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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015

Federal Semester Program

2407 Marie Mount Hall, 301-314-0261

Director: Dr. Joan Burton

The Federal Semester Program is a highly 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 of federal policy, and galvanizes them toward public service careers.  Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with strong academic backgrounds and an interest in public service are encouraged to apply.  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 within federal policy (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 industry expert, the seminars examine the policy-making process and discuss vital 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 complete the internship under the course number for internships in the student's major).
  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 and an end-of-the-year reception.

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 .

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