Frequently Asked Questions
A: In order to apply, you must submit the online application, resume, and at least two letters of recommendation no later than the established due date and time. Visit the Application page for more instructions, due dates, and the online application. Applications are screened and qualified candidates are invited to interview. More information about interviews will be provided to candidates that time.
Q: Who should I ask to provide a letter of recommendation for me?
A: We ask that you have a letter of recommendation from at least one faculty member, but any person who knows you in a professional capacity (supervisors, advisors, etc.) are acceptable recommenders.
Q: What criteria do you use to select students?
A: We look at a variety of criteria, including, but not limited to: grades, coursework, interest in the program, maturity level, involvement in extracurricular activities, and career goals. Each student is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, meaning there is no set rubric of qualities that we look for. It is important to note that we select applicants based on quality rather than quantity, we may accept fewer students than there are available spots.
Q: How many students are selected for a DC program each semester?
A: The number varies per semester because we chose interns based on quality of the applicant pool rather than on a certain set number, but is generally no fewer than 20 in each program.
Q: How competitive is the application process?
A: This varies from semester to semester. In some semesters there have been as many as 60 applicants and in others as few as 30. As a general rule of thumb, if you feel that you are qualified applicant and are passionate about spending a semester in Washington, DC, you are highly encouraged to apply.
Q: Will this program delay my graduation?
A: Each student should speak with an academic advisor for their major to discuss how the classes can fit into their graduation requirements. Each school and major accepts the credits in a different way, so it is important to plan accordingly. The earlier you start the planning process for the program, the less likely you are to delay graduation.
Q: Will the credits count toward my degree requirements?
A: This depends on your department and, more specifically, your major. All students in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) will receive credit toward their graduation requirements from participating in the program, but we recommend that students in other programs talk independently with their academic advisors to determine eligibility.
Q: What paperwork do I need to complete for the internship to count toward my experiential requirement for SPEA?
A: SPEA students do not have to complete any of the internship paperwork for their WLP experience to count towards their experiential requirement. All necessary documentation is handled by SPEA staff.
Q: How do I decide which internship to do?
A: That is entirely up to the student to decide with the help of WLP staff. Each internship will offer a very different experience and opportunities to grow in different and new ways. WLP staff will help participants evaluate the internships and chose one based on their own strengths and interests. Internship evaluations from many former WLP participants and internship summaries from supervisors are available to help students make an informed decision.