Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about UCDC Housing, Student Services, Covid19 Safety, Courses, Internships, and more, visit their FAQ page.


What courses are being offered the quarter I’m going to DC?

The seminar and elective courses vary from quarter to quarter, and current or future course lists are not always available. You can find previous courses on ucdc.edu, under the “Academic” tab, and select “Courses”. Courses vary based on availability and specialties of faculty but are often tailored to the DC environment. A General Research option is always available.

Will the courses offered by UCDC satisfy requirements for my major?

This question is best suited for the student’s major advisor, who can help with personalized course equivalency and course credit information.

I’d like to do the UCDC Program during my senior year. How do I handle residency requirements?

Information on completing senior residency requirements can be found on the UCSC website here.  Students should consult with their college advisors regarding residency requirements.

My major is not related to Politics, and I’m concerned I won’t be able to find a course suited to my interests.

The General Research Seminar is an opportunity to conduct research you may not have time to during regular on-campus study and can be tailored to your interests. It is open to all majors.

When does the program start?

Program dates are available on the Global Learning website. UCDC Program-specific calendars are available on the UCDC website.

How/when do I sign up for classes?

Keep an eye out for an email from the UCDC UCDC Academic Services with details on course registration.

Do I need an internship secured before I apply to the program? Does securing an internship grant me admission to UCDC?

No, you don’t need an internship before you apply to the program. However, if the internship you are applying to has a deadline before the UCDC application deadline, make sure to submit the internship application by the deadline. Securing an internship prior to admission does not guarantee you will be admitted to UCDC.

The internship I’ve applied to hasn’t gotten back to me yet. What should I do?

If you haven’t heard back within two weeks, you should send an email thanking the interviewer for their time and consideration and inquiring into the status of the position, expressing your interest in the job. See more information at https://careers.ucsc.edu/grad/resources/interviewing/interview_prep/index.html#follow

I’ve applied to several internships and haven’t gotten into any of them. What should I do?

Keep in close contact with your UCDC AIT Program Administrator, Alfreda Brock, and be sure to complete the UCDC Internship Interest Form in SIS so that Alfreda may help you identify internship leads.

What is the deadline for application to UCDC?

Deadlines are available on our website.

I have a GPA under 3.0. Should I still apply?

We consider applications holistically and encourage well-rounded students to apply.

What is the most competitive quarter?

Fall quarter is generally the most competitive, due to the increased volume of applicants.

How many students go to Washington each quarter?

It varies by quarter, but the UCDC program is limited capacity meaning we can only send a maximum of 22 students per quarter. 

Do students have to live in the Washington Center?

Yes! The UCDC Washington Program is designed to provide a living and learning community for its participants. The Washington Center comes equipped with full amenities, as well as the classrooms for the program courses.

Will I get paid in my internship?

It depends on the internship—some will offer paid positions or stipends for transportation, but most will probably not be paid.

What will be the cost of this program? Is there financial aid?

The prices change by quarter, but tuition remains the same as UCSC tuition, and housing prices range by term. Other costs, such as airfare, transportation, personal expenses, etc. vary considerably. Financial aid is available! It carries over from UCSC aid, but due to the higher cost of living in DC, might even increase a little bit.

How does the internship placement work? Do I have to pick an internship before I apply?

We expect you to have a general idea of the types of internships you are interested in. There are literally hundreds of internships available in the UCDC Washington program, and all of them are open to accepted students.

If you are accepted to the program, your UCDC AIT program administrator, Alfreda Brock, will assist you with making a placement. She is very skilled at this and has excellent contacts. It is possible you will have telephone or video interviews with prospective placements. This gives you a chance to find out what your responsibilities might be, etc. Some students choose to make all their own contacts and to secure placement without the help of our Washington staff. Please be aware that the materials that you have given us to apply to this program will be sent to Washington and forwarded to potential internship supervisors. It is very important that what you give us looks professional and is checked over for spelling, grammar, etc.

What courses are offered in Washington? Will any of them apply to my major?

All students take two courses during the program, the centerpiece of the program is a 12 unit internship and seminar (UCDC 194A/B). This seminar features group meetings and tutorial sessions related to the internship. In addition, you may choose to enroll in one elective course. Please note that course offerings change quarterly. It is a good idea to talk to an advisor in your major about whether or not any of these courses will give you major credit.

