships/funding, please visit : www.bw.edu/academics/study-abroad/how/costs/.