Policy Design Studio and Internship Program
- Live and intern in Washington DC for the semester (fall, spring), study how policy is made, and earn 12 upper division credits!
- Intern at an organization of interest to you (options include, but are not limited to, the White House, Congress, courts, government agencies, lobbying and consulting firms, advocacy groups, media outlets, museums, think tanks, and non-profit organizations).
- Gain valuable skills and hands-on work experience.
- Research solutions to real world foreign policy issues in a weekly seminar at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, taught by a former U.S. Ambassador.
- Visit government agencies and historical sites, and attend networking events.
Policy Design Studio and Internship Program road map and timelines:
- POS 494/598: McCain Institute Policy Design - 3 credits
- POS 484/584: ASU-McCain Institute DC Internship - 6 credits
- POS 484: McCain Institute Internship - 3 credits
The program fee includes housing and program excursions. Additionally, students must also pay fulltime ASU tuition, fees, and transportation and living expenses.
Program fee for fall 2020 - $5,860
Program fee for spring 2021 - TBD
- Students from any undergraduate or graduate program are eligible.
- Undergraduates must have a 3.0 ASU GPA and be a junior or senior to participate.
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.
Students live at Washington Intern Student Housing at Woodley Park with a community of fellow Sun Devils in centrally located, furnished, suite style apartments.
"The McCain Institute 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 McCain Institute 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 McCain Institute 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."
What will I be doing on the program?
You will live in Washington DC 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 McCain Institute 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 my program?
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-McCain DC Internship, three credits of POS 484: McCain Institute Internship, and three credits of POS 494: McCain Institute 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-McCain DC Internship and three credits of POS 494: McCain Institute 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 Dr. Cameron Thies at CAMERON.THIES@asu.edu for exceptions.
What are the program dates?
When do I need to apply for the program?
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.
Where can I find more information about the program?
- Visit mccaininstitute.org for more information about the McCain Institute for International Leadership.
- Attend an info session in September (for the spring program) or February/March (for the fall program) on the Tempe campus.
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 9:00am - 3pm or 4pm), usually on Wednesdays. 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.
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. Gisela Grant at email@example.com 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.
Are internships paid or unpaid?
Generally speaking, Washington D.C. based internships are not paid. However, on occasion, students may receive a paid internship within the program.
Where will I be living?
You will live in Washington Intern Student Housing at Woodley Park (wishwoodleypark.com). The apartments house six students each and have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. All apartments are furnished and include utilities, AC, wireless internet, cable TV, cookware and dishware. WISH amenities also include daily maintenance, on-site staff, a computer lab, and access to social events. The apartments are centrally located, two blocks from the National Zoo and two blocks from the Metro. They are also one Metro stop from Dupont Circle, three stops from downtown Washington DC and the White House, and six stops from Capitol Hill.