Lugar Academy Washington Semester

Immerse yourself in a once-in-a-lifetime experience by spending the fall, spring, or summer with the Lugar Academy’s Washington Semester program. Senator Richard Lugar, Distinguished Professor of Political Science & International Relations, is excited to provide Hoosier students and students from all over the world with a global platform for intellectual growth and experience.

Throughout the 15-week program, you'll get a first-hand look at the Washington political and policymaking process. Courses are led by Dr. Sam Potolicchio, who has extensive experience in politics and public policy. You'll also meet and interact with Lugar and learn from his experiences and insights as Indiana's longest-serving senator and the former mayor of Indianapolis. Lugar Academy students entering this fall will meet with Senator Lugar every Friday. The program is open to students from any college or university and includes a four-credit class and high profile internship.

                 Admissions          Cost & Financial Aid          Academics & Internship

                     Faculty                      Student Life                       Program Calendar

“Our goal with this Academy is to offer students a window to the world. Washington, D.C. is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city. Not only is it the seat of our national government, but the home to multinational corporations, foreign embassies and so much culture. Our future leaders must understand the international scene, the importance of diplomacy and cooperation, and the ways the United States can act proactively to mitigate future conflicts.

Through their semester in D.C, the students will focus on global issues that impact our country, how to work towards practical solutions, and how to provide the leadership required to persuade other leaders to support such proposals. Successful leaders should have an ideological grounding and strong beliefs combined with a practical sense to work toward collaboration to accomplish an objective.”

Washington Semester Admissions

Admission requirements

  • Be a junior or senior at an accredited college or university; all majors may apply
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Demonstrate interest in politics and policy-making
  • Have completed, at minimum, an Introduction to American Politics class

Application & deadlines

To apply, please submit the following materials to the University of Indianapolis by the date indicated below for the semester in which you wish to enroll.

  • Official transcript from your college or university
  • Resume
  • Essay
  • Writing Sample

Send completed materials to:
Lara Mann
Lugar Academy
University of Indianapolis
1400 E. Hanna Ave.
Indianapolis, IN  46227

Fall semester: June 1
Spring semester: Nov. 11

All application materials must be completed and received by the deadline to be considered.

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Washington Semester Cost & Financial Aid


Students will pay University of Indianapolis tuition while enrolled in the Lugar Academy Washington Semester program. UIndy students pay their regular tuition for the semester, while students from another college or university will enroll at the University of Indianapolis as a transient student and pay the UIndy tuition rate.

Financial Aid

For UIndy students, financial aid applies as usual. At their discretion, participating colleges and universities that are approved to administer federal student financial aid may initiate a consortium agreement with UIndy that would allow their students to retain their federal, and possibly state, financial aid to cover some or all of the UIndy tuition for the Lugar Academy Washington Semester program. However, it is the student's responsibility to initiate this process with the financial aid office at their home university upon enrollment. See your home institution's Office of Financial Aid for financial aid questions.

Scholarships for UIndy students

All full-time undergraduate University of Indianapolis students who apply to be a part of the Lugar Academy Washington Semester will automatically be considered for one of three, $3,000 scholarships to be offered each term. This award is one-time only and is applicable to the Lugar Academy Washington Semester.

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Washington Semester Academics & Internships

Through the Lugar Academy, internship opportunities are available throughout the Washington policymaking and political scene.

The high quality internships through the Lugar Academy in Washington, D.C. allow you to gain professional experience, network in your field of interest and challenge yourself intellectually.

Our inaugural class of Lugar Scholars this fall will focus on global issues affecting the United States through four-credit-hour internships with, among others, Senator Dan Coats and Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana's 5th District, and Senator Lugar at his newly created Lugar Center offices in Washington. Students also will learn from internationally recognized professor Dr. Samuel Potolicchio, who will teach the course Washington at Work: Power & Policy Making.

Washington at Work: Power and Policymaking—This four-credit course is the academic core of the Lugar Academy’s Washington Semester, and all students are required to enroll. This course will broaden your exposure to American policymaking and provide a theoretical background to the practical experience gained through an internship.

DC Experience—This integrated experience includes a four-credit internship, four-credit policy portfolio workshop and four-credit policy project seminar. Students will produce a portfolio reflecting what they have learned from their internship about the role and functioning of the department, agency, or office in which they are placed, and about career opportunities in that area. At the end of their Washington Semester, students will present a policy project directly related to their internship experience.


The high quality internships through the Lugar Academy in Washington, D.C. allow you to gain professional experience, network in your field of interest and challenge yourself intellectually. Our dedicated DC staff work with students to place them in internships that match their interests, skills and career goals. Internship opportunities are available throughout the Washington policymaking and political scene, including federal agencies, think tanks, international affairs organizations, embassies, public relations firms, government relations firms, nonprofit organizations and congressional offices.

Examples of internship opportunities

  • Senator Dan Coats' office
  • Senator Joe Donnelly's office
  • Senator Pat Roberts' office
  • German Marshall Fund
  • The Lugar Center
  • Representative Susan Brooks' office
  • Representative Todd Young's office

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Washington Semester Faculty

Courses will be led by Dr. Sam Potolicchio, who has extensive experience in global politics and public policy. He was named one of the "Best Professors in America" by the Princeton Review, is an official lecturer for the Library of Congress, and has lectured at more than 100 universities in 30 countries. Dr. Potolicchio also advises top political officials, business leaders and governments in more than 20 countries and has founded leadership summits in Russia, Macedonia and Jordan.

Classes also may feature guest lectures from Senator Lugar and other distinguished leaders.

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Washington Semester Student Life

Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) manages housing for students while they are participating in the program. Housing costs for Fall 2013 are $4,175 for the semester.

Students will live in the safe, historic and conveniently located Capitol Hill and Woodley park neighborhoods, in either a town home or apartment building. Rooms come fully furnished with a kitchen area and cookware. Internet, cable TV and other utilities are included in the cost.

Experience Washington

Washington, D.C. is the ideal place to broaden your personal and professional horizons. Our Washington staff plan cultural outings, social activities and tours of Washington institutions—all to help ensure that you have the DC experience of a lifetime.

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Washington Semester Calendar

Fall  2014

August 24: Move-in Day for WISH Housing

August 25: Program Orientation in Washington, D.C. Begins

September 1: Internship Begins

December 12: Internship Ends

December 13: Move-out Day for WISH Housing

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