Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I spend my time?

Students in the fall and spring semesters enroll in two academic classes and work full-time (40 hours/week) internships in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

How will I secure my internship?

WHIP students are expected to take initiative in securing their own internships in Washington, D.C., with assistance from both Career Services and the Kirby Center staff. We recommend that students contact the Career Services office early in the semester prior to leaving for D.C. for help with writing a resume and cover letters. For specific suggestions on what internships would be the best for you, please email WHIP@hillsdale.edu. Note that students are encouraged to choose at least five organizations at which to apply.

Which courses will I take?

WHIP students in the fall and spring take two 3-hour courses: WHIP 393, “Deliberation and the Virtues of Statesmanship,” taught by Kirby Center director David J. Bobb, and Politics 320, “National Security Studies,” taught by Kirby Center Worsham Adjunct Fellow Todd Lowery. Special speakers are featured in both classes. 

How will my 15 credits be graded?

Students will earn three grades: one grade for each of the two academic courses; and one grade for the nine hours of WHIP credit (WHP 385) based on successful completion of the internship and input from the student’s intern supervisor.

What if I’m not majoring in Politics?

WHIP is open to students of all majors. The only prerequisite for the program is completion of POL 101: The U.S. Constitution. The nine WHIP credits given for the full-time internship count toward the student’s general credit hours.

Can I apply as a freshman?

Students are not allowed to participate in WHIP during their freshman year, but can apply as freshmen for their sophomore year.

How expensive is WHIP? Is there financial assistance?

Tuition for WHIP is the same as a regular full-semester class load at Hillsdale College. Housing costs slightly more than it does on campus, due to location and amenities. Students are responsible for their own food, so the usual $2175 for a meal plan is not required. A $4,000 WHIP scholarship (awarded to all students accepted to the program), in addition to a student’s regular financial aid package, help defray room and board expenses.

Where will I live for the semester?

Students live in the Hillsdale House, a renovated townhouse located on Capitol Hill, just two blocks from the Kirby Center. Should the number of students exceed capacity at the Hillsdale House, students will also reside in The Heritage Foundation’s Johnson Building, a 60-bed residence located across the street from the Kirby Center.

Additional Questions?

Please email WHIP@hillsdale.edu with any additional questions.

Tips for D.C. Interns

  • Please check your emails often, and reply in a prompt manner. This is essential for communication with your internship offices and WHIP staff.
  • Write hand-written thank you notes to the places where you interview, and send immediately.
  • There are numerous churches close by the Kirby Center and Hillsdale House. Popular options for Hillsdale students include Capitol Hill Baptist and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
  • Buy a smartcard immediately—with the card your fares will be cheaper.
  • DC is a very walkable city; remember to bring an umbrella and good walking shoes.
  • Consider flying out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI); flights are often more reasonably priced. On weekdays, the MARC train runs from the airport to Washington, D.C.’s Union Station for $6.
  • There is grocery store—Harris Teeter—about a mile walk from the Hillsdale House.
  • There is a 14 cent tax on grocery bags, so consider bringing your own reusable bags.
  • Very rarely will restaurants split checks.
  • Keep cash on hand at all times as most cabs and even small restaurants will take cash only.