Inauguration 2021 Academic Seminar

Inauguration 2021 Academic Seminar

Engage in discussions with thought leaders, political experts and seasoned journalists in the days leading up to the Inauguration of the President of the United States

No matter who takes the oath of office on January 20, 2021, the events of 2020 and their impact on U.S. democracy and the elections will be studied for years to come by political scientists, journalists, historians, faculty, students and many others.

You can be a part of that history by getting a behind-the-curtain look into the American political process at the Inauguration 2021 Academic Seminar. Given the political climate, global pandemic, economic crisis and major issues in the spotlight, this event is shaping up to be one of the most important learning opportunities you will experience. 

The Washington Center (TWC) has hosted the Inauguration Academic Seminar since 1985 – and it remains the only national academic program of its kind and size. For the first time in TWC’s history, the Inauguration Academic Seminar will 100% virtual – opening participation to students and faculty from around the world, and those who are otherwise unable to travel to Washington, D.C. Learn more about the Inauguration 2021 Academic Seminar here


To be eligible for Full Academic Program participation, 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

Seminar Components

Presentations and Panel Sessions

You’ll hear from distinguished speakers and public figures in D.C. The virtual format will allow you to ask questions and interact with other participants via the conference portal. Some of our past speakers include Washington Post journalist Ed O’Keefe, White House correspondent Alexis Simendinger and Concord Coalition National Field Director Phil Smith.

Educational Briefings

We'll help you explore Washington, D.C. virtually, taking you into government agencies, think tanks, media outlets and more. You'll get a behind the scenes looks at how our nation’s capital works. Examples of past educational briefings include the Brookings Institution, Voice of America, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and various politically-focused organizations. Live participation in educational briefings is available for students attending the Full Academic Program.

Small Group Discussions

Faculty Leaders representing universities from all over the world lead discussion groups that allow for candid give-and-take discussions to help you digest the information you've heard throughout the day. We encourage respectful debate and foster an open environment where you can confidently express your thoughts without fear. These faculty-led small group discussions are designed for students attending the Full Academic Program.

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Seminar Cost

Full Academic Program: $1,500

The Full Academic Program includes:

  • All sessions (presentations and panels)
  • Small group discussions with a Faculty Leader
  • Virtual Educational Briefings
  • All assignments from your Faculty Leader, evaluation of your work, and grade at the end of the program
  • 24/7 on-demand access to the session recordings via the event portal for one year

Your school may provide academic credit for the seminar. Billing arrangements vary from school to school, so please confirm your actual cost of attendance with your campus liaison or faculty sponsor. If you aren’t sure who to contact, send an email request to

Academic Credit

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

Dates and Deadlines

Seminar Dates

January 11 - 15, 2021

Application and Registration Deadlines
  • Student Registration Deadline: November 11, 2020
  • Faculty Leader Application Deadline: November 11, 2020

How to Apply

To participate in the Full Academic Program, you must complete an online application and submit a $500 deposit. The deposit is applied toward your seminar fee and will be refunded if you are not accepted into the program. Start by clicking the Apply Now link below. 


If you're not quite ready to apply, fill out our request for information below.

Request more Information

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.

As a Faculty Leader, you will have full complimentary access to the virtual seminar and you will receive a stipend of $200 per student in your group. Your students must be attending as Full Academic Program participants.  

As a Faculty Leader, you will work with your students as they participate in program activities. You will:

  1. Attend all virtual program sessions
  2. Meet with students via a provided Zoom room for group discussion and instruction
  3. Join students on virtual educational briefings
  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 Leaders are selected based on the strength of their CV and demonstrated interest in experiential learning. If you have 6 or more students attending the academic seminar (as participants in the Full Academic Program), you will be guaranteed a position as a Faculty Leader. You will still need to apply as a Faculty Leader to secure your position.

Apply Now


Cancellation and Refund Policy
  • Full Academic Program Application: If your school is paying for your registration, you must notify your liaison/faculty leader and TWC at of your intent to withdraw. If you have paid for your registration, you must cancel by December 10, 2020 to receive a full refund, minus the $500 nonrefundable deposit. You may apply the $500 deposit to another TWC program within two years. After December 10,2020, you are responsible for the full registration fee.