Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the list below of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the Baylor in Washington Semester Program. New questions and their answers are consistently added as they are frequently asked.


Internships

1. How do I secure an internship? Do I have to do that by myself, or does Baylor offer assistance?

While all Semester Program students are required to secure their own internships, several resources are available to help you with your internship search. The Internship Opportunities page holds numerous helpful resources, including listings of Competitive Internship and Fellowship Opportunities, a list of Recent Internship Sites where Baylor students have secured internships, and links to several Internship Search Engines and Databases.

Students are also encouraged to do independent research on possible internship opportunities in Washington, as there are thousands from which to choose.

Additionally, all interested students are strongly encouraged to schedule an internship advising appointment with the Baylor in Washington Program Coordinator to discuss the best opportunities for their professional goals. To schedule an internship advising appointment, please email Grant Jones at Grant_Jones2@baylor.edu. There are a number of offices across various industries in Washington, D.C. where Baylor has established strong connections, and we frequently recommend students for internship opportunities to those offices, significantly increasing the likelihood of selection.

2. When and how do I apply for internships in Washington, D.C.?

Every internship site in Washington will have a unique, though often quite similar application process and deadline, so it is important to begin your internship search as early as possible to make sure that you have plenty of time to submit all of the required materials after having done them well.

Many of these sites have "rolling" applications, which means that the internships are open until filled. With this in mind, it is important that you work to apply as early as possible to your top internship choices.

Some of the most competitive internship opportunities (ex. CIA, State Department, FBI, etc.) have application deadlines around 8 months to a year in advance of the internship start date. If you are considering one of these options, please notify Grant Jones (Grant_Jones2@baylor.edu) to discuss the possibility of early consideration for acceptance into the Semester Program.

You may find it helpful to make a priority list of your top 8-10 internship sites and spread out submitting applications, beginning with your top choices and working your way down the list.

3. Does my participation in the Baylor in Washington Semester Program limit me to an internship with a certain organization or branch of government, or can I intern wherever?

You are not necessarily limited to internships with certain organizations or branches of government, but since you will be earning course credit, the internship you choose must be considered "substantive." We want to make sure that you are experiencing significant opportunities to learn more about your chosen office and industry. Most internships in Washington, D.C. fit this description, but be sure to check with Grant Jones (Grant_Jones2@baylor.edu) if you have questions about a specific opportunity.

4. Where have Baylor students interned in the past?

Baylor students have interned across many different industries all over Washington, D.C., including in some of the most competitive internships in the city. The list includes the U.S. Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the White House, International Justice Mission, KPMG, NBC News, the American Enterprise Institute, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the D.C. Public Defender Service, and many others. Click here for a more detailed list.

Housing

1. Where do Semester Program students live? Do we all live together?

Baylor in Washington Semester Program students will live together near Capitol Hill in accommodations provided in partnership with WISH Housing and will be in rooms separated by gender. For more detailed information regarding what is included in the housing accommodations, please click here.

Finances

1. How much does it cost to spend a semester in Washington, D.C.?

All Semester Program students will pay normal Baylor tuition as if they were attending courses on campus in Waco in addition to the program fee ($4,800) and the refundable housing security deposit ($200). Beyond those costs, total expenses can vary for each student depending on how they choose to live. For example, all housing accommodations include direct access to a kitchen, which allows students to cut costs by cooking instead of going out to eat for meals.

Here is a rough budget outline for the semester to help you develop your personal financial plan:

Required Items

    • Baylor tuition: $20,597 (2018-2019 tuition rate)

    • Semester Program Fee: $4,800

    • Food: $1,200 ($75 per week, out of pocket)

    • Housing Security Deposit: $200 at the beginning of the semester, but will be refunded assuming there is no damage to the student's housing unit.

    • Books: This amount will vary by semester, but it is almost guaranteed to be considerably less than an average semester of books at Baylor, given the fact that only two courses will require books (your other two courses are the internship course and the independent research course).

Extras:

    • Metro Pass: Included in the Program Fee and provides Unlimited use of the D.C. Metro System (estimated savings of $300-$850)

    • Housing: Included in the Program Fee

    • Cable: Included in Program Fee

    • Internet: Included in Program Fee

    • Transportation to D.C.: Round trip airfare from Dallas/Fort Worth roughly $250-$300 (out of pocket)

    • Entertainment: Varies (many museums and events in Washington are free)

    • Wardrobe (business attire): Varies according to current personal possessions

A few important things to remember when making your financial considerations about this program:

  • The General Student Fee is waived for Semester Program students. This alone saves about $2,100.

  • Since this is a Baylor University Program, all of your financial aid and scholarships that you would normally receive will go toward your semester in Washington.

  • This program, like a normal semester on campus or other semester elsewhere, is an investment. With this in mind, it is important to weigh the potential additional value that a semester spent in Washington, D.C. can add to your personal development and future professional opportunities.

2. Are there any additional scholarships available? If so, how can I be considered for those funds?

Yes! There are a number of awards of up to $3,500 to defray some of the costs associated with participation in the Program.

