Office of Student Success | Colin Powell School

Office of Student Success

Semester in Washington, D.C.

The Colin Powell School’s Semester in Washington, D.C. Program offers students an outstanding opportunity to live, work, and study in the nation’s capital. Students spend the spring semester interning at a government agency or nonprofit organization while completing 12 credits, including two special courses designed just for them and taught in D.C. The program also provides a series of guest lectures, cultural activities, and networking events.

This program is a partnership between the Colin Powell School and the University of Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration. Participants from both universities take required classes together.

We are now accepting applications for Spring 2024! The deadline to apply is Sept. 15, 2023.

Program Contact

Director of Fellowship Programs & Office of Student Success

Debbie Cheng


Fellows will live, work, and study in Washington D.C. during the Spring 2024 semester.

The program pays for shared housing in Capitol Hill.

They will also be required to complete an internship (at least 28 hours/week) in public service. Students will look for their own internships with strong support from program advisors. Those who get unpaid internships will receive a $3,500 stipend.

Students will complete two mandatory political science courses taught by Washington, D.C. practitioners and professors.

Two optional online courses are also offered.

Fellows will also attend guest lectures, events, and other activities organized by the program.

Mandatory Courses

PSC 31508  (3 Credits) Power, Inequality, and Social Policy

This course examines the development of the American welfare state and current conflicts and debates about its performance and future. Students will work on a brief about some element of social policy currently under debate in Washington, D.C.

PSC 33000 (3 Credits) Politics and Washington, D.C.

This course examines primary Washington D.C. governmental, political, and press entities and their relationships. The class will operate through lectures, work experience, and seminars with Washington D.C. practitioners. Students will learn how the major governmental, political, and media organizations in Washington function, the roles they play, and the impact they have on public policy processes.


Optional Courses

SSC 31117 (3 Credits) Internship Seminar

This online seminar runs parallel to your internship and looks into management in public service, leadership styles, and organizational dynamics. Completion of your internship is mandatory, but registering for credits is optional.

PSC 31005  (3 Credits) Working and Learning in Washington, D.C.

This course examines the government, politics, and the press—and their relationships—through lectures and field trips. Students will attend a series of lectures; they will be exposed to guests who are leaders in each sector; and they will participate in a series of site visits at agencies and offices around Washington, D.C.


Applicants for the 2023-2024 fellowship:

  • Must be full-time undergraduate students
  • Must have completed at least 60 credits by the end of the Spring 2023 semester
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA or better
  • Must demonstrate interest in national or international affairs, or American politics
  • Can be from any school/major and with any citizenship status (international & non-citizens are welcome to apply!)

Application Questions

Please upload responses to the following questions through the application form. Write your name on all application materials.

Personal Statement: Tell us about your scholarly interests and experiences in college. What factors shaped your interests? What are your career goals, and how are they related to public service? Upload an essay that is between 150 and 250 words.

Essay: Describe your interest in policy making, international affairs, or American politics. Why do you want an internship in Washington DC? Upload an essay that is between 500 and 750 words.

Recommendation Letter: You must provide one recommendation letter from a professor or supervisor. The professor does not have to teach at CCNY but should have instructed you in a college-level class. Advise your recommender to upload their letter using this form by Sept. 15, 2023.

2023 Semester in D.C. Fellows

Adrian Barroso

Adrian Barroso is a junior studying Political Science and Journalism. He is a native New Yorker and comes from a Mexican background. He is interested in domestic politics and international affairs. Adrian is excited to spend a semester in the nation’s capital. He hopes to gain experience working in a newsroom and seeing how Washington D.C. functions. Adrian is an intern at Rep. Gomez’s Office (CA-34).

Akouvi Estelle Atchanhouin

Akouvi was born in Togo and moved to the U.S. during her toddler years. She is a senior studying Anthropology and International Relations with a minor in Jewish studies. Akouvi is fluent in French and also knows a little bit of Japanese. She is looking forward to spending the spring semester in D.C. and hopes to network, build connections and strengthen her professional career with the resources she will have at her disposal while living and working in D.C. Akouvi is an intern at Sen. Schumer’s Office (D-NY).

Caylinda Garcia

Caylinda is a senior and is majoring in International Studies. She applied for the Semester in DC program in order to gain insight on political affairs in the U.S. She hopes to use this opportunity as a way to secure a career path after graduation. During her semester in D.C., she also hopes to work at an internship that will help expand her interests in public affairs and communications. Some of her hobbies include crafting, painting and finding new books to read. Caylinda is an intern at National Urban Fellows.

Dedipta Bhattacharjee

Dedipta Bhattacharjee is a senior at CCNY majoring in English, Asian Studies, and Publishing, with additional minors in Art History and Journalism. She is a Kaye Scholar, Isaacs Scholar, City College Fellow, NBCU Fellow, and alumnus of the Stanford/CUNY Humanities Research Program. Her research under the City College Fellowship pertains to the portrayal of South Asian women in literature and how literature acts as a medium to link history to the realities of women. She is passionate about women’s rights, environmental sustainability, the censorship of writers and artists, and many other issues. She hopes to spend her time in Washington working in alignment with institutions to learn more about public policy and how to bring ideas to fruition. Aside from her studies, Dedipta loves to read, write poetry, and is an avid coffee drinker. In her free time, she likes to explore new hobbies, travel, and sip on iced caramel lattes. Dedipta is an intern at PEN America.

