The University of Rochester, in cooperation with The Washington Center (TWC), offers semester-long study programs in Washington, D.C., that combines a credit-bearing internship with a course taught by faculty from area universities. Undergraduate students gain an immersive experience in professional fields, unique academic opportunities, and an opportunity to explore life and work in the Nation’s capital.
Washington Semester consists of the following components:
Internships give students the chance to work almost full-time, allowing them to feel like a member of the staff at their office. The Washington Center maintains ties with hundreds of organizations that provide high-quality internships in the D.C. area. The Washington Center helps students be considered for opportunities that best fit their interests and talents. Students are assigned an internship advisor with whom they stay in close touch throughout the internship matching process. Students tend to be most actively engaged in this process during the three months prior to check in. Students will likely have a phone interview with any potential interested supervisor and will have the chance to accept or decline an offer after it is extended. TWC internship advisors provide guidance regarding specific options to help students make the final decision. Upon approval from the UR faculty supervisor, students are eligible to earn 12 academic credits for the internship experience.
An evening academic course is an integral part of the Washington Semester learning experience. Students will be able to choose one from approximately 30 courses typically offered each semester or summer term. All courses meet for three hours one night a week but are otherwise like courses taught at UR. Please note, that during the summer term students will also be required to register for CAS 396b, a 1-credit internship course offered by the Gwen M. Greene Career & Internship Center. In many cases, they have a direct relationship to the work students are doing throughout the week and range from politics and business to international affairs and communications. The courses are led by highly qualified faculty who are dedicated teachers. They are grounded in traditional disciplines yet taught within the context of the wide array of resources offered in Washington, D.C.
By taking part in the LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Achievement and Development) Colloquium every Friday, students get to hear from and engage with professionals in a variety of settings. Students also get involved in the D.C. community and make a real difference.
While in Washington, D.C., students create a portfolio of work, documenting activities and accomplishments for UR and prospective employers. The portfolio will also give students a chance to reflect on their strengths and plan strategically for their future path of leadership.