Deadlines and Application Submission
2023 Spring Semester Program
- October 11, 2022: Early Deadline
- November 14, 2022: Final Deadline
2023 Summer Program
- December 6, 2022: Early + International Student Application Deadline
- February 9, 2023: Priority Deadline for Scholarships
- March 15, 2023: Final Deadline
2023 Fall Semester Program
- April 12, 2023: Early Deadline
- June 8, 2023: Final Deadline
Simply put, the sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive a decision and the sooner you can start planning your summer or semester. Admissions and scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis and priority consideration is given to those who apply for the early and priority deadlines. Our program staff can also begin working on your internship placement as soon as you enroll. In some cases, this can mean a faster placement process.
You should apply to the program track that appeals the most to you. Make sure that the curriculum and internship placements most closely match your career interests. If you have questions about the various programs or are having trouble selecting a program, please contact our staff to discuss. You are welcome to apply to more than one program track, but you can only be accepted to one program at a time. Your application will be considered for your preferred program track first, so you must select a preference.
There is no formal GPA requirement but in general, our admissions committee looks for applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher. We like to see well-rounded students who demonstrate ambition, academic ability, leadership ability, maturity and involvement in campus and community activities. A low GPA may be compensated for with a strong resume, good recommendations and well-written essays. The committee also weighs the strength of your curriculum and the difficulty of the courses you have taken.
The admissions process is competitive, but if you have strong academic and extracurricular achievements, you have a good chance of being admitted. Admitted students come from a wide variety of schools, backgrounds and academic majors. Since our class sizes are fixed, the number of admitted students varies on the size of the applicant pool, which is different from year to year. Our admissions committee reviews applications on a rolling basis and students who apply early are given preference in admissions, scholarship awards and internship placement. Something to keep in mind when you are deciding when to apply!
The majority of the students that we accept are sophomores and juniors, as they generally have had a chance to establish themselves academically at the college level. However, each year we do accept a number of first years and seniors. The program is very rigorous so we look for first years with both outstanding academic records and good time-management skills. Graduating seniors are required to take the mandatory classes associated with the program even if they no longer need the credit. No classes may be audited or taken for pass/fail credit. We look for seniors who are fully committed to all aspects of the program.
Applicants must be 18 years old, have graduated high school and have completed at least one semester of undergraduate study at an accredited college or university before applying to attend one of the summer or semester programs.
No. Your online application may be submitted before or after your supplemental materials are received. You may also send materials in different packages. Materials will be added to your file as soon as they are received. Please remember that your application will not be considered complete until all of your application materials are received. It is your responsibility to make sure that we have received all of your materials. You may check the status of your application materials by logging into your Radius Self Service Center account.
Yes. Your entire application is due at the deadline. We require that online applications be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on the deadline and that all supplemental materials be received by the deadline in order to qualify.
No. All of your materials must be received by the deadline to qualify.
In order to process your application as soon as possible, we strongly encourage that your transcript is emailed directly from your home university to our admissions email address. It must come from your home university’s registrar in order to be considered official.
If your school is unable to send the transcript electronically, it must be mailed in a sealed envelope from your home university. All of your other materials may be sent via mail or through the online application system.
U.S. Programs Admissions Committee
The Fund for American Studies
1621 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
There is a $25 non-refundable application fee. Students may choose to apply to multiple programs (in a single term), but will only incur the single $25 fee. If a student applies for a summer and semester program an additional fee of $25 will be incurred.
You can pay the application fee online using a credit card when you submit your online application. The system will prompt you to select a method of payment after hitting the “Submit” button. You can also pay by check mailed to The Fund for American Studies, marked Attn: U.S. Programs Admissions Committee. The check should have your name and the program track to which you are applying in the memo line.
Yes. You are welcome to apply to up to three program tracks, but you will only be accepted to one program at a time. You will be considered for your preferred track first, so you must select a preference.
