About the UCDC Program


UCDC is an academic program created in 1997 for the purpose of providing approximately 30 students per quarter an opportunity to continue their studies while interning for a quarter in Washington, DC. Moreover, the availability of a 4-unit research seminar that satisfies upper-division course requirements for a number of majors affords students the opportunity to reflect on and enlist their intern experiences in an academic exercise. UCDC is also a residential program with apartments at the centrally-located, UC Washington Center. Not only does this facilitate relocating temporarily in the nation's capital, the Center offers students a rich exposure to the Washington community through tours and an evening speaker series. Since its inception, hundreds of UC San Diego students have included UCDC in their educational experience. You can too!

Course Credit

Students are required to remain enrolled for a minimum of twelve units (full time status) to participate in the program.  All participants pay UC San Diego student services fees and remain eligible for financial aid if full time status is maintained.  Students must check with their individual major department regarding the use of internship credit (POLI 197I) towards their major. Elective-course credit and research seminar credit (including grading option) is at the discretion of each major department.  Most classes are taught at the  UC Washington Center ext .
  • Internship Credit
    Political Science 197I (6- or 8-units, Pass/Not Pass): Internship and related assignments and responsibilities. The units are upper-division general elective credit; check with your academic department regarding application of credit toward your major. (These units may not be used toward the Political Science major requirements).
  • Research Seminar Credit
    Political Science (POLI 194); Communication (COGN 194); Urban Studies and Planning (USP 194); Cognitive Science (COGS 194); History (HITO 193); Sociology (SOCE) 194; (4 units): Development and completion of an independent research project under the supervision of the Washington Center Director, a UCSD Professor, and guided by a teaching assistant. Students from departments other than those listed above should contact their academic department to determine if this course will be counted toward their major.
  • Elective Course Credit
    Upper-Division Elective Course (4-units): From a selection of courses offered by UC Washington Center faculty 
  • Fall quarter:

     You arrive one week earlier than the normal fall quarter on campus begins and return at the end of 10th week.
  • Winter quarter:

     You arrive the first week in January and return at the end of week 10.
  • Spring quarter

    Arrival - when spring break starts and return at the end of tenth week.  This usually gives graduating seniors one week in San Diego to prepare for ceremonies.
  • 90 units
  • At least 2 upper-division courses
  • 2.5 GPA

Housing and Facilities 

You are required to live in the  UC Washington Center ext , located at 1608 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036. The building includes living quarters for students, classrooms, state of the art teaching technology, a fitness center, lounges and auditorium.  The apartments are 2 bedroom/1 bathroom, four students per apartment, fully furnished, fully equipped kitchens, microwaves, cable TV in the living rooms, and high speed internet connections at every bedside. Housing costs include all amenities except sheets and towels.  We recommend you refer to the  checklist   pdf  of items to bring with you.  Housing fees of approximately $2,400 are paid in advance, for some quarters as early as 3-4 weeks after being admitted to the program.  Students seeking disability accommodations at the UC Washington Center must be registered with the UCSD Office for Students with Disabilities and contact the UC Washington Center’s staff immediately after acceptance into the UCDC program.

Program Costs

University fees are the same as for a quarter on campus, but the cost of living in Washington is higher. Estimated total fees and living expenses (including round trip airfare, housing, food and meals, books and supplies, local commuting, clothing, and other personal expenses) per quarter run in the range of $7100 - $7600. Here is a sample of the  budget   pdf that we provide students. Of course, this will vary for different individuals. Financial aid recipients will be given a budget to take to their financial aid officer so their aid amount may be increased accordingly. Financial aid recipients with a minimum 3.0 GPA are automatically considered for the UC President's Washington DC Scholarship.


You are allowed to apply if you are eligible by the beginning of the quarter preceding the quarter of your internship. For example, applicants for the Spring 2010 quarter must satisfy the following requirements by beginning of Winter 2010:

Quarterly Schedule in DC

Each quarter is extended to approximately 11 weeks and you return to San Diego the weekend before finals week on campus. There is no finals week in DC.