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  • Locations: Washington D.C., United States
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Furman applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2017 09/15/2016 09/22/2016 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty-led Language of Instruction: English
Faculty Director or Program Advisor: Danielle Vinson - Political Science Areas of Study: Political Science
Prerequisites: Yes Type of Course Credit: Furman course credit
Credit Hours Per Term: 16 credits Foreign Language Immersion: No
Internship: Yes Program Features: Internship, Service Learning
Applicable Financial Aid: Federal Aid, Furman Institutional Aid, Furman Merit Based Scholarships, State Aid, Study Away Scholarship Housing: Apartment
Program Description:




This program provides students from all disciplines the opportunity to build on their knowledge and understanding of politics and its relationship to their own field of study by immersing them in the life and culture of Washington, DC, and the real world of politics through an internship in the nation’s capital. Students will participate in an internship 30-35 hours per week, explore Washington culture independently on evenings and weekends, and participate in a service learning project.  They will attend seminars, lectures by political practitioners and elites (examples from past trips include the White House Chief of staff, an academic expert on campaign finance reform, and the ambassador from Pakistan), and field trips (examples include tours of the Pentagon, tours of embassies, and a trip to the Newseum) arranged by the Washington Center* on Fridays.  Under the guidance of the Furman professor, Washington Center program advisor, and internship supervisor, students will establish professional, academic, and personal goals for their time in DC and will document the accomplishment of these goals in a portfolio during the semester.  These experiences will constitute one of the three courses they take in Washington.

To help students connect their internships and experiences to relevant academic perspectives, students will take a course on Fieldwork in Politics taught in the evening by the Furman professor.  In this course, students will read scholarly literature relevant to the area they are working in and reflect on its connection to their work experience and observations in an internship journal.  In addition, students will meet weekly in small groups with the professor to discuss and compare their experiences and to consider what their combined experiences teach them about politics and government, thus encouraging them to use participant observation as a method to study the political world.  Short written assignments for this class will also require students to practice other methods of inquiry social scientists use to study government and politics in the field—content analysis and elite interviews, for example.


PSC 407 The Washington Experience
This course meets the engaged learning requirement in PS or can be used as an upper level elective in PS.
Instructor: Dr. Vinson
Course catalog description: Examination of political, civic and cultural aspects of the American political system while living in Washington, DC.  Includes internship in a government agency or political organization with appropriate academic perspectives. 8 credits (Spring Semester).

PSC 405 Fieldwork in Politics
This course is considered an elective in Political Science
Instructor: Dr. Vinson
Through internships and related assignments, students employ research methods, test previous political science research, and acquire a deeper understanding of domestic and international affairs. 4 credits.

PSC 315 Media in Politics
Elective in the PS major
Instructor: Dr. Vinson
The place of the media as an institution in the American political system. Topics include the nature of the US media, their relationship to the president and the bureaucracy, Congress, the courts and interest groups, the media's role in political campaigns and policy-making, and the media's influence on opinion and political behavior or elites and the public. 4 credits.


While the program will be of particular interest to political science majors, it is open to students in all departments.
Qualified students will be at least second semester sophomores who have had either PSC 101 (American Gov’t) or PSC 102 (World Politics) and at least a 2.7 GPA.


Students will live in apartments in Washington, DC, near a metro to provide easy transportation.  Most apartments have 2 bedrooms (2 students per room), 2 bathrooms, and a kitchen and living area. Apartments are furnished with basic kitchen dishes, pots and pans, but will not include bedding, towels, trash bags, storage containers, kitchen utensils, etc. Students are responsible for their own meals.


Spring Semester Program Fee: Equivalent to the cost of tuition, room and board for a semester on-campus plus a $250 study away fee. The payment to Furman will be reduced by a meal allowance and the expected cost of transportation. Students are expected to use this fee reduction to cover the cost of meals, metro transportation, and travel to and from Washington D.C.
Scholarships, merit aid, and financial aid are applicable to this program.


Students are responsible for meals, local transportation, personal items, and entertainment.  The Washington Center will require a $300 housing deposit six weeks prior to the start of the program which is fully refundable at the end of the program if everything is in good order; however, it will be forfeited if you decide not to participate in the program.