Carleton College:
Political Science


Spring 2004

Fact Sheet (contact information and schedule)

Photo Album



Late March to early June, 2004.

DIRECTOR: Steven Schier, Professor of Political Science

Steven Schier, Congdon Professor of Political Science, founded the Carleton Washington D.C. seminar in 1983 and has led it on eight occasions. A veteran of an undergraduate Washington program in 1973, he knows the city and its ways well. Articles by him on national politics have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and other newspapers. Cable News Network, the CBS Evening News, C-SPAN and National Public Radio have broadcast his commentary. His seventh and latest book, The Postmodern Presidency: Bill Clinton's Legacy in U.S. Politics, won a CHOICE magazine award as an "Outstanding Academic Book" of 2001.


Students are encouraged to participate in the Washington D.C. program as sophomores, juniors, or seniors. The sole prerequisite is the completion of Political Science 122. Should the program be oversubscribed, applicants will be preferred on the basis of their academic background and expressed interest in the program. Senior majors in the Political Science Department will complete their comprehensive exercise before attending the program.


Washington is a wonderful location for many kinds of learning beyond the classroom. In addition to the major institutions of national government, the city is an international capitol that is home to over 150 foreign embassies. This seminar allows students work experience three days a week in a Washington internship and provides over fifty class sessions with leading Washington figures -- legislators, administration officials, judges, lobbyists, American and foreign diplomats, and members of the American and international press.

Previous speakers have included Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Paul Wellstone (D-MN), former House Speaker Tom Foley (D-WA), Vice President Dan Quayle, Cable News Network's Judy Woodruff, and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. Students in the past have met with journalists and diplomats from Sweden, Russia, Germany, Nicaragua, China, Japan, South Africa, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Mexico and Cuba.


Students will intern on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, and attend seminars on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

POSC 290-17: Directed Reading, 4 CREDITS

This independent reading course focuses on American national politics and foreign policy. It is completed during winter break, and students will write two papers on the readings. Instructor: Professor Steven Schier

POSC 289-07 Seminar: 6 credits

Students will participate in a seminar involving meetings with leading Washington figures and will complete midterm and final essays based on seminar meetings and speakers. A research paper is also required of all students. Instructor: Professor Steven Schier

POSC 293-07: Internship, 6 credits, S/CR/NC

All students will intern in the office of a legislator, executive agency, interest group, or media outlet, keeping a journal of experiences and writing a summary paper. The Director will assist students in obtaining an internship.


Students are responsible for travel arrangements to and from Washington.


Students will be housed in an apartment building that is a fifteen minute subway ride from Capitol Hill. Texts will be purchased from the Carleton Bookstore prior to departure. Students may use the Library of Congress for research.


In April the program will take an overnight trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. There the group will visit the House of Burgesses, site of Patrick Henry's famous Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech and where the young Jefferson and Madison served as representatives. Students will also visit the Wythe house, where Jefferson studied law under George Wythe's tutelage. In May, an excursion will be scheduled to Annapolis, Maryland to tour the historic state capital, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the harbor front. Throughout the program's duration, the many attractions of the Washington area are available to students. A surprising number of museums and galleries are free and just a short subway ride from the apartments.


Students pay the 2003-2004 Carleton comprehensive fee, which covers the costs of instruction, room, board, local transportation, social events, and all scheduled excursions. Students are responsible for the cost of books, personal expenses, transportation to and from Washington D.C., and personal travel during the seminar. Student financial aid is applicable as on campus. See the Off-Campus Studies Planning Guide for further information regarding work contracts, loans, and other subjects of financial aid.


Application forms are available from the Office of Off-Campus Studies, Laird 131. They are to be submitted by October 10, 2003 to Tricia Peterson, Administrative Assistant for Political Science, Willis 402. Students interested in the program should plan to attend the information meeting to be held on September 25, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. in Leighton 305.

Updated Jan. 13, 2004 by Tricia Peterson