Academic Internship Program

Academic Internship Program

TWC’s Academic Internship Program is a holistic experience designed to help you gain the experience, skills and network you’ll need to succeed, all while earning academic credit.

You have the power to design your own professional path, but you still need to know what you want and how you’ll get there. That’s where a summer or semester in the nation’s capital with The Washington Center (TWC) comes in.



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

Program Components

A semester or summer with TWC is so much more than just an internship. Our program consists of three components designed to help you thrive in the workplace of today and tomorrow.


Land an internship that aligns with your goals. We partner with hundreds of internship sites so that we can connect you to the opportunities that fit you best. 

You’ll apply to internship sites in our network and work with an advisor to identify the position that’s right for you. Once you begin your internship, you’ll be working on projects related to your interests, with a supervisor who cares about your growth and success. Learn more and see a sample of internship sites.

Career Readiness Programming

Develop the professional skills needed to excel in any work environment. You’ll engage in a mix of workshops, sessions and networking events designed to complement what you’re learning at your internship. 

At the end of your TWC experience, you’ll come away with the tools to help you succeed in the job market and a professional network to get your foot in the door. Learn more and see sample workshops and events.

Academic Course

Experience classroom learning in a real-world context, one night each week. You’ll choose a course from a variety of options, so you can fulfill a requirement for your major or delve deep into something you’ve always been interested in. 

Our courses are often taught by faculty members who are working professionals in their area of expertise, making them a connection to learn from and network with. Learn more and see common course options.

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Housing and Living

Live like a local in the nation’s capital. Participants have the option of staying in TWC’s furnished intern housing in NoMa, a cosmopolitan neighborhood full of unique restaurants and nightlife. 

You’ll be within walking distance of the National Mall and the best that D.C. has to offer (not to mention essentials like grocery stores and the Metro). Even better, you’ll have a built-in community of fellow interns to explore the city with. 


Academic Credit

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

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.

Your school may have additional eligibility requirements. Please contact your campus liaison before applying to TWC (if you’re not sure who your campus liaison is, contact 

* TWC also considers recent college graduates and students in master’s level programs on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us at to learn more.

Non-US Students

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.

Health Insurance

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.

Program Cost

Since TWC partners with different colleges and universities, the cost of your participation depends on where you go to school and is often comparable to what you’d pay for the same term on campus. If you’re not sure how TWC works for your school, contact

Program and Housing Fees

Fees Spring 2024 Summer 2024 Fall 2024
Application Fee $60/125* $60/125* $60/125*
Program Fee $9,700 $7,320 $9,700
Housing Fee $6,570 $4,990 $6,570

*$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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Review the scholarships available through TWC below.
  4. 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

Financial Assistance

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

Dates and Deadlines

Program Dates
  Check-In Internship Period Check-Out
 Fall 2023 August 23, 2023* August 28 – December 1, 2023 December 2, 2023
 Spring 2024 January 17, 2024* January 22 – April 26, 2024 April 27, 2024
 Summer 2024 May 29, 2024* June 3 – August 2, 2024 August 3, 2024
 Fall 2024 August 28, 2024* September 3 – December 6, 2024 December 7, 2024

* Alternate dates for check-in may be provided by your campus liaison. If you’re not sure who your campus liaison is, email

Application Deadlines

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

  Early Deadline* Regular Deadline International Student Deadline**
 Spring 2024 October 4, 2023 November 1, 2023 October 4, 2023
 Summer 2024 February 14, 2024 March 13, 2024 February 14, 2024
 Fall 2024 March 27, 2024 April 24, 2024 March 27, 2024

* 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. 

** For students enrolled in institutions outside of the U.S.

*** Spots at internship sites are most highly competitive during the summer. Students looking for summer internships in law enforcement, the legal affairs and international relations fields, and at various think tanks, government agencies, embassies and museums are encouraged to submit their application in January 2024.

See Our 2023 Academic Calendar


How to Apply

Applications for the spring, summer and fall 2024 Academic Internship Programs are open!

Review the Application Documents section below to see what you'll need to submit with your application. In addition to these documents, you will also be asked to pay a $60 application fee (for students at domestic institutions) or a $125 application fee (for students at institutions outside the US).

When you're ready to get started, create an account (or log in to your existing account) in the Application Portal. Select Academic Internship Program from the list of available programs in the portal.

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Not quite ready to apply? Sign up to below to receive information about the program.

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Application Documents

Below are the documents you’ll need to submit with your application. Please note that your One-page Resumé, Transcript and Issues Essay or Writing Sample must be saved as PDFs in order to upload them.

Visit our Application Resources page to download an application checklist and see sample application documents.

  • One-page Resumé: Outline your educational background and include experiences like volunteer opportunities, leadership roles on campus, honors and awards.
  • Statement of Professional Interest: Write a summary (around 100 words) of what you’re seeking in an internship, the skills you’re hoping to develop and interests you’d like to explore. Please do not specify the name(s) of any particular organization in this statement, as it will be shared with potential internship sites.
  • Issues Essay or Writing Sample: Write an essay (between 450 and 750 words) on a key issue that is relevant to the field you are hoping to intern in or submit a writing sample (between 450 and 750 words) from a previous course or experience.
  • Transcript: We accept both unofficial and official transcripts! Upload your transcript for your current school/university directly into the application or sent it to If you have attended multiple institutions, send transcripts for those schools to Please ensure your transcript is organized by semester and includes your name, cumulative GPA and the name of your school. If your social security number is included on your transcript, please conceal it prior to upload.

If you are attending school outside the U.S., you must also submit a copy of your valid passport ID page.


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 Program 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?

Around 40% of our internship partners offer some form of compensation, which can include stipends, hourly pay, or and/or transportation fare. Students are able to see what type of payment will be offered before they interview with the organization.

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.


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.