You are here: American University School of Professional & Extended Studies Washington Semester Program Non-Credit Program for International Students

Two Washington Semester students at orientation

Experience a career-related practicum with a world-renowned organization in DC while earning academic credit.

Over 15 weeks, you will expand your network and acquire valuable experience that helps you set the foundation for your career. At the end of your semester in DC, you will have a changed understanding of the world, which could impact your outlook on your college studies and future career.

The Program and Academic Seminars

Each semester will run 15 weeks, on the same schedule as the traditional credit-bearing Washington Semester Program. Each week will consist of 3 days of career related practicum and 2 days of academic seminars. In all, the program is equivalent to 12-15 credit hours. You will enroll in:

  • 2 seminar courses in a specific concentration or across two concentrations
  • 1 career practicum course (supplemental to the student's career practicum)
  • If you need a 15-credit equivalent program, in addition to the above noted courses, you will have the option of enrolling in a Washington Semester Program elective or the Washington Semester Program research project.

While in non-credit program, you will be enrolled in classes with students of the credit bearing Washington Semester Program.

Your seminar courses will include lectures led by American University professors, who will expose you to the theory and practice of your seminar topic. Your seminars will be interactive and include in-class lectures, guest speakers, and site visits to nonprofit organizations, businesses, government and international agencies. Through your seminar you will:

  • identify key figures in local, national, and global arenas that influence the national and global issues
  • compare and contrast diverse positions and theories
  • articulate personal perspectives on issues related to your seminar topic
  • develop critical questioning, synthesis and evaluation of course readings and resource materials, individual research, active discussion, and small group collaboration

Career Training Practicum and Practicum Course

Your career practicum will provide you with experience in a selected field that relates directly to your Washington Semester seminar. Through your practicum, you will develop valuable contacts and gain career experience in the field by completing substantive projects. A career practicum course will complement your practicum by way of discussions and assignments that will reinforce:

  • professional skills of resume and cover letter writing, job search, communication skills, and problem solving;
  • knowledge to help you engage with diverse and complex workplace environments; and
  • your own self-analysis of your practicum experience, including an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses and possible future career paths.

The Benefits of Attending the Washington Semester International Certificate Program

The key advantage of attending the Washington Semester International Certificate Program is that your academic practicum experience will be led by an accredited university and program that provides academic and practicum experiences that are equivalent to 12-17 credits. You will have the benefits of AU's student services and support; in addition you will have the option to attend campus events, such as lectures and forums, the Internship Fair, and professional development programs. You can choose to live in university housing or off campus on your own.

You also will have flexibility of program options. There are 9 concentrations that you can select for your seminar topic (selecting 1 or 2 options), and if you decide that you want to credit program, you can apply to the credit-bearing Washington Semester Program.

Learn more about the academic and practicum experience through Washington Semester Program student blogs.

Cost of Attending and Application Process

Tuition for the non-credit program is $8,500 per semester, plus applicable campus fees (Technology Fee, Student Activity Fee, Sports Center Fee, U*Pass, and AU health insurance). You can opt to reside in AU campus housing (with or without a campus meal plan) for additional cost or live on your own - in housing that you secure in DC. Additional information on program costs can be found on the Tuition & Costs page.

The admission process, dates for nomination from your home school, and application requirements align with the requirements of the credit-bearing Washington Semester Program

Grades and Transcripts

The Washington Semester Program team will work with you and your home school to have the Washington Semester Program courses and grades count on your home school transcript/mark sheet. To facilitate this process, the Washington Semester Program staff will work with your home school staff to provide course syllabi, as well as a portfolio of your work while in the program.

You will be assessed on your academic courses, which will include class attendance and participation, completion of readings and selected assignments, as well as the hours worked and the grade from your practicum supervisor. And, upon completion of the International Certificate Program, you will have developed a portfolio of your academic and practicum experiences.

When you complete the International Certificate Program, you will be graded and receive an American University transcript listing the courses and your grades; however, your transcript will note that courses are non-credit.