UCDC Washington Program

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 a full-time UCSC student. 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

Upcoming UCSC-Specific Information Sessions

Wednesday, April 19th, 10-11 AM- register here
Friday, April 21st, 1-2 PM- register here
Friday, April 28th, 1-2 PM- register here
Wednesday, May 3rd, 10-11 AM- register here
Wednesday, May 10th, 10-11 AM- register here
Wednesday, May 17th, 10-11 AM- register here
Wednesday, May 24th, 10-11 AM- register here

Wednesday, May 31st, 10-11 AM- register here
Friday, June 2nd, 1-2 PM- register here
Wednesday, June 7th, 10-11 AM- register here

Upcoming UC Systemwide Information Sessions

Tuesday, May 9, 2023 11:00 AM (Pacific)- register here.


Program Dates

Quarter & Year Start Date End Date
Fall 2023 September 18, 2023 December 2, 2023
Winter 2024 January 8, 2024 March 16, 2024
Spring 2024 March 25, 2024 June 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.).

***Please note, transfer students are not eligible to apply for participation in the program until they have completed their first quarter at UCSC and at least one upper-division course in their major. (Except for exceptional circumstances)



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.