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Program of Study

UCDC is open to undergraduates from all majors who will have upper-division standing by the start of the quarter in which they plan to participate although not required. A GPA of at least 3.000 is recommended for admission although not required. Applicants are also evaluated based on overall relevant employment, internship, and volunteer experiences, written statement, and letter(s) of recommendation (only one is required).

Academic Year Component (11 weeks). Students earn academic credit and continue to be registered as full-time UC Davis students during the quarter in which they participate.

  • Internship (Mandatory). Students work from 3-4 days per week as interns in think-tanks, museums, Congress, federal agencies, interest groups, trade associations, research institutions, media corporations, or in other organizations related to the interests and objectives of individual students.
  • Research Seminar (Mandatory). Each student writes a research paper in consultation with Washington Program faculty and graduate fellows. To complete the assignment, students take advantage of the many unique research resources in Washington, DC.
  • Elective Seminar Course (Optional). Each student may optionally enroll in one elective upper division seminar course taught at UCDC. These courses vary each quarter from among offerings that typically include international relations, history, political science, public policy and other social sciences; the arts and humanities; and science policy. In addition to regular instruction, seminars often include guest speakers, observations of congressional committees and federal agencies, and other relevant Washington experiences.

Courses are taught by UCDC faculty appointed by the various UC campuses, or visiting faculty from the Washington area.

Financial aid eligibility and awards as determined by the home campus is maintained while enrolled in the program, and the aid package can be adjusted to reflect the additional costs of the program.

Summer Component (10 weeks). UCDC also offers a 10-week Summer Program with a credit or non-credit option. The credit option allows students to enroll in courses in addition to working at an internship. Students pay the summer sessions rate per credit hour plus an application fee. The non-credit option (internship only) has no enrollment fee. Both options allow students to participate in many educational, cultural, historical and social activities.

University Graduation Requirements

  • All prospective applicants should carefully plan their course programs in order to satisfy university, college, and major/minor requirements for their degree.
  • Although units and grade points earned at UCDC are incorporated into the University transcript and GPA calculation, departments and programs retain the right to determine which UCDC courses will be accepted in satisfaction of major and minor requirements.
  • All degree candidates must meet the University residence requirement. Students should consult with their college Dean's office early during the UCDC planning process for information on the university residence requirement, particularly students who intend to study abroad or participate in UCDC during their senior year.

    Recognizing the special value of UCDC, the faculty has approved two exceptions to the usual residence requirement for students participating in the Washington Program:
  • Students planning to graduate immediately upon completion of participation in UCDC may satisfy the University residence requirement by completing at least 35 of their final 45 units on the Davis campus immediately preceding entry into UCDC.
  • Students who have not finished all of their degree requirements following completion of their participation in the UCDC program may satisfy the University residence requirement by completing at least 35 units, including at least 12 units after returning from UCDC, on the Davis campus within the final 90 units earned toward the degree.

    Students who will not meet the residency requirements outlined may petition their Dean's office requesting an exception to policy.
  • Students may satisfy GE requirements while at UCDC but should consult with their college Dean's office prior to departure for information on the certification process.
  • Students with a large number of units may participate in the UCDC program provided that (1) they will not exceed 225 units prior to their departure and (2) that all their degree requirements have been fulfilled either before they leave campus or during their time at UCDC. Participants may only return to campus from UCDC to complete any outstanding degree requirements provided that they can do so within the 225 unit restriction.
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Updated: March 22, 2017 10:38 AM