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About the D.C. Summer Institutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                     2016 Opening Day

The D.C. 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 Center staff helps fellows secure summer internships .

Contact Us
  • For general inquiries, email [[dcsi]].
  • To speak with someone in the William & Mary Washington Center call (202) 836-8610.
Program History

The D.C. Summer Institutes are housed in the W&M Washington Center. They were started in Summer of 2010, and are staffed by the Program Coordinator and Washington Center staff. Our D.C. 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
  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 D.C. 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 4 credits for their coursework and additional 3 credits for the academic work they complete in association with their internship.

Tuition & Fees

The cost for fellows to attend DCSI is:

  • A $150 spring course fee
  • A summer program fee based on your residency
    • In State: $3,500
    • Out of State: $5,000

So, for an In-State student in Summer 2024, the total cost of the above (without the optional housing) is $3,650. For an Out of State student, it is $5,150.

If you choose to live in DC housing provided by the W&M Washington Center during the DC Summer Institutes, there is the additional non-refundable cost of $4,500 for a double room or $7,000 for a single room (pending availability).

Please visit the Prospective Students section of our website for more details on HOW fellows are billed.


The supportive DCSI staff advises students, and works with them to research, apply for, and secure internships which relate to the particular DC 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 D.C.

The D.C. Summer Institute staff provides the same quality of support to students in D.C. as campus does in Williamsburg. Fellows may choose to live at home or another housing arrangement, or they can live in one of the luxury accommodations provided by the W&M Washington Center in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Additional Study in D.C. opportunities offered by the Washington Center

The D.C. Summer Institutes are just one of the four academic and internship opportunities offered by the W&M Washington Center.  Other opportunities offered by the W&M Washington Center are:

  • DC Summer Session: 5-week classes during the summer, with no accompanying internship. 
  • DC Semester 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.
  • DC 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.