Davidson in Washington (DIW) offers you the opportunity to gain real-world government internship experience within the nation's capital, while you simultaneously obtain course credit for a political seminar taught by a Davidson political science professor.

About the Program

An eight-week program with a long-standing and notable history, the program has two full-course credit components: a political science seminar and a government internship. It is offered every summer. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the summer 2021 seminar will be virtual and the internship will be optional. Students who choose to complete an internship have the flexibility to intern remotely or with an organization outside of Washington, D.C. Download the program handout (PDF).

The Seminar

Race and Place: Structural Inequality and U.S. Public Policy (Murray)

Racial inequality is at a critical point in America. Re-imagining a more equitable and just society necessitates a critical interrogation of power in the policy-making process. To that end, this course draws on historical, political, and sociological perspectives to understand the creation and maintenance of structural racial inequality in the U.S. We will examine relationships between public policy and forms of racial and spatial inequality such as housing and school segregation, concentrated poverty, environmental justice, health disparities, mass incarceration, and social mobility. Course content will include readings, digital media, and guest presentations from scholars and practitioners whose work is related to reducing inequality and challenging systems that perpetuate harm for historically marginalized individuals, families, and communities.

The Internship

Although highly encouraged, the internship for summer 2021 is not required. Those that do secure an internship have the opportunity to intern virtually and/or with an organization/agency outside of the Washington, D.C. area. With the help of the Betty and B. Frank Matthews II ’49 Center for Career Development (Matthews Center), each student is responsible for arranging his or her full-time internship with a government office, political party, research institute, trade or industry association, public interest non-profit organization, school or school district, or similar organization. At the end of the internship, each student will write an 8-10 page analytical paper about the internship experience and the role of the organization in the political process. Participants receive a pass-fail grade for this component of the program. This course can count as one of the 10 required courses for the Political Science requirements but does not satisfy any of the four sub-field requirements.

List of Recent DIW Internships


While freshmen with a background in politics may apply, preference is given to upperclassmen, predominantly sophomores or juniors.

Eligibility is not limited to political science majors. The only thing in common among participants, in fact, is an abiding interest in politics.


The application portal for Summer 2021 opens on Handshake on January 4, 2021.