Term in Washington DC
Every spring term the Political Science Department organizes a Washington, DC Political Policy-Making program. Twenty top students, from all academic disciplines and majors, are selected to participate in our program. The students are led by a Union College Political Science professor. Each student enrolls in three classes. The first class is an internship with an Executive or Legislative office, a Non-governmental organization, a media outlet, or a think-tank located in Washington, DC. The students find and apply to an internship that fits their interests. Each student works in the internship 30 hours per week, Tuesday through Friday, focusing on issues of public policy-making. Recent examples of Union student internships include, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Refugees International, Emily’s List, Radio Free Asia, Office of Homeland Security, American Association of University Women, Nixon Center, Sentencing Project, NOW, COHA, Center for American Progress, Feminist Majority, CATO, National Center for Public Policy Research, Congressional Quarterly, and Roll Call, as well as many House and Senate offices, including Clinton, Hinchey, Rangel, Salazar, Lowey, Sanders, Gillibrand, McNulty, Petri, and Kennedy. This course is for Political Science credit, though depending on the internship, a student can petition for an alternative departmental credit.
The other two courses meet on Mondays. One is a Political Science credit course, focusing on US policy-making. The DC Program Director organizes outside speakers, seminars, and various events that have public policy content, and that examines some of the major issues being debated at the federal level in Washington, DC. Readings and several papers are required. The final course is for Art History credit, and focuses on the political geography of Washington, DC. Each week the class visits various buildings, monuments, museums, memorials and neighborhoods, to look at the controversies and development of these structures and locations. Examples of these visits include Monticello, Georgetown area, U St. area, Presidential Memorials, War Monuments, National Portrait Gallery, Holocaust Museum, US Capital, Supreme Court, National Gallery of Art, and National Museum of the American Indian. This course also has required readings and papers, and is taught by a Art History instructor in Washington, DC.