Being in Washington is all about meeting with and talking to people: political representatives, community leaders, policy experts, media figures — there are so many stories, opinions and analyses to listen to in the nation’s capital! Become an “insider” for 10 weeks by interning with an organization of your choice and engaging with a wide range of speakers and sites throughout the DC area.
Message from Faculty Directors
The Washington DC program is all about networking, listening, and learning by doing in the US Capital and the primary hub of America’s engagement with the world. The State Department, Defense Department, intelligence communities, aid agencies, the World Bank, the WHO, hundreds of embassies and countless NGOs all reside in DC and participate in a broad dialog about world affairs and global policy in DC. Together, we will explore international and foreign policy issues like national and global security, international development, peace and conflict, global governance, and domestic politics topics such as climate change and human needs. We hope the experience might inspire students to consider careers engaging with these topics professionally.
The Washington DC program was founded in 1983. Since then, hundreds of Carleton students have had a rewarding, and sometimes, career-launching experience with many alumni holding prominent positions in all sectors. We are looking for students who are interested in a professional experience in Washington and who are well-positioned emotionally and intellectually to gain from it. Join us!
- To expand awareness of the actions and influence of the United States in global affairs and public policy through topical readings and direct exchange with diplomats, politicians, policy makers and analysts.
- To familiarize students with the US political process and the key institutions of US government through topical readings and direct exchange with political representatives, campaign and party officials, legislative staff and committee-based staff.
- To explore how the process of problem identification, program development, implementation and evaluation of public policy reflect the interests of stakeholders and citizens through interactions with private sector actors, NGOs and news organizations tasked with monitoring, and disseminating political information.
- To develop and practice skills relevant to the analysis of politics and policy including tracing paths of political influence, understanding legal frameworks, considering the impact of elections and public opinion and applying technical tools used for the evaluation process including quantitative data analysis, interviews and qualitative case analysis.
Personal Development Goals for Students include:
- To acquire career-related experience in a political, news media, NGO or public-policy environment through a program-length internship.
- To encounter, and learn to take advantage of, networking experiences in professional, intellectual and alumni circles in the nation’s capital.
- To experience elements of what life after Carleton will be like including living independently in a city (commuting, shopping, cooking, etc.) while meeting the expectations of their employment supervisors and instructors.
Students are encouraged to participate in the Washington D.C. program as sophomores, juniors, or seniors. There are no pre-requisites.
Course of Study
Students will intern on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and attend seminars on Wednesday and Friday.
POSC 288: Global Politics & Policy in Washington D.C. (6 credits)
Students will participate in a seminar centered around meetings with experts in areas of global politics and policy. Over the course of the term they will collaborate in groups to produce a presentation exploring the political dimensions of public policy with a focus on how problem identification, institutional capacity, and stakeholder interests combine to shape policy options.
Instructor: Professor Marfleet
Econ 289: Politics & Policy in Washington D.C. (6 credits)
Students will participate in a seminar centered around meetings with experts in areas of US politics and policy. Over the course of the term they will collaborate in groups to produce a presentation exploring the political dimensions of public policy with a focus on how problem identification, institutional capacity, and stakeholder interests combine to shape policy options.
Instructor: Professor Farhart
POSC 293-07: Politics & Pub Policy in Washington DC Program Internship (6 Credits, S/CR/NC)
All students will intern in the office of a legislator, executive agency, interest group, or media outlet, keeping a journal of experiences and writing a summary paper.
Instructors: Professors Marfleet and Farhart
Students will be housed in an apartment building with Wi-Fi that is a fifteen-minute subway ride from Capitol Hill. Students may use the Library of Congress for research.
There will be multiple weekend excursions throughout D.C. including museums, galleries, exhibitions, cultural and sporting events.