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.

Deadline to apply for the Spring 2023 program: Sept. 26, 2022

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 2023 semester.

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 support from program advisors. 

Students will complete two mandatory political science courses taught by Washington, D.C. practitioners. Two optional 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 2022-2023 fellowship:

  • Must be full-time undergraduate students
  • Must have completed at least 60 credits by the end of last 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 regardless of 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 email their letter to by Sept. 30, 2022.