We review applications on a rolling basis and we make admissions decisions within three weeks after an application is marked complete (upon the receipt of the online application and all supporting materials). International student admissions decisions are made several weeks after the international student deadline. You will be notified by email of your admissions decision. You can also check your admission status by logging into your Radius Self Service Center account. We will not review any applications that are missing documents, so we encourage you to check online to verify that all of your materials have been received.
Your resume should be one-page. We offer detailed instructions, tips and guidelines. View our Resume Guide for additional information.
You should include all professional experience as well as campus and volunteer activities. Your resume will be used in the admissions process and will also be sent to potential internship sites. We encourage you to refer to the Resume Guide for more tips on writing a resume.
Yes. We require an official transcript in order for your application to be considered complete. In order to process your application as soon as possible, we strongly encourage that your transcript is emailed directly from your home university to our admissions email address. It must come from your home university’s registrar in order to be considered official.
If your school is unable to send the transcript electronically, it must be mailed in a sealed envelope from your home university.
U.S. Programs Admissions Committee
The Fund for American Studies
1621 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Learn more about submitting your official transcript.
If your grades from past universities attended are not on your current institution’s transcript, then you must send transcripts from all previous universities. We cannot accept transcripts that show “TR” to reflect transfer credit. The letter grade earned for each course must be included.
Sure! It’s fine to go slightly over the word limit, but please do not upload any lengthy documents.
We award scholarships based on academic record, extracurricular achievement, leadership ability and financial need. About 85% of all students receive scholarships. We award scholarships on a rolling basis, so if you need financial assistance we encourage you to apply early. Full scholarships are available through our Leadership Scholars Program.
If you are a U.S. student, you are required to complete the scholarship portion of the online application including the scholarship statement, as well as send in the appropriate personal financial materials. You can find details on what materials are required by clicking here.
If you are an international student who is NOT currently studying in the U.S. and you would like to apply for a scholarship, you are required to complete as much of the online scholarship application as possible and you MUST submit the scholarship statement.
If you are an international student currently studying in the U.S., you will have to provide documentation of any scholarship assistance you receive from your university. This does not need to be in a formal letter format, but may be a print-out from your university’s online system or a university bill that shows the breakdown of costs. Additionally, you will be required to submit the scholarship statement.
No. We make admissions and scholarship decisions at the same time, so if you need to apply for funding you must complete the scholarship application when you submit the rest of the application. If you select that you would like to apply for a scholarship, your application will not be considered complete or reviewed until we receive the personal financial materials. You may find details on these materials by clicking here.
Your SAR can be accessed through the U.S. Department of Education’s website fafsa.ed.gov or obtained from your home university’s financial aid office. Your PIN and password are required in order to log into the government website. Please make sure to send us the entire SAR document as it is usually 5-6 pages in length.
Yes. It is fine to send your SAR from the current school year.
Yes. You should send the tax return that claims you as a dependent.
Yes. If you are receiving any funding for the current school year, including merit-based or athletic scholarships, you must send a copy of your financial aid award summary detailing any grants, loans or scholarships that you received. This does not need to be in a formal letter format, but may be a print-out from your university’s online system or a university bill that shows the breakdown of costs.
Yes, it is possible. Some of our students use student loans to cover the cost of the program, but the loan money must be acquired through your home college or university. Your home institution must be willing to participate in a consortium agreement in order for university-certified loans to be used for the TFAS programs. We encourage you to speak with your home institution’s financial aid office early in order to begin this process. If you are interested in using your existing financial aid package you should contact program staff for help with this procedure. Learn more about financing your D.C. experience.
Yes. We do accept a very limited number of international students each year. The application process is very competitive due to the small number of spaces we have available.
Due to continuing visa restrictions related to the pandemic, TFAS is limiting the number of international student participants in the Summer 2023 programs.
We have several special scholarships/partnerships available for students from specific countries. Admission of international students studying outside of the U.S. will be limited to applications from the following:
- The Netherlands + Dutch Caribbean Countries
- Spain (CEU Partnership)
Yes. The international student deadline for the summer programs is December 6.
