Campaign 2020: National Conventions Seminars

Campaign 2020: National Conventions Seminars

Experiencing 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. The 2020 Presidential Election is already shaping up to be another significant time in our country's history. Don't miss your chance to be a part of it.


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 or have graduated within the last 18 months at the time of applying.
  • 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* (undergraduates only).
  • Commit to fully participate in the program and complete all assignments.

*If you need help identifying your campus liaison or faculty sponsor, email

Seminar Components

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 current and former public and party officials, members of the media, campaign professionals, policy experts, corporate representatives and others. These sessions feature interactive Q&As that give you a chance to engage directly with the speakers. Past speakers include the CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee Rev. Leah Daughtry, District Attorney of Philadelphia R. Seth Williams and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Ron Rowe.

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 to host committees and state delegations. In the past 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.

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Seminar Cost

The costs of the seminar are below, which include complimentary housing. 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

  Early Bird* Regular
National Conventions Seminar (Republican or Democratic) $3,995 $4,295

* The early bird deadline is Friday, April 26, 2019.

Package Deal

The National Conventions Seminars are one of a 3-part series of Seminars we offer around Campaign 2020. If you are interested in participating in two programs from this series, you can maximize your investment with our package deal. By purchasing a seat as part of our package you will be able to attend one of our Convention 2020 seminars at the Democratic or the Republican National Conventions and your choice of either Inside Washington 2020 or Inauguration 2021 at a discount over purchasing individually.

  Early Bird* Regular
National Conventions Seminar (Republican or Democratic)
+ Your Choice of January Seminar
$5,940 $6,440
Your Savings $250 $250

* The early bird deadline is Friday, April 26, 2019.

Housing and Living

Your housing arrangements will depend on the host city for each convention and will be determined when convention locations are available.

Academic Credit

This seminar is designed to qualify for academic credit at many colleges and universities. However, credits are determined and awarded by each university. TWC does not grant credit. You are responsible for arranging any academic credit through your college or university. You should discuss arrangements with your institution, prior to starting the seminar.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Reduced Rate Early Bird* Application Deadline: Friday, April 26, 2019
  • Regular Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
  • Program Dates: will be determined by the convention dates and announced as soon as they become available

*To learn about discounts for applying by the early bird deadline, please see the Seminar Cost section.

How to Apply

We're not currently accepting applications for this seminar. However, if are interested in learning more about our programs, please submit a Request For Information below.

Request for Information


Refund and Cancellation Policy

If your plans change and you wish to withdraw your application, you must send an email to 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. 

Seminar Faculty

Faculty members have the opportunity to lead their 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:

  1. Attend all program sessions
  2. Meet with students for group discussion and instruction
  3. Accompany the students on site visits.
  4. Read students’ written work and evaluate their academic and professional performance
  5. 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. If you would like to apply for a Faculty Leader position at Inside Washington 2019 Seminar, email