University of California, Washington Center (UCDC)

Nature of Research/Program Description: 

The UCDC (quarter in Washington, D.C.) Program supervises and supports students who pursue internships and academic study in the nation’s capital. The program is open through a competitive application process to juniors and seniors (occasionally sophomores) in all majors. Students enroll for fall, winter, or spring quarter, earning 12-18 course credits, and continue to be registered as a full-time UCSC student. Applicant selection is based on academic record, a written statement, a letter of recommendation, and possibly a personal interview.

Students spend 24-32 hours each week at their internships. Washington, D.C. offers a wide array of  internship possibilities>, from working on Capitol Hill or in a government agency to interning for a major media outlet, a nonprofit organization, or a cultural institution. Internship placements are selected by students based on their interests, with the assistance of UCDC program staff as needed.

Students also attend a weekly research seminar. An essential component of the Washington program, the seminar enables students to draw on Washington’s rich variety of research opportunities to complete a research paper on a subject related to their internships.  In addition to the research seminar, students may also opt to take one upper-division elective course from a range of classes offered by faculty at the Washington Center. Elective classes are offered in several disciplines, including the social and natural sciences, arts, and humanities. All courses take advantage of Washington’s unique resources for study and research.

For information on resources and upcoming events, follow us on Instagram@ucdc_ucsc

Information about the online application process can be found here.

Keywords: Washington Center; instructional center; UCDC; research center; internships; work experience; research papers; academic courses

Contact: Ashley Bayman (

Location Details: 
Washington, DC
Targeted Students: 
UCSC undergraduates who will benefit from hands-on work experience that may tie into their academic and/or long term goals.
Targeted Students/ Eligibity Requirements: 

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply. Admission is competitive. To be eligible for consideration, students must:

  • Be a junior or senior 
  • Recommended 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Have a strong academic record.
  • Provide a strong statement of purpose
  • Provide a strong letter of recommendation (if possible, from faculty rather than TAs or employers). 

Final decisions will be made approximately one month from the application deadline. A mandatory orientation for accepted students will happen near the end of the previous quarter prior to departure (e.g., orientation for fall quarter will be held the preceding spring, etc.).

***Please note, transfer students are not eligible to apply for participation in the program until they have completed their first quarter at UCSC and at least one upper-division course in their major. (Except for exceptional circumstances)

Program Time Period: 
Winter Quarter
Spring Quarter
Fall Quarter
One Quarter
Academic Credit
Application Deadline: 
See for dates.
Year Began: 
Ashley Bayman
Contact Title: 
Global Learning Coordinator and Advisor
Contact Email:
Faculty Director: 
Dan Wirls
Faculty Director Email:
Applied Physics
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Business Management Economics
Classical Studies
Cognitive Science
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Computer Science: Computer Game Design
Earth Sciences
Ecology and Evolution
Education and Teaching
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Studies
Feminist Studies
Field and Exchange
Film and Digital Media
German Studies
Global Economics
History of Art and Visual Culture
Human Biology
Italian Studies
Jewish Studies
Language Studies
Latin American and Latino Studies
Legal Studies
Marine Biology
Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
Network and Digital Technology
Physics (Astrophysics)
Physics Education
Plant Sciences
Robotics Engineering
Technology and Information Management
Theater Arts
Additional information: 
Open to all majors.