Above: Spring 2016 SIW students gather for a photo at the United States Institute of Peace.


Students earn 15 credits toward graduation. All students enroll in POS 341, POS 342 and POS 495Z. POS 341 and 495Z count six credits toward the major or minor in Political Science, Public Policy and several other subjects.

POS 341: Washington in Perspective

This course looks at some of the major types of participants in the Washington public policy community, using current government and politics as entry points. The course also uses the opportunity to learn how the people we study developed their own careers. Reading, guest speakers, and papers. Specific topics will vary. Three credits. A-E grading. Counts toward POS, PUB and other selected majors or minors.

POS 342: Washington Internship

Nine credits. S/U grading. Counts toward graduation but not toward a major or minor.

POS 495Z: Research and Writing in Washington

Students will write a long, multi-draft research paper that will proceed through stages lasting all semester. Three credits. A-E grading. This course is required of all Washington Semester students except those who enroll in POS 499Z with advance permission.  Counts toward POS, PUB and other selected majors or minors.

Honors Essay Options (POS 495Z or POS 499Z)

Honors seniors who wish to use POS 495Z for their Honors Essay will also enroll in POS 400 for one additional credit. It is expected that students who take this option will work with the Washington Semester professor on topic development during the preceding semester.

Honors students who wish to work with a different faculty advisor for the honors thesis may substitute POS 499Z for POS 495Z. This requires the advance approval of the faculty advisor and Washington Semester professor.  It also presupposes some work with the faculty advisor during the preceding semester. Students who enroll in 499Z will be expected to participate in the class sessions for 495Z.

Some junior may want to use their papers in POS 495Z as launching pads for completing an honors thesis as a senior.  This may be done either by enrolling in POS 499 for a full number of course hours or by enrolling in POS 400 for a lower number of hours.  Either path requires advance approval.

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