Carnegie Mellon University

Welcome to the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program. Politics, and a whole lot more. 

What's it like? Why should you go? Find out.

Not an IPS major? Perfect.

From embassies to nongovernmental organizations, think tanks to advocacy organizations, and consulting firms to media outlets, Washington, DC, is a focal point for many international and public policy activities.

Undergraduates from any course of study who would value firsthand policy experience are invited to apply to the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program (CMU/WSP), sponsored by the university's Institute for Politics and Strategy. In this semester-long program, students live, intern, and study in Washington, DC, interacting with political, business, and community leaders and learning about the most pressing policy issues of the day.

CMU/WSP students earn forty-eight units for their semester in Washington, interning approximately twenty-four hours per week in any sector or field of interest within Washington, DC, while taking classes three to four afternoons/evenings per week. Courses are taught by Carnegie Mellon faculty.  The Institute for Politics and Strategy sponsors events and policy-oriented opportunities in Washington for students participating in the program to further enrich their experience and enhance their understanding of how Washington functions as a hub of international and public policy decision making.

Make sure you see all that the CMU/WSP has to offer. Engineering and Public Policy majors participate to learn how their hard work manifests itself in the real world, and what roadblocks or considerations they should be aware of. Some students do more than learn on Capitol Hill, where the CMU/WSP offices and classrooms are located; they intern there as well. 

“I cannot recommend the Washington Semester Program enough,” said Lucy Truschel, who graduated Carnegie Mellon in 2019 and participated in the CMU/WSP in the spring of her junior year. “I think having the opportunity to have an internship during the school year is really great, and there are so many more positives that come with the Washington Semester Program specifically. There’s a lot of support.”


Members of the Spring 2020 cohort visited the Pentagon and got a taste of life as a Pentagon reporter in the briefing room.


Students in the Fall 2019 cohort took a trip to the Kennedy Center to see "Cats."


CMU/WSP Spring 2019 students got the inside scoop on the 2020 Race from Meet the Press Host, Chuck Todd, during a taping of the show.