The Washington Semester

Want to live and work in our nation's capital? Each fall semester MPA and MSEd in Higher Education Administration students have the unique opportunity to reside, work, and study public affairs in Washington, D.C.

Program Summary

  • Gain unique insight into the public policy process through academic coursework and an intensive 28-hour per week internship in legislative offices on Capitol Hill, federal agencies, think tanks, or nonprofit organizations.
  • Obtain 12 graduate-level credits towards the Master of Public Administration (MPA) or Master of Science in Higher Education Administration (MSEd-HEA). Program delivery will take place Monday through Friday. Fridays end earlier at 2PM.
  • Participate in courses taught in a seminar format by Baruch College faculty with extensive DC experience.
  • Live on the Capitol Hill area during the spring semester in fully-funded housing.
  • Experience everything the nation’s capital has to offer—network with policymakers and thought leaders, tour historical landmarks, and explore the local culture.


  • PAF 9199: Special Topics: Who Makes Policy? with Professor Carla Robbins (3 credits).
  • PAF 9115: Intergovernmental Relations with Professor Sonia Jarvis (3 credits).
  • PAF 9192 Fellowship in Public Affairs (6 credits) with Michael Feller; a high-value internship experience that requires each student to work a minimum of 28 hours per week (3 ½ days, Monday through Thursday morning) for 15 weeks in a government agency, congressional office, or nonprofit organization.


Internship placements are matched with each student’s level of preparation and career goals. In past semesters, students have worked for:

  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Congressional Office of Representative Charles Rangel
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • Microfinance Opportunities
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Unique Opportunities

  • Tours of the U.S. Congress and national landmarks.
  • Guest lectures from leading well-known journalists, top administrators, and key policymakers.
  • Museum visits (e.g., Smithsonian, Air & Space, National Archives, American Indian, etc.).
  • Cultural events.
  • Social opportunities for students to stay in touch, compare experiences, and share insights.

Financial Support

The School covers the full cost of housing for the spring semester by paying for a double shared room in the Washington Internship Student Housing (WISH) program. Most WISH residences are located near Capitol Hill and are convenient to local transportation, including the DC Metro.


Applications are due by May 15th and will be considered on a first-come basis. Early applications are strongly encouraged since the program is limited to 14 seats. To be eligible for the program, students must be in good standing with no blocks on their student record. Additionally, students must have 12 credits completed at the start of the Fall semester and hold a minimum 3.2 GPA. Students must submit the application with a current resume to Applicants will be asked to interview in-person with The Washington Semester faculty if more information is needed. Students will be notified by email of their formal acceptance by June 15th via an offer agreement from the Office of the Dean.


  • Accepted students must by June 30th complete a housing application form with the Office of Operations and Finance; Angelina Delgado. Students must provide Washington Internship Student Housing (WISH) with a $200 security deposit that is refunded at the end of the fall semester. In addition, students must submit their signed offer agreement with Baruch College School of Public Affairs by June 30 to Angelina Delgado.
  • Accepted students must pay Baruch College tuition and fees for 12-credits and remain enrolled for 12-credits during the fall semester.
  • The receipt of a graduate assistantship and/or the LCU Scholarship is not permitted while in the Washington Semester program. Financial aid or other scholarships may be received, but students should contact the Baruch College Office of Financial Aid about their eligibility status.
  • Accepted students must contact Professor Michael Feller for their internship placement. It is not possible for students to arrange internships without his authorization.