Semester in Washington Politics Program

Semester in Washington


Undergraduate students that want to get in the room where it happens in Washington, DC have the option to participate in GW’s Semester In Washington Politics (SIWP) program. SIWP consists of two core classes (with the option to take additional electives), weekly networking events, a professional internship, and an optional mentoring program. 

SIWP was founded in 1995 as a hands-on, non-partisan, academic experience for students interested in the political process. The program is comprised of four main components:

  • Two core classes, which all students are required to complete. These may be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. If taken for graduate credit, these courses can be applied towards a GSPM master’s degree. 
  • An internship that builds on what the student learns in the classroom. Once admitted into the program, you will work with SIWP staff to find and apply for internships that match your interests and experience. 
  • Weekly networking events that take you into the centers of power in Washington, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the White House, and Capitol Hill, as well as major news outlets, lobbying shops, and political consulting and government relations firms.
  • The option to be paired with a mentor who can help guide you through the semester. Most mentors are alumni of SIWP, and all are political professionals working in Washington, D.C.

"The classes offered in the SIWP program provided a great snapshot into the GSPM Program. It offered me a D.C. internship experience, and the classes I took were transferable to the GSPM program itself so I was already walking in with 6 credits under my belt and it allowed me to take more electives."

Emily Crerand

Semester In Washington Program Student, Summer 2007
GSPM Political Management, 2011

Semester in Washington Politics alumni have gone on to work for political campaigns, federal agencies, members of Congress, public affairs groups, and state and local government. Some have run for elected office themselves. 


In addition to professional and academic opportunities, the SIWP program also provides housing opportunities in GW residence halls. SIWP students also commonly transfer their current financial aid packages to The George Washington University. SWIP staff is available to discuss financial aid opportunities by phone 202-994-2083 or [email protected].


To learn more visit the SIWP homepage.