Policy Design Studio & Internship Program
Experience U.S. Diplomacy in Action
Play the role of a U.S. embassy official throughout the semester dealing with actual events as they happen under the guidance of a former Ambassador. Meet with prominent experts, discuss and debate real-time policy challenges, and develop a strategy for the future of U.S. relations with an important ally. Work directly with senior diplomats, military officers, and others to learn about national security policy and leadership. Live and intern in Washington, D.C. for the semester while earning 12 upper division credits. Visit government agencies and historical sites, and attend networking events.
An entirely virtual version of the Policy Design Studio course is also available, offering students the flexibility to earn credits without participating in a Washington, D.C.-based internship. See a chart about the two different versions of the program here. Find additional details, including the application deadline, below.
Eligibility requirements for both in-person and virtual programs include:
- Students from any undergraduate or graduate program.
- Undergraduates must have a 3.0 ASU GPA and be a junior or senior to participate.
- All majors welcome.
POS/SGS 494: Policy Design Studio
- Fridays 10:00am to 1:00pm
- Session C
- Honors credit available
- 3 credits
POS 484: Internship*
- Offered virtually through Zoom
- Session C
- 1-9 credits
*Students who apply to the virtual only version of the program will not receive the POS 484: Internship credit.
Meet the Instructors
The program fee is only applicable to the in-person version of the program. It includes housing and program excursions. Additionally, students must also pay full time ASU tuition, fees, and transportation and living expenses. Find scholarships and financial aid resources here.
Program fee for Fall 2024 - $8,205
Start your application today!
This program is currently accepting applications for the spring semester and will run from August 17th-December 13th.
For those looking to apply to the in-person portion of the program, visit the Global Education Office webpage through the button below. For those looking to apply to the virtual-only version of the program, fill out the web form using the button below.
In addition to the application, you will need to upload an unofficial transcript and clear scans of your student ID and government issued ID. You will also need to submit two recommendation forms (accessible via the Study Abroad application) from academic and/or professional references.
Applicants are charged a non-refundable $50 application fee. Once applications are reviewed, students who meet the program criteria are interviewed by a selection committee.
Apply by April 1st, 2024
"The [Policy Design Studio] program offers the experience any student would want. The connections in D.C, support for the internship, and the teamwork in the classes is beyond what a normal class provides. I'm glad I was a participant and ended up staying in D.C for almost a year. My internship turned into a paid position. I would highly recommend this program to any student."
David, program participant
"The Policy Design Studio is the best way to learn about the Foreign Service, short of actually becoming a diplomat! While I was in Washington, D.C., I built up valuable skills that I will take into the professional world after I graduate. This program encouraged me to take risks, think creatively, and try new things. I made valuable connections through my internship and my course, and overall I loved my semester in DC!"
"The Policy Design Studio gave me the confidence to commit to a career in diplomacy. While studying under Ambassador O'Donnell, I learned more about the art of diplomacy and how government agencies, the military, and the private sector interact in our efforts overseas. This program demonstrates the value of SPGS as a global institution, and I could not recommend it more highly to students."
Frequently Asked Questions
What will I be doing on the program?
You will live in Washington, D.C. during the fall or spring semester and intern four days a week at an organization of interest to you (options include, but are not limited to, the White House, Supreme Court, Congress, government departments and agencies, law firms, lobbying and consulting firms, media outlets, museums, think tanks, and non- profit organizations). Once a week, you will participate in a seminar at the ASU Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab in which you will research solutions to real world foreign policy issues. You will also have the opportunity to visit government agencies, historical sites, and network with professionals from a number of different fields.
Does this program work with others?
Yes, this is a great resume building and networking opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in any program. You will gain invaluable, hands-on work experience. Other benefits include obtaining strong letters of recommendation from internship supervisors and potential job offers. Undergraduate students receive six credits of POS 484: ASU- DC Internship, three credits of POS 484: Internship, and three credits of POS 494: Policy Design, which can count toward upper division major and/or general elective requirements. These credits can also count toward a minor and/or certificate offered through the School of Politics and Global Studies. To learn more, visit https://spgs.asu.edu/minors-certificates. Graduate students receive six credits of POS 598: ASU- DC Internship and three credits of POS 494: Policy Design.
Am I eligible to participate in the program?
Students from any undergraduate or graduate program are eligible. Undergraduate students must have a 3.0 ASU GPA and 60 hours of completed coursework by the semester in which they wish to participate. Transfer students should contact Ashley.A.Wright@asu.edu for exceptions.
How do I apply?
Click on the Apply Now link on our website, which will direct you to the Study Abroad Office application. In addition to the application, you will need to upload an unofficial transcript and clear scans of your student ID and government issued ID. You will also need to submit two recommendation forms (accessible via the Study Abroad application) from academic and/or professional references. Applicants are charged a non-refundable $50 application fee. Once applications are reviewed, students who meet the program criteria are interviewed by a selection committee.
Will I take any classes? If yes, how many days a week?
You will take one class in addition to your internship that is worth a total of 12 credits. This class is one day a week and lasts all day (from 10:00 a.m.-1 p.m.), usually on Fridays. You can also take additional online courses if you need to satisfy the minimum amount of credits for a scholarship. You will be working at your internship for the rest of the week. You may have a couple field trips during the week in which you will have to call off-work ahead of time. Be sure to notify your supervisor that you need this day off from work as soon as you receive the dates of the field trips.
Can I earn honors credit for this program?
If you are interested in earning honors credits, please contact the ASU Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab.
What is the program fee? What does this include?
See the semester cost above. This includes housing and program related excursions. Additionally, students must also pay fulltime ASU tuition, fees, and transportation and living expenses.
What additional costs am I responsible for?
You are responsible for paying fulltime ASU tuition and student fees, airfare, transportation costs, daily meals, personal expenses, health insurance, and non-program related optional excursions. Once confirmed for the program, a $200 refundable housing deposit is due. Note that living expenses are somewhat higher in Washington DC than in Tempe.
Am I responsible for finding my own internship?
Yes, in order for you to have an experience in Washington DC that best fits your unique interests, background, and skills, we require that you secure your own internship. We have a number of resources and connections to organizations in DC which we will provide to help you through the process and ensure you find an internship that is a good fit. Contact Ms. Kayla Stamey at Kayla.Stamey@asu.edu for more information. Please note that many internship providers have internship application deadlines well in advance of actual start date and may require a criminal background check.
Where will I be living?
You will live in Turnkey Housing Solutions, Meridian at Gallery Place, in Chinatown (Meridian at Gallery Place). The apartments house four students each with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a shared kitchen and living room. All apartments are furnished and include utilities, AC, wireless internet, cable TV, cookware and dishware. Turnkey amenities also include a rooftop pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, concierge service, complementary coffee service, a front door attendant, and more. The apartments are centrally located, two blocks from the Gallery Pl-Chinatown Metro station, with access to the green, yellow and red lines. The apartments are a 18 minute walk to Capitol Hill and a 20 minute walk to the White House.