Duke in D.C.

Policy, Leadership & Innovation

Internship & coursework for an insider perspective on D.C.

The Duke in DC program offers a unique and exciting opportunity to live, study, and work in the nation’s capital. This is your opportunity to experience up close how public policy shapes society and your place in it. Whether your future is as a lawyer, a social entrepreneur, a teacher, a high-tech innovator, an artist, or simply an engaged citizen, public policy matters to you – this program helps you understand how.

Duke in DC has a pre-professional tilt, connecting classroom study to experiential learning oriented around policy innovation and public leadership. You meet in weekly seminars with Duke faculty members, who allow you to tailor many assignments to your policy interests. The courses often feature high-profile practitioners from the media, government, and advocacy communities—often Duke alums—who are eager to show you how Washington really works and to guide your intellectual and professional development. You also will gain a significant work credential through a 28-hour/week internship at an agency or organization of your choice.

We spend the semester visiting key sites—from the world-famous monuments of the federal city to the everyday neighborhoods of “the real DC.” You have lots of opportunities to network with Duke alums at basketball “watch parties” and social events at the university’s beautiful offices in downtown Washington. You will enjoy a group-living experience in a new facility centrally located near trendy restaurants and major Washington attractions.

The program is offered by the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Global Education Office. Majors from all departments are encouraged to apply.

PROGRAM FAST FACTS

Location: Washington, D.C., USA

Term: Spring

Dates: January 7 to April 30, 2018

Application Deadline: August 15 (1st round), October 1 (final)

Academic Theme(s): Public Policy, Political Science, Journalism

Credit TypeDuke Credit

Eligibility: Open to sophomores, juniors, or seniors from all majors with GPA of 3.0 or higher and successful completion of PUBPOL 155D (55D), “Introduction to Public Policy Analysis,” or equivalent. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Co-sponsored by the Sanford School of Public Policy

Housing: Residence Hall 

GEO Advisor: Carolyn Covalt

ACADEMICS

Students on this program take four courses, including one involving a research project linked to an internship. Two courses meet weekly in the evenings; one meets Friday morning; and the fourth consists of weekly, one-on-one meetings with the instructor. The curriculum changes from year to year to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Being in DC allows the faculty to teach these courses in a more flexible, creative, and hands-on way than is possible on campus.

  • Course 1
  • Course 2
  • Course 3
  • Practicum

Course 1

PUBPOL 217SA / POLSCI 240SA
Theory and Practice: People, Places and Policy Cases  
(SS; substitutes for PubPol 301). One Duke credit.
Instructor: Professor Kristin Goss

This applied political analysis course features prominent speakers from Congress, the White House, government agencies, the media, and interest groups who can apply public policy theory and analysis to real-world policy cases.

Prior speakers have included U.S. Representatives from North Carolina and California; the author of an inside account of how the stimulus saved the economy; the White House aide in charge of Internet and privacy policy; a State Department official who engaged Millennials for Middle East peace; a top conservative strategist; and civil servants working behind the scenes to revolutionize America’s sources of energy and approach to natural disasters.

The course features a different focus each year; past themes have included “agenda-setting in the new administration” and “the value of public service in challenging times.” Assignments include weekly “quick takes” – one-page reflections on a core question. This course may fulfill the Public Policy Studies 301 requirement with permission of the Director of Undergraduate studies. 

For some students outside of public policy and political science, this course may count toward your concentration requirement by special arrangement.

Course 2

PUBPOL 390A / POLSCI 290A 
The UN Security Council and World Peace: Hope or Fantasy?
 
(SS) One Duke creditInstructor: Brian Hook

This course will examine the UN Security Council’s history of authorizing war, denying the use of force, or working to avoid war through diplomacy.  It will also examine cases where the great powers deliberately avoided the Security Council and went to war without UN approval.  The UNSC has increasingly relied on sanctions to address threats to peace and security, and we will examine the range and efficacy of sanctions to deter conflict. The course will closely examine the Iran nuclear deal and the Syrian war/ISIS, two matters where the Council has played and will continue to play a key role.

