The College

Brown in Washington Program

The Brown in Washington programs in fall, spring and summer provide students with the opportunity to apply theory to practice and engage in a hands-on internship.

Brown in Washington Semester Internship Program

For Employers: Hosting an Intern

Meet the Brown in Washington Cohorts

Students in the Brown in Washington semester internship program spend either the fall or spring semester living in Washington, D.C. They experience an internship with an agency in the public or nonprofit sector while completing a full course load that includes a two-credit practicum and a one-credit International and Public Affairs (IAPA) course developed for the Brown in Washington cohort. Participants also have the option of completing one additional Brown remote-accessible course (or independent study) of their choosing. Through networking opportunities, they develop connections for future pathways.

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Brown students who are sophomores, juniors or seniors at the start of the program are eligible to apply. All undergraduates must be enrolled during both the Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 semesters to be eligible. In addition, applicants should have demonstrated an interest in working in the public or non-profit sector, although students in every concentration are invited to participate. Applicants are strongly encouraged to start to apply to internships in Washington, D.C. as soon as they become interested in the program.

Academic Requirements

Students typically enroll in two or three Brown University courses for a full semester of credits: 

  • UNIV 1801: Brown in Washington Practicum (2 credits)
  • IAPA 1710N: Diplomacy: An Art that is not Lost, taught by Brian Atwood, head of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the administration of President William Clinton. The course will examine the practice and profession of diplomacy and its relationship to the policy process. It will expose students to policy analysis, memo writing for decision making, negotiations, and verbal communications.
  • Optional: One Brown remote-accessible course of their choosing (or an independent study) in any department. 

The Brown in Washington Semester program may satisfy the practicum requirement for students participating in the Engaged Scholarship Certificate.

Internship Placements

The Brown in Washington internship is a central feature of UNIV 1801, the practicum course. Together, the course and the internship are designed to provide students with a hands-on learning experience to complement their academic study at Brown. The 20-25-hour/week internship with an agency in the public or nonprofit sector is intended to connect policy and practice while building students’ strengths towards post-Brown career objectives. 

Potential internship sites include government or public sector agencies (e.g., federal agencies, Congressional offices, state or municipal executive or legislative offices); nonprofit organizations; public health; museum history, culture, and art; and other organizations with a policy-oriented mission and the ability to support meaningful internship placements for college students. 

Students will work with Brown in Washington staff and the Center for Career Exploration to understand program structure, identify suitable internship sites, and connect with alumni or other contacts who might be able to provide relevant advice. Students are also strongly encouraged to apply for and secure an internship of their own choosing that meets the program’s criteria. Staff provide guidance and support, link students with host institutions through alumni and Center for Career Exploration networks, and collaborate with students and hosts to finalize the necessary application, paperwork, and internship agreement. 

Once a student's internship placement is finalized, staff will work with each student's supervisor to ensure that the practicum goals are clearly articulated and a direct line of communication is established between the placement and the Brown in Washington program.

Applications and Timeline

To apply for the Brown in Washington Semester program, please follow the link below to the VIA-TRM application portal. Initiating your application will also add you to the list for important Brown in Washington updates.

  • The application deadline for Fall Semester is March 1.
  • The application deadline for Spring Semester is October 1.

Students are typically notified of their application status within 2-3 weeks of the application deadline. Program housing, internship schedules and courses closely align with the Brown University academic calendar as published on the registrar’s website. More detailed information can be found in VIA-TRM.


Brown coordinates housing for students in both the semester and summer programs. Students live together in a living-learning community. More information about housing can be found in the VIA-TRM system.

Cost of Attendance

During the semester, tuition and fees for the program are the same as full-time enrollment at Brown in Providence. Housing, food/meals, travel, books, and other personal expenses are estimated at $10,000 for the semester, though expenses may vary according to individual spending habits and other factors. 

Brown students eligible for financial aid (with few exceptions) may use their aid for the Brown in Washington program and are strongly encouraged to discuss their eligibility with a counselor at 

Brown in Washington Summer SPRINT Signature Program

Meet the Brown in Washington Cohorts

The Brown in Washington Summer SPRINT Signature Program is a paid opportunity with a stipend (and a Summer Earnings Waiver, for qualifying students) for undergraduate students to spend a summer as an intern with a Washington D.C.-based public agency or think tank focused on policy. Students intern at their site for 10 weeks and take part in co-curricular programming that provides them with rich learning experiences, valuable peer-to-peer support, and deep professional connections. 

The Brown in Washington Summer SPRINT Signature Program may satisfy the practicum requirement for students participating in the Engaged Scholarship Certificate.


Students may apply to an internship opportunity from a list of pre-selected partner organizations, or work with Center for Career Exploration staff to identify and apply for policy-related internships that meet program criteria. 

Students are strongly encouraged to apply to internship opportunities on their own in late fall, before submitting the SPRINT application, as many think tanks and other organizations have summer internship application deadlines that are earlier than the SPRINT deadline. The organization and internship opportunity must meet the criteria of our program: a substantial internship in a policy-oriented organization that is over the course of 10 weeks and is a student's primary summer experience. This guide from the Center for Career Exploration is intended to help students independently secure internships in Washington D.C.

Internship placements must be focused on one or more of the following types of public policy opportunities:

  • Policy research and development;
  • Policy making (legislative, judicial, and executive); or
  • Policy analysis and evaluation.

Summer placements are not permitted to involve advocacy work. For this reason, placements are primarily:

  • Government: Federal Agencies, Senate and House Committees, Legislative Offices, D.C. City Agencies and Government Offices
  • Think-tanks, policy institutes, or research centers
  • In particular cases, placement may be made in another type of organization, so long as the work is policy-oriented and not advocacy-related.


The Brown in Washington Summer SPRINT Signature Program satisfies the practicum requirement for students participating in the Engaged Scholarship Certificate.

Internships must: 

  • Provide professional experience and skill development opportunities aligned in a Washington D.C.-based public agency or think tank focused on policy (see above). 
  • Be unpaid or low paying stipends of $2,000
  • Last 6 weeks or longer
  • Comply with Brown travel policies [Travelsafe]
  • Organization may not be owned or run by you [the student], a relative or close friend
  • Organization must complete an Sponsor Statement form [LINK only]
  • Organization must provide a supervisor/mentor who:
    • Confirms that the opportunity meets eligibility requirements
    • Provides you with guidance throughout the internship
    • Certifies completion of opportunity and completes end of summer survey


Applications for summer opportunities, including Brown in Washington, have been consolidated under the SPRINT (Summer/Semester Projects for Research, Internship, Teaching) Signature Programs umbrella. Applications can be found in UFunds. To learn more about SPRINT awards, review the FAQs.


In 2024, Brown in Washington is collaborating with the George Washington University to offer a limited amount to first-come, first-serve housing in residential dorms. More housing information will be made available to admitted students in February. 

For Employers: Hosting an Intern

Students will be in Washington, D.C. in the fall and spring semesters and are available for 20-25 hours per week. Over the summer, Brown students are eligible for full time internships. If you are interested in hosting an intern, please complete this intake form. Please contact with questions.s.


Meet the Brown in Washington Cohorts

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