Penn Arts & Sciences Logo
Events, alumni networking, courses, and internships for Penn students on campus and in D.C.

Course Details

All students will take three courses for four credits. The orientation course will meet intensively for the first week of the semester followed by periodic meetings for the remainder of the term. The remaining two courses will meet once a week for the rest of the semester. There is a full week break at approximately the 12th week of the program, after completion of the ten week internship period. This falls on Thanksgiving in the fall and in late March/early April in the spring. Note that semester start and end dates and breaks do not correspond with the Penn calendar.

 

Fall 2017 Courses

PSCI 330-301: PIW Semester Core Seminar: Conducting Public Policy Research in Washington (two credits)

This is the first course of the Penn in Washington semester program and serves as an introduction to Washington, with a particular focus on policymaking institutions and the intricate web of organizations and individuals that contribute to the policymaking process. A combination of lectures, tours, and meetings with senior policymakers will prepare students for their internships and also provide sufficient background to create a comprehensive map of the policymaking world. In the second part of this two credit course, students will choose one policy arena to explore deeply. A proposal, final paper, and group presentation will be prepared which draw on the content from the first part of the course to develop a sophisticated understanding of policymaking in a particular policy arena.

Faculty: Dr. Deirdre Martinez, Executive Director, Penn in Washington

 

PSCI 398-302: The U.S. Presidency: Limits on Chief Executive Power

What are the limits on presidential power? How much can a President accomplish when faced with an uncooperative Congress, and how has this changed over time? What are the limits on the exercise of presidential power in the foreign policy space, and what exactly can Congress do to curtail the powers of the Commander in Chief? Guest speakers will include representatives from the State Department's Legal Advisor's Office, the NSS, DOD, and the CIA.

Faculty: Miguel Rodriguez, Partner, Bryan Cave and former White House Director of Legislative Affairs

 

PSCI 398-303: Today’s Diplomacy: How Does it Really Work?

This seminar will look at diplomacy as the central instrument of foreign policy. It will examine the role of diplomacy and the responsibilities of the State Department and other actors, explore the resources and techniques available to them, and review the way diplomats have used these tools in recent history. We will take a practical approach, talking about international relations and how foreign policy is actually formed today. The course will be broken up into three units: the players in diplomacy, the tools used in foreign policy, and recent case studies. The intent of this class is to enable you to able to begin working in politics or international affairs with the necessary foundational information on how foreign policy is created and implemented.

Faculty: Abigail DenburgAnalyst, International Government Affairs, Boeing

 

 

Spring 2018 Courses

PSCI 330-301: PIW Semester Core Seminar: Conducting Public Policy Research in Washington (two credits)

This is the first course of the Penn in Washington semester program and serves as an introduction to Washington, with a particular focus on policymaking institutions and the intricate web of organizations and individuals that contribute to the policymaking process. A combination of lectures, tours, and meetings with senior policymakers will prepare students for their internships and also provide sufficient background to create a comprehensive map of the policymaking world. In the second part of this two credit course, students will choose one policy arena to explore deeply. A proposal, final paper, and group presentation will be prepared which draw on the content from the first part of the course to develop a sophisticated understanding of policymaking in a particular policy arena.

Faculty: Dr. Deirdre Martinez, Executive Director Penn in Washington

 

PSCI 398-301: Security, Humanitarianism, or Poverty Reduction: Trends and Debates in Modern International Development

In recent years, international development has exploded into the headlines. No longer relegated as an afterthought, many policy makers, academics, and advocates throughout the world view development as an essential component of national security, alongside defense and diplomacy. The goal of this course is to provide students with a sophisticated baseline knowledge and understanding of the key issues, players, theories and debates in international development. The course will examine, among other things, theories of international development, development policymaking and implementation in the U.S., the role of non-governmental and international organizations, and the post 2015 development agenda. Students will analyze, through case studies, various viewpoints on development, including how to measure and whether development is effective, the public’s perception of development, who benefits from development, and why donor countries provide foreign assistance

Faculty: Joshua Blumenfeld, Managing Director, Malaria No More and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Senate Affairs

 

PSCI 398-302: The Communicator’s Dilemma: Covering Politics and Government with Speed and Depth in an Age of Twitter

This course examines trends in a media landscape transformed by technology over the last three decades, from the post-Watergate era to the early soundings of the 2016 presidential campaign. The course will lean hard on guest speakers to give it topicality, urgency and a sense of personal connection. We will also dissect media in its many forms to see if the old standards of objectivity have given way to a new model that verges on advocacy. Past speakers have included Peter Hanby (Snapchat), Neil Irwin (Upshot/NYT), Mike Allen (Politico's "Playbook“), and Jim Tankersley (Washington Post)

Faculty: Michael Tackett, Deputy Political Editor, New York Times