Course 3

PUBPOL 261SA / POLSCI 241SA 
Whose Democracy? Participation and Public Policy in the United States
 
(SS) One Duke credit. Instructor: Professor Kristin Goss

This course illuminates the role of citizens and interest groups in shaping the policy agenda. For Duke in DC, this course would make several contributions, including:

(1) illuminating through academic work the scope, dimensions, and enduring importance of pluralism in American democracy;

(2) offering you an opportunity to get to know what we might call “the real DC” (the urban metropolis where everyday Americans live and real social problems exist, as opposed to the “political DC” of national elites and young politicos just passing through); and

(3) providing you a chance to reflect thoughtfully and critically on the semester, most importantly on the ethical dilemmas and core insights that have emerged.

The course includes student-led, policy-oriented tours of DC neighborhoods and a half day of community service at a local charity.

For some students outside of public policy and political science, this course may count toward your concentration requirement by special arrangement.

Practicum

PUBPOL 493A / POLSCI 494A
Politics and Policy Practicum  
(SS, R) One Duke credit. Instructor: Goldring

In this course, students develop policy expertise and professional skills relating to their Washington internship. In their final paper, students analyze a policy issue they have encountered in their internship and develop and evaluate alternative approaches to the issue. The course also provides students with skills that enhance their internship experience and that prepare them for future research and policy work.

The skill-building components may include: analyzing sources of information, interviewing for research and for policy analysis, doing sensitivity analysis, providing constructive criticism, and briefing expert and non-expert audiences. 

INTERNSHIP

Working in an internship each week throughout the semester, you will contribute meaningfully to the work of a governmental office, nonprofit, or company working on agenda-topping public policy issues. Because most interns don’t arrive until summer, you are likely to be given extra responsibility very quickly.

In the past, students have interned for Congressional offices such as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, U.S. Rep Jamie Herrera Beutler, and the Senate Republican Caucus; federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the National Defense University; consulting firms such as Grayling, VOX Global, and the Nueva Vista Group; policy shops at companies such as Facebook; and nonprofits such as Turning the Page and the Children’s Defense Fund.
 

*Important* International Students: If you are an international student studying at Duke on a visa (such as F-1), you will need to obtain CPT or OPT authorization for the required internship component of this U.S.-based program. Contact the Duke Visa Services Office for assistance. Download info sheet.

  • Activities
  • Housing & Meals

Activities

Site visits and other activities are integral to the program. At times we visit our speakers in their home environment. For example, students have met with the National Archivist in his private office and then enjoyed a private tour of the fascinating exhibits. We have also visited Congress members on Capitol Hill and journalists in their television studios.

Likewise, we regularly get out of the classroom to tour places that “bring home” themes covered in readings and class discussions. For example, during a class on social movements, we have visited the home of a famed abolitionist and suffrage leader; for a class on government response to crises, we have attended a panel on post-Katrina reforms in disaster preparedness. One special activity is our own self-designed, student-led tour of “the real DC,” in which each of us learns as much as possible about one of Washington’s eight wards and then serves as the class guide to these diverse neighborhoods.

Naturally, we also find time to be tourists, visiting world-famous attractions such as the U.S. Capitol (with the tour sometimes offered by one of our own students!), the White House, the Newseum, the National Zoo, and the city’s many renowned museums.

On basketball nights, you are free to attend “watch parties” with the large and welcoming Duke DC alumni group. For those who wish to return to campus, we offer tickets to one home game during the semester.

Housing & Meals

Students will be housed in the Washington Intern Housing Network (WIHN) luxury apartments in the Atlas arts and entertainment district located within walking distance of Capitol Hill, Union Station, and many other DC attractions.

Each student will be housed in three-bedroom, two-bath fully furnished apartment units with six other students (no singles available). Note that other university students may be mixed in with the Duke students in any of the apartment units. Each apartment unit has a kitchen. Students enrolled in the Duke in DC program should be aware that this is not dormitory style living, and residents will be responsible for keeping their living area clean and respecting their roommates along with other residents in the facility. 

