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)

Cybersecurity: Exploring Risks and Unlocking Solutions

Non-credit bearing academic class icon  Noncredit

One-week course icon  One-week program

 Calendar Icon  July 14—19, 2019

In the age of technology, the question stands: how secure are our systems? In this course, students will tackle that question through a highly technical, hands-on curriculum to learn the ins and outs of cyber challenges. Students will be able to merge research with current techniques and tools relating to cybersecurity.

Student and Course Assistant looking over a computer

Social Justice and Activism

Non-credit bearing academic class icon  Noncredit

One-week course icon  One-week program

 Calendar Icon  July 14—19, 2019

Washington, D.C. is the heart of the legislative processes and social movements that influence structural, cultural and ideological change. This course introduces students to questions, opportunities and roadblocks faced by civic and global leaders while aiming to expand their leadership capacity teaching them to translate their values and ideas into action. Students explore topics such as grass root organization activism works by looking at Washington DC and how activism in DC and elsewhere has shaped social change.

Social Justice Students on tour of the US Capitol Building

Two-Week Summer Immersion (noncredit)

Criminal Justice

Noncredit

The number "2" Two-week program

calendar icon  June 30— July 12, 2019

In Washington, D.C., students are in close proximity to the greatest concentration of federal crime labs and investigatory agencies in the world. In this course, students will examine the fields of criminology and criminal justice through the analysis of processes, procedure and ethics as they come to understand the impact of different forms of criminal justice on society and the individual.

Criminal Justice class listening to a presentation by a bombsquad

US Foreign Policy: Multilateralism

Noncredit

The number "2" Two-week program

calendar icon  June 30— July 12, 2019

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 issue.  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.

International Law: Global Strategy and Mediation

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 14—26, 2019

What do killer robots, lethal drones, and acts of global terrorism have in common with disappearing polar regions, space exploration and nuclear war? These issues--and many others of increasing importance--are all governed by, and thus must adhere to, multinational agreements, ratified treaties, and United Nations resolutions. In this course, students will employ an interactive, hands-on methodology to think critically about the various topics, raise questions about how the different structures work and make individual contributions within a cooperative framework.

Photo of students at a lecture at the National Archives

Political Communication

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 14—26, 2019

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

Public Policy on Capitol Hill

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 14—26, 2019

Public policy is the way in which public issues are addressed through 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

Fundamentals of Law

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 28—August 9, 2019

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 much legal organization. This course is intended to provide an in-depth look at the practice of law.

 

A student participating in a mock trial.

National Security: The U.S. Intelligence Community and Counterterrorism

Noncredit

the number two Two-week program

calendar icon  July 28—August 9, 2019

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 FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and Pentagon agencies.

Photo of student at the State Department podium

College Intensive (credit)

American Politics

Three credits

number threeThree-week program

  June 30—July 19, 2019

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

Caminos al Futuro

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  June 30—July 19, 2019

  Scholarship 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

INSPIRE Program

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  June 30—July 19, 2019

  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

International Organizations & Global Governance

Three credits

the number three Three-week program

  June 30—July 19, 2019

This course provides an overview of major international organizations and investigates how they effect 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

GEOG 2146: Political Geography

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2019

Interrelationships among the human and physical environment and political systems; the organization of political territories.

PSC 1001: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2019

Concepts and principles of comparative analysis, with an examination of politics and government in selected countries.

PSC 1003: Introduction to International Politics

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.

PSC 2101: Scope and Methods of Political Science

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.

PSC 2106: Major Issues of Western Political Thought II

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon July 1—August 10, 2019

History of political thought from the sixteenth through the late nineteenth century, as set forth in the works of representative thinkers.

SOC 1003: Introduction to Criminal Justice

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

calendar icon 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.

HSSJ 2160: Role of NGOs in International Humanitarian Assistance

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.

PSC 1001: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

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

Concepts and principles of comparative analysis, with an examination of politics and government in selected countries.

PSC 1002: Introduction to American Politics and Government

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

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

Structure, powers, and processes of the American political system and the impact on public policy.

SMPA 2120: Public Opinion

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

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

Key aspects of the literature on public opinion, with emphasis on the role of media in opinion formation and change. Topics include the meaning of public opinion in a democratic society, a review of methods used to measure opinions, and media effects on opinion.

SOC 1001: Introduction to Sociology

Three credits

the number six Six-week program

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

A broad overview of the "sociological imagination" as a way of understanding social issues and personal experience; sociology’s place among the social sciences; basic elements of sociological perspectives. 

SOC 1003: Introduction to Criminal Justice

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.