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Washington, D.C. Program

The Government Department's off-campus program in Washington, D.C. provides students with internship opportunities in legislative and executive offices as well as the chance to conduct research involving the national government. Students receive three credits, for Government 93, 94 and 95. In Government 93, Essays, students write weekly essays relating to his or her work experience in an internship with a public or private agency or organization intended to give students practical experience in political life in the nation’s capital. These essays relate the student’s work experience to broader issues in political science (Dist: SOC). Government 94 and 95 are seminars taught by the director of the program.

A key feature of our Washington, D.C. Program is the opportunity to hear from top officials who work in D.C., among them leaders in the US Senate and House of Representatives (including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand '88 and Congressmen Mike Capuano '73 and Paul Hodes '72), DNC, RNC, NRCC, DSCC, Federal Election Commission officials, Democratic/Republican pollsters, and others.

Professor Bafumi will direct the Washington, D.C. Program in spring 2013 and spring 2014. The two seminars he will offer are:

Myths and Realities in Public Policy Solutions (94)

This course will investigate major areas of public policy including health care, energy, banking, social security and education.  Through readings and lively discussion, students will grow in their understanding of these deeply important issues.  The aim of the course will be to dispel public policy myths that benefit candidates or their parties in the political arena but do not have the capacity to solve real world problems.  We will approach public policy as academics rather than political practitioners.  While we will move from issue to issue quickly, students will have the opportunity to focus on one issue for in-depth study in a final paper.

The Size and Scope of the United States Government (95)

This course will study the history and causes of governmental growth with a strong focus on the U.S. government.  We will first study the major theories of governmental growth.  We will then investigate the major agencies of the federal government in great depth including their history, what they do today, how they do it, what resources they employ and how these resources have changed over time, whether they provide a useful function and how the agency might be improved.  We will be particularly interested in considering ways to achieve budget savings in a tough fiscal climate.  Upon completion of this course, students should have a very intimate knowledge of the federal government.


The application deadline for the spring 2014 Washington, DC Program is October 14, 2013; for students who are off campus in fall 2012, the deadline is July 25, 2013.    More detailed information may be obtained from the Off-Campus Programs Office, 44 North College Street, and at the following website:

Last Updated: 3/28/13