U.S. Politics and Policy Washington Semester


  • Open to all majors
  • Get a head start on your career
  • Pursue a full semester-long political internship plus upper-level coursework
  • Live in JMU-arranged housing in one of D.C.'s finest neighborhoods

The Washington Semester program enables students to explore the wealth of political and cultural opportunities available in the Washington, DC area. The program includes semester-length internships, political science courses, panel discussions by people in various professions, cultural activities, and networking opportunities with JMU alumni working in the DC area.


Participants maintain full-time student status by combining a 6-credit internship course (either POSC 495W, POSC 493W, or PPA 496W) with two 3-credit courses in political science: The Washington Experience (POSC 301W) and Topics in American Politics (POSC 351W). Courses are taught on-site by JMU instructors. Students not majoring in political science, international affairs, or public policy & administration should consult with their departments about how the internship and coursework fit their academic plans; some departments may be willing to arrange course substitutions. Note: Participants must remain full-time students for the duration of the program.


  • JMU-arranged housing is located in The Avalon at Gallery Place, a premium apartment building two blocks from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station.
  • Neighborhood features restaurants, museums and shops, and the Verizon Center. The National Mall is a 20-minute walk away.
  • Building features fitness center and rooftop terrace.
  • Students live in 4-person, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartments with shared kitchen and living area.
  • Apartments are fully furnished and equipped, including washer/dryer, kitchen supplies, sheets and towels.
  • Students may arrange their own housing.

Program Costs

  • JMU Tuition & Fees for in-state and out-of-state students
  • Housing: For fall 2015 and spring 2016, the housing fee was $4,875, including all utilities and wireless internet. The 2016-17 fee is TBA.
  • Program fee: $225
  • Food and transportation costs not included


  • Students secure their own internships
  • Students will pursue internships in politics, policy, the non-profit sector, political media, and related fields.
  • Past internships include House and Senate offices, interest groups, policy think-tanks, party committees, and news organizations such as CNN and MSNBC. See a list of recent internships conducted in this program.
  • Students work at their internships full-time Monday through Thursday; Friday mornings are reserved for the Washington Experience course (POSC 301W), which explores political and cultural opportunities in the DC area

Application Deadlines for Fall 2016:

  • Early Decision: November 15, 2015
  • Regular Admission: February 15, 2016

To apply, please follow this link.

For more information, contact:
Dr. David Jones, Program Coordinator (jones3da@jmu.edu)