Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester, Leadership through Policy and Governance program offers a unique 11-week immersion into work experience within the nation’s capital. Students will learn about and work on challenging public policy issues that shape communities locally and nationally while obtaining academic credit. Washington Semester Fellows will also attend seminars that enable them to understand their internship from a range of analytical perspectives.

There are two program options for students to choose from:
• 6-Credit Program: Internship, professional development, evening lectures and selected field trips.

• 12-Credit Program: Internship, Friday class and seminar, professional development, evening lectures and all field trips.

Eligibility

The Washington Semester is a competitive program open to all undergraduate students, regardless of major, who have earned a minimum of 60 credits and are in good academic standing.

Application

Application deadlines may be found in the right hand column.  You may print a copy here. Submit applications to Krystal Wright, 110 Architecture Annex, Blacksburg, VA 24061. Please ask your references to provide letters by the due date (either by email to spia@vt.edu or by campus mail to mail code 0113).

Upcoming Information Sessions

November 15 – 2:00p – 3:00p
November 16 – 1:00p – 2:00p
December 8 – 11:00a – 12:00 noon
December 9 – 11:00a – 12:00 noon

Sessions held in Room 111 in the Architecture Annex

Information Session Presentation

You need not attend an information session to apply.

Summer 2017 – Washington Semester, Leadership through Policy and Governance

IMPORTANT DATES
Application deadline:
Early Decision: Nov. 12, 2016
Final Decision: Dec 10, 2016
Internship Placements completed by: Feb 28, 2017
Orientation: TBA
Program dates: May 22 – August 5, 2017
Check-in: TBA
Welcome breakfast: May 22, 2017
Internships begin: May 23, 2017
1st class: May 26, 2017
Last class: August 4, 2017
Convocation: August 5, 2017

CONTACTS
Andrea Morris
Washington Semester Director
703-706-8126
andrea.morris@vt.edu

Jaimy Alex
Internship Coordinator
ajaimy@vt.edu

Krystal Wright
Administrator
540-231-2291
spia@vt.edu

FORMS AND DOCUMENTS
Washington Semester Program Overview

Information for STEM Students

Application form

What to bring

All students are placed in an internship with a public or nonprofit organization that requires 30 hours of work per week. Placements are based on each student’s interests and professional goals. The internship experience provides a platform for linking seminar discussions and readings to broader issues of management and policy. The emphasis placed on incorporating both theory and practice sets the Virginia Tech Washington Semester program apart from other Washington internship programs.

All Washington Semester internships are unpaid internships. Participating agencies, nonprofits and companies must follow the Washington Semester program requirements for employers. The Washington Semester Internship Coordinator communicates these requirements to prospective employers prior to confirming the internship placement.

Specifically, participating employers complete a WS internship agreement form that specifies the internship supervisor, student work days/hours, and an internship job description and they also complete two evaluation forms (one midway through the program and one at the internship’s conclusion). All internships also must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Examples of previous internship placements among many others:

  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. Information Agency
  • Government Accountability Office
  • HUD
  • EPA
  • Catholic Charities, USA
  • American Red Cross – International Division
  • Human Rights Watch
  • InterAction
  • City of Alexandria
  • County of Arlington
  • World Resources Institute
Below are rates for the 2016 program. New 2017 rates will be posted in the spring 2017 term.  Should anything change, students will be expected to honor the new rates.

Tuition & Fees: Summer 2016 rates are below. If rates increase, participants will be expected to pay the new rates.

(*In-state rate includes tuition, academic fee, technology fee; **Out-of-state rate includes the in-state rate plus out-of-state tuition and the facility & equipment fee).

The summer 2016 rates may be found here.

In-state* Out-of-state** Other Student Fees Program Fee WAAC Activity Fee
see Bursar’s website see Bursar’s website none if submit waiver form $100 – non-refundable N/A

Since the program is off campus, you will not need to pay university on-campus fees, but you will be charged for these fees. To have these fees waived, please work with your department to submit a comprehensive fee waiver form to the Bursar’s office.

Housing Costs: 2016 rates (may be subject to change). For those living in the Gallery Apartments in Alexandria, if any changes are made, students will be expected to honor the new rates.

Rates Per Person Two-Person Three-Person Four Person Parking Fee
For Summer (2 3/4 months) $2244.00 each $1968.00 each $1608.00 each $175.00
Deposit $500.00 each $500.00 each $500.00 each N/A
The Washington Semester introduces participants to a variety of perspectives about how public policies are crafted, and to the diverse professionals who dedicate their careers to making them work. As such, the program provides a distinctive combination fo learning activities around questions of American democracy and governance.

The Washington Semester is divided into two interconnected themes aimed at encouraging students to develop a comprehensive set of knowledge about the American democracy and the development of the District of Columbia: the structure of the American democracy and the making of the Nation’s capital.

There are now two options for participants:

->  For the 12-hour program, students enroll for three courses for the 1st summer session:

    • 3 hours – UAP 4624 – The Washington Semester: Seminar in Politics and Public Policy
    • 3 hours – UAP 4644 – The Washington Semester: Politics, Policy and Administration in a Democracy
    • 6 hours – SPIA 4964 – Field Study

The 12-hour program is an overload for 1st summer session. Each student must get permission from his/her Dean’s office to add the overload hours. The Washington Semester program is designed as an integrative whole and you must register for it in its entirety during the first summer session.

-> For the 6-hour program, students enroll for one course for the 1st summer session:

    • 6 hours – SPIA 4964 – Field Study