Courses

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The Semester in Washington (SIW) program offers students a rigorous academic curriculum, led by expert faculty members with a strong background in politics, campaigning, and communications.

Once admitted to the program, students are required to enroll in one of two options based on their individual academic goals:

  • Core course and elective or practicum* (6 credits minimum)
  • Core course, elective course, and practicum* (9 credits minimum)

*'Practicum' refers to a student's 1.) Internship project or 2.) Research project. The practicum will run throughout the 6-week phase, but the internship will begin one week prior to the start of the on-campus portion of the program and will end one week after the on-campus program concludes.

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Course Selections

 

PMGT 4102: Presidents, Power and Policy in the Shaping of Washington, D.C. (3-4 credits)

Why do so many people seem to hate and admire Washington, D.C.? This course introduces students to the culture, history, and politics of Washington, D.C., exploring how it has been depicted in literature, art, and film and why many people see it as both a corrupt swamp and a place of idealism, dreams, and possibilities.

Through faculty-led walking tours, site visits, and guest lectures, students will be exposed to the city’s highs and lows – from its core monuments on the National Mall and its storied museums to its scandal-plagued aspects.

The course is designed to teach students about the city, provide context for their time living here, place their internships in the city’s ecosystem of institutions, and consider how their jobs fit into the larger cultural and political milieu.

 

PMGT 4109: Special Topics - The 2024 Campaign (3 credits)

Deepen your knowledge and skills in any of the following exciting elective course offerings from our Political Management, Legislative Affairs, or Sustainable Urban Planning degree programs:

  • Fundamentals of Political Management 
  • Digital Advertising and Action 
  • Politics and Public Policy 
  • Legislative Politics 
  • Congressional Committees
  • Urban and Environmental Economics

Practicum*

PMGT 4187: Professional Internship (3-4 credits)

The Professional Internship program offers virtual or hybrid project-based work experiences, facilitating student collaboration with host companies on digital platforms, whether locally or globally. Students will be thoughtfully matched with internships tailored to their career goals, interests, and preferences.

The program integrates classroom learning on the principles of politics, advocacy, and political communication with practical application during the 8-week internship period (May 27 – July 19).

Internships commence virtually one week prior to the on-campus program's start date and conclude one week after its end.  Students are expected to commit a minimum of 20 hours per week throughout the 8-week timeframe.

*Note: 'Practicum' refers to a student's 1.) Internship project or 2.) Research project. The practicum will run throughout the 6-week phase, but the internship will begin one week prior to the start of the on-campus portion of the program and will end one week after the on-campus program concludes.

Practicum*

PMGT 4107: Research Practicum (3-4 credits)

The Research Practicum offers students the opportunity to acquire and apply foundational skills in policy research.  Guided by a dedicated practicum faculty supervisor, students will navigate a sequence of concise assignments centered on a topic of their choosing, which will culminate in the development of a research-based policy proposal.

The 6-week immersive experience within the distinctive backdrop of Washington, D.C., affords students access to esteemed institutions like the Library of Congress, National Archives, and various Think Tanks, and allows them to engage directly with seasoned policy researchers, fostering a rich learning environment.

Students will have the opportunity to refine their proposals remotely after the conclusion of the 6-week on-campus program and submit the final academic deliverable by the end of the GW summer semester.

*Note: 'Practicum' refers to a student's 1.) Internship project or 2.) Research project. The practicum will run throughout the 6-week phase, but the internship will begin one week prior to the start of the on-campus portion of the program and will end one week after the on-campus program concludes.

 

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Sample Schedule

 

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning Course I Course II Course I Course II Site Visit Free time Free time
Afternoon Internship Internship Internship Internship Internship Free time Free time
Evening Opening Dinner Homework Homework Homework Networking Event Free time Free time