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How do I make sure that I get full credit toward my degree for my participation in CU in D.C.?

Registering for the CU in D.C. Program is just like registering for regular CU credits each semester.  Students who are accepted to the program receive specific registration instructions from CU in D.C.  CU in D.C. coursework and internship work will count as CU credit.  It is important, however, for you to consult with your advisor to figure out how your CU in D.C. credits will fit in with your major requirements and with your academic goals.  Please speak with your advisor well in advance to carefully plan out how participation in the CU in D.C. Program will contribute to your degree objectives.  For more detailed information about CU in D.C. course offerings, visit the Course Information page.


What are the participation dates for CU in D.C.?

The CU in D.C. Program follows the exact same academic dates that you would ordinarily follow on campus.  Classes begin and end on the same days they would if you were on campus, for fall, spring, Maymester, and summer session D.  You can plan to arrive in D.C. the Friday or Saturday before classes begin and depart D.C. the Saturday after classes end.  To find specific semester/session start and end dates, visit the CU Boulder Academic Calendar page.


How is the CU in D.C. academic-year (fall and spring) program different from the CU in D.C. summer session D program?  How is Maymester different?

There are some differences between the CU in D.C. summer experience and the CU in D.C. fall and spring/academic-year experience.  In the summertime, the duration of the session and the experience is shorter (10 weeks) and in the fall and spring semesters, the duration of the experience is longer (14 weeks).  Because the experience is 14 weeks long in the fall and spring, students usually earn 12-15 credits for their participation in the program, and they usually earn 6 credits for the summer experience.  Another difference between the academic-year semesters and the summer semester is the competitiveness of internship opportunities.  In the summertime, thousands of college interns descend on Washington D.C. (some put the estimate between 20,000 and 40,000), whereas during the academic-year, the volume of interns in the city is significantly lower.  Therefore, landing a coveted internship spot during the summer can be highly competitive and challenging.  You may have better luck landing your dream internship placement during an academic-year semester, especially if you’re eyeing a popular internship placement, like an opportunity at the White House or the Department of State.  A benefit of participating during the summer is that you have the chance to meet and interact with many like-minded college students from across the United States.  But an advantage of participating in the fall or spring is that you stand out more as an intern; your colleagues are more likely to remember you because you’re not just another face in the crowd; and you may be given more substantial work assignments because you’re in the office for a longer period of time.  When deciding which semester to participate in the program, you should consult with your academic advisor to make sure your plans keep you on track with your academic goals, requirements, and timelines.  Be thoughtful in your planning and examine your own specific needs and circumstances when making a choice about your semester of participation.

The Maymester Science Policy offering is a short, three-week, intensive course.  The course covers the intersection between a variety of science fields and policy-making.  Students earn 3 credits for the course in either ARSC, MCDB, PHYS, ENVS, ATOC, or PRLC.  Students go to D.C. as a group for the Maymester (session M) and live together in shared housing.  Each day, they attend class and participate in site visits to various science institutions.  The main difference between the Maymester offering and the other CU in D.C. offerings is that for the Maymester, students do not have an internship.


Who teaches the CU in D.C. courses?

University of Colorado faculty and instructors teach the CU in D.C. courses.  In-residence faculty and instructors teach courses on site in Washington D.C.  The instructors are seasoned Washington D.C. professionals and scholars, and are from a wide variety of sectors and institutions.  For example, the program has hired instructors who are career professionals at the U.S. Department of State and at the Library of Congress.


How many credit hours will I take when I’m in D.C.?

To participate in the academic-year program (fall or spring), you must register for a minimum of 12 credits.  To participate in the summer program (summer session D), you must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits.  For Maymester, you register for 3 credits.  CMCI students who do the Media-track register for 15 credits.  If you are an A&S student doing the standard CU in D.C. track, we recommend you register for 12 credit hours. The Program Director provides students with specific registration instructions and options a few months before the semester/session of participation.


How many students are in the program?

During the fall, spring, and summer there are up to 20 students enrolled in the program, and for Maymester, the group size is up to 10 students.  The program deliberately keeps the group size small in order to provide a high-quality experience.  On average, participation in the program is highest in the summertime.


What should I do about my Boulder housing situation while I’m in D.C. and when I return from D.C.?

If you are planning ahead, you may want to consider living on campus or in Bear Creek the semester before or after your semester in Washington D.C.  These housing options allow you to leave your contract without penalties if you are participating in the CU in D.C. program (you must provide Bear Creek/on-campus housing with official documentation from CU in D.C. to verify your participation in the program).  For more information, visit these websites: and  If you have not planned ahead and are bound by a lease that runs through the semester you will be in D.C., you may want to advertise your housing to returning CU in D.C. students, returning study abroad students, visiting international students, and other CU students.  You can post your sublet on Ralphie’s List, an online housing advertisement service offered by the Off-Campus Housing office:  You can also advertise your sublet on the social media websites that you use regularly.


Can I still participate in study abroad if I participate in the CU in D.C. Program?  Will I have time and be able to manage both?

Yes.  Many students who want to pursue study abroad also participate in the CU in D.C. Program.  And oftentimes, they do the two experiences back to back.  You can do both.  So long as you plan ahead and stay in contact with the CU in D.C. Program Director while abroad, there should not be a problem.  All of the logistical procedures and program processes can be done by email, and so you can prepare for a CU in D.C. semester while living overseas.  If you live overseas and do not have access to reliable Internet/email, you can still plan for future participation in the CU in D.C. Program.  In that case, you would just need to plan far in advance and make sure that you have completed all program steps before departure.


Can I take the LSAT while I’m in Washington D.C.?

Yes.  Many students have taken the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) while participating in the CU in D.C. Program.  The LSAT exam is offered regularly at several locations in the D.C. Metro Area (i.e.: Arlington, VA; Baltimore, MD; Georgetown University; Howard University; American University; etc).  Studying and sitting for the LSAT takes extra time and energy, and so students just need to plan ahead.

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