About the DC Summer Institutes

The Summer Institutes are an opportunity for undergraduate students to combine intensive classroom study of a topic with hands-on work at one of Washington's many nonprofits, think tanks, government agencies, or companies that helps shape that topic. Each Institute has a W&M professor in Washington who teaches the coursework while the W&M Washington Office staff  helps fellows secure summer internships .

Contact Us
  • For general inquiries, email [[dcsi]].
  • To speak with someone in the W&M Washington Office call (202) 939-4000.

Program History

The W&M DC Summer Institutes are academic programs housed in the William & Mary Washington Office. They were started in Summer 2010, and are staffed by the Assistant Director, Washington Office, and the Program Manager. Our Summer Institutes were designed to: 1) Emphasize the practical aspects of learning and knowledge by increasing opportunities for internships in business, social services, government, and other ‘real life' laboratories, and 2) Provide an off-campus experience for each undergraduate to contribute the insight and understanding needed for leadership in the new global environment.


Take a course specifically designed for the W&M Summer Institute theme. Classes are held for 2 weeks at the start of the summer on an accelerated schedule. Included in the class schedule are numerous speakers and site visits related to the specific theme. Following the academic class, Fellows then work at their internship site for the remaining 10 weeks of the summer. Fellows receive 3 credits for their coursework and additional 3 credits for the academic work they complete in association with their internship.

Tuition & Fees

Fellows pay regular Summer Session tuition and fees plus additional nonrefundable fees to participate in the program.


The supportive DCSI staff advises students, and works with them to research, apply for, and secure internships which relate to the Summer Institute theme. Students will spend approximately 40 hours per week at their internships after their accelerated class has ended. The DCSI staff coordinates directly with each intern supervisor before and throughout the duration of the summer to provide a quality internship experience.  

Living in DC

The W&M DC Summer Institute staff provides the same quality of support to students in DC as campus does in Williamsburg. Fellows may choose to live at home or another housing arrangement, or they can live in luxury apartments provided by the W&M Washington Office in Arlington, VA, just a few Metro stops away from downtown DC.

Additional Academic Programs offered by the Washington Office

The DC Summer Institutes are just one of the four programs offered by the W&M Washington Office.  Other academic programs offered by the W&M Washington Office are:

  • DC Summer Session: 5-week classes during the summer, with no accompanying internship. 
  • W&M in Washington Program: offered each spring and fall semester only and involves an academically rigorous curriculum built around a semester-by-semester topic with internships matched to that topic, as well as residential, programming, and alumni mentorship/networking components.
  • Washington Winter Seminar: high-intensity 2-credit program offered during the last week of winter break, incorporating guest speakers and site visits to some of the capital's most important and recognizable institutions.