Below are tentative dates and deadlines for Fall, Spring, and Summer. Dates are subject to change; so please confirm final dates with program staff.

Key Dates and Deadlines

May 31
Last day to cancel university housing for 100% refund
June 1
Consent & pre-registration form and university housing application due
August 11
Last day to cancel university housing for 75% refund
August 21-22
Students from home schools outside the U.S. move into university housing
August 23
Students from U.S. home schools move into university housing
International Student Orientation Mandatory for all students from international schools
August 24-25
Washington Semester Program Orientation Mandatory for all WSP students
August 26
Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt
August 28
Fall classes begin
Internship Fair
September 4
Labor Day
No classes; university offices closed
September 11
Last day to add/drop a course with 100% refund Courses dropped after this date will be recorded with a 'W' on the AU transcript
September 12
Last day to change or cancel a meal plan
September 13
Last day to begin an internship
September 18
Last day to drop a course, withdraw from the program, or cancel university housing for a 50% refund
September 25
Last day to drop a course, withdraw from the program, or cancel university housing for a 25% refund
October 13
Fall Break Day
No classes; university offices open
October 20-22
All-American Weekend
Family & alumni are invited
November 3
Last day to drop a class or change a grade option (mid-term)
November 5
Daylight Savings Time ends
Turn clocks back 1 hour
November 21
Tuesday classes cancelled, Friday classes meet
November 22-26
Thanksgiving Break
No classes; university offices closed Thursday & Friday
December 7
Closing Reception
Dates subject to change
December 8
Fall classes & internships end
December 9-10
Study Days
December 11-16
Final examinations
Professors will provide exam schedule information
December 17
All students must move out of university housing by 12:00pm (Noon)
October 1
Priority application deadline *
November 1
Final application deadline
November 17
Deadline to submit the Consent & Pre-Registration Form

Deadline to submit the university housing application
December 14
Last day to cancel university housing for 100% refund
January 1
Deadline to submit Immunization Form to AU's Student Health Center
January 5
Last day to cancel university housing for a 75% refund
January 8
Students from schools outside the U.S. move into university housing
January 10
Students from U.S. schools move in

International Student Orientation
Mandatory for all students from international schools
January 11-12
WSP Orientation
Mandatory for all WSP students
January 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
No classes; university offices closed
January 16
Spring classes begin
SPExS Internship Fair
January 29
Last day to add/drop a course with 100% refund
Courses dropped after this date will be recorded with 'W' on the AU transcript
January 31
Last day to begin an internship
February 5
Last day to drop a course for a 50% refund

Last day to cancel university housing for a 25% refund
February 12
Last day to drop a course for a 25% refund

Last day to cancel university housing for a 25% refund
March 11
Daylight Savings Time begins
Turn clocks forward 1 hours
March 11-18
AU Spring Break
No classes; university offices open Mon-Fri
March 23
Last day to drop a class or change a grade option
April 30
Spring classes & internships end

SPExS Closing Reception
Date subject to change
May 1
Study day
May 2-8
Final examinations
Professors will provide exam schedule information
May 9
All students must move out of university housing by 12:00PM (noon)

*International candidates who require J-1 visa support should apply by October 1 priority deadline to allow enough time for immigration processing.

Many DC organizations have their summer internship openings posted as early as November. Therefore, we recommend that you apply to our November 15 or February 15 deadlines so you can be considered for internships that require security clearances or internships at are available for applications starting in November through March.

November 15
Priority for Early Placement Deadline
January 5
Deposit Deadline
February 15
Priority Deadline
March 15
Deposit Deadline
April 15
Final Summer Deadline
May 1
Deposit Deadline (also the housing deadline)
June 4
WSSIP Orientation
(mandtory for all WSP students)
August 5
All students must move out of university housing by 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Frequently Asked Questions

The Washington Semester Program (WSP) requires applicants to have completed at least two semesters of college course work with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 point scale. In some cases, we consider students who do not meet the requirement with approval from the student's home institution.