Devon Merritt

Devon Merritt is a junior majoring in International Studies with a concentration in development. He is a descendant of Italian and German immigrants who worked as fishermen and railroad workers on Long Island. Devon is interested in working in the field of humanitarian aid and human rights, especially among people living in combat zones or affected by armed conflicts in other ways. An example of this interest is wanting to help with the civil war-related famine and health crisis that has been going on in Yemen since 2014. Outside of politics Devon enjoys Star Wars, ice hockey, and learning about history. Devon is an intern at the National Disability Rights Network.

Elijah Christian Reyes

Elijah Reyes is a first-generation Afro-Dominican American college student. He is currently a junior at CCNY majoring in International Studies. He was born and raised in New York City, with roots in the Dominican Republic. Elijah is aiming to get his master’s degree abroad and pursue a career in public service. His dream career is to be an influential politician in the U.S. or the Dominican Republic, or the CEO and founder of a nonprofit organization that aids communities around the world based in Europe/Latin America. His interests are traveling, volunteering, and reading. Elijah is hoping to study abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the Spring of 2024. Elijah is an intern at Sen. Schumer’s Office (D-NY).

Jaime García-Ricote

Jaime García-Ricote is a senior at CCNY majoring in International Studies with a minor in Psychology. Growing up in Madrid, Spain, Jaime has studied abroad on many occasions. Through his experiences, he has built cultural competence toward diverse populations with varying demands. This amplified his desire to work with different communities and furthered his interest in people’s well-being and in the intersectionality of their issues. This year, he became part of the Racial Justice Fellows Program. Jaime has immersed himselfin both the political scenes of New York and Madrid and is extremely thrilled to spend his final semester in Washington D.C. He cannot wait to work there to better understand the plumbing of American democracy and learn how to have a meaningful impact. In his free time, he likes reading an abundance of literary genres and writing about political events happening across the globe. Jaime is an intern at Rep. Espaillat’s Office (NY-13).

John Jara Morales

John D. Jara has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Internet and Information Technology with additional Google IT and AWS Cloud Certifications. He is currently pursuing a BA at CCNY in Economics. John comes from an Ecuadorian family with high moral values, and he seeks to use this internship to learn more about U.S. public and social policies, as well as the current political and governmental practices in Washington D.C.He enjoys reading books, streaming shows/videos, weight training, building legos/models, traveling, and Gorillaz (the band, not the animal). John is an intern at the National Disability Rights Network.

Maharaj Majhar

Maharaj Majhar is a senior at CCNY double majoring in Psychology and Political Science. He’s a born-and-bred New Yorker hoping to make an impact in the immigrant communities in NYC. He plans on becoming a lawyer with a focus on family and criminal law. Maharaj hopes to create avenues for immigrants to integrate and enrich the justice system. Withhis knowledge from the Honors Program in Legal Studies and the workshops and panels offered at CCNY, he has become inspired to take more initiative and be at the forefront of social change and justice. Living in Queens his entire life, he believes the Semester in D.C. Program will be a great environment for him to take action and share the voice of immigrant communities in NYC. He loves to play board games with his family, go bowling, and read books during his free time. Maharaj is an intern at American Muslims for Palestine.

Osamwonyi Igbineweka

Osamwonyi Igbineweka is a senior majoring in Economics. The son of two Nigerian immigrants who worked as teachers for decades in the U.S., Osamwonyi was instilled with a desire to understand more about the world around him. It was through this desire that he came to pursue a degree in Economics and he strives to comprehend the behaviors and systems not only the U.S., but in the global economy. His goal is to be able to utilize economic theories alongside with data analytics to find unique solutions to solve today’s problems in the global market. Osamwonyi is an avid sports fan as he watches a plethora of sports ranging from basketball all the way to Formula One racing. Osamwonyi is an intern at the Council of Economic Advisers.

Qusay Alomari

Qusay Alomari is a junior at CCNY majoring in Political Science with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. A first-generation immigrant from Jordan, Qusay saw at first glance what made New York special: anyone could be who they were without fear. This enchanted him, and since then he’s been passionate about protecting tolerance and diversity. Qusay believes that, now more than ever, we need people to work to protect the virtues that we take for granted, motivating him to pursue a career in law. In his professional career, Qusay is committed to making positive change happen and doing what he can to fight injustice. In Washington, D.C., Qusay is hoping to learn the ropes of the political world to better understand how the system works. With this knowledge, Qusay believes that he can help change it for the better, so it can better function to serve everyone. Qusay is an intern at Rep. Bowman’s Office (NY-16).

Staci Jeffries

Staci Jeffries is a Political Science major with a minor in legal studies. Her family is from Belize, which makes her a first generation student and the seventh in her generation to attend college in the U.S. Her heritage and parents’ courage influenced her to want to pursue a career in law with a focus on immigration. She likes to travel, try new food, and watch anime in her free time. Before law school she hopes to work with NGOs that are focused on immigration and housing activism through public policy. Her current internship at the New York Attorney General’s Office has shown her how heavily disadvantaged urban city communities are when dealing with housing and consumer fraud issues. That has motivated her to find an internship in Washington D.C.that can position her in opportunities where she can grow her network and knowledge to help disadvantaged groups through public policy, after she graduates in Spring 2023. Staci is an intern at Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s Office (NY-14).