The Hamilton Program has become well-known
in the Congress and in a variety of executive agencies and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs). The College quite often receives requests
from government offices for Hamilton interns. In addition, a number
of program alumni have made careers in Washington after graduation.
The program is structured so that participants spend four days a
week as full-time staff members in a Congressional office and then
in either an executive or NGO placement (the two usually split the
term in half, though, in a few cases, participants
have spent the term in a single placement). The internships are
graded credit/no-credit, and together they count for a single course
Group excursion to Mount Vernon,
the home of George Washington.
In addition to work experience, participants
take an academic seminar that sets the theme of the term (past programs
have covered a wide range of topics including trade policy, civil
society and government, budgetary politics and regulatory reform).
This seminar usually meets in one session during a weekday morning
and counts for one credit toward graduation and the concentration
in Government,World Politics or Public Policy. Afternoons of the
seminar day are set aside for speakers, visits to important institutions
like the U.S. Supreme Court and other nearby sites like George Washington's
home at Mount Vernon in Virginia. Several of these afternoons are
also left free for students to catch up on work or see other parts
of Washington when the city is less crowded.
Another course (that also counts toward graduation,
but is not counted toward departmental concentration) is called
Intern Participant/Observation (IPO). It meets during a weekday
evening and consists of a series of student debates and student
lead discussions, based on an issue that is parallel to those raised
in the seminar. However, several spaces in the IPO schedule are
left open, so that timely issues on the national agenda can be included.
A set of short papers based on the debates is also part of the IPO.
The last and most comprehensive part of the
program is the paper due at the end of the term that also counts
as a single course (making a total of 4 course credits) toward the
Government/World Politics/Public Policy concentrations. This paper
also counts as the Government/World Politics/Public Policy senior
thesis requirement for senior concentrators in the program. The
paper integrates internship experience and on-site research, through
interviews and archival materials, with the academic theme of the
term. Two or three formal tutorial meetings with the director lead
up to the final paper.