Before Applying

What if I’m not majoring in politics or political economy?

WHIP is open to all Hillsdale upperclassman. Students of any major are welcome: English, Financial Management, History, Marketing Management, Physics, and Psychology students have all participated in WHIP. With the six different academic classes offered at the Kirby Center and the possibility of taking an additional course at a local university, most students can make WHIP fit into their program of study with proper planning.

Is WHIP offered during the summer?

No, the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program (WHIP) is only offered during the academic year. Please click here for more information on our Summer in D.C. program.

Does the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program have any prerequisites?

The only prerequisite for the program is completion of POL 101: The U.S. Constitution.

How expensive is WHIP? Is there financial assistance?

Tuition for WHIP is the same as the tuition for a full semester of classes at Hillsdale College. Rent for the Hillsdale House is $872 per month. Meal plans are not available, and students are responsible for their own food. Students accepted into WHIP are awarded an additional allowance to defray the costs of living in D.C. This scholarship money is in addition to any aid currently received from the College.

Applying to WHIP

When can I apply?

WHIP is open to Hillsdale upperclassman. We highly recommend that students wait until their junior year to participate in WHIP, but qualified sophomores may apply to WHIP for the spring semester.

How will I secure my internship?

WHIP students are expected to take initiative in securing their own internships in Washington, D.C., with assistance from both Career Services and the Kirby Center staff. Students should contact the Career Services Office early in the semester prior to leaving for D.C. for assistance in writing a résumé and cover letters. For specific suggestions on what internships would be the best for you, please email WHIP@hillsdale.edu.

To whom should my cover letter be addressed?

Ms. Sophia Carr
Student Programs Coordinator
The Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship
227 Massachusetts Avenue NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

Who should write my letter of recommendation?

The letter of recommendation may come from a Hillsdale faculty or staff member, and can either be included with your application or be sent directly to Sophia Carr, Student Programs Coordinator.

After Applying

When will I know if I have been accepted to WHIP?

You will be notified by email of your acceptance within three days of your application being received. Once we confirm your enrollment, please watch your campus mailbox for your information packet. This packet will include information on housing as well as any necessary forms. Later in the semester, there will be a short—but mandatory—on-campus orientation.

Which courses will I take?

WHIP students take courses offered in the evenings and on Friday afternoons. Students generally take two or three courses from a diverse course listing. Students must maintain full-time student status (12-credit hours) to be eligible for scholarship assistance.

Living in Washington, D.C.

How will I get to Washington, D.C?

Some students choose to drive to D.C., although we strongly encourage students to leave their cars at home for the semester. There is no parking at the Hillsdale House, and students are expected to cover all fees associated with purchasing a street parking permit.

For students who choose to fly, there are three airports that serve the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area:

  • Reagan National Airport (DCA): Located approximately six miles from the Kirby Center and Hillsdale House on the Metro's blue/yellow line. This airport is the most convenient, although flights may be more expensive. We recommend that students fly into Reagan if possible.
  • Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI): The MARC Train to Union Station in Washington, D.C., costs $6.00 for a one-way ticket, and an Amtrak ticket usually costs about $11.00. There is a free shuttle bus from BWI to MARC station.
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD): The Washington Flyer Silver Line Express Bus Service runs between Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station and Dulles airport every 15–20 minutes during Metrorail's regular service hours.

Where will I live for the semester?

Students live in the Hillsdale House, a townhouse on Capitol Hill located two blocks from the Kirby Center. Should the number of students exceed capacity at the Hillsdale House, students will also reside other College-arranged housing near to the Kirby Center.

How will I spend my time?

Students in the fall and spring semesters enroll in academic classes and complete full-time or part-time internships in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. D.C. is a vibrant city and offers numerous cultural and historical sites—most of which are free to visitors. You can tour the National Cathedral, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery, colonial Old Town Alexandria, the historic embassies in Dupont Circle, and the monuments on the National Mall.

Which courses will I take?

WHIP students take courses offered in the evenings and on Friday afternoons. Students generally take two or three courses from a diverse course listing. Students must maintain full-time student status (12-credit hours) to be eligible for scholarship assistance.

How will I get around Washington, D.C.?

Washington, D.C., is a walkable city. Most D.C. natives use the city's public transportation to commute, run errands, and get around. Parking is difficult and often expensive, and we strongly discourage students from keeping a car in the city. No parking is available at the Hillsdale House.

  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA): WMATA runs public transit in D.C., providing access to most areas of D.C., Arlington, Alexandra, and Silver Spring via bus and rail. SmarTrip cards, the system's permanent, rechargable fare cards, provide easy, reduced-fare access to both MetroRail (the city's subway system) and MetroBus. The cards are available for purchase at kiosks in most metro stations, and we recommend you purchase one as soon as possible after arriving in the city.
  • Taxi: You don't usually have to go too far to hail a taxi in D.C. They're an expensive way to get around, but if you need to get somewhere quickly, a taxi can be a good option.
  • Uber: Uber is a great alternative to taking a taxi in the city—easily reserved and often less expensive. To use Uber, download the app on your smartphone and set up an account. From the app, you can order an Uber, split the fare with your friends, and pay your driver. Tip is included, so there's no need to carry cash. Often, if there are more than two of you, it's an economical way to travel quickly and safely around the city.
  • Lyft: Lyft is a ride-sharing, app-based company similar to Uber. Their rates and availability will vary compared to Uber's, so it can be useful to have both apps available.