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Frequently Asked Questions

Isn’t the Washington Honors Semester a Political Science program?

The D.C. program is most certainly NOT just for political science students. It is a truly interdisciplinary experience open to all Hope students. Because of the scope and reach of the federal government, D.C. as a city holds work and internship opportunities in virtually every area and should be seriously considered by students from every major area of study.

In recent years, the honors semester has included participants majoring in English, History, Economics and Business, Biology, Communications, Religion, and a host of others. While the program is directed and run by political science professors, the program director works closely with non-political science majors and their departments to ensure the most useful experience possible for that student.

How expensive is the semester likely to be?

The tuition for the D.C. honors program is identical to a typical semester on campus, and is paid directly to Hope College. The cost of rent in the D.C. area is typically about $900-$1000 per student, which is billed to your Hope account if you live in the college arranged group housing. Dining out and other forms of entertainment in D.C. can be expensive, but students intent on controlling their costs are usually able to do so by bringing lunch to work and sharing the cost of meals with roommates. Moreover, the city has a wide array of museums and other cultural sights that are free.

How does my work in Washington D.C. help to advance or complete my graduation requirements?

Each participant receives a full semester of credit (16 hours). Students work closely with the program director and the student’s departmental chair to determine how those credits will be allotted. A lot of flexibility exists to use credit hours to satisfy one’s graduation requirements, both within one’s major field and for specified courses which are part of the general educational curriculum.

Where do most students live?

The college arranges housing for the students. If students wish to live away from other students, the director will provide a short list of housing options that have been used in past semesters, from which the students are likely to choose their housing.

Are students completely on their own in D.C.?

Students are accompanied by the program director, who also spends the semester in D.C. The director wears a number of hats while in D.C. – academic advisor, dean of students, registrar. The director is an important resource for students who may encounter problems or issues while in D.C.

What are some of the benefits of taking part in the D.C. program?

The benefits are too numerous to mention. First and foremost, students avail themselves of a practical learning experience that they simply cannot completely realize by remaining in the classroom. They also gain important insights into those career paths they are likely to pursue as adults, and will be engaged in work that is sure to inform their professional goals and objectives.

Program participants also make invaluable connections with employers and Hope alums that will serve them well in looking for full time work upon graduation. Students experience a unique set of social and cultural experiences in a cosmopolitan urban setting that is incredibly rich and diverse in its make-up. They also gain maturity and understanding in living independently for a semester. To get a full grasp of what one takes away from the semester, students are encouraged to talk to Hope students who have gone on the program and are still on campus.


In their own words...

"A semester off campus, especially in a city like D.C., really prepares you
for life after college. It puts the academic aspect into perspective
with day to day activities after college."