Where should I tell people to send letters of recommendation?

The letter should be sent to Ashley Bayman, UCDC Coordinator, at globallearning@ucsc.edu.

What should my letter of recommendation talk about?

The letter writer should clearly articulate how this program fits into your academic and professional goals, and how your academic performance indicates your readiness for this program. They should talk about your strengths and how you might fare on a demanding academic program.  

Are there sample student essays I can look at? I’ve heard that you keep a collection of them.

No, we don’t have sample student essays. But write about what you think makes you a good candidate for the UCDC program. How does this program relate to your overall academic and professional goals? What kinds of internship jobs can you visualize yourself doing? What motivates you to do this program? Give a good picture of who you are, what drives you, and where you want to go in your life!

When will we know if we are selected for this program?

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 (e.g., orientation for fall quarter will be held the preceding spring, etc.).

What are the eligibility requirements for non-citizens applying to the program?

Domestic Students

If you are a legal permanent resident, refugee, or asylee and are completing a degree at UCSC, you are considered a domestic applicant. You must only fulfill the general requirements found above in order to be eligible to participate in the program.

International Students

If you are an F-1 or J-1 international student, you only need to meet the general eligibility requirements. You are eligible to apply for fall, winter, and spring quarters. As an internship is a required component of the UCDC program, you will be required to apply for either Curricular Practical Training or Academic Training. You must meet with a UCSC International Student Advisor to discuss your UCDC participation. They can provide more information on the authorizations you need in order to do the UCDC internship program.                                                                                        
Undocumented Students

DACA/AB540/Undocumented students are eligible to apply to the UCDC Washington Program.

If accepted into the program, you are strongly encouraged to disclose your status to the UCDC program administrators so that they can provide guidance on processes related to different internship sites (for example, background checks). Some internships may require students to have legal work authorization and/or present other documents including a state police record, an employment authorization document, etc.

Travel Recommendations for Undocumented Students

  1. REAL ID: Residents of California must have the California Real ID by May 7, 2025, in order to travel on aircraft within the U.S. Only authorized immigrants or those who maintain lawful status may apply for REAL ID-compliant licenses, including students with TPS. REAL IDs have anti-counterfeit technology in the card. For more information about the REAL ID, review here
  2. Ensure proper identification to pass through security (not all driver’s licenses are the same and will qualify). Additional resources on identification types may be found on the TSA’s website
  3. Understand your rights if stopped or questioned – review the Know Your Rights brochure
  4. Be aware of flight paths (different states have different laws)

The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center has many resources and additional information. If you have any individual immigration concerns or questions, you’re welcome to reach out to Ritu Goswamy our UCSC staff attorney at:

  • Phone: (530) 574-9414
  • Email: ritu.ucimm@law.ucdavis.edu 
If I go to Washington for the spring quarter in my senior year, will I be able to get back to Santa Cruz in time for graduation?

Yes, you will. It is very important that you talk with your department and your college BEFORE you leave for Washington about any requirements you will need to fulfill before you graduate — both in terms of coursework, and also such things as ordering caps and gowns, signing last-minute forms, etc. Ordering these things is more difficult from DC.

Can I participate in UCDC after I graduate from UCSC?

No. Only matriculating students can participate in the UCDC program at UCSC. 

Because students receive academic credit and are enrolled in two UCSC courses (194 A/B) during the program, you must be an enrolled UCSC student to participate. If you would like to participate in the UCDC program after completing graduation requirements, you must contact your college advisors to see if it is possible to extend your graduation. You would also need to contact financial aid to see if you would receive aid to participate in the program after graduation requirements are completed.

I identify as non-binary or transgender. What are my housing options?

All UCDC participants are required to live in the UC Washington Center. Before participation in the program, all students are required to submit a Housing Questionnaire sent to you by UCDC Washington staff. In the housing questionnaire, you can:

  • Choose your roommates and have your roommates choose you if you know who you want to live with
  • Indicate that you prefer to live in gender-neutral housing (and then subsequently be housed with other students who also select gender-neutral housing)
  • Indicate your gender and comfort level being housed with someone who identifies as or who is also ok/prefers rooming with someone who identifies as LBTQIA+

Unfortunately, single-room accommodations cannot be guaranteed.