Go to content

Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2016

Federal Semester Program

2407 Marie Mount Hall, 301-314-0261

Director: Dr. Joan Burton

The Federal Semester Program is a selective, yearlong program offered within the Office of Undergraduate Studies, in conjunction with other colleges, programs and campus initiatives. The program brings together students from all disciplines to learn, discuss, and explore issues related to federal policy, and galvanizes them toward public service careers. Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with strong academic backgrounds and an interest in exploring the possibility of public service are encouraged to apply.

Students who successfully complete all program requirements will earn a "Federal Semester Fellow" notation on their transcript. 

The Federal Semester Program consists of three primary components:

  1. The Federal Semester Seminar: UNIV348 (3 credits, fall semester). A choice of several seminar courses, each focused on a specific theme (for example, health policy, homeland security policy, or energy and environmental policy). The seminars benefit from the diversity of students who participate in the program. The small setting allows students to bring knowledge from their disciplinary focus into the discussion. Taught by an expert practitioner, the seminars examine the policy-making process and discuss vital current issues within each theme. Guest speakers offer real-world perspectives on how governments and other actors implement policy.
  2. The Internship: UNIV349 (3-6 credits, spring semester). The Federal Semester experiential learning course offers credit for an internship with a federal agency or related organization. In class, students work on professional development and reflect on their internship experiences through journal assignments. With permission, students may instead complete the internship under the course number for internships in the student's major or in other programs in which the student is participating.
  3. Supporting course work: Two regular UM courses, approved by the program, that complement the Federal Semester mission (6 credits). With permission, students may apply courses completed prior to the Federal Semester year.

In addition, students participate in Federal Semester Program activities including visits to Capitol Hill and federal agencies, conversations with leaders in public policy, professional development workshops, one-on-one advising check-ins, and an end-of-the-year reception. The program provides a lively, engaged community of students and supportive alumni.

Students in the program must have completed 45 credits by the end of the semester in which they apply and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. For details and application please see www.federalsemester.umd.edu .

Return to top