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See below for frequently asked questions regarding the Washington Academic Internship Program.

If you still have questions, please contact Megan Varn.

General 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 Washington, students work four full days each week at internships 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 weekly professional development workshops and study tours.

 

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. In the past five years, we have had over 350 students representing over 35 academic disciplines participate in the program. Public service encompasses every discipline, making WAIP a great fit for students of any major. Credits earned from the program can, in many cases, be applied to a major or minor. Please consult with your academic advisor.

Are there any prerequisite requirements that must be fulfilled in order to participate in WAIP?

Students must successfully complete Public Affairs 2110: Introduction to Public Affairs. Political Science 3115: Introduction to the Policy Process is also acceptable. Students do not have to enroll in the prerequisite in order to apply, but they must successfully pass the requirement before their WAIP semester.

 

When is the program offered and when are applications due?

The program is offered during the autumn, spring and summer semesters of every school year.

The application deadlines are published on the website, but generally are as follows:

  • Fall semester: late March
  • Spring semester: early/mid September 
  • Summer term: early January

Admissions Questions

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. The program is intended for juniors and seniors. 

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. Learn more on our How to Apply Page.

At least one should be from a faculty member, instructor or teaching assistant who can evaluate your college-level work and academic preparation for this program. At least one should come from someone who can speak to your professionalism, work ethic and readiness for an internship in Washington; anyone who supervised your work and/or volunteerism would be appropriate. Letters should be on letterhead when possible, signed and addressed to the Selection Committee, Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP). Letters should come from individuals who can speak to your collegiate academic or professional experience and skills. Recommenders can submit their letters using this online form.

You will receive an email from WAIP program staff shortly after the deadline to inform you if you have been selected for an interview. If you have been selected for an interview, you will be notified of the date and time by email. Interviews typically last approximately 20 to 30 minutes with WAIP program staff.

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 themselves, the Glenn College and The Ohio State University? WAIP program staff will conduct a holistic review to determine if the candidate possesses the necessary levels of maturity and professionalism to succeed in Washington, while representing Ohio State.

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

Housing: Where will I be living during my stay in Washington, D.C.?

Glenn Fellows reside together in a residence selected for its services, proximity to the Metro system, safety and neighborhood conveniences. The housing cost is billed to your Ohio State statement of account. Cost estimates are subject to change, but it is approximately $4,450 for the semester. A security deposit of $400 is due pre-departure and is refunded at the conclusion of the program. The housing provider is the Washington Intern Housing Network (WIHN). 

Internship Questions

What is the student’s role in internship placement?

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. Students are responsible for submitting applications (resumes and cover letters) and working with the WAIP staff for final review and approval of materials before submitting applications. Students are also required to mock interview with WAIP staff before their first interview. 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. Note: For some government agencies, the lead time is such that students would apply to the internship before they apply to WAIP.

 

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 Ohio State 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 their 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, they 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.

 

How much does the program cost?
Are there scholarships available?
May I use my STEP grant for WAIP?
Is financial aid available?
I would love to go, but I really don’t think I can afford it. What are my options?

Cost Questions

To learn more about program costs and funding options, hover over the items below.

How much does the program cost?

While in Washington, 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 $4,450 per semester, plus a $400 security deposit at time of acceptance (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. Students may apply for a WAIP scholarship after acceptance. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $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: step.osu.edu.

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 options with us. You may contact Director of Washington Programs Katy Hogan or Washington Program Coordinator Megan Varn to talk through your options.

Cost Questions

To learn more about program costs and funding options, hover over the items below.

While in Washington, 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 $4,450 per semester, plus a $400 security deposit at time of acceptance (refundable at conclusion of WAIP semester). Campus-based fees (RPAC, COTA, etc.) are removed from statement of account during WAIP semester.

WAIP offers scholarships based on need. Students may apply for a WAIP scholarship after acceptance. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $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.

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: step.osu.edu.

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.

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 options with us. You may contact Director of Washington Programs Katy Hogan or Washington Program Coordinator Megan Varn to talk through your options.

Academic Questions

Students participate in a course on policymaking and public service in the Washington community, and develop a policy paper that 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 their intellectual interests, academic preparation, and ideas and experiences gleaned from the Washington field placement.

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, just as they would be for any class taken on campus.

Students will be enrolled in the following courses by WAIP staff after acceptance:

  • 4191.02: Student Internship in Politics and Public Policy
  • 4020: Contemporary Issues in Governance
  • 4021: Policy Analysis Research Paper

Students 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.

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 credits will fulfill degree requirements for students majoring in public affairs.

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.

Students are able to count nine 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 two additional courses. Students can also potentially count the internship and/or policy paper credit towards the nonprofit studies, civic engagement, or science, engineering, and public policy minors with advisor approval. Please contact Steve Fink for more information.

For more information on this program, contact: