The Washington Semester

Program Information

While enrolled in the Washington Semester program at American University, Lasell students engage in an Academic seminar, worth 8 credits, in which they learn from professors who are experts in their fields and who know Washington, DC. They will introduce students to local, national, and global experts as they explore key issues in the topic.Using D.C. as a classroom, students will learn about the inner workings of non-profits, businesses, government agencies and international organizations through innovative assignments like applied learning activities, business plan development, service-learning, and use of media and simulations.

Students may select the seminar from the following concentrations: 

  • American Politics
  • Foreign Policy
  • Global Economics & Business
  • International Law & Organizations
  • Journalism and New Media
  • Justice & Law
  • Public Health Policy
  • Sports Managment & Media
  • Sustainable Development

In addition to the Academic Seminar, students will complete a 4-credit professional internship, in which they will gain knowledge of an organization or industry, as well as practical knowledge of a career field. Prior to arriving in DC, students will receive access to the internship database, which provides students with an instant network of organizations.

Costs and Housing

Students involved in the Semester in Washington are registered at Lasell and are billed all the costs of the program through Lasell. This arrangement does not apply to programs with a travel component. Those additional costs would be billed directly to the student by American University. Costs include tuition, room, board, fees and medical insurance, if not waived by the student. Though students are housed at American University in Washington, D.C., all costs are billed by and payable to Lasell by the billing due date. Students receiving financial assistance from Lasell will continue to receive their aid while in Washington. There is no provision for continuation of work-study during the semester in Washington.


Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and fill out an internal Lasell application. Applicants may not apply before their fourth semester of college work; that is, students must be at least a first semester junior by the time they enroll in the program in Washington. 


Admission to the Lasell Semester-in-Washington program is competitive. The faculty that evaluate the applications looks at each student's qualifications in the following areas:

  1. Background: Students should have completed or currently be taking courses relevant to the area of study they plan to pursue in Washington.
  2. Performance in social science courses: Applicants should have a good record in the social science courses they have taken.
  3. Grade point average: Although students are not judged strictly on grades, their overall scholastic achievement is a factor that must be considered.
  4. Faculty Recommendations: Students should supply the name of two faculty members who are familiar with their work. Faculty will be e-mailed directly by Erin Vicente.

Application Procedures

  1. All students interested in applying for the Lasell Semester-in-Washington D.C. program must log in, complete, and submit the American University on-line application.
  2. Students must also print and submit an additional copy of the completed application to Associate Professor fo Communications, Erin Vicente at
  3. The student must fill out the internal Lasell application and return it to Erin Vicente. 
  4. If you have additional questions, please email for an appointment.
  5. The deadline for the Lasell Semester in Washington application is October 1st for spring semester and March 10th for fall semester.

Academic Policies and Credits 

  1. If a Lasell student completes all three areas of the program: the internship, the seminar and an elective or research project, they will earn 16 credits, which will be transferred back to Lasell as 16 credits.
  2. The grades that a student earns in Washington will transfer back to Lasell as grades.
  3. If a student wants to count the internship, the seminar or an elective towards a required course in their major at Lasell, they must get the Program Director's approval prior to going to Washington.
  4. If a student wants to count an elective towards an Knowledge Perspective at Lasell, please contact the Office of International Services at and send the course description, as additional approval is required.