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American Studies Program


How does our nation’s capital city work?  Find out by living and working there!  For a semester, experience the realities of a lifestyle in public affairs. Choose a public policy or global development track and take coursework in leadership.  An internship will provide you with valuable knowledge and skills in an area ofinterest to you.  Dialogue with leaders in these areas will give you the opportunity to critically assess prominent domestic and international issues.  Students live in apartments eight blocks from the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court.  Organized activities and outings help students relax, serve their community, and explore the city.


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Program Advisor
Dr. Dean Curry, Boyer 456, 717.776.2511 Ext. 2420

Goals and Objectives
The American Studies Program attempts to help students explore public policy and current issues in the light of Biblical truth and to prepare students to live as Christians in our society.

Part-time internships in organizations, such as the Department of Justice, White House, Congress, Associated Press, Library of Congress, Christian Legal Society, Samaritan Ministries, Heritage Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institute, give students hands-on experience. Program advisors attempt to place students according to their interests.

Students must have completed two full years of college and have at least a 2.75 GPA to qualify for the program. Each semester the American Studies Program accepts a total of 40 students. Students are required to attend all Messiah-run pre-departure orientation sessions (Health & Safety and Growing Globally) the semester before studying off-campus as well as half-day reentry retreat upon returning to campus the following semester.


Participation in this program does not meet cross-cultural requirements. 

Students earn sixteen credits through the seminars and internship. Political Science majors can apply nine of their credits toward their major. Courses taken will appear on Messiah transcripts with letter grades. Please refer to the grade conversion chart.

Costs 2014 - 2015

Messiah tuition, room, board plus $1,200 off-campus study fee.

Fee covers tuition, housing, educational excursions, pre-departure, and re-entry orientation. Meals are not included.  Note: additional fees students may encounter include local transportation and meals. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Washington, D.C. 


Messiah Application Deadlines

Spring 2015 – April 1, 2014

Fall 2015 – December 1, 2014


Begin the application process here!


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For more information about Washington, D.C., check out:

Study Abroad American Studies Program Homepage
Study Abroad Smithsonian Institute
Study Abroad US Senate
Study Abroad US House of Representatives
Study Abroad

White House





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Globalization Getting Started Safety Costs Pre-Departure Re-Entry FAQs Application