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About the Washington Center

Started in 2001, the Washington Center partners with faculty from departments and schools across William & Mary to offer high-impact learning experiences for students in all majors.  Among the diverse topics offered are government, policy, culture, business, and education.  Since its inception, the Center has grown to become W&M’s “Campus in the City,” running Study in DC academic opportunities for almost 300 undergraduate students year-round, with a growing scholarship fund to support them:

  • DC Semester Program: a deep-dive into multiple issues and challenges in DC with a internship based on student interests, runs each fall and spring semester

  • DC Winter Seminars: an intensive 10-day opportunity between semesters in January
  • DC Summer Institutes: a condensed version of the semester opportunity, runs each summer
  • DC Summer Session: a distinct hybrid learning experience featuring class speakers for a week in DC

Study in DC opportunities feature connections with W&M’s robust DC-area alumni network. These committed alumni offer students a chance to learn directly from topic-specific experts and practitioners in the field. Alumni also serve as mentors, counseling students in a one-on-one setting as they prepare to take their experiences to life beyond W&M.  The small Center team offers individualized support to each student who comes through the door, with room for almost 300 in an academic year.  Students have a personal relationship with the staff and faculty in DC, which enhances the quality of the overall student experience.

With a focus on diversity and inclusion, the Center is raising more funds each year for its Study in DC Scholarship Fund so that all students who want to learn in DC, are afforded the opportunity. For 2019-2020 alone, the scholarship fund awarded $52,487 in student scholarships. We are hoping to give more in the subsequent years with the help of a new Advisory Board.  In partnership with this Board and University Advancement, the Center is planning to better bring DC-area alumni together to more cohesively support one another and our growing student body. 

Together with many partners, the Center prepares students for life after W&M, and provides a home for the entire W&M family. 

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Center Diversity Statement

A guiding principle of the Center is the creation of opportunities that are available and accessible for all members of the W&M community.  Driven by our conscience, our responsibility as employees of W&M and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and by our respect for the laws of the District of Columbia, we strive to foster diversity within our community of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and families.   We aim to create an open and affirming environment that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds, perspectives, and identities. We affirm our support for all community members regardless of age, race, ethnicity, nationality, documentation status, range of abilities, neurotype, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, financial means, faith, or political perspective. We are dedicated to ensuring that the Center is a welcoming, safe, comfortable, and respectful home away from home for the diverse community we support.