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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Washington D.C.

Semester: Fall
Offered: Every other academic year, even years
Estimated Dates: Late August to early December
Program Focus: Regional Area Study with a U.S. Politics & History Emphasis and Internship Experience.
Prerequisites: Minimum of 2.75 GPA is highly recommended. Junior or senior standing preferred.               
Fall 2018 Program Leader: Ian McDonald
Professor of Political Science

Program Design

The program is an inter-disciplinary and in-depth study of a broad range of academic subjects examined within a political context. Learning takes place in the classroom, but more importantly, in the rich historical, artistic, cultural and political environment of the nation’s capital.  Students focus on:

  •  The American political process—what are the national political structures and methods, how do they function, and how do numerous stakeholders interact within those structures?
  •  The role of the media in various forms of political activity with a focus on political campaigning—differences between “old” and “new” media and how the media affect political outcomes, political forces, and the way we view political life?
  •  The history of American art and architecture.
  •  Student-selected internships in organizations relevant to the student’s academic major and/or desired career.

Students participate in intensive group interviews with Washington politicians, lobbyists, and other professionals.

The group is housed in hotel or apartment accommodations.


Requirements Fulfilled: This program fulfills the 4-credit Creative Arts requirement. Participation in the Washington D.C. program does not fulfill the International Studies general education requirement. 

4 courses per semester/16 credits


Political Science 353: The National Policy Process

Theoretical foundations of national government and analysis of its congressional, presidential, administrative, and judicial structures.  Specific public policies examined to understand the interaction of interest groups, political parties, research institutes, media, and public opinion with these structures.

Political Science 244: Practicum

Students will be placed with congressional offices, executive agencies, interest groups, think tanks, etc.

Art 204: History of American Art                                                                         

American art and architecture from the colonial period to present.

Political Science 309: American Political Thought

The evolution of political ideas from the pre-revolutionary era through the founding period, Civil War, early 20th century, and New Deal, up to present divisions between “liberals,” “conservatives,” and other contemporary political orientations.


Fee Breakdown:

Total Fee (includes Tuition & Program Fee): $32,334 

Tuition: $25,287

Program Fee: $7,047*

*Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, field trips, administrative fees, and supplemental health insurance. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to DCA or IAD): $500 - $1,000

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,275.50*

*All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding Health Insurance Information & Overseas Programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: Applications are due one year before the start of the program. The semester before the program, students who have been accepted will meet regularly for orientation. This orientation is meant to prepare the students for life in Washington D.C. by exploring literature and culture, and provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the logistical details of the program.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) or Dulles International Airport (IAD), and from there they travel to their student apartments.

Washington, DC

38.889812; -77.005929