CMCReturns - Learn more about our Fall return to campus


The Application
The Interview
Acceptance and Preparation


The Application

Priority is given to students with a minimum of 9.0 GPA. Students with a GPA between 8.5-9.0 may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

Understanding that opportunities abound at CMC for junior and senior students, we highly encourage second-semester sophomores to apply to the Washington Program. Second-semester sophomores demonstrating a solid academic background, maturity, initiative, and ability to thrive in the rigorous program environment make strong candidates.

Up to 18 students are accepted each semester and applications are reviewed on their individual merits.

Yes! You should meet with members of the selection committee to discuss how to strengthen your application. Occasionally, the selection committee believes that a student is applying too early in his or her academic career and the applicant is advised to reapply. Student who have done so in the past have fared very well.

You must declare a major before permission to study on the Washington Program will be granted.

Yes!!! Your resume is the most important piece when applying to an internship in D.C. A badly prepared resume is the surest way to show that you are not ready to work in D.C., no matter what experience you may already have.

It is required that you complete this course before application. You need to have a background in government/politics to be prepared to spend a semester working as an intern in Washington. Therefore, we suggest you defer applying for one semester and in addition, we strongly recommend that you enroll in a course on Congress or other advanced government course.

Absolutely! While students will be taking government courses on the program, students have had internships and written research papers focusing on a variety of fields and topics such as economics, science, nonprofits, journalism, human rights groups, and more.

Yes! Some specific internships may be only open to U.S. citizens, but most are available for international students. We have found that international students add a welcome and unique perspective to the Washington Program.

The Interview

You will receive an email a couple of days after the deadline date. The interviews are based on the scheduling form from the application, so fill it out carefully. Please acknowledge that you have received your appointment time for the interview.

Come to the Center for Global Education, Bauer Center #220, a few minutes early. You will be directed to the interview panel when they are available.

The panel will include faculty members from the Government Department and the Director of the Center for Global Education. Whenever possible, an alumnus/a of the program will also participate as a student interviewer.

The interview panel treats the interview as a job interview, so you should dress appropriately. Men should wear a suit or dress slacks and a dress shirt with a tie. Women should wear a suit, slacks or skirt (knee-length or longer) and a blouse or sweater (no cleavage). Make sure your clothing is cleaned and ironed.

For many students, this interview is the first formal job interview and we are pleased to afford our applicants some practice and some feedback before the "real" phone interviews take place. A great deal of work in Washington consists of oral briefings and other face-to-face encounters, and the interview is a means for us to determine whether you are ready to stand on your own two feet in a stressful, fast-paced work environment.

Acceptance and Preparation

If you are having doubts, feel free to contact the Director of the Center for Global Education, Director of the Washington Program, or a government professor to discuss your options and your concerns. Accepting our offer is tantamount to agreeing to put in 100% effort into your job and housing search, and as equally important, to invest time and energy into getting to know all program participants as well as staying in touch with Professor Harkonen. Students who withdraw at a later date will be subject to a $500 withdrawal fee. Remember your actions often affect others on the program, so please be considerate.

Please notify the Center for Global Education office as soon as possible; sometimes we are able to make alternate arrangements. If at the last minute, one of your professors schedules a special class meeting, a review session, or a special mid-term, it is your responsibility to communicate to the Center for Global Education that you will be unable to attend.

You need to make an appointment with the Director of the Center for Global Education in person.

In Washington, supervisors and coworkers will not send you reminders about the work you must do. They will just expect you to remember and lose respect for you if you do not. Interns in training should keep a calendar as this habit will serve you well in D.C. We have no intentions of sending you reminders.

Your employer in D.C. will expect you to meet deadlines, and we require nothing less. If you can't meet a deadline due to extenuating circumstances, we need to know about it.

Yes, every semester a group of Washington interns opt to study abroad for one semester before returning to CMC. Pomona, HMC, Pitzer and Scripps students must contact the office of Study Abroad, Study Abroad & International Programs or Study Abroad & Global Education on their home campus. You will be asked to select a destination and complete the study abroad application before leaving campus, so it is a good idea to start early. Study abroad applicants will be invited to a mandatory study abroad pre-departure meeting in mid-November and in mid-April.

Students may study abroad before attending the Washington Program. Students must have compelling reasons for doing so, as applying for a job in D.C. from abroad and selecting housing with peers will be much more cumbersome. Applicants would not have ready access to the support network available on campus. Students apply a semester early and complete the orientations and paperwork for Washington before study abroad.

The stipend check for your award will be mailed to your permanent home address.

Yes. Because the professors on the Washington Program are CMC faculty members, all coursework is treated as though it took place on CMC’s campus.

Costs and Financial Aid

Interns must be students in good financial standing at their home institution. CMC students pay the CMC tuition and student activity fee, but not room and board, and continue to receive their full financial aid package. Students may be eligible for additional loan funds, due to the higher cost of living in Washington, D.C., but must consult their home school financial aid office. There is no application fee for the Washington Program, but students who withdraw after the acceptance deadline or who fail to attend the mandatory orientation meetings are subject to a $500 withdrawal fee.

How does the billing work for the semester I study in Washington? 
CMC students are billed for CMC tuition and the student activity fee, but not for room and board. Pomona students pay Pomona tuition, but not room and board. Pitzer students pay CMC tuition, but not for room and board. CMC, Pomona, and Pitzer students use their room and board money to cover living expenses in Washington.

Scripps students pay the Scripps comprehensive fee (tuition, room, and board) and receive a housing and meal allowance for the semester in Washington from the Scripps Office of Study Abroad and Global Education (SAGE).

HMC students pay the Harvey Mudd comprehensive fee (tuition, room, and board) and receive a housing and meal allowance for the semester in Washington from the HMC student accounts office.

Non-CMC students should consult their home school study abroad or off-campus study office for further information regarding fees and costs.

What is included in the program cost?
The program cost covers tuition, airfare, special events, field trips, and library access. For details about airfare reimbursement, please visit the Transportation page.

I receive financial aid. How does this work? 
Pomona, Scripps, HMC, and Pitzer students must consult their home school financial aid office for further information.

CMC students continue to receive financial aid during their semester in Washington. Financial aid is based on a semester budget; however, the budget increases by $2,000.00 for a cost of living adjustment for DC. Please see Washington Program Cost and CMC Financial Aid for further details.