Ohio University

The Capital Building in Washington, DC
Ohio University Capital Internship Program

Application deadline for Fall 2020 is Sunday, March 1 at 11:59pm

Ohio University Capital Internship Program

As the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. is the locus of American political and economic decision-making. Living, working, and studying there can provide invaluable insight and experience for aspiring future leaders from Ohio University. Recognizing the value of Washington as a learning-by-doing laboratory for increasing societal and community engagement, former OHIO President Duane Nellis founded the new Ohio University Capital Internship Program as one of his Strategic Pathways for Ohio University.


Through the Ohio University Capital Internship Program, a small cohort of OHIO students spend the fall or spring semester term working full time in Washington, D.C. as interns.  Previous students on this program have worked in the office of a Member of Congress or with a Congressional Committee. Interns may take on a range of roles depending on the particular needs of the placement host. Capital Interns live in a common location, facilitating peer-to-peer learning and co-curricular opportunities.

After being accepted into the program, students will begin applying to various internships of interest on Capitol Hill.  Students will have coaching and support through the internship application process.  Ultimately, it is each student's responsibility to secure an internship prior to arrival in DC.

Ohio University students standing in front of the capital building in Washington, DC


During their semester in Washington, Capital Interns earn a minimum of 12 credit hours, which may combine Political Science (POLS 4910), and/or home-department internship course credits. Students may take an online course during the internship, particularly if it is required to fulfill major requirements or directly supplement the internship experience.

Capital Interns start their semesters with a one-week orientation in Washington. Students will have a wide range of enrichment experiences organized specifically for them, such as meetings with distinguished alumni, lectures from experts, sessions with OHIO faculty and staff, and guided tours of significant area institutions.

This OHIO Today article  provides additional information on the activities the students are involved with during their semester in Washington, D.C.


Student in front of Sherrod Brown office during Capital Internship Program



The program is co-directed by Dr. Geoff Dabelko, Professor in Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, and Dr. Michael Burton, Associate Professor of Political Science in College of Arts and Sciences. The Capital Internship Program is administered by the Office of Global Opportunities.

Program Dates

Fall Semester 2020: August 22- December 12

Spring Semester 2021: January 9, 2021 – March 30, 2021

Eligibility Requirements

  • Undergraduate students
    • Junior or Senior status in any major, or any OHIO campus
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 or permission of program director
  • All participants must be in good judicial standing- Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place, less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study away. Click here to read the entire conduct policy.

Application Process

  • Online application  including personal statement outlining personal, academic and professional goals, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. In their personal statement, students are encouraged to detail how their previous curricular, co-curricular, and/or work experience has prepared them to succeed in this fast-moving and demanding work environment.
  • Interview with selection committee

Living Arrangements

All students will live in furnished apartments in the Woodley Park neighborhood. Apartments are shared and students may be housed with interns from other universities. The apartments are located just a few blocks from the National Zoo and are across the street from a D.C. Metro Red Line Woodley Park Station. It is a safe and convenient location and includes restaurants, cafes, shops, and D.C. attractions within walking distance.


For a full cost breakdown, visit:

Participants of this program will receive a Presidential Scholarship to support their experience in D.C. The remaining cost of attendance will be consistent with a regular academic semester.

Requesting Accommodation for Disabilities

Students who plan to participate in an Ohio University-sponsored study away program and wish to request accommodation, should contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services to schedule an appointment to complete a Global Opportunities Disability Accommodation Request Form. We recommend this request be done as early as possible to allow sufficient time to determine what accommodations may be made for this program.