Students participating in the Washington, D.C. Public Policy program will have the opportunity, through both coursework and an internship placement, to gain insight into how policy is made in the nation's capital. The courses taught in the program are policy-related and the internships into which students will be placed involve almost daily contact and discussion with governmental decision-makers or others involved in making or influencing government policy. In this way participants in the program will experience first-hand the intense activity inherent in Washington politics.
The American Economy and Federal Government Policy (1 credit)
Since the end of World War II, federal government policy has been considered a major factor in determining the fate of the national economy. The tools of fiscal and monetary policy have been used to influence the direction of most of the major macroeconomic variables: the GDP growth rate, the inflation rate, the unemployment rate, the interest rate, tax rates, the budget deficit, and the trade deficit. Over the past fifty years, many of the theoretical models have changed and with the integration of the American economy into the world economic system, perhaps the influence of the federal government has declined. If that is the case, how much control does the government have over the economy and does that matter? In addition, after the onset of the "Great Recession" in 2008, the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government have become more interventionist than ever before. This course will analyze and discuss the current monetary (role and actions of the FED) and fiscal policies of the administration and Congress (government spending, taxes, the deficit and the debt) to control and alter the economy. Students will be asked to contribute insights that they have gained from their internship experiences. (Note: Arrangements can be made for Economics majors to count this course as an upper level macroeconomics course to fulfill requirements.)
The President, Congress, and Public Policy (1 credit)
This course will examine the intersection between the Executive Branch and Congress (and the Supreme Court) in the domestic and foreign policy processes. In doing so, we will study contemporary politics and policymaking, as we assess the Obama administration's interaction with Congress on environmental policy, health care, HIV/AIDS, education, immigration, homeland security, economic policymaking and other relevant policy issues. Considerable attention will be devoted to the Right's response as well as the response of the progressive Left to how President Obama and Congress have intersected with the most important domestic and foreign policy issues on the policy agenda today.
Public Policy Internship (1 credit)
The internship program is centerpiece of the Washington, DC term, and all students will have a full-time internship in a challenging and responsible position. Each student applies for several internships in areas of his/her choice, in consultation with the program director(s). However, it is important to emphasize that the selection process is competitive, as the sponsor organization makes the final decision on who to accept. The program directors and the Career Services office will help students identify possible internship sites, however, students should also pursue their own leads, for example with a member of Congress from their state or district. More information on placement will be provided after students are admitted to the program. The range of past internship organizations is wide and students will have many opportunities to consider.
Seminar on Washinqton, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is often thought of as the center of the federal government and all of its agencies. But all of these activities are situated in a special district, which forms the center of a large metropolitan area with a population of 4.3 million people. This course will focus on the city of Washington, with its 600,000 residents and special characteristics and conditions. We will examine the political and economic organization and condition of the city as well as its problems: housing, transportation, crime, poverty and education. One morning each week, we will meet with someone from the city government, federal government or an interest group to learn about and discuss current urban issues. In addition, we will have scheduled walks and excursions to places of interest in the city.
The Washington program will be of particular interest to students in economics and political science and, more broadly, to those interested in a variety of public policy issues.
This program is open to juniors and seniors (sophomores may be considered in exceptional cases) in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. All students must successfully complete (with a grade of C- or better) ECON 160 (Principles of Economics) prior to participating in the program; they must also complete either PPOL 101 (Democracy and Public Policy) or POL 110 (Introduction to American Politics) or POL 180 (Introduction to International Relations). Due to the challenging nature of offcampus study, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students reside in "corporate"-style housing arranged by HWS, just outside of D.C. Normally, there will be four students in each apartment (two double bedrooms) and each apartment will be fully furnished including cooking facilities, linen, desks, etc. While the specific complex has not yet been determined, it will be in close proximity to the Metro and to shopping.
Occasional day trips in and around Washington will be included as part of the program.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and room fees and a $550 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-course semester, housing, program-related excursions and a subsidy to defray the costs of a Metro pass. Note that no HWS board fee is charged. Students should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses. While these expenses will vary according to individual tastes, we estimate that about $2,000 should be sufficient for students who typically prepare their own meals. Additional expenses not covered include travel to/from Washington, books and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, local ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,000, above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
NOTE: The information contained in this brochure is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.