Inside the lobby of the Barrett & O'Connor Washington Center
ASU in Washington D.C.

Learning and internship opportunities

Arizona State University’s presence in Washington, D.C. enables numerous unique opportunities for study, practicum, and internships.

ASU’s comprehensive offerings prepare students for national civic leadership – including roles in congressional offices, national security, business, journalism, law and the judiciary and more. Students also benefit from the Barrett & O’Connor Center, where ASU’s academic programs provide diverse learning experiences that broaden their understanding of national and international issues and gain real-world experience by engaging with expert scholars and seasoned practitioners.

Internships and learning experiences

In addition to the internships featured below, ASU also provides opportunities through Handshake, an online recruitment platform that helps students and alumni find internship opportunities, explore career paths, and connect with employers in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

Capital Scholars

Internships for building leadership skills and career experience

The ASU Capital Scholars program develops future leaders by providing undergraduate students with hands-on training in the public policymaking process through internships with Congress, federal agencies, advocacy groups, the media, nonprofit organizations, think tanks and policy research groups. The program experience includes tours, career panels, cultural events and lectures designed to build students’ connections in Washington and develop leadership skills.

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Legal externship program

Develop legal experience in Washington, D.C.

ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law offers opportunities for second- and third-year law students to earn career experience in Washington through the Legal Externship Program. Through placement at federal agencies, congressional offices, judicial offices, firms and non-profits, students acquire legal expertise, develop an informed perspective on policy developments and foster relationships that are invaluable for career readiness.

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Policy Design Studio

Gain experience in diplomatic skills with expert guidance

The Policy Design Studio is a semester-long, daily simulation of embassy affairs that guides students through navigating contemporary global events to prepare them for careers in diplomacy. The program gives students the opportunity to work under the guidance of a former Ambassador at the Barrett & O’Connor Center, and also provides opportunities to meet with prominent experts, visit government agencies and historical sites, and network in D.C.

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Cronkite News Washington

Student journalism in an award-winning newsroom

Cronkite News in Washington, D.C., is an intensive professional reporting experience for advanced students in the journalism program at ASU’s Cronkite School. From a state-of-the-art newsroom in ASU’s Barrett & O’Connor Center, student reporters and producers generate breaking news and investigative stories covering public policy issues that affect Arizona. Cronkite News is the largest Arizona-based news operation in Washington, D.C., and its award-winning weekday newscast reaches 1.9 million homes across Arizona.

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Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, D.C. Leadership Academy

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University Washington, D.C. Leadership Academy is the first law school to inspire and prepare the next generation of leaders at the intersection of law and public policy. Participants include a select group of current undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates who are interning in the Washington, D.C., area for the summer to amplify their professional skills and build their network.

National security education programs

McCain Institute Junior Fellowships

Develop your skills in character-driven leadership

The McCain Institute offers undergraduate students and recent graduates with opportunities to work in program development and execution and engage in research on global issues to develop policy and solutions around character-driven leadership, human rights and democracy. The Institute’s Junior Fellowship program emphasizes professional development through networking with senior leaders at the Institute and throughout Washington, D.C. The program hosts students for the fall, spring and summer in Washington and virtually. 

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MA in International Affairs and Leadership

Learn from foreign policy and diplomacy experts

The Master of Arts in International Affairs and Leadership provides training in diplomacy and leadership development through dynamic interaction with international affairs practitioners such as former ambassadors and military general officers. Program faculty draw on their experience in policymaking and diplomacy and expose students to topics including character-driven leadership, national security, human rights and democracy issues, foreign policy and global and international economics. The program offers a tuition-free week of immersive training at the Barrett & O’Connor Center.

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International Rule of Law and Security Program

Develop practical skills for international careers

The International Rule of Law and Security Program, a joint effort between ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the McCain Institute, explores the development of rule of law and good governance in transitional and post-conflict states. Led by Distinguished Professor of Practice Ambassador Clint Williamson, this training prepares graduates for international development and policy jobs in the public and private sectors. The curriculum includes training in institution-building, transitional justice mechanisms, judicial and prosecutorial capacity building, and business practices in international development, among other topics.

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MA in Global Security

Interdisciplinary training for future security professionals

The fully online Master of Arts in Global Security supports professional preparation and advancement in government, military, nonprofit and private sector careers. Taught by nationally and internationally recognized Washington-based military, humanitarian, and journalism experts and scholars, the MA in Global Security combines high flexibility with an intimate, small-classroom experience and offers access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. 

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Hybrid civic and business education

Thunderbird Executive Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management

Develop practical skills for success in business and government

Thunderbird’s one-year Executive Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management provides mid-career professionals with training in the digital global mindset and 21st-century hard and soft skills necessary for career success in business and government. The program’s flexible schedule allows students to continue working while building expertise in multiple areas, leading systems and new enterprises, managing complexity, disruptive innovation, digital transformation and collaborative problem-solving.

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Business and Public Policy Residency

Learn public policy skills for business success

The Business and Public Policy Residency program in Washington, D.C., is a week-long opportunity for graduate and MBA students in ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business that enriches their understanding of the public policy process. The program provides exposure to policy issues that impact business outcomes and strategies that executives can utilize to influence public-policy outcomes ethically and effectively.

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