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. We expect the Summer 2022 program to be in-person in Washington DC. For more information, download the program handout (PDF).

The Seminar

World Politics in American Politics (Ceka)

In this seminar, we will explore how world politics, foreign actors, and events in the rest of the world influence American politics and policy. The course has two overarching goals. First, we will examine the role that domestic and foreign actors play in the making of American foreign policy by looking at lobbying efforts, think tank activity and diplomacy, and by studying cases such as the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, US-China relations, and conflicts in the Middle East. Second, we will explore the interplay between world politics and American politics by investigating the influence of foreign affairs in US elections and the power struggle between the President and Congress.

Identity in American Politics (Crowder-Meyer)

One of the clearest findings across American politics scholarship is the power of party identity on political outcomes. Partisanship shapes how citizens behave, the outcome of elections, and what representatives do once in office. It is increasingly evident that many other identities influence American politics as well. In “Identity in American Politics,” we will investigate how identities such as gender, race, ethnicity, and region affect American politics and the outcomes of American government.

The Internship

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. We are also open to credit being earned through remote internships, including with organizations outside the Washington area. 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


Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors, may apply for the program (with preference to upperclassmen). Eligibility is NOT limited to political science majors; students who have yet to declare a major and those majoring in another discipline are encouraged to apply. The only thing in common among participants, in fact, is an abiding interest in policy.


The application portal for Summer 2022 opens on Handshake on Oct. 5, 2021.