MHC Semester in D.C.
About the Program
MHC Semester in D.C., established in 2018, is an exciting academic and internship program for students to live, study, and intern in Washington., D.C. This program is available to both juniors and seniors to spend the Fall 2021 semester in the nation’s capital at top-ranked American University in its Washington Semester Program.
MHC Semester in D.C. combines an intensive internship with rigorous coursework in government, policy, advocacy, and related fields. It’s right for students from any academic major with a strong motivation to pursue their interests in politics, policy research, government, nonprofits, or international affairs. Students will study and live alongside ambitious and diverse students from the United States and beyond.
Selected students are mentored by esteemed alumnae who serve on the Advisory Council to MHC Semester in D.C. In addition, site visits with accomplished alumnae give students an insider’s view of the dynamic culture and political vibrancy of the nation’s capital.
Sohail Hashmi, Professor of International Relations on the Alumnae Foundation and Professor of Politics, serves as the faculty director of MHC Semester in D.C. The program is administered through the Weissman Center for Leadership and coordinated by Janet Lansberry, director of Leadership and Public Service.
Read about students' experiences and the impact of MHC Semester in D.C., from the inaugural class:
This exciting program is for students who will be juniors or seniors during the fall, 2021 semester. International students are eligible to apply.
Mount Holyoke students will receive a total of 13 course credits and work at an internship three to four days a week (approximately 20-24 hours per week).
In addition to work experience, students are enrolled in:
- Two multidisciplinary seminars (8 credits total) taught by American University faculty and Washington area experts that cover topics such as American politics, foreign policy, global economics and business, public health, international law, journalism and new media, and justice, racial disparity, and law.
- An independent study (4 credits), taught by the faculty director of MHC Semester in D.C.
- An internship course (1 credit) to prepare, secure, and support student success at a D.C.-based internship in an area of interest. Recent internships have been in congressional offices, federal agencies, think tanks, advocacy and social justice organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and consultant firms in areas such as health policy, political communications, and international regulations.
Upcoming Information Sessions
- High academic achievement (3.0 and above)
- Relevant coursework at the 200/300 levels in departments such as politics, international relations, or courses in the Nexus law, public policy and human rights track.
- Experience in a public service field through an internship, work, or volunteer experience, or in student government; or a leadership role or active participation in a political or advocacy-related student organization.
- Interest in a future career in politics, policy, advocacy, government, or nonprofits/NGOs.
- Strong letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor that describes the student’s readiness to undertake a rigorous semester in Washington, D.C.
Student costs will be the same as if attending Mount Holyoke College in the fall, 2021.
Program participants will be able to use most outside aid, including federal direct student loans, parent loans, Pell grants, some state aid, and outside scholarships. Please note: federal work-study and Mount Holyoke aid will not be applicable. This includes need-based aid, leadership awards, other merit awards, town grants, tuition assistant grants an employment-based aid such as tuition exchange.
For those selected to participate in the programs, MHC Semeter in D.C. consults with the Student Financial Office to develop a financial package appropriate to each student based on need and the financial offer they receive.