Academic Internship Program
Gain the connections and tools you need to launch a career you'll love.
The Washington Center’s Academic Internship Program is a holistic experience designed to help you build the skills, the professional experience and the network you need to launch a career you’ll love. Join us in Washington, D.C. or online for a full semester or summer and earn academic credit.
Want an in depth-look into the Academic Internship Program? Check out our interactive program guide to learn all about our internships, career prep opportunities and so much more!
I have solidified my career goals and formed incredible connections. Thanks to this unique and irreplaceable experience, I have developed skills as a researcher and can move forward with confidence.Caden Rosenbaum
Lubbock Christian University
Interned at American Legislative Exchange Council
Whether you join us in Washington, D.C. or online, we aim to deliver an immersive program that’s tailored to you and your goals. It’s made up of three main parts: the internship, academic course and career readiness programming.
TWC partners with over 400 internship sites in D.C. and across the country, and we work with you one-on-one to land the internship that’s right for you.
Whether you intern remotely or in-person, you’ll find that the work and outcomes of your internship will largely be the same. You’ll be working on projects related to your interests, with a supervisor who cares about your growth and success.
During your summer or semester with TWC, you’ll take an academic course one night each week. You’ll be able to choose a course from a wide range of options and gain access to faculty members who not only work as professors, but often as professionals in their field.
Career Readiness Programming
Through TWC’s Career Readiness Programming, you'll engage in workshops, one-on-one career advising, networking events and more designed to maximize your internship experience. This programming will be held at different times throughout the week, so you can participate in many different activities based on your interests and your schedule.
Housing and Living
If you join TWC in the nation’s capital, you’re guaranteed a spot in our housing. You’ll have a fully furnished apartment to call home and a dedicated staff to support you as you adjust to life in D.C.
Want to learn more about TWC housing, the community and the neighborhood? Check out our Housing page:
All undergraduate students earn academic credit for their participation in the Academic Internship Program. If you attend a school that is affiliated with TWC, your school will determine the number of credits you receive. To find out how TWC works for your school, contact email@example.com.
If you attend a school that is not affiliated with TWC, you will receive credit through TWC's partner institution, Elon University. To learn more about TWC works for students at unaffiliated schools, review this one-pager.
To be eligible to participate in this program, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be enrolled as an undergraduate student at an accredited college or university.*
- Be a sophomore or above while participating in the program and have completed at least two semesters on campus by the start of our program.
- Maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
- Receive academic credit through your school’s agreement with TWC (or through TWC’s partner institution, Elon University, if your school is not affiliated).
- Have approval from your campus liaison, if you attend an affiliated school.
- Be fully vaccinated prior to your arrival to Washington, D.C. per our vaccination policy (if participating in person).
Your home institution may have additional eligibility requirements. Please contact your campus liaison before starting an application to TWC. If you need help identifying your campus liaison email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* TWC also considers recent college graduates and students in master’s level programs on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us at email@example.com to learn more.
The Washington Center is a designated J-1 Visa sponsor by the U.S. State Department and sponsors a J-1 Visa for international students attending or recently graduated from a university in a foreign country. Once you’re accepted into The Washington Center’s program, you’ll be given details for how to secure your J-1 Visa. Special provisions may be available for Canadian citizens.
International students enrolled in U.S. universities with a valid F-1 visa can participate in TWC’s programs with their current visa as long as they remain enrolled in the university and their visa is valid until the last day of The Washington Center’s program or beyond. Please contact your home institution for further information.
J-1 Visa Requirements
In order to obtain a J-1 Visa, you must be accepted into one of our programs and:
- Be enrolled in a foreign degree- or certificate-granting university outside the United States OR have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to the program start date. Alternatively, you may have a degree or professional certificate from a foreign university and at least one year of work experience in your field.
- Know English well enough to perform successfully in the program.
- Plan to leave the United States within 30 days after completion of the program.
Once you have been accepted into our program and placed at an internship site, The Washington Center will send you the DS-2019 and DS-7002 forms along with other important materials.
All J-1 Visa participants must certify that they have a valid health insurance policy for the entire duration of the program to comply with State Department requirements. You will need to bring proof of insurance with you when you come to the United States to provide to The Washington Center.
Your policy must include:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness.
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000.
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation to your home country in the amount of $50,000.
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, the policy may be backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country.
The Washington Center is affiliated with more than 400 colleges and universities in the U.S. Your final cost will depend on how the program works at your college or university.
Our fees could be offset by financial assistance or through arrangements with your school. You may find that a semester or summer with TWC is comparable in cost to what you’d pay for the same term on campus.
Program and Housing Fees
|Fees||Spring 2022||Summer 2022||Fall 2022|
*$125 application fee is only for students enrolled in institutions outside of the U.S. This covers the cost of shipping materials via FedEx
Following these steps will help you determine the cost for you to attend:
- Contact your campus liaison and ask about how The Washington Center's program works at your school. If you need help identifying your campus liaison, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Check with the financial aid office on your campus to see if your aid package can be applied toward TWC costs. We also recommend inquiring about any additional funding opportunities that may be available to students participating in TWC.
- Review the scholarships available through TWC below.
- Apply to the program. You will automatically be considered for any scholarships that you're eligible for.
