Washington, D.C. Spring Break Trip

Study Government and Politics in Washington, D.C.
Mar. 8-12, 2020

Students and faculty will travel to the nation's capital for an intensive five-day, four-night, hands-on seminar in government and politics. We will tour and meet officials at the White House, Congress and Supreme Court as well as network with DC-area alumni. The travel portion will take place during spring break. Funding from the James and Martha Lamb American Government Experience Fund is being provided to help offset the costs of this program.


  • Scot Schraufnagel, Ph.D., chair, NIU Department of Political Science

Program Fee

  • $500 (excludes tuition and fees)
  • Fee includes accommodation, three dinners, two lunches, a Washington, D.C. alumni reception, speaker honorariums and a pre-paid Metro Card for transportation in Washington, D.C.
    • You are responsible for your own transportation to and from Washington, D.C.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $250 is due by Dec. 13, 2019, with the balance due by Jan. 31, 2020.
  • In order to receive a one (1) credit hour grade, you must enroll in POLS 497: P003, spring 2020, through MyNIU, as well as submit a complete registration packet and deposit to the Department of Political Science.
    • You may also take part in the course for no credit and should not enroll through MyNIU but will submit a complete registration packet and deposit to the Department of Political Science.

Course Requirements

You are expected to attend a Feb. 21, 2020 mandatory orientation meeting, as well as, all program events in Washington, D.C. For those enrolling in the one-credit class, readings will be posted on Blackboard and you are required to keep a journal of your experiences during the trip. The course grade will be based on the journal as well as attendance and participation at the mandatory meeting and the events in Washington, D.C.


You will share rooms (two students per room) with two queen beds at the Hampton Inn – Navy Yard located at 1265 First Street SE, in the heart of Washington, D.C. The hotel has a fitness center and is close to Metro stops, restaurants and attractions.

Tentative Events (others may be added)

  • Dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill.
  • Nighttime walking tour of monuments.
  • Meet with lobbying/consulting firm for Q/A with lobbyists.
  • Lunch at U.S. Supreme Court building.
  • Touring the U.S. Supreme Court building.
  • Lecture in the Supreme Court chamber.
  • Meet with staff and local member of the U.S. House.
  • Tour of the U.S. Capitol.
  • Lunch at the U.S. Capitol.
  • Reception with Washington, D.C. friends and alumni
  • Tour the Library of Congress
  • Arlington Cemetery
  • Free afternoon to see the sights of your choice.

Registation Packet

Registration packet to be turned in to Zulauf 415 by January 31, 2020.

Important Dates

  • Dec. 13, 2019 - $250 deposit due 
  • Jan. 31, 2019 - Registation packet and balance due 
  • Feb. 21, 2020 at 3 p.m. - Mandatory orientation meeting (Zulaf 1015) 
  • Mar. 8, 2020 - Arrive in Washington, D.C.
  • Mar. 12 - Depart from Washington, D.C.