Director Michael Hayes, Professor of Political Science
Colgate University's Washington Study Group combines rigorous academic analysis with a total immersion in Washington political life. During the semester, students take senior seminars on various aspects of the American political system and choose an in congressional offices, agencies, or think-tanks.They also meet nationalleaders in politics, journalism, business, the military, and the arts and will visit the great historical and cultural sites of the city.
Begun in 1935, the Washington Study Group is the oldest of Colgate's study groups and the first program of its kind in Washington, D.C. Many study group participants establish life-long connections in Washington and return to Washington after graduation to build successful careers in national government and politics.
The program features 400-level seminars and a 12-week internship. Each of the four program units is credited as a political science course.The three graded courses (POSC 410, 412, and 414) count for major credit, while the pass/fail internship component (POSC 413) counts toward requirements.
1. Our Changing Constitutional Order (POSC 410, 8 weeks). This course explores how the policy process in the United States is shaped by our constitution and how the major institutions of government have evolved from the founding period to the present. It examines the changing roles of Congress, the President, political parties, interest groups, and public opinion as well as how policy-making takes different forms for different types of issues. The role state governments play in both policy implementation and policy innovation will also be explored. Seminars combine lecture, group discussion, and presentations by Washington insiders. Taught by Professor Hayes.
2. Executive Decisionmaking and Leadership: (POSC 412). first half of this course meets as a weekly seminar, and explores themes relevant to the students’ experience in Washington: the bureaucracy and why agencies function (or fail to function) as they do, presidential leadership of the bureaucracy, congressional-executive relations and the political agenda, budget development and execution, and how relationships between the bureaucracy, the media, and interest groups shape policy implementation.In the second half of this course, students, with personal supervision of the instructor, will research and write a major paper on a topic that draws upon sources unique to our Washington location. Taught by Robert Samuels.
3. Internships in the American Political System (POSC 413, 12 weeks). Through internships in congressional offices, executive agencies, the Supreme Court, think tanks, the media, and interest groups, students directly engage in the functions and activities of the political process.Arrangements for internships will be made by Robert Samuels, who will draw upon his extensive experience in Washington to match the student with his or her interest and skills. Internships begin on the third week of the program and last for twelve weeks. The Readings and Research course (POSC 412) is designed to enhance and complement this experience.Pass/Fail.Placements and supervision by Robert Samuels.
4. Contemporary Politics and Policy (POSC 414, 7 weeks). course applies the literature on the policy process presented in both POSC 410 and POSC 412 to a current policy area. Previous topics have included health care, welfare reform, campaign finance reform, energy policy, and the question of whether the scope of the federal government should be significantly reduced. In research papers and class presentations, students will be asked to propose policy reforms and assess their political feasibility. Co-taught by Professors Hayes and Robert Samuels.
Throughout the semester, as part of the academic and experiential components of the program, classes will feature presentations by leaders in the policy process – media figures, interest group and party spokesmen, politicians, academicians, appointed officials in the executive branch, and high-level civil servants. In most cases, these speakers will come to our seminar room; in some instances we will travel as a group to their offices. Students are expected to take full advantage of these opportunities by being active and informed participants.
The Washington Study Group is open to students who will be juniors, seniors, or mature sophomores in Spring 2014. Students do not have to major in political science to be eligible for the group though most participants are political science majors.are made by the Director in consultation with other members of the Department of Political Science.Criteria for selection include: academic achievement, evidence of interest, andqualifications essential to successful participation in the program. Successful applicants for the Washington Study Group must take one of the following prerequisite courses:
- POSC 210: Congress and Decision-making in American Government
- POSC 150: America as a Democracy
- POSC 211: The Presidency and Executive Leadership
For research papers, students may use the Library of Congress and will have checkout privileges at Georgetown University Library.They may also use nearby libraries at American University, Catholic University, and the University of Maryland, or other public libraries located in the Washington area.
Students will live in apartments by Colgate University in the Cleveland House located near the Woodley Park/Zoo Metro stop in the District of Columbia.Students take the Red Line from the Woodley Park/Zoo metro stop to Union Station and then walk about two blocks to the Hall of the States, where classes are held. Colgate will make the necessary arrangements for apartment leases and will charge students for housing.
Activities and behavior of the Study Group members in Washington must be consistent with their responsibilities as students of the governmental process, as representatives of Colgate University, and – during internships – as participants in governmental operations. The program is a full-time activity and precludes other work commitments, such as part-time employment.On internship, students maintain the regular work schedule of their offices.
Washington offers an abundance of rich, cultural life, including the Smithsonian Museums, many dramas and music venues, and a wide variety of sporting events, of both the participatory and spectator venues. The Metro underground public transportation system provides easy access to Washington, DC, and all the opportunities of our nation’s capital city. The study group will attend a variety of educational, cultural, and athletic events.
For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheet.
The deadline for applications to the Spring 2014 Washington Group has already passed.
Washington Study Group Program Dates: January 19—May 8, 2014
All informational sessions for the Spring 2014 Washington Study Group have already passed.
Contact Michael Hayes
, 111 Persson Hall 315-228-7522 or email@example.com