You are here: American University School of Professional & Extended Studies Washington Semester Program Fall and Spring Program Components and Sample Schedule

Make the Most of Your Semester

Have an internship at a world renowned organization while earning academic credit at a top ranked university.

Over 15 weeks, you will expand your network and acquire valuable experience that distinguishes you from other students at your home school and in future internships and jobs.

At the end of your semester in DC, you will have a changed understanding of the world, which could impact your outlook on your college studies and future career.

Three Components

Learn from professors who are experts in their fields and who know Washington, DC. They will introduce you to local, national, and global experts as you explore key issues in the topic.

Beyond the classroom, your professor will use DC as a classroom. You will learn about the inner workings of non-profits, businesses, government agencies and international organizations. You will have innovative assignments like applied learning activities, business plan development, service-learning, and use of media and simulations.

The Seminars are cohort based - they will include just Washington Semester Program students.

With our unsurpassed experience working with college students coming to DC for internships, we pride ourselves on professional internships, in which you gain knowledge of an organization or industry, as well as practical knowledge of a career field. Prior to arriving in DC, you will receive access to our internship database, which provides you an instant network of organizations.

We also will provide you with resources to write an effective résumé and cover letter, so you arrive in DC ready to interview. You have the option to start your search right away, or wait until you arrive in D.C. Either way, you'll have several weeks at the beginning of the semester to attend interviews and make your selection.

Research or Elective Course

You have the option of choosing to conduct an in-depth research project, using Washington, D.C. as a laboratory of information, or to take an elective class from AU's hundreds of offerings to fulfill an academic requirement at your home school.

Member school students should check with their school representative to see if their school requires students to conduct a research project while in the program.

International students (from non-U.S. universities) enrolling in a non-Washington Semester Program elective will incur additional per-credit fees.

A Sample Week in the Washington Semester Program*


9:00 a.m.
Internship at U.S. House of Representatives
6:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
On-campus event
9:30 p.m.
Study for class


9:00 a.m.
Internship at U.S. House of Representatives
5:30 p.m.
Participate in a local rally on Capitol Hill
7:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
Office Hours: Research Project


9:00 a.m.
Internship at U.S. House of Representatives
6:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
Meet with classmates to work on group presentation "Turkey, the Kurds, and the United States"
8:30 p.m.
Free Time


7:30 a.m.
Morning Workout and Breakfast
10:00 a.m.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing:
"The United States, the Russian Federation and the Challenges Ahead"
1:00 p.m.
Briefing at Center for American Progress:
"Developments in Turkey: Implications for the United States"
2:15 p.m.
Lunch in DC
3:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
"Guiding Principles for US Policy Towards Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia"
6:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
Meet-up with program students


9:00 a.m.
Breakfast with program students
11:00 a.m.
Briefing at the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
"Turkey's Foreign Policy Priorities and Challenges"
1:00 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
Briefing by Ms. Amberin Zaman
"Turkey's Foreign Policy Priorities and Challenges"
5:00 p.m.
Explore DC

*This is the schedule of a Washington Semester student who chose the Foreign Policy concentration. View a list of all our concentrations.

Sample Fall and Spring Schedule

During the fall or spring semester, you will be at your internship on at least 3 days per week. On seminar days, you will have a class discussion, followed by a guest lecture or site visits.