Once students are accepted into the Program, they will be evaluated based on demonstrated financial need for consideration for one of these awards.

All students who would like to be considered for one of the needs-based awards may present their case for consideration in the body of their Program application cover letter. No further application is necessary for consideration for these awards.

Application Process

1. How does the application process work? And how do I know if I am eligible to apply?

Click here for detailed application and eligibility information.

2. How soon can I expect to receive a decision regarding my candidacy for the program?

Students can generally expect to receive a decision regarding their candidacy for the program within 10-14 business days of submitting their application. It is important to remember that this program has rolling admission, and the available slots are expected to be filled quickly. With this in mind, students should consider applying as early as possible to increase their chances for acceptance.

General Program Questions

1. How many students participate in the Baylor in Washington Semester Program each semester?

Each semester, up to 16 students will have the opportunity to participate in the the Program. This is a competitive program, so students are encouraged to submit their applications early.

2. What does a typical week look like in the Semester Program?

Although each week may vary slightly, this schedule provides a general idea for a typical week in the Baylor in Washington Semester Program:

Monday

  • Students will serve in their internship during the work day (typically 9:00am-5:00pm)

  • Class will be held from 7:00-9:00pm

Tuesday

  • Students will serve in their internship during the work day (typically 9:00am-5:00pm)

  • Tuesday evening is free (enjoy!)

Wednesday

  • Students will serve in their internship during the work day (typically 9:00am-5:00pm)

  • Class will be held from 7:00-9:00pm

Thursday

  • Students will serve in their internship during the work day (typically 9:00am-5:00pm)

  • Thursday evening is free (enjoy!)

Friday

  • Students will serve in their internship for a half-day (typically 9:00am-12:00pm)

  • Friday afternoons are reserved for research or site vists in alternating weeks. Fall 2018 program site visits include: the Library of Congress, the office of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, the United States Supreme Court, the White House, the United States Capitol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lockheed Martin, and Politico!

Saturdays and Sundays are free for worship and rest, except on very rare occassions.


3. How many hours can I take, and what courses are offered?

Baylor in Washington Semester Program students earn 12 hours of course credit. Here is the breakdown:

  • 6 credit hours: Two courses will be taught by adjunct faculty who live and work in Washington, D.C., giving students access to world-class scholars and thought leaders from whom they would otherwise be unable to learn. Specific courses will be announced prior to each semester.


    Fall 2018 Courses (Spring 2019 Courses to be announced soon):

    PSC 3340 - Campaigns and Elections

    This course will examine how parties, interest groups, and individuals impact political campaigns and elections in the United States. Class readings and assignments will cover theories, history, and current events. We will create simulations and predictions for the 2018 midterm election, and meet guest speakers who have worked in politics and political campaigns.

    PPS 3301 - Public Policy Innovation and the Common Good

    This team-taught course will examine the role of public policy innovation in civil society in developing and implementing private and public solutions to wicked problems. Special focus on the collaboration between government and non-profit entities working collaboratively to seek solutions that contribute to the public good. This course is only offered as part of the Baylor in Washington Semester Program.


  • 3 credit hours: Semester Program Students will earn course credit for their internship during their time in Washington. Many will earn credit with the PSC 3392 (Washington Internship) course, but several other options exist for students in need of another course offering, including:

    • JOU 3391 (News Internship)

    • JOU 3395 (Public Relations Internship)

    • BUS 4395 (Internship in Business)

  • 3 credit hours: Semester Program Students will earn course credit for completing an independent research project on a topic of their choice.

In certain circumstances, correspondence courses can be taken for additional credit. Email Grant Jones (Grant_Jones2@baylor.edu) to request more information about this option.

Life in Washington

1. What is the best way to get around the city? Do I need a car?

The most economical way to get around Washington, D.C. is by using the Metro system. Since all Semester Program students are provided with a "U-Pass" that provides unlimited usage of the Metro for the duration of the semester, students do not need to bring a personal vehicle with them to Washington. In fact, since parking is at a premium and often expensive, students are not recommended to bring a car unless they truly feel they need it. Beyond the Metro system, taxis and services like Uber and Lyft are often utilized for transportation.

2. What can I do for fun in Washington during my free time?

This may be one of the biggest challenges about D.C. - there are so many fun things to do! Whether you decide to peruse the museums of the Smithsonian (free admission!), take a run on the National Mall, attend an evening event at an embassy or think tank, enjoy a meal at one of the countless outstanding restraurants, or pause and reflect at one of the many monuments, you will never run out of fun things to do in your free time!

3. Is there a large number of Baylor alumni in Washington? How can I connect with them during my semester in D.C.?

Washington, D.C. is home to many proud Baylor alumni, many of whom love to regularly interact with current Baylor students! The best place to connect before your semester in Washington is by creating a profile on the Baylor Mentor Network. This system serves as a hub for Baylor alumni and students to connect with one another and creates opportunities for mentorship. Once you are in Washington, you will have numerous opportunities to interact with Baylor alumni through weekly site visits, evening receptions, and Baylor in Washington events.