Emma Ernst '20 and Sofia Cuadra '20 biking in Washington D.C.
The Washington Term Program has been in existence for three decades. It was established by Bill Connelly, John K. Boardman Professor of Politics, and has provided more than 400 Washington and Lee students with a memorable living and learning experience in Washington, D.C. since 1987. Brian Alexander, Assistant Professor of Politics, now directs the Washington Term Program following Professor Connelly's retirement from the position in 2018. Students have used the six-week spring term course to launch careers in every branch of government.
The Washington Term Program includes three components: an academic course, an experience working in a government office, think tank, or other organization in Washington, and a lecture series. Students spend four days working, and on Fridays, they attend a morning class led by Professor Alexander and afternoon guest lectures by some of the most prominent people in Washington. Wednesday evenings are also set aside for class activities.
Participants receive six credit hours for successful completion of the course. Grading is based on the student's performance in class, a research paper, evaluations from the student's place of work, and an analytical journal in which students write about their observations and experiences.
Each year, Washington and Lee University secures a block of apartment suites in a good location in or near the District. The suites are always located close to public transportation. Students can expect to live in a double-occupancy room with some shared living space. The university works to keep housing costs as low as possible. If there is family residing in the Washington, D.C. metro area, the university will grant students permission to reside with them for the duration of the program. This preference must be communicated to Professor Alexander during the application process.