UCDC Washington Program

Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill

Program Overview

The UCDC (quarter in Washington, D.C.) Program supervises and supports students who pursue internships and academic study in the nation’s capital. The program is open through a competitive application process to juniors and seniors (occasionally sophomores) in all majors. Students enroll for fall, winter, or spring quarter, earning 12-18 course credits, and continue to be registered as full-time UCSC students. Applicant selection is based on academic record, a written statement, a letter of recommendation, and possibly a personal interview.

Students spend 24-32 hours each week at their internships. Washington, D.C. offers a wide array of internship possibilities, from working on Capitol Hill or in a government agency to interning for a major media outlet, a nonprofit organization, or a cultural institution. Internship placements are selected by students based on their interests, with the assistance of UCDC program staff as needed.

Students also attend a weekly research seminar. An essential component of the Washington program, the seminar enables students to draw on Washington’s rich variety of research opportunities to complete a research paper on a subject related to their internships.  In addition to the research seminar, students may also opt to take one upper-division elective course from a range of classes offered by faculty at the Washington Center. Elective classes are offered in several disciplines, including the social and natural sciences, arts, and humanities. All courses take advantage of Washington’s unique resources for study and research.

For information on resources and upcoming events, follow us on Instagram@ucdc_ucsc

UCSC-Specific Information Sessions

Every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. PT starting January 24, 2024. Register here.

UC Systemwide Information Sessions

UCDC Information Sessions happen on the second Tuesday of every month during the academic year. Registration is required to attend these virtual information sessions.

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Program Dates

Quarter & YearStart DateEnd Date
Fall 2023September 18, 2023December 2, 2023
Winter 2024January 8, 2024March 16, 2024
Spring 2024March 25, 2024June 8, 2024

Selection Criteria

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply. Admission is competitive. To be eligible for consideration, students must:

  • Be a junior or senior 
  • Recommended 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Have a strong academic record.
  • Provide a strong statement of purpose
  • Provide a strong letter of recommendation (if possible, from faculty rather than TAs or employers). 

Final decisions will be made approximately one month from the application deadline. A mandatory orientation for accepted students will happen near the end of the previous quarter prior to departure (e.g., orientation for fall quarter will be held the preceding spring, etc.).

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Admission will be based upon the student’s statement of purpose, academic record, letter of recommendation, and in some cases a personal interview. Consideration is also given to the distribution of academic disciplines participating in the program. Participation in UCDC changes the way in which a student meets residency requirements for a degree. Contact your college academic advisor for more information.

UCDC Video

For more information about UCDC, please see this UCDC: An Experiential Learning Opportunity for All Students video produced by UCDC Washington Staff.

Last modified: Apr 22, 2024