Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to major in the social sciences to attend the BSIW Program?

No. All majors are welcome. Majors in the Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, and Computer Science have participated in all three quarters of the BSIW Program.

Can I apply for the spring quarter of my senior year?

No. We do not accept students during the spring quarter of their senior year or their last quarter at Stanford.

Can I apply as a sophomore?

Sophomores may apply in the second round for Winter and Spring quarters, juniors and seniors will continue to have priority to attend the program.

Can I attend an overseas program and the BSIW Program?

If you plan carefully, you should be able to participate in the BSIW Program and go abroad as well. Many SIW students have done both and find that the experiences complement each other.

Is there a minimum GPA for admission?

There is no definitive GPA requirement. We take into account your major and coursework in evaluating your transcript. Please be aware that many agencies and organizations routinely request transcripts when considering applicants for internships. We take everything including your essays, resume, and your transcript, into account when considering your application.

Is there any required coursework for attending the BSIW Program?

There is no specific required coursework to attend the BSIW Program. However, we encourage you to take at least one American politics or policy-relevant course before attending SIW.

I applied to the Program, but was not admitted. Can I apply again?

Of course! We encourage you to reapply, especially if you originally applied for the fall quarter of your junior year. To reapply follow the directions in Section 5, entitled reapplying, on our Instructions page.


What will I be doing in my internship?

Nearly all interns are required to do some degree of administrative work- including answering phones, making copies, etc. However, BSIW Program interns are guaranteed to have some substantive aspect to their internship, such as:

  • Research projects
  • Writing letters to constituents and members of Congress
  • Attending briefings and hearings around town and reporting back to office staff
  • Drafting memos
  • And much more!

What do you mean by "full time" internship?

Full time internships average 35 to 40 hours per week, not including commuting time. Most interns work a traditional workweek: Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM or 6PM. Some organizations will require their interns to arrive earlier in the morning or stay later in the evening. This depends on the schedules of the key policymakers in your office and the nature of the work.



How can I get credit in my major for classes taken at SIW?

Classes at Stanford in Washington rarely get credit automatically in any major; however the Economics department has approved our two economics classes (SIW 103 and SIW 151) for credit. For all other departments, please contact students services staff directly to see if classes count. In the past, other departments have given credit for many of our classes and we are happy to provide syllabi or any other information you may need to help you get credit.

When can I register for classes?

You can register for classes when Axess opens for the quarter. Please note, the course schedule will not appear on Axess and will be distributed upon arrival at Stanford in Washington.  Students are allowed to shop for classes; however, all Axess deadlines must be followed.

Do any SIW classes count toward Ways?

Some do, if a course at SIW counts toward one of the Ways that information will appear in Explore Courses.

General Questions


Will the BSIW Program cost more than a quarter on campus?

Like the Bing Overseas Studies Programs, the Bing Stanford in Washington Program is not designed to be any more expensive than living on campus. However, the quarter you spend in Washington may be slightly longer than on campus and thus, SIW’s cost will be slightly higher. Your financial aid package will be adjusted to take into account any difference in the cost of room and board and in the expenses associated with the distance traveled to arrive at SIW from your home.

Washington is a city, with many opportunities, some of which cost money. Although there are many free museums and cultural activities to explore, you may spend more of your funds eating out, going to movies, etc… than you would while living on campus. Lastly, you may need to invest in business attire if you do not already own work-appropriate clothing.

How much free time will I have?

The short answer is not much. However, if you manage your time well you should have opportunities on the weekends to explore Washington. It really depends on how well you manage your time and if you make getting to know the city a priority.

Can the BSIW Program accommodate varsity athletes?

Of course! Many varsity athletes have attended the BSIW Program over the years. Your coach may be able to help you plan a workout schedule, which takes into account your work schedule here in Washington and the availability of exercise facilities. There is a small gym in the SIW building and we also have a relationship with the Marriott Wardman Park Fitness Center, which has a much larger gym across the street. There are also many great places to run in the area.

Can SIW accommodate students with a disability?

Yes. We will work with the Office of Accesible Education on campus to make sure students can be accomodated, as they are on the main campus. We have ramps and elevators, which provide wheelchair access to the entire building. There is also a wheelchair accessible shower in one of the student rooms. We also have one single for students. To qualify for the single, the Office of Accessible Education on the main campus must grant you a single.

Can I bring a car to SIW?

No! For more information on car alternatives, please visit Getting Around.