Semester in D.C. Program

Pitt Law’s Semester in D.C. Program offers you a different kind of semester. If you want to gain real world, full-time experience working in your specialty area, have a particular interest in policy or government-related work, or would like to work in Washington, D.C. after graduation, the Semester in D.C. Program could be for you.

Through the Semester in D.C. Program, you get a semester's hands-on experience practicing law and policy by interning in Washington, D.C. for a government or non-profit employer. You'll also obtain training and credentials in your field, meet regularly with your assigned alumni mentor and other Washington-area alumni and practitioners, and learn about the incredible range of jobs in government agencies, on the Hill, and in lobbying firms, non-profit organizations, professional associations, and private firms and companies. 

Semester in D.C. Program Basic Facts

  • Offered in the spring semester only
  • 2Ls and 3Ls can participate
  • Earn 13-14 credits
  • Fulfill graduation requirements
  • Choose from the Flexible Track or the Policy Track of the Program

The Semester in D.C. Program offers two tracks: a flexible track and a policy track (Public Policy Concentration)

Flexible Track: The Flexible Track of the Semester in D.C. Program consists of a full-time externship and a weekly seminar held at Pitt Law’s Washington Center in downtown D.C. The Flexible Track is designed to allow you to pursue your own interests. You can extern for any non-profit or government office, pursuing any kind of law-related work.

Policy Track: By participating in the Policy Track, you earn a Public Policy Concentration. In the Policy Track, you will take policy classes in Washington with students from Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. This spring Policy Track is designed to offer intensive training in the skills that will enable you to succeed in a policy-related job after graduation. We are the only law school in the country to offer our students a Semester in D.C. Program jointly with a graduate policy school. 

Past employers include:

  • Federal agencies like the Departments of Justice, Commerce, State, and Health and Human Services; Environmental Protection Agency; Securities and Exchange Commission; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Federal Communications Commission; and U.S. Attorney's Office
  • Congressional offices like the offices of Senators Robert “Bob” Casey (Pa.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)
  • Nonprofit organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Legal Services Corporation, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Pan-American Health Organization, and American Civil Liberties Union


  • Start by consulting our FAQ page to learn about the basics of the Semester in D.C. Program.
  • Then, visit our Fellowships page to learn about financial aid assistance.
  • To keep up to date with Semester in D.C. Program events, as well as D.C. externship and job announcements, join our LinkedIn page.
  • Email Professor Drew Roberts at to be added to the Semester in D.C. Program email list and receive announcements about semester externships, summer internships, and entry-level jobs in D.C.
  • Learn about what Semester in DC Program alumni are doing on our Alumni Spotlights page.
  • We also have five pdf downloads with practical information for you: an Externship (and Job) Placement Resources document with useful information for finding externships as well as summer internships and jobs; a DC Housing Guide; a sample syllabus from the D.C. Seminar; and two Pitt-password-protected Employer Lists: an SDC Employer List with websites, application information, and alumni contacts for externship employers with which we have connections; and an SDC Unaffiliated Employer Information document with the names and websites of other potential externship sites.


Your support makes this program truly invaluable to the Semester in D.C. students. Find out about the many ways you can help this year’s Semester in D.C. students make the most of their experience.

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Submit your externship opportunity, become familiar with the Semester in D.C. Program requirements, and learn about its advantages.

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