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 a Baylor in Washington staff member to discuss the best opportunities for their professional goals. To schedule an internship advising appointment, please email Nate Mills at Nate_Mills@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 Nate Mills (Nate_Mills@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 Nate Mills (Nate_Mills@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 Turnkey Housing and will be in apartments 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 ($2,001) and the program 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: $22,272 (2020-2021 tuition rate)

  • Semester Program Deposit and Fee: $2,201

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

  • Books: This amount will vary by semester, but it is almost guaranteed to be considerably less than an average semester of books at Baylor. Most readings will be distributed electronically. 

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 possession

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

  • 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, or by submitting a separate note stating need to Nate Mills (Nate_Mills@Baylor.edu). 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 20 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)
  • Monday evening is free (enjoy!)
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 6:30-9:30pm
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 visits in alternating weeks. Past site visits have included: 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 occasions.

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:

The Internship - 6 Credit Hours

PSC 3692 - Baylor in Washington Semester Internship (exclusively offered through this program)

  • Each semester program student will work in an internship in Washington, D.C. within the field of their choice. The program structure allows students to work nearly full-time in their internship, which increases their chances of securing some of the most competitive internships.
  • Most students will earn this credit with PSC 3692, but other options exist for students in need of credit elsewhere (ex. Business, Journalism/News, Public Relations, etc.). Please contact Mollie Moore (Mollie_Moore1@baylor.edu) with any questions about alternative internship course listings.

The Course - 3 Credit Hours

"Public Policy Innovation for the Common Good"

Course Listing Options: PPS 3301 or PSC/REL/PHI 3339 

  • This team-taught course will examine the role of public and private actors in the making and implementation of public policies directed to address complex problems. There will be a special focus on the collaborative efforts of government and nonprofit entities--including faith-based organizations--as they seek solutions that contribute to the public good. Each semester, the faculty members will select three new complex problems to explore in detail.
    • Fall 2021 Course Topics: 1) Environmental Science 2) Family and Population 3) Ethics of Social Media/Big Data
    • Spring 2021 Course Topics: 1) American Diplomacy 2) Theology and Philosophy of Work 3) Budget, Tax, and Debt
  • This course is only offered as part of the Baylor in Washington Semester Program and will feature many experts who live and work in Washington.
  • This course may be contracted to meet Honors Program requirements.

The Research - 3 Credit Hours

PSC 4390 - Baylor in Washington Research Project

  • Each semester program student will complete an independent research project on a topic of their choice during their time in Washington. Not only will students have access to Washington's wealth of resources to aid in their work, but upon completion of the project, each student will have produced a high-quality writing sample to be used for future applications to law school, graduate school, or for employment.
  • Students who must complete an undergraduate thesis may earn thesis credit for research completed in this program.

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 restaurants, or pause and reflect at one of the many monuments, you will never run out of fun things to do in your free time!

Baylor in Washington

660 North Capitol Street NW, Floor 7
Washington, D.C. 20001

(202) 870-9978