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 the 6-credit internship course (POSC 495W) with two 3-credit courses in political science (POSC 351W and POSC 301W). Courses are taught on-site by JMU instructors. Students not majoring in political science, international affairs, or public 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 Gallery Place/Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
  • 4-person, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartments with shared kitchen and living area
  • Apartments are fully furnished
  • Students may opt to find 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 will be $4,875
  • Program fee: $200
  • 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 2015:

  • Early Decision: November 15, 2014
  • Regular Admission: February 15, 2015

To apply, please follow this link.

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