Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is the Washington Academic Internship Program?

The Washington Academic Internship Program is an enriching and exciting opportunity that allows Ohio State students to spend a semester in Washington D.C. as John Glenn Fellows. While in D.C., students work four full days each week in field placements that match their academic and professional interests. Students will enroll in a research seminar and a course on policymaking and public service in the Washington community. Students will also participate in policy salons and study tours weekly.

Who can participate in the Washington Academic Internship Program?

Ohio State juniors and seniors of ANY MAJOR are eligible to apply for the program. We encourage all students with an interest in public policy, service, and research to apply.

So I don’t have to be a public affairs major to benefit from this program?

No. We have had over 300 students representing over 65 academic disciplines participate in the program. Because students will work at internship sites based on their area of study, the experience will be beneficial no matter what major they come from. Credits earned from the program can, in many cases, be applied to a major or minor.

Are there any pre-requisite requirements that must be fulfilled in order to participate in WAIP?

Starting summer 2019, students must successfully complete Public Affairs 2110: Introduction to Public Affairs. Political Science 3115: Introduction to the Policy Process is also acceptable. Student do not have to enroll in the pre-requisite in order to apply, but they must successfully pass the requirement before their WAIP semester.

When is the program offered?

The program is offered during the Autumn, Spring and Summer semesters of every school year.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is generally three weeks into the term prior to the one for which you are applying.


Who is eligible to participate in WAIP?

WAIP is designed for upper class students. Individuals must have completed 60 hours of college credit, including a minimum of two semesters of enrollment on an Ohio State campus by the term in which they plan to participate in the program. Note- applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of application.

What is the admissions process for WAIP?

Candidates are required to submit an application and two letters of recommendation by the deadline of the term they wish to participate. A completed application includes the online form, personal statement, resume, writing sample and two letters of recommendation.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?

At least one should be from a faculty member, instructor, or teaching assistant who can evaluate your academic preparation for this program. Letters should be on letterhead when possible, signed, and addressed to the Selection Committee, Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP). Letters should come from individuals that can speak to your collegiate academic or professional experience and skills. Recommenders can submit their letter using this online form.

What happens after I submit my application?

You will receive an email from WAIP program staff shortly after the deadline to inform you if you have been selected for an in-person interview. If you have been selected for an in-person interview, you will be notified of the date and time by email. Interviews typically last approximately 20 minutes with WAIP program staff.

How will I be assessed for admission to WAIP?

Candidates will be assessed for the following:

  • Academic Ability: Can the candidate succeed in class? This criterion is assessed based on GPA, performance in certain classes, writing sample and time management.
  • Internship placement potential: Can we place this student at a quality internship site? Staff will assess relevant experience, candidate’s expectations and recommendation letters and personal statement.
  • Requisite levels of maturity and professionalism: How will this candidate represent him or herself, the Glenn College and Ohio State University? WAIP program staff will conduct a holistic review to determine if candidate possesses the necessary levels of maturity and professionalism to succeed in Washington, while representing Ohio State.

What if I don’t get into WAIP?

WAIP is a competitive program. In the event that you are not accepted, we strongly encourage candidates to reapply for a future term.


Where will I be living during my stay in Washington, DC?

Glenn Fellows reside together in a Capitol Hill residence selected for its services, proximity to the Metro system, safety and neighborhood conveniences. WAIP works with Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) to house Glenn Fellows two blocks from the Supreme Court and one block from the Capitol. The house Glenn Fellows reside in during WAIP is a short walk from the OSU DC office, where classes and other WAIP program takes place. Students will live in fully furnished quad apartments, which include bunked beds, desks, kitchen tables, sofa and chairs, a TV, microwave, refrigerator, iron and ironing board, full-service kitchen, and bathroom. All apartments are equipped with cable, wireless internet, and air conditioning. The OSU house is located at 229 Constitution Avenue NE. For more information, please visit


How much does the program cost?

While in DC, John Glenn Fellows remain fully registered Ohio State students and pay standard Ohio State tuition. Students are also responsible for paying the housing cost of $4,370 per semester, plus a $500 fee at time of acceptance ($300 a non-refundable processing fee; $200 is a security deposit, refundable at conclusion of WAIP semester). Campus-based fees (RPAC, COTA, etc) are removed from statement of account during WAIP semester.

Are there scholarships available?

WAIP offers scholarships based on need and merit. Students may apply for a WAIP scholarship after acceptance. Scholarship amounts range from $500 – $4,000; the average WAIP scholarship award is $2,000. All admitted WAIP students are eligible to apply for a WAIP scholarship, regardless of major.

May I use my STEP grant for WAIP?

