Our Washington, D.C. Semester offers students an opportunity that combines special academic coursework with a 12-week, custom-designed internship in Washington, DC. Each spring, select students participate in a semester-long study of gender and public policy issues. This unique learning experience is highlighted by a 12-week practicum in the nation’s capital, arranged according to each participant’s area of interest.

For more information, contact Nigel Smith at nsmith@columbiasc.edu or 803.786.3674.

Who Can Participate?

The program is open to students from all academic majors and internships are arranged according to each participant’s area of interest. The program is held during the fall semester, with up to eight students selected for participation. The internship and the associated course (“Women, Leadership, and Public Policy”) combined are worth 12 academic credit hours. It may be possible to arrange additional academic credit for independent study experiences.

Due to the highly competitive academic nature of the program, spots are limited.

Where Do I Stay?

We house our students at the Thomas-Markward Hall, an all-women’s Christian dormitory. The Hall, which houses 120 residents in private rooms, is generally filled and usually has a waiting list. The first floor includes a large living room, a library, and a dining room where residents are served two meals a day.

On the second floor is a fully equipped laundry room and on the lower level a television and snack room. Since its inception, the Young Women’s Christian Home has been a haven to thousands of young women and has had a significant impact on the lives of many. Representing numerous cultures and religions, these young women have come from all over the United States and several foreign countries.


The cost of the Washington, D.C. Semester program is the same as the comprehensive fee for tuition, room, and board for the Fall semester on the Columbia College campus. This payment covers student expenses for the round trip from Columbia to Washington, tuition, housing, and a breakfast/dinner meal plan. Other living expenses, like transportation and the cost of lunch, are the responsibility of each participant.