Courses of Study 2023-2024 
    May 23, 2024  
Courses of Study 2023-2024

Cornell in Washington, Semester Program

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Cornell in Washington (CIW) offers a transformative, experiential learning program in which students engage with the most pressing policy challenges of the day through dynamic internships, world-class courses, and signature D.C. experiences. Participants reside at Cornell’s Wolpe Center in the heart of Dupont Circle, near Embassy Row.

In the Fall and Spring semesters, CIW students enroll in one required course—Inquiry in Politics and Policy—and select two or three electives from such fields as policy analysis, government, history, economics, art, and social policy, to take a total of 12-16 credits. Current elective course options include The History of the Senate; Strategic Advocacy; American Defense Policy and Military History; and the Economics and Regulation of Risky Health Behaviors.

In the Fall and Spring, all students work at a D.C. internship. CIW staff assist students in writing and polishing their resumes and cover letters, advise students on application strategies, and can assist with mock interviews and other interview skills. CIW also maintains a database of over 1,000 Washington, D.C. internships, which students gain access to after being admitted to the program.

Another important aspect of the program are Signature D.C. experiences, in which CIW ensures that students take advantage of the best that D.C. has to offer. Common outings include visits to the African-American History Museum, the Museum of the American Indian, touring the monuments, attending a Kennedy Center performance, and many other outings of historic and cultural importance.

The Fall and Spring Semester of CIW is open to second-semester sophomores, all juniors, and all seniors from all Cornell majors, colleges, and schools. Students in master’s degree programs are also welcome.

The program is housed at the Wolpe Center, 2148 O Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.


Fall and Spring Semester students are registered as full-time students and earn Cornell credit. Any financial aid that students receive from Cornell is normally applied to CIW, although students may wish to confirm their particular circumstances with the financial aid office.


Students are housed in furnished apartments with full kitchens and private bathrooms at Cornell’s Wolpe Center.


Fall and spring students may apply online at Applications should be submitted the semester before participation. Once a student completes their application and meets with our assistant director of recruitment, they will receive access to CIW’s exclusive database of over 1,000 internship opportunities in Washington, D.C. For questions or concerns, stop by the Cornell in Washington program office at 2314 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall or email

Cornell in Washington, Summer Program

The design of Cornell in Washington is different in the Summer compared to the Fall and Spring. In the Summer, students work full-time at a D.C. internship and take a 4-credit course at night.  For summer 2022, two courses are offered: Political Journalism, and American Defense Policy and Military History. Summer participants also enjoy the Signature D.C. experiences such as tours of the monuments, visits to Smithsonian museums, and many other outings. The Summer program is open to students from any college or university who completed the second semester of their first year. Students eligible for financial aid during the academic year may apply to the financial aid office for aid for Summer CIW.  To apply for Summer CIW, visit or email


The Cornell in Washington program holds regular information meetings on campus in September/October and February/March. Check the website for dates and times. For more information regarding CIW’s program, please visit our office in Kennedy Hall, Suite 300 or email