Carnegie Mellon University


Before You Go

Students who are admitted to the CMU/WSP will be enrolled in 84-215 Tomorrow’s Professionals in the mini semester directly preceding their time in DC. This 3-unit (pass/no pass) seminar is designed to facilitate students’ deliberate thinking about professionalism, so that they can: begin to practice it upon entry into their respective internships and avoid decisions or behaviors that could hamper their success, build their unique brands, identify opportunities to excel, and ensure overall excellence in their careers. Throughout the seminar, we will discuss professional conduct, leadership, teamwork, interview techniques and strategies for success. We will discuss real-time and simulated workplace challenges, and problem-solve as a group to develop meaningful, professional resolutions to difficult workplace scenarios. Being prepared for such scenarios, and responding intentionally to challenges can make or break a career.  

Professionalism is a lifelong skill. The goal of this seminar is to provide students with the necessary tools to begin building their professional careers, and so that they have a set of skills to rely on as they grow within their careers. Given the right preparation and tool kit—students that practice professionalism will see their careers catapulted forward and doors open indefinitely.  

While in Washington

During the semester in Washington, DC, students earn 48-units, taking a combination of mini and full semester courses.   Students take classes three to four afternoons/evenings per week. Each class meets only once per week.  All courses are taught by Institute for Politics and Strategy faculty and all classes are held in the CMU/WSP classrooms on Capitol Hill. The academic program consists of the following:

Required Core Courses (must take all 24 units)
84-450 Policy Seminar (6 units)
84-451 Policy Seminar II (6 units)
84-360 Internship Seminar (12 units)

Elective Seminars (24 units total)
Below is a list of possible elective courses.  Offerings vary by semester. Students must enroll in a total of 24 elective units. 

84-313 International Organizations and Law
84-330 The Shading of Democracy: The Influence of Race on American Politics
84-331 Money, Media, and the Power of Data in Decisionmaking
84-334 The History and Practice of Economic Statecraft
84-335 US China Relations
84-336 Implementing Public Policy: From Good Idea to Reality
84-337 Biomedical Science Research, Policy, and Governance
84-339 Seminar in Public Policy Research
84-340 Making Change: How Organized Interests Work in Washington
84-348 Advocacy, Policy, and Practice

The Spring 2023 elective seminars are:

84-334 The History and Practice of Economic Statecraft (6 units)
84-336 Implementing Public Policy: From Good Idea to Reality (12 units)
84-348 Advocacy, Policy, and Practice (6 units)

The Fall 2023 elective seminars are: 

84-313 International Organizations and Law (6 units)
84-335 US China Relations (6 units)
84-339 Seminar in Public Policy Research (12 units)