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Jean Picker Semester-in-Washington Program

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Director:  Steven Heydemann

The Jean Picker Semester-in-Washington Program is a first-semester program open to Smith junior and senior government majors and to other Smith juniors and seniors with appropriate background in the social sciences. It provides students with an opportunity to study processes by which public policy is made and implemented at the national level. Students are normally resident in Washington from the June preceding the semester through December.

The program is directed by a member of the Smith College faculty who is responsible for selecting the interns and assisting them in obtaining placement in appropriate offices in Washington, and directing the independent research project through tutorial sessions. The seminar is conducted by an adjunct professor resident in Washington.

Cost of the Program

Students participating in the program pay full tuition for the semester. They do not pay any fees for residence at the college, but are required to pay for their own room and board in Washington during the fall semester.


Before beginning the semester in Washington, the student must have satisfactorily completed at least one of the following courses in American national government: 200, 201, 202, 206, 207, 208, and 209. In addition, a successful applicant must show promise of capacity for independent work. An applicant must have an excess of two credits on her record preceding the semester in Washington.

How to Apply

Applications for enrollment should be made through the director of the Semester-in-Washington Program no later than November 6 of the preceeding year. Enrollment is limited to 12 students, and the program is not mounted for fewer than six. An information meeting for interested students will be scheduled in October.

Requirements to Fulfill Program

For satisfactory completion of the Semester-in-Washington Program, 14 credits are granted:

*No student may write an honors thesis in the same field in which she has written her long paper in the Washington seminar, unless the department, upon petition, grants a specific exemption from this policy.