The Washington Semester is offered in political science, economic policy, or journalism. These programs allow a limited number of Texas Lutheran University students to enroll in a 16 semester-hour curriculum at the American University in Washington, D.C. The curriculum, depending on the program, involves research, seminars, lectures, and on-site meetings with national decision makers, journalists, and others involved in reporting or making national policy. An internship in an appropriate office, agency, or organization is included. The programs are open to students, regardless of major, who meet the following criteria: have at least junior standing; have completed POLS 231 with a grade of C or better; have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75; and have taken the basic courses in political science, economics, or communications studies
Filled with weekly seminars from high-profile politicians and requiring at least two days of internship each week at a politically affiliated office, the Washington Semester is an opportunity rich with hands-on experience. The quantifiable result is prepared in the form of a research project that takes advantage of the vast resources available in Washington and often includes interviews that can only be done in that city.
What did you take away from your Washington Semester?
|"I'm now a contract specialist with the Department of Defense, not too far from some of my favorite class memories."|
"I attended the American Politics session at the fall 2007 Washington Semester Program. My class was very fortunate to meet many distinguished public servants and some major players in modern American politics including Michael Barone, Howard Dean, Norman Mineta and Tom Ridge. I interned in the strategy division of the Republican National Committee, where I sought out election results data to be used for future campaign strategy. My research project focused on the intersection of faith and American politics. I knew back then I would return to the National Capital Region. I'm now a contract specialist with the Department of Defense, not too far from some of my favorite class memories."
Johnathan Bertsch, fall 2007
|"I interned at the Peace Corps Headquarters Press Office and wrote press releases for the organization."|
"I was enrolled in the journalism program. I interned at the Peace Corps Headquarters Press Office and wrote press releases for the organization. I interviewed several amazing people who served in the Peace Corps and ended up doing the major project for my class on the Peace Corps itself. I also used my press office connection to obtain a press pass to the huge Earth Day 2000 concert event on the National Mall. I sat backstage all day while the media interviewed the performers and I finally got up the guts to ask Clint Black a question when he was backstage!"
Rachel Lacina-Taylor, spring 2000
|"It was a fantastic experience."|
"My professor at American University was the author of my economics textbook. It was a fantastic experience. My knowledge of DC gained from that experience morphed into me doing my own student trips with incoming high school freshman for the past 15 years."
Steve Foster, spring 1986
|"The Washington Semester was life changing."|
"The Washington Semester was life changing. As part of the journalism program, I not only sharpened my reporting skills, I was able to meet tremendously experienced journalists like Sam Donaldson and Bob Schieffer. My class visited the offices of CNN, Politico, National Geographic and sat in on a Supreme Court case. I even had the chance to see the Dalai Lama speak on the steps of The Capitol. Taking the Metro, meeting friends from all over the nation and enjoying the tremendous historical and political atmosphere of Washington D.C. are memories I’ll never forget."
Ashlie McEachern, fall 2007