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Washington Policy Semester

The Washington Semester involves intensive examination of the policy making process in the national government, particularly as it relates to economic policy.

Watch this video for a brief summary of the benefits of the Washington Policy Semester program:

The Program

Topics covered include international as well as domestic economic policy. The program, administered by American University in Washington, D.C., consists of:

  • A seminar,
  • An internship in a private or governmental agency,
  • And courses in the curriculum of American University.

The program is designed for undergraduates beyond the sophomore year who are interested in policy issues. Program offerings in economics include:

  • Global Economics and Business
  • International Environment and Development
  • Transforming Communities

This program offers you a rare and exciting hands-on learning and work experience in the arena of trade, finance, and economic policy - all within the nation's capital. Students are hosted at both private and public institutions where they engage directly with prominent entrepreneurs, policy makers, and scholars at the various entities.

The first part of the program explores major issues, such as foreign investment and political risk analysis, while the second part analyzes specific business opportunities in the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Pacific Rim. This program is a unique course of study that combines a seminar in Washington, D.C., with an intensive field practicum in Costa Rica (fall) or Ghana (spring). We will learn about key actors in the global community and study specific issues such as education, water and sanitation, biodiversity, social entrepreneurship, and climate change.

This is a public policy program that addresses the concept of community, the factors that make a community healthy, and how forces at the local, state, and national level are used to create and strengthen community. The issues of poverty, ethnicity, globalization, and immigration are integral factors to be explored.

How to Apply

  • Applicants must have completed four semesters of residence at Emory before beginning the semester.
  • Upon satisfactory completion of the Washington Semester program, students will receive up to sixteen (16) semester hours of credit.
    • A maximum of eight (8) semester hours of credit earned may be counted toward the major requirements in economics in the form of two 300-level electives.
  • Economics 394, Washington Economic Policy Semester, is an exception to the major requirements rule that all classes must be taken for a letter grade; it must be taken S/U.
It is the policy of the College Office that all approved classes taken at other institutions cannot receive a letter grade but will receive credit hours for such course work.

Applications should be completed early in the semester preceding the one in which the student intends to participate in the program. 
Complete the following steps for the Washington Semester Program: 

  1. Fill out the application form the application form: Apply online 
  2. Obtain approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies 
  3. Request an official transcript from the Registrar's office to include with the application to AU 
  4. If you are completing the Washington Semester Program in Fall or Spring semester: Once accepted to the program, ask the Undergraduate Program Coordinator to register you for Econ 394, Washington Economic Policy Semester. Please send your official AU transcript to Emory’s Registrar at , once your grades are posted.  
  5. If you are completing the Washington Semester program in Summer semester: Inform the Undergraduate Program Coordinator that you are participating in the program before the semester begins. Please send an official AU transcript to the OUE Domestic Transient Study Office at once your grades are posted.  

Visit the American University's Washington Semester website for detailed information about the program.