SBS in DC - Intern in DC with a cohort of your peers

SBS in DC is an exciting internship program that is offered in the Fall semester and the Spring semester, and connects UMass Amherst College of Social & Behavioral Science majors with UMass alumni working in Washington DC. The program has proven to be a stepping stone for students interested in careers in fields like policy, non-profits, international development, strategy, marketing, PR, government, campaign work and more. Program participants live together as a cohort in DC and are matched with host internship sites for a semester-long internship. Students also participate in a class related to their major, have professional development and networking opportunities with UMass Alumni and professional in their fields of interest. Alumni mentor students at internship sites all over DC. Students will earn 12-15 credits for the semester.

Program Design

The SBS in DC Semester Program is carefully designed to support professional growth and development of students and create a living and learning community among participants. SBS in DC will be partnering with The Washington Center’s (TWC) Academic Internship Program which for over 40 years has provide academic and internship programming in DC for Colleges and Universities nationwide. This exciting opportunity offers a robust program that works seamlessly with any SBS student’s pathway!

SBS in DC offers:

  • Application guidance and support: Whether you plan to apply for the Fall semester or the Spring semester, we are here to help! Learn what makes you a competitive candidate by talking with the Career & Professional Development staff, and get help to make your application materials stand out! Make an appointment on Handshake to go over your materials!
  • The cohort model: Live and learn with a group of fellow SBS students in DC!
  • Alumni mentorship: Match up with a DC area alumni who can help you navigate DC and professional networks!
  • Internship guidance and placement: Work with the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development and the SBS in DC team to explore opportunities for internships that align with your interests! In addition to the already robust internship opportunities available through SBS in DC, TWC is the largest, most established program of its kind with more than 600 higher education, corporate, government, foundation and internship host partners!
  • Networking opportunities: Participate in special events in DC to grow your networks and build up professional contacts!
  • Hands-on support and professional development preparation: Receive individual guidance from the SBS in DC team, and participate in pre-departure training at UMass so you can hit the ground running in DC!
  • On-the-ground internship support: Participate in an ongoing professional development series while in DC to help you make sense of your experiences!
  • Access and affordability: A semester in DC won’t cost you more than a semester in Amherst–access special scholarships to help support your time in DC, and benefit from your Financial Aid throughout the semester!
  • Credit for your experiences: Stay on track with your degree completion by earning a semester’s worth of credits (12-15 credits) while in DC!
  • Academic coursework: Participate in weekly classes that are aligned with your SBS major in areas such as American Politics & Public Policy; Law & Criminal Justice, Media & Communication, Business & Administration; or International Affairs!
  • Housing managed by a dedicated housing team: Live in apartment-style housing with your fellow SBS in DC cohort. Within the building, there is a full gym, a business center, and lounges available for studying, relaxing, or catching up with your fellow interns. TWC’s housing also includes dedicated staff who live in the buildings and offer support 24/7 and organize events for the residents!

Students who are selected for the program will participate in workshops prior to the DC semester. These will help prepare the cohort for the experience and will cover topics such as professional etiquette & communication, networking, DC 101, internship expectations, identity and bias, policy & legislative process, learning objectives, and goal setting.

Examples of Internship/Course/Mentorship Opportunities

INTERNSHIPPress Intern, Office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
COURSEMass Media & American Politics
ALUMNI MENTORCommunications Director/Senior Advisor for Congressman Jim McGovern
INTERNSHIP Public Affairs, Research & Advocacy Intern, Islamic Relief USA
COURSEInternational Organizations and International Humanitarian Law
ALUMNI MENTORPolicy and Advocacy Manager, Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Policy Program
INTERNSHIP Legal Intern, U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the General Counsel
COURSESecurity and Peace in International Relations
ALUMNI MENTORSenior Attorney, US Department of Defense, Standards of Conduct, Office of General Counsel
INTERNSHIP Research Intern, World Resources Institute
COURSEU.S. Foreign Policy
ALUMNI MENTORSpecial Assistant, U.S. Department of State, Office of the White House Liaison
INTERNSHIPRegulatory Intern, SES Satellites
COURSEInternational Business: Case Studies in Strategic Trade Management
ALUMNI MENTORSenior Vice President, Global Legal & Regulatory Affairs at SES Satellites


Any SBS majors who will be Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors at the time of the program are welcome to apply. SBS in DC is a selective program, with a limited number of spots available. We are looking for applicants who are serious about representing SBS in DC with our alumni and hosts.


The total cost to the student will depend on the amount of financial aid and scholarships a student receives, and it is estimated that the cost for a semester in DC will be about the same or less than a semester on campus. Students who are selected into the cohort will pay the program and housing fees directly to our partner organization, The Washington Center. Students will be eligible to receive financial aid in addition to scholarships that are available through TWC and SBS. Additional funding to cover travel to DC, food, metro card, and other expenses may be available by applying for scholarship funds through AcademicWorks, dependent upon financial need.


Please contact the Director of SBS in DC Rebecca Bell, for more information.

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