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  • Locations: Washington, D.C., United States;
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Restrictions: WFU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 10/15/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Program Description:

Discover Washington, D.C. with an Internship

This exciting program will allow students to study and intern in the Capital while taking courses taught by a Wake Forest faculty member. Internships will be available from a variety of disciplines such as Political Science and International Affairs, Communication, Non-profits, NGOs, Policy, and the Arts. 

Apply early! Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis until the program is full or the decision deadline has been reached. 
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Overview This exciting program allows students to study and intern in the nation's capital while taking courses taught by a Wake Forest faculty member. Internships are available from a variety of disciplines and areas such as Political Science and International Affairs, Communication, Non-profits, NGOs, and Policy. 

The Wake Washington program is available for students in the fall or spring semester; a Wake Forest faculty member serves as the Resident Professor. The WFU Resident Professor teaches two courses in his/her field, with a focus on taking advantage of Washington, DC's resources to enhance the coursework. In addition, students engage in a four-day-per-week internship related to their interests. As part of this experience, students are responsible for writing a research paper on a topic related to their internship and for participating in a weekly meeting which includes opportunities to hear prominent speakers as well as to reflect on their internship experience. Alumni and parent mentors are available to students throughout the semester. Students earn 6 credits for the coursework taught by the resident professor and 6 credits for the internship experience and related obligations.
Location Washington, DC

Each fall and spring semester, students have the opportunity to intern away from the Reynolda Campus while continuing their academic studies. Students enroll in two courses that take advantage of the Washington D.C. setting. The courses incorporate visits to sites like Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, and the White House in addition to meetings with congressional and agency staff and interest group representatives. Moreover, students will engage in an internship with a policy or politics focus for which there will be academic requirements of independent research and regular attendance at speeches and presentations on policy/politics related topics.

Internship Academic Credit for Wake Washington

Credit Hours: 6 
The default Internship Credit is 6 hours of elective credit toward graduation, listed as WDC 100. Alternatively, students may split the credit toward two majors or a major and a minor but this must be worked out individually with Dr. Harriger and the relevant departments/programs
Grade: Internship credit must be taken for a grade. P/F not permitted.
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Katy Harriger, Department of Politics and International Affairs, (336-758-5450)
Dr. Harriger supervises and evaluates the academic work for the internship. She will meet with you twice a semester in person and be in touch through email/phone the rest of the time.
Required Academic Work: Credit for the internship is awarded based on completion of a research paper on a topic related to your internship, regular reflective journal submissions, satisfactory review of your work by your supervisor at your internship site, and participation in program events/speakers. 
It is the student’s responsibility to speak to their major and minor advisor(s) regarding their abroad coursework and how (or if) it will count towards their degree plan.


Fall 2024 with Dr. Katy Harriger, Politics & International Affairs

POL 210: Election 2024: History, Strategy, and America's Political Future (3h)
This course examines the history and operation of the U.S. national election process in the context of the 2024 election.

POL 286: Politics and Election Law (3h) (taught by Elliot Berke, Adjunct Professor of the Practice)
Politics is a regulated industry and like any regulated industry there are myriad laws, regulations, and rules that govern. This course will include a discussion on all aspects of the political process from the legal perspective, including election law, campaign finance, government ethics, lobbying law, and federal public corruption law.

Plus, 6 hrs of an internship with required research component.

Spring 2025 with Dr. Steven Giles, Communication

COM 370: Health Policy and Communication (3h)
This course explores the complex interplay between communication strategies and health-related public policy advocacy. This course provides students with insights into foundational controversies in public policy, enabling them to understand the expectations and needs of public audiences in advocacy settings. Students will learn practical methods for analyzing and addressing public health issues and controversies while developing proficiency in various communication genres crucial to public policy. The aim is to equip students with the skills to develop and articulate sensible and compelling policy proposals effectively. This course is especially beneficial for those aspiring to communication-based roles in politics, government, public relations, law, public policy, journalism, social work, or public health. The emphasis is on interactive learning, real-life applications, and fostering skills essential for effective advocacy in the field of public health policy.

COM 353: Persuasion (3h)
This course explores the various theories, models, and applications of persuasion in real-world contexts. Students will delve deep into the realm of social influence, examining its role in advertising, marketing, politics, interpersonal relationships, social media, and group dynamics. Special attention will be paid to the influence of credibility, personality, deception, motivational appeals, and visual information in the persuasion process. Emphasizing real-world application, this course will have a specific focus on the political landscape, with students applying learned theories and concepts to their semester in Washington, DC. They will critically analyze the impact of persuasion in political discourse, exploring international cases, digital and social media influence, disinformation, 'fake news,' and deepfakes. Students will also explore the use of stigmatized language, message framing, normative influence, and inoculation theory in the discourse of persuasion.

Plus, 6 hrs of an internship with required research component.


Fall 2024: Dr. Katy Harriger, Politics & International Affairs,
Spring 2025: Dr. Steven Giles, Communication,


Students will live together in fully furnished apartments leased by the university near public transportation. All students participating in the Wake Washington program are required to live in program provided housing. Wake Washington housing consists of apartments, with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a common area and kitchen. Four students are assigned to each apartment. Housing accommodations you may have on campus do not automatically transfer to DC and certain housing accommodations (single rooms and private bathrooms, for example) may not be available. For more information, see the housing website:


Fridays during each week will be an opportunity for students to get a variety of experiences in different areas. Job-shadowing, networking, and local excursions will be key components of the "Friday Experience." Excursions may include visits to Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, the White House, and others. Students will also have opportunities to meet with congressional and agency staff, interest group representatives, and Wake Forest alumni working in DC.


Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis until the program is full or the program application deadline is reached. We encourage you to complete your application as soon as possible.  

Most successful applicants will have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a strong application. If your GPA is lower than 3.0, you are still encouraged to apply and to discuss your application with the Resident Professor. The admissions committee considers a number of factors in addition to your cumulative GPA. Student selection will be based on an online application with open-ended questions, an interview with the Resident Professor, and resume. Students should schedule their interview with the Resident Professor after completing the other application steps.   


Current Wake Forest tuition and room fees, which covers tuition and academic fees, fully furnished housing, orientation, airport pick-up, Internet access, group activities and excursions, and farewell dinner. Meals, airfare, personal travel and expenses not included.  


Federal and institutional financial aid may be used.


Dr. Katy Harriger
Director of Wake Washington
Professor of Politics and International Affairs
Office: Kirby Hall 311
Phone: (336) 758 5450

Wake Washington Global Ambassador
Sophie Small: