UC Washington Program (UCDC)

UC Davis Washington Program Office

1350 The Grove; 530-752-9095; Washington Program

Residential Program Location

1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

The University of California hosts a system-wide academic and residential program for undergraduate students attending from each of the UC campuses. Housed within the UC Washington Center (UCDC), an 11-story, state of the art facility, convenient to public transportation and located in downtown D.C., the program provide undergraduates the opportunity to enrich their education while in  residence for one quarter in the nation's capital. The program's principal activities include enrollment in credit-bearing courses, participation in academic internships, and opportunity to explore the many educational, cultural, and historical activities in the Washington D.C. area.

Program of Study

UCDC is open to undergraduates from all majors. Preference is given to students who will have upper division standing by the start of the quarter in which they plan to participate, though 2nd year students may participate if they have substantial work, internship, and/or volunteer experience on their resume. A GPA of at least 3.000 is recommended for admission although not required. Applicants are 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; 8 units). Students work three to four days per week (24-32 hours 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. 
  • Core Seminar (Mandatory; 4 units). Each student enrolls in a core seminar exploring a variety of topics related to Washington DC. Course subject matter varies from term to term but is typically related to 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. Students who would like to fulfill major requirements may do so by following the policy of their major department for receiving course equivalency. For more information, students should speak with their major advisor.
  • Elective Seminar Course (Optional; 4 units). Each student may optionally enroll in an additional upper division seminar course taught at UCDC. Course subject matter varies from term to term but is typically related to international relations, history, political science, public policy and other social sciences; the arts and humanities; and science policy. As with the Core Seminar, students who would like to fulfill major requirements may do so by following the policy of their major department for receiving course equivalency. For more information, students should speak with their major advisor.

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 UC Davis campus is maintained while enrolled in the program, and the aid package will 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 receive up to 8 internship units.  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 have a required housing cost and allow students to participate in many educational, cultural, historical and social activities while living in Washington D.C. and require students to intern for four to five days a week (32-40 hours per week).

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.