If you are an international student already studying in the U.S. you can apply after the international student deadline. However, if you are a student applying for restricted scholarship funding specifically available to international students, you must apply for the international student deadline in order to be considered.
Yes. We have several special scholarships available to students from the following countries: Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, and the Netherlands + Dutch Caribbean Countries. Please see the scholarship page for more information. If you are an international student, you must apply by the international student deadline in order to be considered for funding.
If you have yet to obtain a passport, please fill in each question of the passport section of the application with “N/A”. As soon as a passport is obtained, you must provide the number to the admissions staff.
It is preferred that international students submit proof of English proficiency. A phone interview may be conducted for applicants who have not taken one of these tests:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): A score of 88 or higher on the internet-based exam, 230 or higher on the computer-based exam, and 570 or higher on the paper-based exam.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS): A score of 6.5 on the academic exam.
- Completion of the Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) Exam.
- Pearson Academic Test of English: A minimum score of 59.
- SAT I Critical Reading/ACT-English: A score of 450 or higher on the SAT I critical reading section or an ACT-English score of 20 or higher.
International applicants who have completed a year of study at a regionally accredited university in the U.S., Canada (excluding the province of Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand are considered to have met the level of English proficiency and do not need to submit additional documentation.
You must upload all of the required writing samples into the application system. All technical difficulties should be directed to the Radius (Anthology) technical support by clicking on the appropriate link within the system.
Once you complete your application, you can submit it by clicking on the “Submit” button at the bottom of the screen. The system will provide details on any required questions that you did not answer. Please note – our admissions committee will not have access to any information that you have entered into the online system until you hit the submit button. Once the application has been submitted, you cannot make any changes to your online application.
Summer Programs: You will live in the District House building on the campus of George Washington University. The building is convenient to public transportation, which will allow for easy travel between your classes, your internship, and the great sites of the nation’s capital. To learn more, please visit the Student Life page.
Semester Programs: You will live in a furnished residential building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. along with other Capital Semester students. The building is convenient to public transportation, which will allow for easy travel between your classes, your internship, and the great sites of the nation’s capital. To learn more, please visit the Student Life page.
You are responsible for your own transportation to and from Washington, D.C. There are three airports, an Amtrak train station and a bus station located in the D.C. area.
- Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA)
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
- Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)
- Amtrak station Washington – Union Station, DC (WAS)
- Greyhound/MegaBus/Bolt Bus Lines – Washington, D.C. (Union Station)
While we strongly encourage you to live in TFAS housing, you have the option to forgo housing and locate your own accommodations for your time here in D.C. Many TFAS events occur in the early morning and classes go late into the evening. Our accommodations make it easier for you to attend all required and optional events. If you are considering finding your own accommodations, you must notify the program staff to receive permission.
Yes, but we highly discourage you from bringing your car. Parking is difficult to find and expensive in Washington, D.C. (running anywhere from $200 to $300 a month). Parking is not available at the TFAS housing building. Street parking is limited in the city and permits are not available to summer and short-term residents. The D.C. Metrobus and Metrorail system is safe, clean, and readily accessible in all areas of the city. If you decide to bring your car, you are responsible for arranging your own parking for your time in Washington, D.C. Internship sites typically do not have parking available for interns.
Washington is an exciting city, rich with culture, tradition, and history. Visitors and residents alike are surrounded by historic buildings, monuments, and museums that make this city even more appealing. With access to gallery openings, museums, landmarks, unique D.C. events, and music venues, you will surely find your favorite spot or activity in the District. Students often catch “Potomac Fever”, and move back to The District after the program ends.
The D.C. area has one of the cleanest and most efficient public transportation systems in the world, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (see wmata.com for more information). You can take the Metrorail or Metrobus system to locations throughout the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.
Both student housing options are located just a couple of blocks from Metro Stations, providing easy access to all parts of the city.
You will need to plan on spending around $30-$50 each week for transportation costs, although the cost will vary by commute. All classes, events, and internship sites are reachable by public transportation.