If you have questions or would like to find out more about how TWC will work for you, contact us at email@example.com.
If you need financial assistance to make your semester or summer in Washington, D.C. possible, we offer a number of scholarships supported by generous funding from our partners.
You may be eligible to receive funding available for campus leaders, students from diverse backgrounds, members of honors societies and programs, students with disabilities, and more. Current scholarships are listed below:
If you have questions or would like to find out more about how TWC will work for you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates and Deadlines
|Fall 2021||August 25||August 30 – December 2||December 4|
|Spring 2022||January 19||January 25 – April 29||April 30|
|Summer 2022||June 1||June 7 – August 5||August 6|
|Fall 2022||August 24||August 30 – December 2||December 3|
Your school may have deadlines that are earlier than the ones listed below, so we encourage you to contact your campus liaison before starting an application. If you’re not sure who your campus liaison is, email email@example.com.
|Early Deadline*||Regular Deadline|
|Summer 2022||February 16, 2022||March 16, 2022|
|Fall 2022||April 6, 2022||May 4, 2022|
* Applying by the Early Deadline gives you the chance to hear from TWC sooner and be considered for internship sites that have earlier internal timelines.
** Some internship sites have timelines that precede TWC’s Early Deadline. These sites include most law enforcement opportunities, as well as some positions in the law/legal affairs and international relations fields, and at various think tanks, government agencies, embassies and museums. If you’re interested in opportunities like these for Summer 2022, we recommend submitting your application in January 2022.
How to Apply
The application for the spring, summer and fall 2022 Academic Internship Program is open! See what you'll need to submit with your application and, when you're ready, click the button below to get started.
If you're not quite ready to apply, sign up below to receive more information about the program.
You need to submit the following documents along with your application:
- One-page Resumé: Outline your educational background, honors or recognitions, work experience, activities, special skills, etc. Please include any computer-related expertise or foreign language skills, as well as prior internships and community service activities. For tips on how to write an effective resume, read our resume guide. You can also view some sample resumes here.
- Statement of Professional Interest (approx. 100 words): Broadly describe your internship interests, future career goals, skills you're hoping to gain and ways in which you will contribute to your placement site. Please do not specify the name(s) of any particular organization in this statement. If you need help, read our statement of professional interest guide.
- Transcript: Upload your official transcript directly into your application or request that it be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. An unofficial transcript is acceptable if your school does not send official digital transcripts
- Issues Essay or Writing Sample (approx. 500 words): If you’re applying for spring 2022, write an essay on a key issue that is relevant to the field you are hoping to intern in. If you need help, view our sample issues essays. If you’re applying for summer or fall 2022, write an essay on a key issue that is relevant to the field you are hoping to intern in or submit a professional writing sample from a previous course or experience
- Letter of Recommendation: If you’re applying for spring 2022, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or professional supervisor is required and will be submitted to TWC by the recommender. If you have a GPA below 2.75, you’ll need to request two letters of recommendation. If you’re applying for summer or fall 2022, a letter of recommendation is not required for students with a GPA at or above 2.75. If you have a GPA below 2.75, you’ll need to request one letter of recommendation
If you are attending school outside the U.S., you must also submit:
- Your TOEFL score
- Copy of your valid passport ID page
You can view TWC's Internship Policies here, which includes information on student conduct, billing, grades, and much more. All students will be expected to follow these policies so we encourage you to review them.
Do students often receive job offers at their internship sites?
TWC students frequently make use of the relationships that they developed during their semester or summer in D.C. to enhance their career prospects, and many are offered positions directly. We definitely encourage networking while you are here!
How does the internship placement process work?
Shortly after you are accepted, you’ll take part in a session with your Pre-arrival Advisor. Together, you will explore potential internship opportunities and discuss next steps in the internship placement process. Throughout the following weeks or months, you will submit your documents directly to internship opportunities that are of interest to you. Upon consideration from one of the employers, they will reach out to you and conduct an interview. You can expect to have one or several interviews, and once an offer is extended, you ultimately decide if you want to accept it or not.
Are TWC internships paid?
While some students are offered internships that come with some sort of compensation (a small stipend, Metro fare, etc.), the vast majority of sites working with students in our Washington, D.C. Academic Internship Program provide unpaid positions. The Washington Center is an academic program, so you are welcome to explore the scholarships for which you may qualify.
Can I find my own internship and still do TWC?
Yes. However, we recommend you speak with your internship advisor first. This is to ensure that your chosen internship site will provide you with meaningful work, that your supervisor will be willing to complete your evaluations, and that he or she is aware of our program components, key dates and other important details.
How competitive is the program? Will I be accepted?
As long as you are approved by your home institution (if you are an undergrad), meet basic eligibility requirements and submit a complete application, you should expect to be admitted to our program. That said, certain internship sites may be more competitive than others, and the summer is typically more competitive in general for internships in Washington, D.C.
How long until I find out that I’ve been accepted?
Upon submitting your online application, you will be contacted by one of our staff to inform you of what supporting documents we are waiting to receive from you. Once all of those documents have been received, your application enters review. From that point, you can expect to hear back from us within two weeks via email to inform you of whether or not you have been accepted into the program.