While final approval to utilize step funding for WAIP must come from STEP program administrators, WAIP students have successfully used their STEP grant to subsidize the costs of WAIP. WAIP program staff will assist STEP students with documentation and other necessary items in order to get approval to use STEP grant for WAIP. Learn more:

Is financial aid available?

Students who receive financial aid continue to do so while participating in the program. Appropriate adjustments are made to compensate for the increased cost of living in Washington.

I would love to go, but I really don’t think I can afford it. What are my options?

We are committed to making every effort to ensure that no student will be denied the opportunity to participate due to financial constraints. If you feel that this is a problem for you, we urge you to set up an appointment to discuss the matter with us. You may contact Director of Washington Programs Katy Hogan ( or Internship Coordinator Emily Underation ( to talk through your options.


Do I have to get my own internship?

No, you are not required to set up your own internship site. Our staff is highly experienced at placing students at high quality internship sites. Everyone who is accepted into the program is guaranteed placement at an internship site. However, we encourage students to take the initiative to research potential internship sites on their own.

So, if I don’t have to get my own internship, what is my role in the process?

While you are not required to make contact with any internship sites, the more you can do the better. Part of our application process is the listing of three possible internship sites at which you would be interested in working. The more detailed information you can provide for us on your policy interests and possible sites, the better we will be able to place you at a site that aligns with your skills and interests. We ask that students keep in close contact with us regarding possible internship sites and what they have done to contact them. For some government agencies, an extensive background check is required before starting an internship. In these cases, students should be prepared to contact such agencies well ahead time so that the background check will be completed by the time they plan to start their internship.

Where are students placed for their internships?

There are no “usual” internship locations. While we have placed interns at the same sites over the years, there are no set placements. What this means for students is that it will be a unique experience that is based on their area of interest.

What will be expected of me at my internship site?

While every internship experience is unique, you should be prepared to do substantive, demanding work no matter where you are placed. You should be prepared to represent not only yourself, but the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and The Ohio State University as a whole. This means following all workplace rules and giving your best efforts to complete any tasks assigned to you no matter what they are.

Can students withdraw from the program after being accepted?

Students can withdraw from the program without penalty up to 30 days prior to the designated move-in date of their WAIP semester. The student must notify all program staff in writing of his/her decision not to participate, as well as inform contacts and internship coordinators about the decision. Note- the email to the internship site about the decision to withdraw must be approved by program staff. If a student drops out of the program less than 30 days prior to the designated move-in date for the semester in question, he/she will be responsible for paying the full housing cost for the term. Fees will be automatically assessed to the student’s statement of account. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.


What is the academic component of the program?

Students participate in a course on policy making and public service in the Washington community and develop a policy paper which serves as a capstone to the Program. Each student will write a research paper exploring a particular aspect of public policy that is drawn from his/her intellectual interests, academic preparation, and ideas and experiences gleaned from the Washington field placement.

When does the class meet, is it like a normal Ohio State course?

Students meet one evening a week for seminar, taught by a local adjunct professor employed by Ohio State. Class meetings consist of discussion, common readings, and guest speakers. Its purpose is to expose students to the field of public policy and invite them to reflect on the connection between public service and public policy. Reading and writing assignments will be required for the class, the same as any class taken on campus.

What courses do I have to sign up for in the program?

The course titles are as follows:
  • Student Internship in Politics and Public Policy
  • 4020: Contemporary Issues in Governance
  • Policy Analysis Research Paper

How many credits will I get?

You will receive 12 hours of Ohio State credit for successful completion of the program. Students will receive three credit hours each for the class and policy paper, and six credit hours for completion of the internship.

Will those credits count towards my major or minor?

In many cases, the credits you earn from our program are able to be applied to your major or minor. Consultation with your academic advisor is necessary in order to ensure how credits are applied. All WAIP credit will fulfill degree requirements for students majoring in public affairs.

I am planning to graduate right after I get back from DC. How will participating in the program affect this?

As long as you have completed all of your requirements for graduation, participating in the program will not affect your graduation. You should meet with your academic advisor well in advance in order to ensure that all requirements are met (or will be met after completion of the program) before leaving for Washington. Because the program ends before finals week, students will have plenty of time to get back for Commencement.

How does WAIP work with the Public Policy Minor?

Students are able to count 9 hours of WAIP credit towards the Glenn College’s Public Policy minor. Upon returning from Washington, a student can complete the policy minor with as few as 2 additional courses. Students can also potentially count the internship and/or policy paper credit towards the Nonprofit Studies or Science, Engineering, and Public Policy minors with advisor approval. Please contact Emily Underation ( for more information.

Have more questions?

Contact: Katy Hogan, Director of Washington Programs

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Page Hall, 1810 College Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210

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