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 site visits (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.
POL 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. Fraser
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).
POL 405 Fieldwork in Politics
This course is considered an elective in Political Science
Instructor: Dr. Fraser
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.
POL 252 American Foreign Policy
Elective in the POL major
Instructor: Dr. Fraser
Emphasis on the nature of U.S. national interests, major foreign policy actors and institutions, and principal modes and patterns of decision-making. American foreign policy toward selected allies and adversaries is also considered. 4 credits.
Students will pay 2018-2019 semester tuition, room, and board plus a $250 study away program fee. Federal, State and Furman financial aid that a student normally receives will apply. Questions about financial aid should be directed toward the Financial Aid Office. Please see the budget sheet at the top of this page for specifics.
To confirm participation in a study away program, a non-refundable $500 deposit (which applies toward the study away program fee) is due two weeks after acceptance. The final payment deadline will be specified in the Financial Agreement associated with the program.
Study Away Need-Based Scholarships
Need-based study away scholarships are available. Priority is given to students who have not previously participated in a study away program. Townes, Duke, and Hollingsworth Scholars should alert the Rinker Center for Study Away to apply their one-time study away stipend to their study away program.
Study Away Program Fee Inclusions
Lodging for the duration of the program
Meals for the duration of the program*
Transportation for program-related activities/events
Entrance fees to programmed activities/events/venues
Tours included in the study away program
Group meals (students will know ahead of time how many group meals will be provided)
Emergency Medical Insurance (on international programs)
International phone plan allowance for basic communication purposes*
*may be in the form of a program fee credit
Program Fee Exclusions
Transportation to the designated departure city (for international programs)
Optional Program Expenses
International cell phone charges above the provided allowance
Trip cancellation or interruption insurance
Personal expenses and souvenirs
Transportation, meals and lodging for independent travel
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.
Semester faculty-led programs are open to Furman University students of all majors, subject to any course prerequisites. Successful applicants will demonstrate a marked academic, vocational, or personal interest in the program. The faculty directors of this program will read all applications and admit the most qualified individuals. 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.
The Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education reviews all study away programs on an annual basis, and more frequently as needed, to plan for and mitigate risks associated with the health and safety of participants while traveling. In this day and age, nothing is risk-free. Students and faculty are instructed to remain vigilant and cautious at all times and will receive additional instructions during a mandatory pre-departure orientation session and on-site orientation programming. When students commit to a study away program, they are asked to self-disclose personal information - which may include allergies, medications, disabilities, mental health conditions, medical concerns, and past medical histories. This information is shared with the faculty directors and study away staff for use during medical emergencies, and in an effort to be aware of and plan for situations that may arise or accommodations that are needed while students are away from Furman's campus resources. It is extremely important for students to be transparent and forthcoming about their concerns, needs, and medical histories prior to the start of the program as well as during the program. Furman University contracts with Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators (EIIA) to provide medical and emergency services to students while traveling abroad on Furman study away programs. Students participating in study away programs in the United States are required to show proof of medical insurance.
Health & Safety