Brown in Washington

Students in the Brown in Washington Semester Fellowship spend either the fall or spring semester living in Washington D.C. They experience an internship with an agency in the public or nonprofit sector while completing a full course load that includes a two-credit practicum, one International and Public Affairs (IAPA) course developed for the Brown in Washington cohort, and at least one Brown remote-accessible course (or independent study) of their choosing. 

meet the Brown in Washington Cohorts
Deadline Extended to April 15

The Brown in Washington Fellowship offers students a semester in Washington, D.C. during their junior or senior year, where they intern with an agency in the public or nonprofit sector, and complete coursework and develop future opportunities.

Academic Requirements: In fall 2022, students will enroll in three Brown University courses for a full semester of four credits: 

  • UNIV 1801: Brown in Washington Practicum (2 credits)
  • One International and Public Affairs (IAPA) course taught by Brian Atwood, head of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Administration of President William Clinton. The fall 2022 course, Diplomacy, an Art That Isn’t Lost, will examine the practice and profession of diplomacy and its relationship to the policy process. It will expose students to policy analysis, memo writing for decision making, negotiations, and verbal communications.
  • One Brown remote-accessible course of their choosing (or an independent study) in any department. 
Internship Placements

The Brown in Washington internship is a central feature of the practicum course. Together, the course and the internship are designed to provide students with a hands-on learning experience to complement their academic study at Brown. The course features a 20-25-hour/week internship with an agency in the public or nonprofit sector and is intended to connect policy and practice while building students’ strengths towards post-Brown career objectives.

In weekly seminar classes, students reflect on their internship experiences and how they relate to their academic and post-Brown life. The course grounds student experiences within the context of Washington D.C. and provides opportunities for students to share insights from their placements. 

Potential internship sites include government or public sector agencies (e.g., federal agencies, Congressional offices, state or municipal executive or legislative offices); nonprofit organizations; and other organizations with a policy-oriented mission and the ability to support meaningful internship placements for college students. The fall 2022 internship placement options are listed here (list under formation).

During their internship, students will:

  • Explore career options and gain practical experience;
  • Gain a deep understanding of how their host organization operates, and how it collaborates with other institutions especially in relation to the policy process;
  • Apply concepts and transfer knowledge between the classroom and the workplace;
  • Build their resume and acquire new skills that will empower them through their Brown-to-career transition;
  • Develop a network of professionals in Washington, D.C. that they can leverage upon graduation from Brown.
Securing Internships

Upon selection to the Brown in Washington Fellowship, students will work with Fellowship and CareerLAB staff to understand program structure, identify suitable internship sites, and connect with alumni or other contacts who might be able to provide relevant advice. Students are also permitted to apply for and secure an internship of their choosing that meets the program’s criteria. Staff in the Brown in Washington Fellowship and CareerLAB are available to provide guidance and support, link students with host institutions through alumni and CareerLAB networks, and collaborate with students and hosts to finalize the necessary application, paperwork, and internship agreement. 

Once a student's internship placement is finalized, staff will work with each student's supervisor to ensure that the practicum goals are clearly articulated, the student's schedule is relayed and a direct line of communication is established between the placement and the Brown in Washington program. 

The fall 2022 internship placement options are listed here

Additionally, this FAQ is intended to help guide students through independent internship searches.

Hosting an Intern

Students will be in Washington, D.C. in the fall and spring semesters and are available for 20-25 hours per week. If you are interested in hosting an intern, please complete this intake form.

If you have questions, please contact [email protected]


Brown students who are juniors or seniors at the start of the Fellowship and who are in good academic standing are eligible. Students must have completed a year on campus prior to beginning the Fellowship in Washington. In addition, students should have demonstrated an interest in public policy or working in the public sector, although students in every concentration are encouraged to participate. 

Timeline - Fall 2022 Semester Fellowship
February 21: Applications open on UFunds
March 21: Priority application deadline
April 15: Regular application deadline
April 25: Student cohort announced
April 19: Fall ‘22 Registration Opens
April 27: On-campus orientation
August 26-28: Move-in
August 29: Orientation
August 31: Internships begin
September 7: Classes begin
December 2: Internships end
December 7: Classes end
December 8: Reading period
December 21: Last possible day of program housing


Betsy Shimberg, Director of the Brown in Washington Program and Senior Associate Dean of the College for Co-curricular and Experiential Learning ([email protected]).