Scholarships are available. For priority consideration, complete your admissions application by March 3rd. If you've already been admitted to the program, visit the Scholarships page for more information on how to obtain a scholarship.

Once a student submits a completed application, we will evaluate the application and notify the student of the admission decision via email. At that point, admitted students must place a $400 deposit to begin the internship advising process. Students will be assigned to our Associate Director for Internships, who will offer extensive guidance to students during the application process.

Students will also have access to our internship database which has over 5000 unique, current internship postings. The trademark of our program is the opportunity for students to gain lifelong professional development skills (resume, cover letter, interview advice, writing samples, etc.) via a series of professional development seminars and activities in which students engage during our program orientation, as well as throughout the semester. These skill-building activities enhance the students' ability to connect with internship opportunities and make networking connections that extend beyond the boundaries of participation with our program.

Internships are not guaranteed. However, we have, historically, achieved a nearly 100 percent hire rate for our students, with nearly every student receiving an internship, if they placed their deposit before the priority deadline. As such, it is very important to submit your application, and place your deposit early to ensure that you can apply for multiple internships.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee an internship with any organization. We would be happy to help students apply for a position with any agency, but whether or not a student receives an internship depends on the agency's requirements and their intern hiring needs.

The majority of the internships in this program are unpaid, but students will receive 4 AU units of academic credit for their participation. There are a few paid internships in DC, but they are extremely competitive and it is recommended to apply as possible.

To see what housing options are available, visit the Step by Step Guide and look under " Find Housing & Choose Meal Plans."

There are two parking options. At one of our residences, The Berkshire Apartments, parking passes are free to all residents. Or, you can park nearby at the campus Katzen Art Center, Bender Arena, or SIS Parking lot with the purchase of an AU parking permit. This cost will be approximately $506 for the semester.

All Washington Semester Program students are required to enroll in a 12-credit seminar/internship in their program of study. In addition to the internship component of the course, students will take a seminar component, in the subject they have selected which will occur two and a half days of the week.

This seminar component will feature lecture and discussion from your American University professor, and, as with all Washington Semester Programs, will also involve guest speakers and site visits. For example, students in Foreign Policy concentration will be likely to visit the US State Department, area think tanks, and other sites relevant to both the field of study and current issues.

Additionally, the seminar professor will provide professional development instruction in order to help enhance the internship experience and to assist students in preparing for a career in the field. Students will spend 20 hours per week working in the internship.

Washington Semester Program Courses are offered through American University and most students are able to transfer their credits back to their home schools. However, it is very important that students talk with their home school advisor and registrar regarding their school's transfer credit policies.

Students are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours which is comprised of 8 AU academic credits of seminar courses and 4 AU credits from the internship. Students can also take one of our elective courses for 3 AU credits. Each elective course is based on availability of space for each semester. As an alternate, students may select the 4-credit research class, where they will write a research paper of their choice in their respective field. The maximum number of credits based on the combination of the above options is 16 AU credits.

Yes, international students are welcome to participate in the program. As an international applicant to the Washington SemesterĀ® Program, students can spend a semester or an academic year in the dynamic, cosmopolitan city of Washington, D.C., where you will have access to some of the most influential people and organizations in the world. Upon completion of the program, you will receive an American University transcript with academic credit, which may fit into your degree program at home.

Our Admissions team helps international students throughout the visa and application process, and will assist you directly with any questions you may have before deciding to join the program.

There is some flexibility surrounding our start and end dates, as long as you are willing to make up time and assignments that you missed with your class. Our housing options may also allow extended stays, for an additional cost, and when available.

You may submit all supplemental items either electronically (upload with your application) or via mail:

Mail Via United States Postal Service (USPS):

School of Professional & Extended Studies
Office of Enrollment
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016-8124

Mail Via Courier Service (UPS, FedEx, DHL):

Office of Enrollment
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 218
Washington, DC 20016-8001