National Conventions Seminars
Experience national politics up close at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
If you want to see how the magic happens for one of the grandest traditions of our country's election process, we'll take you behind the scenes of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. You'll interact with political insiders, attend exclusive events and engage in on-site fieldwork with media outlets, advocacy groups, host committees, state delegations and other organizations connected to the convention. Consider joining us in 2024!
To be eligible for this seminar, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. Recent graduates may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Be in good standing at your college or university.
- Maintain a GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students with lower GPAs may be considered.
- Get approval from your campus liaison or a faculty sponsor.*
- Commit to fully participate in the program and complete all assignments.
*If you need help identifying your campus liaison or faculty sponsor, email email@example.com.
During this two-week seminar, you'll listen to expert speakers, take part in briefings and panel discussions. You'll meet regularly with experienced faculty and participate in fieldwork assignments that actually form part of the national convention. The seminar will be led by a faculty director, who will will launch the program with an introduction to the current state of the presidential campaign. You'll be trained on how to navigate the logistics of the convention site and host city, including important safety and security procedures.
Speakers, Briefings & Panel Discussions
You'll encounter diverse viewpoints as you hear from notable public officials, political party leaders, members of the media, campaign professionals, policy experts, business insiders, law enforcement officers, and others. These sessions are interactive and will give you a chance to engage directly with the speakers and ask questions.
Small Group Meetings
You'll meet regularly with experienced faculty in small groups to discuss presentations, convention proceedings, assigned readings and related topics. This guided collaborative learning—sharing opinions and personal observations—will deepen the experience and broaden your perspective.
Through fieldwork assignments you'll actually contribute to the convention. Placements range widely from media and advocacy groups (past students have assisted CNN, Fox News, and The Daily Show) to helping host committees, state delegations, and other groups participating in the convention. In their fieldwork, students have conducted interviews, prepared for events, greeted VIPs, and supported the convention from behind the scenes.
Convention Events & Activities
You'll attend a variety of sessions organized by the party, host committees and other interest groups, letting you rub elbows with the movers and shakers that make the conventions happen. These typically include workshops, issue forums, press conferences, committee hearings, welcome rallies and youth-focused programs. Detailed information, including past schedules, can be provided upon request.
The cost of this seminar will be announced closer to the program date.
Many of our participants come as part of a group with their home institutions and billing arrangements vary from school to school. If you are participating in a group, you will need to confirm your actual cost of attendance with your campus liaison or faculty sponsor. If you need help identifying your campus liaison or faculty sponsor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housing and Living
Since these seminars take place on-site at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, housing details will be determined based on convention host cities. Housing for these programs is typically provided at a nearby university.
Our academic seminars are designed to qualify for academic credit at many colleges and universities. However, we do not grant academic credit. If you are participating in a group from your university, please consult with your campus liaison or faculty advisor about your particular credit arrangements. If you need help identifying your campus liaison or faculty advisor, please contact email@example.com.
Dates and Deadlines
Since these seminars take place in conjunction with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, program dates and deadlines will be determined based on convention dates.
How to Apply
The next National Conventions Seminars will be held in the summer of 2024. If you are interested in receiving information about future TWC seminars, please fill out the form below.
Refund and Cancellation Policy
If your plans change and you wish to withdraw your application, you must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org notifying The Washington Center of your decision. TWC will confirm your withdrawal via email once it has been processed. Please review the following policies:
If you are paying for your participation in the seminar, and:
- you have paid your seminar fee and withdraw 30 (or more) calendar days before the start of the seminar, you will receive a full refund, minus the $500 nonrefundable deposit. Your $500 deposit may be applied to another TWC program within the next two years.
- you withdraw fewer than 30 days before the start of the seminar, you are responsible for the entire seminar fee. You may appeal this charge, if your decision to withdraw is the result of a documented personal or family emergency. Appeals are only granted in unique circumstances.
If your school is paying for your participation in the seminar:
- you should immediately notify your faculty leader (along with TWC) of your intent to withdraw.
- your faculty leader will help you determine whether you are financially responsible for the cost of the seminar.
Faculty members have the opportunity to lead students through a transformational and once-in-a-lifetime learning experience by applying to be a faculty leader. Throughout the academic seminar, faculty leaders work with a group of 6 to 15 students as they participate in program activities. During the academic seminar, faculty leaders will:
- Attend all program sessions.
- Facilitate group discussion with students.
- Connect with students throughout the week of the Convention.
- Read students’ written work and evaluate their academic and professional performance.
- Recommend a grade for each student at the end of the program.
Faculty members who have 6 or more students attending the academic seminar are guaranteed a position as a faculty leader. Learn more about becoming a Faculty Leader by contacting email@example.com.