USF in Washington DC

USF in DC is a semester-long program in Washington D.C. that integrates a full-time internship with relevant coursework taught by USF faculty from the Politics Department and University of California Washington Program (UC DC) faculty.

Participants can choose from a range of elective courses and internship opportunities that meet their interests and skill sets. Students will spend their semester engaging with peers from across the country in the heart of the capital, where they will live, learn, and explore all that DC has to offer.

“When I reflect on my time in the USF in DC program, it amazes me how much I experienced in just four months. The skills I gained in DC have carried over into places that I least expected. For example, the professional writing skills I honed in DC improved my overall communication ability and enabled me to excel in my next position as a marketing intern. Additionally, the political knowledge I gained in the program added depth and meaning to course work in my major upon returning to USF. In my media theory classes, I often make connections between the media and politics and am able to share unique insights and anecdotes during class discussions.” - Presley Attardo '15

Program Details

  • Enroll through USF in 16 units of coursework and fulfill core service-learning requirement.
  • Engage in a full-time internship (30-32 hours) meant to hone your professional skills, extend your academic knowledge into real-world applications, and immerse you in the unique political and social culture of Washington D.C.
  • Find your own internship that aligns with your interests with support from McCarthy Center staff
  • Take elective courses through the University of California’s Washington Center (UCDC Consortium) with visiting professors from University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, and various UC campuses. Visit for a current elective course list.
  • Live at the UC Washington Center, along with students from other Universities.
  • Access a range of Washington Center programming activities, excursions, and events.
  • Attend the UCDC Monday night "Forum" lecture series, as an opportunity to meet with politicians, policy makers, journalists, and prominent scholars.
  • The program is accessible and relevant to students across a variety of majors.
  • Pay USF tuition, other applicable student fees, and travel costs.

Past internship sites have included:

  • House Leader Nancy Pelosi's Office
  • Immigration Equality
  • United We Dream
  • House Judiciary Committee
  • Members of Congress
  • Federal Agencies
  • United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
  • Common Cause
  • Sierra Club
  • CBS News
  • White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Department of Education
  • Center for American Progress
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • ....among others

Download Program Goals and Objectives [PDF]

How to Apply

The application process includes completion of the online application (link below), submission of a resume, writing sample, and participation in an interview with selection committee. Students who are interested in public service, want to build personal and professional skills, and build connections in the policy, advocacy, and political realm are encouraged to apply for either a Fall or Spring semester in Washington, D.C.


Fall 2023 Semester Application is now open! Priority Deadline March 1st. 


To be eligible to apply, students must:

  • Be sophomore standing or higher (undergraduates only)
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or provide a compelling explanation for why GPA is below requirement
  • Be in good academic standing and good disciplinary standing 

More Information

Madeline Meininger