Courses

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Required Core Courses

Foundations of Public Policy, Public Policy Visits and the three-credit internship, comprise the required core of the program. The seminar addresses the fundamental ideas that organize, describe, and define public policy in the United States. Co-curricular activities related to this course will expose students to institutions, organizations, and decision-makers in Washington.

The Washington Program staff works directly with each accepted student to identify professional objectives, and offers extensive resources to assist students in securing intellectually-rewarding internships.

HESB 34091 – Foundations of Public Policy

This seminar addresses the fundamental ideas that organize, describe, and define public policy in the United States. Using a variety of classical and modern texts, students will consider how these fundamental ideas serve to shape both the debate regarding particular policies, as well as the institutions responsible for their implementation. Of special importance to the seminar is the development of critical and analytical skills to understand and evaluate public policy. 

*This course fulfills a University 2nd Philosophy requirement and is also cross-listed with Political Science, Sociology, and Philosophy. 

HESB 34092 – Public Policy Visits

This graded, three-credit course is the companion to HESB 34091, Foundations of Public Policy. Co-curricular policy visits expose students to institutions, organizations, and decision-makers in Washington.

HESB 34093 – Washington DC Internship

Student secure an internship of their choosing and work approximately 20 to 25 hours per week. The internship does not need to be politics or policy related. This course is three credits, graded S/U.

Electives

In order to round out their academic schedule, students are also required to take two additional three-credit courses. Students choose electives offered by a consortium of schools that includes Notre Dame, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Michigan, the University of San Francisco, and the University of Pennsylvania. When considering courses, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) to see which courses will allow them to stay on track with academic requirements for their major. An updated schedule of electives is available here . Available courses are listed under “Semester Electives” near the bottom of the page.

Independent Study

Students also have the opportunity to pursue (for credit) an independent project related to their interests. Independent study courses must be arranged by each interested student prior to their arrival in Washington.