Washington Semester Internship Program

Seminar (8 Credits): For three days of each week, you'll participate in intellectual discussion with professionals who are knee-deep in the field you are studying. You'll go "behind the scenes"; into the offices of most of the speakers to get a first-hand insider's view of the week's topics of discussion. Some of the speakers are big names and some are not, but one thing's certain, they are all major players at the local, national, and international levels who are passionate about their stance, present valid viewpoints and are invited to challenge your point of view. You'll definitely leave class with a real world perspective.

The Internship (4 Credits): The Washington Semester Program (WSP) provides students with an instant network of organizations to look through. Six to eight weeks before the semester begins, you'll gain access to all of the internships in WSP’s database that are relevant to the program you've been accepted in to. It will offer you all the information you need about each organization, including descriptions of internship positions and address and phone numbers for our contacts. You can start your search right away, or wait until you arrive in D.C. Either way, you'll have nearly two weeks at the beginning of the semester to attend interviews and make your selection. WSP suggests you have at least three interviews. Before you arrive, WSP will also provide you with resources to help you write an effective résumé and cover letter.

Research Course (4 Credits): You will enroll in an in-depth research project using Washington, D.C. as a laboratory of information.


Programs of Study: (for further details go to:

  • American Politics: Study the impact of the two-party system, the relationship between the executive and legislative branches, the role of the courts in decision making, and the management of campaigns and elections.
  • The Middle East & World Affairs: Experience a rigorous semester of seminars and guest lecturers that provide you with an in-depth investigation of Contemporary Islamic Affairs in American politics. You will develop expertise on Islamic perspectives, strengthen your professional skills and gain valuable political experience from an internship at a key Islamic organization. You will emerge with practical knowledge about effective cross-cultural communication and a better understanding of Islamic approaches to complex policy making. The program includes a three week field excursion to Cairo, Egypt and Amman, Jordan.
  • Foreign Policy: Explore emerging issues such as the war on terrorism, conflict prevention in the post-Cold War era, response to the collapse of states as well as to religious and ethnic conflicts, and NATO, the United Nations in the 21st century, and regional conflict in the Middle East and the Iraq War.
  • Global Economics & Business: Discuss business and trade with corporate executives, and U.S. and foreign government officials in their offices at corporations and embassies. To gain a true international perspective, spend 13 weeks in Washington, followed by three weeks in China, where you'll visit major political and economic centers, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Ningbo. This program offers DC-only or DC + China options (Fall Semester) or DC + Europe options (Spring Semester).
  • International Environment & Development: Spend time in Washington studying global environmental policy issues and the roles of major international organizations, then spend 3 weeks in Ecuador (Fall Semester) or Ghana (Spring Semester) studying those issues at the national and local levels. Discuss global environmental challenges with, for instance, World Bank executives one day and then, only a few weeks later, see up close how those challenges are being addressed when you travel to Ecuador or Ghana.
  • International Law and Organizations: Explore the nature of international law in interstate relations by studying the activities, and performance of major global organizations in areas such as: security and terrorism, international trade and economic development, the environment, human rights, and humanitarian assistance. In addition to your time in Washington, you will spend three weeks visiting the United Nations in New York City, the International Court of Justice at The Hague, and NATO and the European Union in Brussels.
  • Journalism & New Media: Meet a diverse pool of national and local media figures, including newspaper and wire-service reporters, magazine editors, television and radio personalities, public relations executives, and political press secretaries. Open to students of all majors, this program attracts many who have studied communications, English, and print/broadcast media.
  • Justice & Law: (Criminal Justice or Public Law) Through discussions with policy makers, legal experts, law enforcement officials, psychologists, criminals, and clergy, you'll gain exposure to all sides of the issues facing today's justice community. Topics may include: criminal and civil justice, morality and justice, and the use of the legal system to define and enforce justice. Internships at the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are a special feature.
  • Peace & Conflict Resolution: Go on field studies in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia (Fall Semester) or Greece and Turkey (Spring Semester) in addition to spending time in D.C.This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity lets you examine how the theories you've learned work in real-world situations. Explore social and political conflicts around the world, with an emphasis on conflict resolution models and peacemaking initiatives between people, communities, and nations.
  • Transforming Communities: Washington, D.C. is a distinctive learning laboratory for exploring how leadership, grassroots action, advocacy, litigation, and government programs can improve communities. The program focus is urban political and social change. This is the program for students who want to be change agents

Transfer of Credits: Students participating on this program will need to seek the appropriate departmental approval for all major/minor requirements and approval for General Education Requirements through Student Records. All courses on this program appear on the Rollins transcript as transfer credits and the grades are factored into the Rollins GPA. Students who successfully complete this program through Rollins will receive an official transcript from American University. It can take up to 3 months to receive the official transcript.

Faculty and Staff: The professionals who will teach the seminar courses are experts in that particular field of study at the local, national and international levels. You will also work with various individuals during your internship.

Requirements for Admission:

  • Sophomores, juniors and seniors
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must show Dr. Gunter (International Relations) preliminary proposal and bibliography before he will endorse/nominate you
  • Good record with Community Standards
  • $200 program deposit (Rollins pays)
  • Transcript
  • List any campus involvement
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