Quinnipiac University

College of Arts and Sciences Quinnipiac University in Washington, D.C.

The Quinnipiac University in Washington, D.C., program (QU in DC) provides students of all majors with the chance to live, work and learn in the nation’s capital, the hub for American politics, government, international relations and national security. With more broadcast media companies, news organizations, elite public relations firms and government agencies than anywhere else in the world, D.C. offers a unique opportunity for aspiring communications, political science and business professionals to kick-start their careers.

Program Overview

Opportunities await in our nation’s capital

Washington, D.C., is a place unlike any other, and one of the fastest growing, most vibrant cities in the U.S. over the past five years. It is also the epicenter of American news media, national politics and foreign affairs, public policy research, and PR. The QU in DC program positions you right in the middle of it.

At the heart of this immersive program is your internship, where you’ll work at one of D.C.’s top media and political organizations. This means giving the best of yourself each day in a society-changing nonprofit, bustling newsroom, lobbying firm, national think tank or a congressional office. We guarantee an internship placement that matches your career ambitions.

Off the clock, you’ll experience the very best of D.C. culture in some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. Hang out with roommates at the Lincoln Memorial and grab lunch together in one of the nation’s best restaurant scenes. Begin your morning with a run along the Potomac, followed by shopping in Georgetown and a night game at Nationals Park. Experience the city’s vibrant music scene at the 9:30 Club or catch a nationally touring play at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Whatever drives you, one thing is certain: in this city, you’ve got options, and boredom is never one of them. You’ll also have the benefit of 24/7 support. Seminar courses are taught by faculty with years of experience in politics, global affairs and communications. Additionally, the program is run by a full-time staff member who will ensure that you make an easy transition to your internship and to make the most of everything this exciting city has to offer.

By the time you complete the QU in DC program, you will have:

  • Gained professional experience through your internship and greatly expanded your professional network.
  • Engaged in academic seminars and internships that provide a unique experience and perspective on real-world public policy, national security challenges and the current media landscape.
  • Gained deep knowledge of and experience in government and policy-making organizations.
  • Increased content creation skills through repeated practice and training.
  • Created a deep portfolio of meaningful, professional work.

Internships & Partnerships

Washington, D.C., is not only our nation’s capital, but a bustling hub with thousands of internship and networking opportunities.

For over 25 years, Quinnipiac students have interned at scores of organizations in the D.C. area, including national security agencies, congressional offices and the White House, as well as think tanks, legacy and digital news publications, and public affairs agencies. Your internship experiences culminate with an independent research-based project. All course and internship grades are transferred to your official Quinnipiac transcripts and count toward graduation.

Students have interned at the following locations:

  • The White House
  • Congress
  • Foreign Embassies
  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • National Security Agency
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • The Pentagon
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • CNN
  • NPR
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Human Rights Campaign

Quinnipiac has partnered with some of the nation’s best experiential education programs. Prior to your semester in D.C., you’ll work with these programs to find the ideal internship that matches your abilities and career goals.

The Washington Center

American University

Site Visits

The sole purpose of QU in DC is preparing students for the professional world. Site visits are one-day meetups that enable students to visit the realms of government and media. Students make connections with veteran journalists, public relations professionals and top policymakers who are eager to share decades of insights and perspectives, as well as their professional networks.

Past site visits include:

  • White House
  • U.S. Capitol
  • Washington Post
  • National Geographic
  • Tucker Carlson Tonight
  • Politico
  • Axios
  • 720 Strategies
  • ISL Advertising
  • Susan Davis International
  • Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick

Student Experience

Three students take a selfie in front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Where it’s all happening

When you arrive, you’ll see why D.C. is considered one of the easiest cities in the country to get around in. Your apartment’s centralized location is just a short bus or metro ride to and from internships and every other activity the city has to offer, eliminating the need for a car. Here, you’ll also find students from other similar programs, creating the feel of a true community of young professionals.

Students may be housed in one of several thriving and diverse neighborhoods in the heart of D.C., all with resident staff onsite and all conveniently accessible to D.C.’s Metro, marketplaces and entertainment. Students share bedrooms in fully furnished apartments that are exclusive to QU in DC interns, ensuring that you’ll be surrounded by similarly driven and talented peers.

  • NOMA: NOMA is a hip, up-and-coming neighborhood located just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol and historic Union Station. NOMA is home to Union Market, with its creative shops, modern restaurants and distinguishable mural art, as well as NPR headquarters and the National Postal Museum.
  • 450 K Street: A big little neighborhood with heart and soul. At the core of Mount Vernon Triangle are people (and their dogs) who love being in a thriving, inclusive community close to work and everything that’s important. Trendsetting restaurants, new places to shop, converse and be active.
  • Tenleytown: Tenleytown runs through the campus of American University, making it close by plenty of student-oriented nightlife, restaurants, coffee shops and parks, as well as university-run lectures, concerts, public events, and festivals that are open to the community.

Admission Requirements

QU in DC is designed to push you beyond your limits as you experience what today’s media and political landscape is all about. If you’re serious about challenging and rewarding careers in journalism, public relations or politics, then take the leap and begin that journey in the heart of Washington, D.C. We can’t wait to work with you.

QU in DC is set to resume in January 2021 with the Presidential Inauguration Academic Seminar. QU in DC will go forward in Spring semester 2021, either with on-ground or online modalities, depending on the latest public health and government recommendations locally in Washington, as well as Quinnipiac’s travel policies.

QU in DC semesters are open to currently enrolled Quinnipiac juniors and seniors of any major who have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA and meet their program’s prerequisites for internships. Students have their choice of attending during the spring, summer or fall semesters. In exceptional cases, sophomores in programs that do not have specific internship requirements may petition to apply.

Two-week seminars in January and May are open to students in any year of college, and are a popular alternative for those who want a taste of D.C. before committing to a full semester of coursework and an internship. Interested students are advised to start planning and applying in their first year or sophomore year.

Students pay their regular semester tuition, a program fee and housing. They also are able to transport their financial aid package to D.C. Financial aid applies only in the fall and spring semesters.

Spring/Fall: Full time – 16 credits: tuition + $1,050 fee + housing fee (varies by specific program). A significant number of our students win need-based and merit-based scholarships.

Summer Semester: 9 credits: tuition + housing + fee. (Certain summer merit scholarships may be available.)

Additional Costs
All QU in DC students are responsible for their own transportation to Washington, D.C., as well as groceries, professional wardrobe, public transportation and other expenses.

You can apply to the QU in DC program by completing the following steps:

  • Contact program director Professor Scott McLean by email at scott.mclean@qu.edu or phone at 203-582-8686. Communications students must first contact Lisa Burns by email at lisa.burns@qu.edu or phone at 203-582-8548.
  • Discuss your intentions with your academic adviser.
  • Submit a goal statement, writing sample and faculty recommendations to the D.C. institution of your choice by its required deadline.
  • Complete QU approval/registration form by semester deadline, which ensures that your selected QU course equivalents will earn credit.

Summer Semester: February 24

Fall Semester: February 24

Spring Semester: September 21

For more information on the QU in DC program, including course credits, living arrangements and cost, please review our list of frequently asked questions:

Download the FAQ PDF

Contact the College of Arts and Sciences

We're always here to help provide additional information and answer any questions you may have.

Keep up to date with the latest information about the College of Arts and Sciences.

Quinnipiac Today Events Calendar