Richardsupreme 29

Summer in DC is hot, humid, and full of opportunities!

New! Summer 2023 Program

New for summer 2023: The Washington Program will be offering an academic summer session. It is designed for students who will be working or interning in DC, and will include furnished housing.

All students in the summer program will take The Art of Democracy, an Art History course which fulfills a University Arts & Literature/College Find Arts requirement (WKAL/FNAR). 


The course will be held on Saturdays from 10am - 1pm (to accommodate students who are interning during the work week). It will run from May 27th to July 22nd, with a final due on July 29th. Students can arrive in D.C. as early as May 20th, and will need to leave by August 5th. 


The cost of the program is estimated at $8600. This includes a $4,635 housing fee, and summer tuition for 3 credits (currently estimated at $3,965, and will be determined by ND's Board of Trustees in late February). The Washington Program is able to offer scholarships, and all students will be considered based on need and information shared in the application. Students who receive a program scholarship will also receive a food and transportation stipend.

The Course

All students will enroll in ARHI 34361 The Art of Democracy. Course meetings will be split between classroom sessions and museum visits or field trips. The course fulfills a University Arts and Literature requirement (WKAL) as well as a College Fine Arts requirement (FNAR).

Course Description

Washington, D.C., is not only the seat of U.S. politics but also an extraordinary city for art, and this course will explore the relationship between the two. Through site visits to selected artworks, exhibitions, and monuments, we will examine the interplay of art and democracy, considering how artists have represented and challenged concepts such as citizenship, the nation, and social equality. Our objects of focus will range from presidential portraits and official memorials to contemporary video and installation art, and will touch on topics from westward expansion in the 19th century to recent social and political movements such as Black Lives Matter. The course will consider key questions: What makes a work of art, a monument, or an exhibition effective? How do artworks and monuments shape our understanding of history, and how do they influence our perspective on the present? Which stories and whose stories have been included in narratives of the nation? How do artists and works of art represent and put pressure on concepts of race, class, gender, religion, sexuality, and ethnicity? What is the role of a national museum or a national monument? And what role should a government play in relation to the arts? We will make regular class and independent visits to a range of museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


All students participating in the Program will live in fully furnished 2 bedroom/2 bath apartments in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. The apartments include bedding, towels, and in-unit laundry. The apartments are located within a larger housing unit for professionals - it is not student housing. Students are expected to act with maturity and respect their neighbors.



With class on Saturdays, the program is designed for students who will have an internship during standard business hours. Washington Program staff can provide guidance on your internship search, but it is a student driven effort. ND's Career Development has great resources and support for students. You do not need to have secured an internship to apply and be accepted into the summer program. However, all students are required to have an internship or make other constructive use of their time (i.e. work or volunteering) once they arrive in D.C..

How to Apply

Application Timeline

February 15: Student Deadline

March 1: Recommender Deadline

Mid-Late March: Notifications

April 1: Confirmation Deadline

Application Materials

Students will need to submit their resume and personal statement, as well as identify one academic reference and their rector. References will receive an email and link to submit their reference.

Personal Statement

Please write a two page personal statement:

Page 1: Tell us about your interest in the course. Why do you want to participate in this program?  (no more than one page)

Page 2: What are your summer internship plans, what types of internships in DC are you going to apply for?  (no more than one page)

If you have any interests or experiences that should be considered when evaluating your application (hobbies, volunteer activities, change of major, or lower GPA) you may include a brief explanation of them as well.

How to Apply

Please submit your application by February 15th. After clicking on the link you will be prompted to enter your ND credentials. Please have your application materials ready as you will not be able to save and return. The application should take you less than 10 minutes to complete.


For All ND Students In DC for the Summer

Whether you are participating in our summer program or not, the Washington Program offers some helpful tips and ways to connect with other students. 

Prior students have compiled a guide with helpful tips on finding internships, securing housing, budgeting, and more. It's a great resource to answer any questions you might have about the summer experience in D.C. NOTE: this is accessible to ND students only by being logged in your ND google account.

Connect with Other Notre Dame Students

Students that are looking for housing with other ND students can use Career Development's Roommate Finder.

The best way to learn about events on campus this spring and programming over the summer is to join our Google Group by searching "DC Summer 2023" from the Google Groups app. Note: this group is limited to current ND students.