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Washington Semester

"The program allows students to interact with some of the most interesting and influential people in the country. There can be no substitute for exposure to individuals of this caliber."

Jeremy Putman History Major, Class of '99

About the Program

Administered by the University of South Carolina's Honors College, the Washington Semester Program gives selected students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience while earning academic credit toward their degrees. In Washington, DC, you will see how the political process works and sharpen analytical skills that will help you prepare for a professional career in government, law, medicine, business, or the nonprofit sector.

You will meet interesting and influential people, establish contacts for personal and professional networking, respond to constituent needs from your home district, and research one of several hot topics being considered by Congress. You will attend important events, like a Rose Garden reception for a visiting head of state or a joint session of Congress, hear oral arguments at the Supreme Court, and participate in dynamic leadership seminars that will give you firsthand knowledge of how the federal government operates. Recent seminars have featured cabinet secretaries, key White House officials, a Supreme Court justice, and other national leaders.


To be eligible, you must be in an Honors Program in a South Carolina institution of higher education and be a degree-seeking student at the time of the fellowship. You should be a college junior, although exceptions are made in special circumstances. You must demonstrate an awareness of how government works and of major issues facing our nation.

The program seeks applicants from across South Carolina. Past participants have come from The Citadel, Clemson University, The College of Charleston, Lander University, South Carolina State University, Winthrop University, USC-Aiken, USC-Lancaster, and USC-Columbia. Students majoring in engineering, journalism, business, biology, English, French, and history, as well as political science and international relations, have benefited from the program.

Internship and Coursework

Fellows work full-time in a congressional, executive or private-sector office and receive a minimum $4,000 stipend and six credits of Honors internship/independent study. They also take two honors courses at three credits each: "Effective Leadership" and "Theatre Appreciation."

More information on the Washington Semester Study Program can be found at