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Washington DC Placement Program

Units of study

The Presidency and the Executive Branch - compulsory

The White House, located in the heart of downtown Washington and just a ten-minute walk from UCDC, is an international symbol that simultaneously highlights the lofty promise of American democracy and reflects the significant flaws in the American experiment. The research seminar will examine the strengths and drawbacks of presidential leadership, the evolving role of the presidency in American culture, and introduce students to some major thematic debates that define presidential politics. The seminar will draw on the city of Washington as an experience through visits to current and former White House aides, news correspondents, and political and policy experts. Seminar topics include how presidents have sought to enact their reform agendas from the New Deal to Reagan's economic program to President Obama's health reform law; how they have struggled to manage foreign affairs while leading the U.S. in wartime; why Congress, the Supreme Court, and the news media thwart and assist presidential agendas at different moments; how presidents have harnessed the 'bully pulpit' in the modern age to rally voters to their ideas, push their policies, and position themselves for re-election; and how they have pursued various strategies for manipulating a highly volatile, increasingly hostile Washington media climate.

BUSS2500 Washington DC Placement - compulsory

Administered by the University of Sydney Business School and taught by a Business School academic, this unit is compulsory for all students accepted into the program. The unit comprises a professional placement in Washington DC as well as preparatory coursework in reflective and professional practice. It also includes coursework on research methods, reporting and other professional writing skills. Assessment will include a reflective journal, research essay, and oral presentations based on the internship professional placement and study abroad experience.


Students must also choose one elective unit offered by UCDC. A list of options will be available soon.

About UCDC

When the University of California (UC) first opened its doors in 1869, it had just 10 faculty members and 38 students. Today, the UC system includes more than 220,000 students and more than 170,000 faculty and staff, with more than 1.5 million alumni living and working around the world.

The academic presence of the University of California in Washington DC dates back to 1990 when two, and shortly thereafter, four UC campuses established academic programs in the nation's capital. By the time of the opening of the Center's present facility in 2001, that number had grown to include eight UC campuses.

The multi-campus residential, instructional and research center provides UC students and faculty opportunities to research, work and study in Washington DC. UC students spend a quarter/semester in residence at the Center and work and study in the DC metropolitan area. As interns with Congress, the Federal Government, research and advocacy organisations, the news media and through a host of other opportunities, students gain first-hand exposure to the American political process while attaining valuable work experience.