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Public Policy & Economics


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June 3 - July 28, 2017

April 5 - Special Extended Application Deadline for Summer 2017

Spend 8 weeks in the nation’s capital with 90 students from around the country and world who are all passionate about public policy. The intensive schedule is designed to maximize your time in Washington by combining learning in the classroom with practical internship experience. The Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES) will give you an insider’s view of Washington, and by the end of the summer you may be ready to call DC home!

When you picture your future, do you see yourself writing legislation, researching policy issues, going to law school or working in government? If so, this is the program for you. Employers are looking for recent graduates with experience, and the best way to stand out after graduation is to complete an internship and make connections now. In fact, employers give twice as much weight to graduates' work experience as to their academic credentials, according to a 2012 survey from the Chronicle of Higher Education as noted in a November 13, 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal.

The Fund for American Studies has sponsored academic internship programs in Washington, DC for over 40 years. Our objective is to provide a real-world professional and academic experience for college students to help prepare them for responsible leadership in the future.

 ICPES consists of the following major components:

LIVE: Furnished housing on George Washington University’s campus, just steps from the White House and Department of State, as well as the Foggy Bottom Metrorail station.

LEARN: Academic courses in economics and government with credit through George Mason University.  GMU was recently named one of the top 100 research universities in the U.S. by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Classes are held in state-of-the-art facilities at George Mason University’s Arlington campus, conveniently located just four Metro stops away from student housing.

INTERN: Internships with government agencies, Congressional offices, policy groups, political organizations, and law firms throughout the Washington area. Each site is accessible to public transportation, making it easy to get from home to work to class and back again.

CONNECT: Site briefings at key Washington institutions, guest lectures featuring policy experts, networking events and much more!

Your participation also includes these exclusive benefits designed to make your summer in DC an experience to remember:

  • Roommate matching with other institute students based upon compatibility criteria.
  • Easy access to the safe and affordable Metro train and bus system.
  • Full access to campus resources, including libraries, computer labs and much more.
  • Comprehensive orientation to the program, campus and the city upon your arrival.
  • Dedicated program staff members who are available to communicate with you about your internship placement, financial aid and general questions in the months leading up to the program.
  • Continued staff support while you are in Washington to ensure that you have an amazing experience. In addition to the full time, year-round program staff who will get to know you and help you throughout the summer, there will be alumni living in housing and serving as Program Advisors.
  • Professional development seminars on topics including job searching, public speaking and networking.
  • A mentor program where you are matched with a DC professional in your field of interest.
  • Planned social events where you can connect with almost 400 other student leaders participating in LIVE. LEARN. INTERN. programs. These events may include: trivia night, a trip to a Nationals baseball game, volunteer projects, canoeing on the Potomac and a trip to Mt.Vernon.
  • An active network of over 16,000 alumni worldwide to join upon the completion of the program.

Find Out More

Be sure to check out the tabs to your left to read more about all aspects of the program. We accept applications on a rolling basis, so start your application anytime by clicking on the “Apply Now” link on the left-hand menu. Our staff is here to answer any question you may have – please see “Contact Us” for details on how to reach us.

“The professional experience gained through ICPES is invaluable. I now can move forward with more confidence and direction for my future career and goals. Due to the networking experience I got in Washington,D.C. , I truly believe my dream job is a possibility.”

Cassie Sullivan, Boise State University

Intern, Office of Government Ethics


Program Dates

Students should plan to arrive on Saturday, June 3. Students will be allowed to check into their on-campus apartments at between 10:00am - 2:00pm. Orientation activities will be planned for that evening and during the next few days. Students will be required to move out of the apartments on Friday, July 28 by 11:00am. Further details on arrival logistics, registration and orientation will be provided as the summer approaches.

2017 General Weekly Schedule

This schedule is only meant to give an idea of the summer’s general structure.  It is subject to change according to events and briefings. You will receive updated weekly calendars in class and by e-mail throughout the summer.

9:00AM – 5:00PM        Internships

9:00AM – 3:30PM        Internships
4:30PM – 7:00PM        Economic Problems and Public Policies
7:30PM - 8:30PM         Guest Lecture Series

9:00AM – 5:00PM        Internships

9:00AM – 5:00PM        Internships

9:00AM – 11:30AM       Economic Problems and Public Policies
1:00PM – 5:00PM          Internships

Students opting to participate in elective courses may have slightly less time at their internships. Please click here to view the Elective Course Schedule.

Saturday & Sunday
Optional Weekend Activities Provided: activities can include canoeing on the Potomac River, attending a Washington Nationals Baseball Game, or visiting a museum.

Board of Visitors

The Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems board of visitors is comprised of prominent working professionals in the DC community. They voluntarily assist in the planning of and fundraising for the Institute as well as offer their support with guest lecturers and internship placement. Their focus is to ensure that all students leave with an enhanced understanding of the functionality of government and a valuable experience that will benefit their future career goals.

Peter Redpath, Chairman
Vice President and Student Division Director
The Federalist Society

Karen M. Czarnecki
Director of Education
Law & Economics Center, George Mason University School of Law

Erik Hotmire
Brunswick Group

Christopher C. Hull
Chief of Staff
U.S. Representative Steve King

Sheree Anne Kelly
Vice President
Public Affairs Council

Davor Kunc (AIPES 2002, IIPES 2004, ICPES 2005)
Program Manager
Directorate-General for Enlargement, European Commission

Aaron Lewis
Director of Media and Government Relations
Arianespace, Inc.

Brian Lopina
Washington Navigators

Mitch Muncie
Founding Executive Director
Alexander Hamilton Society

Ann K. Ngo (ICPES 1990)
Senior International Trade Specialist
U.S. Department of Commerce

Liz Purdy Porter
Former Director of Operations and Conferences
Southern Governors' Association

Sean Redmond
Director of Research & Legislative Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Jocelyn Rowe
Rowe Global Consulting Group

Christopher W. Ullman
Director of Global Communications
The Carlyle Group

Marc Wheat
Deputy Assistant General Counsel
Securities and Exchange Commission

Bryan Wood (IBGA 2006)
Legislative Director
U.S. Representative Robert Hurt

DISCLAIMER: Members of the ICPES Board of Visitors serve in a personal capacity and do not represent their listed employers.