Application Process


The CMC Washington Program is open to students from all of the Claremont Colleges (regardless of major) who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Second-semester sophomores, first or second-semester juniors, and first-semester seniors
  • Minimum GPA expectation of B (3.0)
  • Completion of one of the following courses prior to arrival in Washington:  Introduction to American Politics (GOV20 CM, POLI003 PO) Introduction to U.S. Politics (POLI120 SC) Introduction to Public Policy Analysis (PPA001 PO)
  • Transfer students must complete one semester at the Claremont Colleges before applying for this program
  • Applicants and selected interns must be free of academic or disciplinary probation
  • In addition to the Introductory Politics course requirement, it is highly recommended that students take an advanced American government class such as Congress or the Public Policy Process and a course in post-Civil War U.S. history

Note: Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, and Scripps students must follow all home-school policies and deadlines to be eligible for the program.  Confirmed approval of participation from the home-school prior to application should be sent to


Application Roadmap

  1. Applicants are encouraged to review all CMC Washington Program information including eligibility requirements and program policies prior to beginning the application process.
  2. Once you have confirmed that you would like to apply to the CMC Washington Program start your ONLINE APPLICATION by selecting "Apply Now" in the CGE portal. 
  3. CMC students will log in using their CMC login name. Non-CMC students will select, “First time Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, or Scripps College applicants will indicate that they are not a registered user at CMC and that they have not received login credentials. Non-CMC students will then need to create an account in order to return to the application site and login.
  4. Once you have logged into the system, you will need to use the above link again, select “Apply now” a second time, and select the semester you would like to study in Washington.
  5. Please complete all required elements of the program application including:
    • Questionnaires and Essays
    • Letter of Recommendation from an Academic Professor
    • Unofficial transcript including current course registrations
  6. Once all items have been completed and/or received by the CMC Center for Global Education (CGE) staff (as indicated by a check mark in the box under the “received” column), click on the “submit application” button to complete the online process.
  7. After your submitted application has been reviewed by a CGE staff member, you will be contacted via email with your scheduled interview time and date.
  8. Following this professional interview, students receive prompt notice of the selection committee’s decision.
  9. Accepted applicants must log back into the system and follow the directions to submit the required post-acceptance forms. Again, you must follow the checklist on the page to ensure that all the necessary materials have been submitted and/or received by the Center for Global Education staff.


Applicant Interview and Selection Process

A professional interview with the Selection Committee is a component of the Washington Program application.  Applicants are expected to address their goals for the CMC Washington Program and demonstrate that they have the maturity and organizational skills needed to live independently while they commute to work in a full-time professional setting, and pursue rigorous evening coursework. Applicants should be able to discuss several organizations at which they would like to intern and demonstrate a working knowledge of what sort of work they will complete during their internship.

The selection committee additionally considers the applicant’s:

  • Academic preparation & academic records
  • Writing and analytical skills
  • Resume
  • Faculty letters of recommendation
  • Professional attire and demeanor


Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Fall 2024 program application deadline is February 19, 2024. 
  • Non-CMC students must also meet their home campus study abroad or off-campus deadline. These deadlines are frequently  much earlier than the CMC Washington Program Deadline.    


Security Clearances

U.S. Department of State 

Some internships, such as those at the departments of Defense, Justice, and State, may require applicants to submit to a thorough background examination or security clearance. Security clearances can produce months of delay before an agency or organization can allow a student to intern. While our students almost always pass this type of examination, the ensuing delay can ultimately make an internship an impractical match for the program. Students cannot begin the Washington Program with only a promise that their clearance will be forthcoming.

In order to minimize the risk of depending upon a security clearance that is slow to materialize, we recommend that students take the following steps:

  1. Applicants must meet the Department of State deadline, which is months before the Washington Program application deadline. Serious applicants are encouraged to submit the security clearance application well in advance of the Department of State deadline.
  2. Pursue other attractive internships that do not require a security clearance and keep them open as options until the security process is complete. Notify the organization requiring a clearance of CMC’s deadline to accept their internship offer should the security clearance not be obtained at least one week prior to the program start date (i.e. two weeks before the internship begins). Process all materials related to a security clearance immediately and send them by express mail with verification of receipt. Also, keep a copy of all email or telephone l conversations with the organization related to your security clearance. This should include with whom you spoke, the substance of the conversation, and the date.
  3. NEVER cancel or reschedule an appointment for your security interview (not all clearances require an interview). This will effectively rule out the possibility that the clearance process can be completed by the program start date.