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Academic Study


Although based in Washington, D.C., students are registered as full-time students, fulfill university residency requirements, and are eligible for financial assistance.

Research Seminar

This mandatory seminar is the core of each student's program of study. It consists of weekly class meetings.

There are separate thematic seminar issue areas that include students from all UC schools.

Prior seminars include:

  1. Congress
  2. Media/Political Communications
  3. The Bureaucracy
  4. Traditional (non-themed)
  5. Supreme Court 

Each student designs a research project leading to a substantial term paper that incorporates the knowledge gained from the internship as well as making use of extensive local resources.

Academic Courses

Also, each student will take one or two Upper-Division Elective(s) that emphasize a particular subject, such as:

  1. Politics
  2. History
  3. Public policy
  4. Media
  5. Arts and culture

Subject matter varies per semester. UC Merced, UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania share a joint semester curriculum that allows you to receive UC Merced credit for each elective offered.

Past Electives

  1. A Theater of Politics/The Politics of Theater
  2. Islam and Democracy in the Modern Age
  3. Art and Power in Modern Times
  4. American Foreign Policy
  5. Museums and Society: the Power of Display in Washington, D.C.
  6. Campaigns and Elections 


For more information on future courses being offered, please visit the UCDC Future Courses and UCDC Courses pages.