Frequently Asked Questions

How does the internship placement work? Do I have to pick an internship before I apply?
We expect you to have a general idea of the types of internships you are interested in. It is possible to get information about various possibilities from libraries, on the internet, and from books available in the UCDC office and some of the field study offices on campus. There are literally hundreds of internships available in Washington, and all of them are open to participants in this program.

If you are accepted to the program, we will ask you to give us your top 3-4 internship preferences. These will go to our staff person in Washington who will assist you with making a placement. She is very skilled at this and has excellent contacts. It is possible you will have telephone interviews with prospective placements. This gives you a chance to find out what your responsibilities might be, etc. Some students choose to make all their own contacts and to secure a placement without the help of our Washington staff. Please be aware that the materials that you have given us to apply to this program will be sent to Washington and forwarded to potential internship supervisors. It is very important that what you give us looks professional and is checked over for spelling, grammar, etc.

What courses are offered in Washington? Will any of them apply to my major?
All students take two courses during the program, the centerpiece of the program is a 12 unit internship seminar (UCDC 194A/B). This seminar features group meetings and tutorial sessions related to the internship. In addition, you may chose to enroll in one elective course. Please note that course offerings change quarterly. It is a good idea to talk to an advisor in your major about whether or not any of these courses will give you major credit.

Where should I tell people to send letters of recommendation?
The letter should be sent to Marianna Santana, UCDC Coordinator, at

What should my letters of recommendation talk about?
The letter writers should clearly articulate how this program fits into your academic goals, and how your academic performance indicates your readiness for this program. They should talk about your strengths and how you might fare on a demanding academic program, away from home.  They might address your emotional maturity.

Are there sample student essays I can look at? I’ve heard that you keep a collection of them.
No, we don’t have sample student essays. But write about what you think makes you a good candidate for the UCDC program. How does this program relate to your overall academic goals? What kinds of internship jobs can you visualize yourself doing? What motivates you to do this program? Give a good picture of who you are, what drives you, and where you want to go in your life!

When will we know if we are selected for this program?
Final decisions will be made approximately one month from the application deadline. A mandatory orientation for accepted students will happen near the end of the previous quarter (e.g., orientation for fall quarter will be held the preceding spring, etc.).

If I go to Washington for spring quarter in my senior year, will I be able to get back to Santa Cruz in time for graduation?
Yes you will. It is very important that you talk with your department and your college BEFORE you leave for Washington about any requirements you will need to fulfill before you graduate — both in terms of course work, and also such things as ordering caps and gowns, signing last minute forms, etc. Ordering these things is more difficult from DC.