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Mount Holyoke College
Weissman Center for Leadership

MHC Semester in D.C.

Photo of the capital building in Washington D.C.

About the Program 

MHC Semester in D.C. is an exciting academic and internship program that combines an intensive remote internship with rigorous online coursework in government, policy, advocacy, and related fields. 

For the Fall 2020 semester, MHC in D.C. has been expanded, and now offered to all juniors and seniors as a remote experience that you can do from anywhere in the country or the world. It’s right for students with a strong motivation to pursue their interests – whether in politics, policy research, government, nonprofits or international issues. Through a partnership with American University’s prestigious Washington Semester Program, you will be part of a motivated student cohort who are from colleges and universities throughout the country and world. REMOTE MHC Semester in D.C. will feature unique community-building opportunities to connect with distinguished MHC alumnae in public service fields through one-on-one mentoring as well as engaging in virtual site visits and networking opportunities. 

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.

Program Details

Academic: Students will receive a total of 14 academic credits that will include:

  • two seminars taught by faculty/Washington area experts at American University that range from courses in American politics, foreign policy, global economics and business, international law, journalism, public health policy, and sustainable development. Students can select seminars within a concentration, or seminars from different concentrations. Seminars also include virtual meetings with distinguished guests such as Supreme Court justices, ambassadors, journalists, policy experts, members of congress and their staff, and more. (8 credits)
  • an internship reflection course taught by American University faculty and staff. (2 credits)
  • an independent study in politics that will be taught by MHC faculty Professor Hashmi and others. (4 credits)

Remote Internship: Students will be required to work at a remote internship for 20-24 hours per week related to politics, policy, government, advocacy, non-profits, or international affairs. Remote internships can be with organizations that are based in D.C. or anywhere in the world. American University’s Semester in Washington Program has a network of more than 800 prestigious organizations and government departments in D.C., as well as the country and regions throughout the world. AU will work with students to help them secure a remote internship that best meets students’ interests. In addition, MHC’s Semester in D.C. program staff and faculty are available to assist students in finding a meaningful and rewarding remote internship. 

Remote MHC Alumnae Mentoring and Connections: Students are mentored by esteemed alumnae to help students reflect on their academic and career goals, and who can introduce students to a network of experienced professionals in their area of interest.

Virtual Site Visits: MHC Semester in D.C. will build a series of virtual site visits, many with MHC alums, based on students’ interests. They are a great way for students to get an up-close look at different organizations and organizational cultures, careers, and an additional opportunity for networking.  


This exciting remote opportunity is offered to all juniors and seniors from any discipline who have a keen interest in policy, politics, government, or advocacy. International students are eligible. Students can participate in the program regardless of where they are physically based. Due to the high demands of the program, students cannot do a thesis. 


Students must be in good academic standing, with a minimum 3.0 GPA.


Completed applications are due by Wednesday, July 22, including a faculty recommendation, updated resume, writing sample, and unofficial transcript.  

Costs and Financial Aid

MHC tuition would be applied to Remote MHC Semester in D.C. as well as financial aid. Except for a $120 tech fee, there are no additional costs associated with Remote MHC Semester in D.C. 


Contact Janet Lansberry or Professor Sohail Hashmi if you have any questions.


Read about students' experiences and the impact of MHC Semester in D.C., from the inaugural class

Two photos show selfies of five students and a guide dog in Washington, D.C. One is inside the ornately decorated Rayburn Reception Room in the Capitol. In the other, the group poses with their professor in front of the Capitol against a blue sky.

Meet the students of the MHC Semester in D.C.

Five students spend the semester building careers in public policy and advocacy as they work, study and live in the nation’s capital.
Rep. Pelosi with MHC Semester in DC students

In the room where it happens

The five students in the pilot MHC Semester in D.C. program began the term by meeting with Rep. Nita Lowey ’59 and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.