Washington Semester


During the fall semester, selected juniors and seniors may study politics first-hand in the nation’s capital. Students enroll in a unit which surveys broadly the major aspects of American government and politics, or they may choose one of the units of the Washington Semester program devoted to more specialized areas - American Foreign Policy; Economic Policy; International Business and Trade (D. C. only or D. C. and China), Politics and Public Law, the Criminal Justice System, Urban Policy and Transforming Communities, and Print and Broadcast Journalism. Units that include study in  D. C. as well as field experience abroad are Contemporary Islam, International Environment and Development, International Law and Organizations, Israel Studies, and Peace and Conflict Resolution. Study is done in a seminar, an individual research project, and an internship in a governmental agency, congressional office, or advocacy group. Full credit is given toward a student’s degree at Stetson (i.e. four course units), and for administrative purposes participants in the program are regarded as being “in residence” at Stetson. For participating students pursuing a major in Political Science, two of the four Washington Semester units can be counted towards POLI major elective credit, with the remaining two counted as university elective credit or as credit towards an additional relevant major or minor. For participating students pursuing a minor in Journalism, up to three of the four Washington Semester units can be counted towards the minor: two can fulfill Experience course elective requirement, and an appropriate internship can fulfill the internship requirement. The remaining one or two units will be counted as university elective credit or as credit towards an additional relevant major or minor. Those who apply for the Washington Semester should have a minimum GPA of 2.5, and should have taken the introductory American national government course and other appropriate foundation courses if they select one of the specialized units. Scholarship assistance is available through a special fund endowed by United States Senator Max Cleland who attended the Washington Semester. The Washington Semester work is supervised by the American University and an inter-institutional committee representing sponsoring colleges. Further detailed information is available from Dr. T. Wayne Bailey, Department of Political Science.