Law & Politics

Pre-College students outside the US Supreme Court

Surrounded by the nation’s political activity, GW is the perfect place to study the inner workings of the United States’ legislative system.

The university draws on its rich resources and connections to provide dynamic courses in government, politics, law and ethics.

On-campus and online courses are available for credit, while our noncredit offerings focus on experiential learning environments, connecting students with large institutions and experts in their respective fields.

All course offerings are subject to cancellation.

  • Political Communication
    The White House

    Political Communication

    Jon Ebinger, the instructor for this course, was recently appointed to spearhead an Atlantic Coast Pipeline reporting project. Ebinger is an experienced Washington, D.C.-based news producer and editor who worked for years with ABC News Nightline. Later, while working with ESPN, he launched the weekly investigative program,"Outside the Lines," and led the show's production team. Ebinger has been honored with eight Emmy Awards, including six national news Emmys with "Nightline" (ABC News).

     

    Apply now for the program

One-Week Summer Exposure (noncredit)

Non-credit bearing academic class icon  Noncredit

One-week course icon  One-week program

 Calendar Icon  July 12—17, 2020

Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X: their commitment to the Civil Rights Movement lives on in the actions of modern activists. In this course, students will analyze the impact of modern civil rights initiatives and how current movements strive to rewrite the narrative around controversial topics and impacts in law, commercial policy, and social constructs. Students will also learn the power of their own voices and how to use their civic responsibilities as tools for mass reform.

Group photo of students at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters

Non-credit bearing academic class icon  Noncredit

One-week course icon  One-week program

 Calendar Icon  July 12—17, 2020

It takes a village to plan and execute a political campaign. Without a highly skilled and dedicated campaign staff, even the most qualified candidate’s chance of being elected is slim to none. Students will explore the power of organized rhetorical strategy can take a politician from the ballot to Office, exploring the range of strategies and professional positions involved from the start of the race to election day.

Students walking at the Washington Monument

Two-Week Summer Immersion (noncredit)

Noncredit

The number "2" Two-week program

calendar icon  June 28— July 10, 2020

A major hot topic, the US criminal justice system is one of the most complicated systems in the world. Politicians, activists, and community members alike are working together to bring about change. But what are issues present in the system? What would it take to bring about criminal justice reform? In this course, students will dissect what the criminal justice system is as well as explore systemic issues present in the current system. Students will then learn about avenues of criminal justice reform and dive into creating their own solutions to these complex issues.

Criminal Justice class listening to a presentation by a bombsquad

Noncredit

The number "2" Two-week program

calendar icon  June 28— July 10, 2020

The globalization of economic, political, social and cultural activity has increased society’s need for international understanding and cooperation. This course will expose students to viewpoints and perspectives of foreign policymakers and explore multilateral approaches to international issues. Students will gain a basic understanding of how to analyze and articulate foreign policy.

Photo of students at the Institute of Peace in D.C.

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 12—24, 2020

How do space militarization, nuclear weapons, and climate change impact an international phenomenon such as terrorism? These issues and many others are all governed by international laws, ratified treaties, and United Nations resolutions. In this course, students will employ an interactive, hands-on methodology by visiting Elliott School institutes on campus and attending off-campus briefings with experts in the field. Students will learn the principles of global governance and mediation, discover how the many different subfields of international law fit into the discipline of international affairs, think critically about the various topics, and make individual contributions within a cooperative approach.

Photo of students at a lecture at the National Archives

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 12—24, 2020

Washington, D.C. allows students to study the interplay of media, public affairs, and politics. In this course, students will critically investigate and explore the role media plays in civic and political life. They will also focus on understanding communication, news production, media law, history and ethics through analytical, critical thinking and leadership skills that allow our students access to how to use media and new information technology to create and deliver the right information to the right audience at the right time.

Young female student participating in a mock trial

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 12—24, 2020

Public policy is the way in which public issues are addressed by modifying existing laws and regulations or creating new ones altogether. In this course, students will think strategically, creatively and critically about current issues shaping the public debate, and learn to analyze and evaluate policies and programs in pursuit of public interest.

Students with a view of the US Capitol building

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 26—August 7, 2020

In this course, students will learn about the legal system including the trial process and advocating for clients. In addition, students will learn areas of law impacting young adults such as contract, civil, and personal property law. Students will engage in the legal community by meeting with attorneys and attending court cases in Washington, D.C. Students will also explore legal ethics and the role lawyers play in the justice system. Students will engage in site visits such as the Supreme Court, State Department, and many legal organizations. This course is intended to provide an in-depth look at the practice of law.

 
A student participating in a mock trial.

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 26—August 7, 2020

Washington, D.C. is the hub of U.S. national security. This course introduces students to the relationship between national security and policymaking. Students will visit the country's top intelligence organizations and learn about the complexities of the U.S. national security agenda from perspectives of the legislative, executive and judicial branches, and the impact of national security practices by the U.S. Marshals, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security and the division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Photo of student at the State Department podium

College Intensive (credit)

Three credits

number threeThree-week program

  June 28—July 17, 2020

This course is ideal for students without prior background in political studies and who are interested in a survey of American political systems and processes, including topics such as the U.S. Constitution, media and politics, policy studies, international relations, and survey research, among others.

Photo of student giving a speech

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  June 28—July 17, 2020

  Fully Funded Opportunity

Caminos al Futuro is a fully funded, selective pre-college and residential summer program for rising seniors in U.S. high schools in academic leadership development. Caminos al Futuro seeks to cultivate leadership potential and scholarship in students who desire to shape issues impacting Hispanic and Latino communities.

Photo of Caminos students in front of the US Capitol building

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  June 28—July 17, 2020

  Scholarship Opportunity

The INSPIRE program is a full scholarship open to Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian rising junior and senior high school students who want to learn about intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government.

INSPIRE students in front of the Supreme Court building

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  June 28—July 17, 2020

This course provides an overview of major international organizations and investigates how they affect change in global governance. Students will learn about the political cooperation needed to successfully negotiate responses to global financial crises and promote multilateral trade agreements, as well as confront challenges to international security and environmental concerns. Importantly, by understanding how international organizations, such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization influence global peace and security, as well as economic and human development, students will be better positioned to assess the role played by emerging economies and newly formed international organizations, such as the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank.

A group of students at the World Bank

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2019

Analysis of world politics, focusing on the role of nation-states and international organizations and on selected foreign policy issues.

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2019

Nature of political inquiry, approaches to the study of politics and government, empirical methods of research.

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon Online Course: July 1—August 10, 2019

The increasing role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as providers of service and care for vulnerable individuals and communities in need; development of NGOs, the place they hold in international interventions, and the types of services they provide.

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon Online Course: July 1—August 10, 2019

An introduction to the study of criminal justice. The historical development of criminal justice and its evolution into modern legal systems. The impact of different forms of criminal justice on society and the individual.