While you will not need to have your own computer in class, you will need a computer for homework assignments. You will be able to access computers in multiple labs on the George Mason University Arlington campus where you will be taking classes. Wireless internet is also easily accessible at both locations. You are encouraged to bring a computer for the duration of the program.
You will need to bring your own bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets) and towels. The housing provides laundry facilities. All appliances, furniture and kitchenware will be provided. Feel free to pack some decorations to make your room feel more like home.
In packing clothes, be aware that Washington is very hot and humid during the spring, summer and early fall, but can change dramatically throughout your stay in the District. Despite what the meteorologist might say, there is always a chance for an unexpected shower, so be sure to pack an umbrella or raincoat. You can wear casual clothes to class, but you must wear professional attire for both your internship and program events. You will need to check with your office about the dress code before your first day, but typically men wear coats and ties and women wear dresses, skirts or dress slacks.
You are responsible for your own meals throughout the program. Apartments are equipped with full kitchens, so many students choose to cook their own meals. Details on grocery stores and delivery options will be provided to students ahead of arrival.
D.C. summers are definitely hot. The average high is 84 degrees (29 Celsius) in June, 89 degrees (31 Celsius) in July, and 87 degrees (31 Celsius) in August. Apartments and classrooms are air-conditioned. There is always a chance for rain, so come prepared to carry an umbrella.
Washington’s weather in the fall is very temperate. The average high is 80 degrees in September, with the average low being 57 degrees. The high for October is 69 degrees with the average low being 44 degrees. November and December are chilly months with the average high in the low 50s and the lows in the upper 20’s and lower 30’s.
Spring weather is also very moderate. January and February will still be chilly, averaging highs in the mid-40s. You will see a 10-degree temperature increase in the average high and low temperatures as the spring season progresses into March, April and May.
Washington is a relatively expensive place to live and visit, so you should plan to bring enough money to cover your meals, social expenses, transportation costs and other shopping needs. An estimate of what we have found students to spend each week is between $175-$225.
Most students do not open a new account while they are participating in our program. Several national banks have branches located throughout the city which we encourage you to look into. For students that are coming from areas without national banks, there are options as well. Most ATM machines will accept your card, but there will be a small service fee since you are not a member. If you are in need of cash, most students in the past have been to get cash back when they purchase items from a convenience or grocery store.
As residents of George Washington University, students have access to GW Mail Services and will be assigned a summer mailing address from which to send and receive mail and packages. More information will be provided at the time of enrollment into the program.
Semester students will receive mail directly in their building in assigned mailboxes.
You will be matched with roommates of the same gender based on the Housing Questionnaire you will complete at the time of enrollment. You will be notified by TFAS staff of your roommate’s contact information before your arrival in Washington, usually several weeks before your arrival.
Classes will be located on George Mason University’s Arlington campus, at the Virginia Square-GMU Metro stop. Courses will be held in new, state-of-the-art classrooms in Van Metre Hall and Hazel Hall.
Yes, you will use your Student ID card to access the GMU Library and the Law Library. Students will also have access to the Gelman Library on the George Washington University campus.
Yes, in order to participate in the TFAS program you are required to take a minimum of one academic course worth three credits (summer). Students may opt to take another elective course for a total of six credits. Semester students will take 12 credits. These courses are offered on a letter grading scale and cannot be audited or taken for pass/fail credit.
Most universities accept transfer credit from George Mason University; however, you should check with your home university’s registrar, dean or academic advisor about the credit transfer policy.
You will be able to view your grades online and request official transcripts after the completion of the program.
Most offices require professional attire, but you should check with your internship supervisor about your office dress code before your first day. You are required to dress professionally for briefings, guest lectures, and other special events. You are not required to dress up for class.
Books generally cost about $100-$200, but costs vary by program. You should plan to purchase them online ahead of time or visit the bookstore upon arrival in D.C.
