The centerpiece of the curriculum in Washington is a Research Seminar that integrates a rigourous syllabus with insights from student internships. Lectures by expert faculty and student discussion are augmented by presentations from guest speakers. Research seminars focus on comparative methods, bibliographic research and analytical writing.
The Research Seminar is mandatory and is the core of each student’s program of study; it consists of weekly class meetings as well as sectional and individual tutorials. Making extensive use of local resources, students will design a research strategy leading to a substantial term paper that incorporates knowledge gained from their internship.
In addition, students will take one elective that emphasizes DC specific subject matter such as politics, history, public policy, the media, or arts and culture. The topics vary from semester to semester depending on the faculty in residence, the offerings by the other programs at the Center, and the availability and expertise of guest instructors. UC Berkeley, UC Merced, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, and University of San Francisco share a joint semester curriculum that allows Berkeley students to receive Berkeley upper division course credit for each elective offered.