Meals: Meals are not offered as a part of the program, though evening courses feature catered dinners. We also have social gatherings, both as a class and with Duke alumni, during the course of the semester.

Transportation: The program subsidizes passes for DC’s excellent subway and bus system.

COSTS

Spring 2018

Estimates are based on previous years’ programs. All costs are subject to change.

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Duke Tuition (spring 2017) $25,860 $25,860
Program Fee $1,000 $1,000
Transcript Fee N/A $40
Housing Charges $3,073 $3,073
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $35,413 $35,443

Explanation of Costs

Program Fee

Included in Program Fee

  • Accommodations
  • Program-sponsored activities and excursions
  • Orientation program
  • Subsidized pass for Washington DC Metro subway and bus system 

Not Included in Program Fee

Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive. 

  • Airfare to Washington, DC
  • Airport transportation to/from program site
  • Meals
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • On-site accident and health insurance policy
  • Mobile phone
  • Laundry
  • Independent travel and entertainment
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Incidentals
  • Access to educational facilities at host university
  • Textbooks and class materials
  • Internet usage

Personal Spending

Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. On average, previous students suggest the amount between $1,000 - $1,200 for personal spending.


Cost-of-Living comparison

Payment Due Dates

Step 1: Within 2 weeks of acceptance to the program, submit the Summer Participation Agreement found in your MyGlobalEd application to confirm your enrollment. A parent/guardian’s co-signature is required. This form takes the place of a deposit.

NOTE: If you withdraw after March 31, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $2,000 for this 2-credit program.  

Step 2: Summer invoices will be sent via email to your Duke email address and home email address. Remit payment to the Bursar per due date and address indicated on your online statement. All financial arrangements involving Duke University must be completed prior to departure for the program.

Duke Bursar’s Office

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving financial aid are eligible for aid for this program (work-study funds must be converted to loans). Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid and the Bursar. Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information. 

Duke undergraduates who receive need-based financial aid during the academic year are eligible to apply for financial aid for up to two Duke summer study abroad/away programs (and/or summer sessions in Durham) offering either one or two courses of credit. This aid is offered in addition to the eight basic academic-year semesters of financial aid. Eligibility for aid will be determined in the same manner as academic-year aid. Note: This policy does not apply to a summer abroad program taken prior to matriculation or after graduation from Duke.

There is no additional financial aid application when applying to study abroad/away. Once you enroll in a Global Education Office (GEO) program, the Financial Aid Office will adjust your financial aid award automatically.

Duke Financial Aid Office

Duke Bursar’s Office

DATES

Spring 2018

  • Required move-in date: January 7
  • Move-out date (end of program): April 30

Program Faculty & Staff

Ms. Kukla is the primary contact for this program.

Lisa Kukla

Assistant Director of PhD and Duke in DC Programs

Paul Paparella

GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager

Admissions

Eligibility

This program is open to sophomores, juniors, or seniors meeting the following requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher

  • Successful completion of PUBPOL 155D (55D), “Introduction to Public Policy Analysis,” or equivalent (flexible)

Deadlines

First-round application deadline: August 15

Second-round application deadline: October 1

After the second-round deadline, qualified applicants will only be considered on a space-available basis. 

    Selection

    After a review of the student applications, finalists will be invited to interview with program staff before selections are made. A checklist of required items will be included in your online application. 

    International Students

    *Important* If you are an international student studying at Duke on a visa (such as F-1), you will need to obtain CPT or OPT authorization for the required internship component of this U.S.-based program. Contact the Duke Visa Services Office for assistance. Download info sheet.

    Non-Duke Applicants

    Non-Duke students must be degree-seeking students in good standing at an accredited college or university. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in study abroad on Duke’s programs. In order to transfer credit for the courses, they must consult their advisor and/or registrar.

    APPLY

    Apply Now

    To apply, submit the following materials to the Global Education Office:

    • Online application
    • Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended
    • One letter of recommendation from a faculty member, in public policy or political science if possible
    • Personal statement (no more than 2 pages)

    For and questions related to the online application, please contact the Global Education Office.

    INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE FORWARDED TO THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR CONSIDERATION.


    Apply Now