Yes. You are required to attend every class, including academic lectures, discussions and briefings associated with each class. You must complete all class assignments, actively participate in class, and respect your lecturers and speakers. You must also follow your internship schedule, including work hours and assignments.
The TFAS schedule is packed with exciting events, lectures, classes, internships and more. We want you to be immersed in the Washington, D.C. culture, so you can truly make the most of your connections and maximize your experience in D.C. Your days are long, often lasting up to ten hours with your classes and internship. You will have plenty of free time on the weekends and late evenings to explore D.C. Be prepared to be busy due to the nature of the program. We discourage long-distance travel or long visits from family and friends during the week.
Be sure to notify your program staff if your spring semester extends into June and conflicts with the start of the program. Because of the busy schedule, we discourage late arrivals. We encourage students to arrange to take exams before the start of the program, so they will not miss any internship and class hours. We will do our best to work with you if a conflict is unavoidable – you must receive permission to arrive after the program start date.
The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is an independent nonprofit organization that is an academic partner of George Mason University. TFAS coordinates student class registration with the university and contracts for classroom space. Participants are enrolled as GMU students for the duration of the program and will receive transcripts directly from George Mason University upon completion of the program.
Yes, you can receive credit for your internship through the program. We offer a course called the Internship Seminar that will allow you to earn three credits from George Mason University. This course meets once a week. Often students also work with their home university to earn credit for their internship so make sure you check with your registrar’s office before enrolling!
A growing number of news and media outlets will only accept students who can receive academic credit for their internships. Journalism + Communications program track students whose school will not grant credit for their internship are strongly encouraged to enroll our Internship Seminar course.
The internship placement process through TFAS is based on a combination of the student’s skills, experience and interests as well as the needs of internship sites. For more detail on this process, visit the Internship Placement Process section of the website.
Each student’s placement process varies, but you can expect to have your internship confirmed anytime from 4 to 12 weeks after you’ve enrolled in the program. Our staff work with internship sites to review application materials and render a decision as quickly as possible.
Students may find their own internship, but the site needs to be approved by TFAS staff. Please contact your TFAS program staff member before you begin your search. Our staff will provide more information on this process along with the internship guidelines of each program.
Most internships in Washington, D.C. are unpaid; this is also the case for most TFAS internships. Some sites do offer compensation or travel stipends, but this is rare and should not be expected.
Interested in working on Capitol Hill? That’s great! Students participating in all but the Business + Government Relations program are welcome to apply for positions in Congressional offices. In general, there are more openings in the House of Representatives. Internships in the Senate are fewer and tend to be very competitive. We suggest that students apply directly to these offices as members of Congress give preference to students from their home districts or states. Please be aware that some Hill internships are only 4 weeks in duration and would consequently not satisfy our requirement for the full 8 weeks of our program.
TFAS staff is happy to provide copies of transcripts, letters of recommendation or writing samples to supplement your application. Be sure to contact your specific program staff to discuss these opportunities further.
Your duties as an intern will vary throughout your time in the office. Often students are asked to attend Congressional hearings, conduct research, manage databases, and write for blogs and newsletters as well as general administrative tasks. This is a great question to ask during an interview with a potential site.
Luckily, D.C.’s public transportation system is convenient, safe and easy to use. All TFAS internship sites are required to be accessible via public transportation. Learn more about the Metrorail and Metrobus systems.
This is another great question to ask your internship supervisor once you’ve received your placement. You’ve heard of the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? This could not be more true in Washington, D.C.
Even though D.C. is a major metropolitan city, it follows a pretty conservative dress code. Most offices will be “business professional dress,” with some having a “casual” day on Fridays.
For women, we suggest dress pants, skirts (near knee length), blouses, dresses and cardigans. You will also want to bring at least one full suit in a neutral color (black, navy blue, grey or tan).
Men should plan to bring 2-3 suits in neutral colors, along with dress shirts, ties, and collared shirts.
Some internship sites will not require that a suit be worn, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring one. All TFAS briefings, professional development opportunities, lectures and networking events are business professional dress.