The University of Notre Dame Washington Program offers students the ability to study off-campus, becoming immersed in the political and cultural life of Washington DC. In the semester-long program, students take classes focused on politics and policy as well as intern part-time. The Program not only affords students an opportunity to experience big city living and culture, it provides students with a unique opportunity to gain work experience and engage in career discernment. Sophomores and Juniors of any major and college are eligible to participate and the Program can accept 16 students for each semester.

Classes are held in the evenings at Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs Washington Office, in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Classes are typically held in-person, but ND reserves the right to change the manner of delivery as it deems necessary in its sole discretion in response to changing circumstances or, if needed, to protect the health or safety of students, faculty and staff.

Students live independently in apartments (2 bedroom, 2 bath) in the Penn Quarter neighborhood (close to shopping, dining, public transportation, etc.) Students will earn 15 credits for the semester, including 3 credits for their internship. Many work in government offices, Congress, non-governmental organizations, the media, and cultural institutions. As part of the Program, students engage in weekly policy visits with offices and institutions across the Capital District. Together the internship experience and networking opportunities provide our students with an unparalleled jumpstart on their career. Returning students rave about the Washington Program being one of Notre Dame's best kept secrets!

The Washington Program is part of Notre Dame's Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy.


“In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in the political life is a moral obligation…The Catholic call to Faithful Citizenship affirms the importance of political participation and insists that public service is a worthy vocation…We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our values and our votes, to help build a better world.”  

—U.S. Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (2007), #13, 14