Once you are accepted to the Penn in Washington Semester program, you will meet first as a cohort and then individually with Deirdre Martinez, executive director of Penn in Washington, to develop a strategy for your internship application process. At the first meeting you will receive a copy of Washington Internships which should be very helpful as you start thinking about where to apply and developing your application materials. Dr. Martinez can provide guidance and often helps students narrow their choices to a manageable number. Finally, the internship database on the PIW site is helpfully organized by category and includes comments from students who have interned at those organizations in the past.
The deadline for the Penn in Washington Semester program is March 15 for the following academic year. Please note that both the fall and spring programs have the same deadline. Students are notified by the beginning of advanced registration, and the first meeting of the cohort occurs within two weeks of notification of acceptance. This gives you plenty of time to complete all the necessary applications before their various deadlines.
The exact timing of the internship search varies depending on the semester and also on where you are applying. The vast majority of internships don’t make their application available until six weeks or so before the semester begins, which means the fall participants won’t be applying to many places before July, while the spring participants will see most deadlines around mid-October. The exception to this are the internship sponsors that require security clearance. For example, the deadline for the State Department is March 1 for fall semester and July 1 for spring semester.