Study in Washington, D.C.

How would you like to spend a semester interning in the White House or State Department or any one of more than 100 congressional offices? Or how about spending your summer hearing presentations from Congressman James Sensenbrenner and Speaker of the House of Represenatives Paul Ryan?

Depending on your major and interests, you can tailor your experience to focus on what matters to you. Communication students have worked in congressional press offices, biomedical science and engineering students have conducted research in the FDA's Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, business students have witnessed policy-making on Capitol Hill, and nursing students have worked with congressional health policy advisers. And that's just to name a few of the places our students have worked.


There's no substitute for observing and participating in the political process firsthand. As an intern, you'll work closely with members of Congress and their staffs, as well as civil servants in various executive branch agencies. Internships often lead to opportunities after students' time in Washington, D.C., ends. Dozens of students — because of their experience and connections — have joined congressional staffs, campaigns, and the offices of interest groups and lobbying firms. The market is competitive for these types of positions, so internship experience is invaluable.


Plus, you'll get to experience our nation's capital — a living history book of monuments and world-class museums.




Who should apply?

If you are an undergraduate interested in learning more about the rewards and challenges of public service and you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you may apply. Our students come from more than 30 different universities and all academic disciplines.


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Study for a semester

Studying for a semester in Washington, D.C., lets you experience all the Les Aspin Center has to offer. Courses are designed to immerse you in the city, and that's accomplished with site visits, guest lectures and internship experiences. You'll build strong relationships with your internship offices and gain valuable hands-on experiences that also look great on your resume. And with Marquette faculty based in Washington, D.C., teaching you, you won't miss a beat with your course work.

Program dates

spring 2019: January 10 - May 3, 2019

fall 2019: August 22 - December 13, 2019 (Application deadline March 29, 2019)

Program academics
The course work offered at the Aspin Center allows you to fulfill several of your academic requirements. Political science courses can be counted toward elective requirements, and fine arts courses can be counted toward core course work.

Tuition and fees
The approximate cost of the program for the 2019–20 academic year is $26,070, which includes tuition, housing and program fees.


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Study for a summer

You'll have the opportunity to spend a summer getting firsthand public policy experience without missing a semester on campus. Your experience will be enhanced with course work, Washington, D.C., site visits and guest lectures. Plus, you'll get to experience all that the city has to offer during the summer, including Memorial Day and July 4 celebrations. The Les Aspin summer program is ideal for students who have less flexibility in their academic schedule or students from other universities.

Program dates

summer 2019: May 23 - August 9, 2019

Program academics
The summer program course work offered at the Les Aspin Center complements your internship experience and can be counted toward elective requirements.

Tuition and fees
The approximate cost of the summer program is $6,832, which includes tuition, housing and program fees.


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Scholarships and fellowships available

The Pittsburgh Foundation's James G. Fulton and J. Steele Gow Political Fellows Program
The James G. Fulton Fellows Program was established in 1972 as a living memorial to the late western Pennsylvania congressman who, during a 27-year period, trained more than 100 students in his office and taught them firsthand about the challenges and rewards of public life.

The J. Steele Gow Political Fellows Program was established in 1965 in memory of the late J. Steele Gow, who was executive director of the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation from when it began in 1929 until it ended in 1965. The foundation was a pioneer in supporting economic research and political science education; developed and published more than 75 books in these fields; and developed political internships at 25 colleges and universities.

Council for Opportunity in Education’s Keith Sherin Global Leaders Scholarship
Sponsored by the Council for Opportunity in Education’s Keith Sherin Global Leaders Scholarship fund, highly deserving TRiO, SSS or McNair students spend a semester working in a congressional office and learning about the political process at the Les Aspin Center. One student per semester is selected. The application and selection are conducted by the Council for Opportunity in Education.

Les Aspin Center Scholarship and financial assistance
Les Aspin Center scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis for students who demonstrate achievement in and outside of the classroom, commitment to community service, and leadership and who demonstrate financial need. Students must be enrolled full time at Marquette to be eligible for financial assistance. Please contact for more information about Les Aspin Center scholarships.


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Contact the Les Aspin Center

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