Washington D.C. is a rich environment for many kinds of learning beyond the classroom. In addition to the major institutions of national government, the city is an international capital that is home to over 150 foreign embassies and is the headquarters of hundreds of research think tanks, lobbying and advocacy groups.

This seminar incorporates student work experience three days a week in a Washington internship and provides twice-weekly sessions with a variety of Washington figures — legislators, administration officials, judges, lobbyists, US and foreign diplomats, and members of the American and international press. 

Through an itinerary of speakers and site visits, our program will explore international issues of national defense, human security, global environmental policy, trade and foreign aid, as well as domestic policy questions related to race, housing, criminal justice, taxation, pollution, public health and inequality. 

An example of meetings and visits from previous programs includes representatives from the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, the CIA, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Union of Concerned Citizens, the Truman Foundation, the Middle East Peace Research Institute, the New York Times, the Department of Energy, Politico, the World Bank, the Food Policy Research Institute, the Center for American Progress, the Urban Institute and several embassies or interest sections including Cuba, Iran and Canada.

The Washington D.C. program may be counted toward the Public Policy minor. During the term we emphasize student research on public policy analysis and evaluation. Students will work in teams to develop an analytic presentation on a contemporary policy area that is related to one or more of our site visits or guest speakers.  They will also be encouraged to use the resources available in the city to enhance their research through expert interviews and/or the use of government libraries or archives sources.

While students are ultimately responsible for finding their own internships, the program will provide support and referrals throughout the process, working closely with the Career Center and the Carleton Alumni network. Students are asked to indicate their interest area at the time of application.