The JMU Washington Semester program is open to students of all majors and enables students to explore the wealth of political and cultural opportunities available in the Washington, D.C. area.

The program features

  • semester-length internships
  • courses taught on-site at the JMU Washington Center
  • panel discussions by people in various professions
  • cultural activities
  • JMU-arranged housing in one of D.C.'s most vibrant, centrally located neighborhoods
  • networking opportunities with JMU alumni working in the DC area.

kirsten-k.jpeg“JMU provided the opportunity to get to know myself as an individual, but Washington Semester opened the door to my future as a professional.”

– Kirsten Kazlauskas (’09), Government of Quebec in Washington

Semester Options and Courses:

Fall: U.S. Politics and Policy

Combine a 6-credit internship course with two 3-credit courses:

  • POSC 301W: The Washington Experience
  • POSC 351W: Topics in American Politics
Spring: Global Affairs

Combine a 6-credit internship course with two 3-credit courses:

  • POSC/INTA 301W: The Washington Experience
  • POSC 371W: Topics in Comparative Politics

Not majoring in political science, international affairs, or public administration? Consult with your department about how the internship and coursework fit in your academic plans; some departments may be willing to arrange course substitutions.

Study in the Heart of Washington D.C.:

Classrooms and faculty offices are located at the JMU Washington Center, the university’s home in the nation’s capital. Only 10 minutes from the Dupont Circle Metro station, the JMU Washington Center is centrally located to many internship opportunities in D.C. 

Application Deadlines (2025-2026)

Early DecisionNovember 15, 2024

Regular AdmissionFebruary 15, 2025

NOTE: Sometimes the program fills up via the Early Decision application process. This means that applications reviewed for the Feb. 15 application deadline are evaluated on a space-available basis. Accordingly, applicants are advised to apply in November to maximize their chances of gaining admission to the program.

Apply Now

Questions? Email Dr. Edward Yang at

Program Details
  • JMU-arranged housing is located near the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station.
  • Neighborhood features restaurants, museums and shops, and Capital One Arena (formerly known as the Verizon Center). The National Mall is a 20-minute walk away.
  • 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.
  • Students will secure and pursue their own internships in politics, policy, the non-profit sector, political media, and related fields.
  • 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
  • Past internships includes House and Senate offices, government agencies, non-profit organizations, lobbying and strategic communications firms, advocacy groups, and media outlets. View Past Internship Experiences
  • JMU Tuition & Fees: for in-state and out-of-state students (view current tuition & fees) (Please go to the Cost of Attendance Calculator to see the estimated cost of attendance for your program of sudy)
  • Housing: The housing fee is $5,550, including all utilities and wireless internet.
  • Program fee: $225
  • Metro fee: $115 (covers unlimited subway and bus transportation for the entire semester)
  • Food and entertainment costs are not included

Need-based Scholarship Opportunity:
The Washington Semester awards a need-based scholarship to one student per term to cover the difference between the cost of participating in the program and a normal semester on campus. To be eligible, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with JMU's Office of Financial Aid

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