Washington Center

Winter Quarter/Spring Semester 2022 FAQs

UCDC Winter Quarter/Spring Semester 2022 Term

Frequently Asked Questions 

Last updated October 21, 2021

UCDC is thrilled to welcome students back to the nation's capital this year! We plan to open at full capacity for the winter quarter/spring semester. As is always the case, our opening plan will change with updated information about COVID-19 and safety guidelines. Please check back regularly. 

Housing and Student Services | Safety | Courses | Internships | Engagement

Questions about Housing and Student Services

What will living arrangements be in DC? When we are open at full capacity, students share two-bedroom apartments with three other students. Each student will share a bedroom with one student and share the common spaces (living room, bathroom, kitchen) with all residents.
Who will I be living with? Your roommate and apartment mates will be chosen based on the information you provided in the Apartment Matching Form. You can find a link to the form in the October Newsletter; your responses are due by Monday, November 8, at 12:00p PDT.
Am I required to live at the Washington Center to participate in the program? Yes. UCDC participants are required to live in our building, which is in a lively, centrally located neighborhood six blocks from the White House.
Where can I find information about arriving in DC and moving into the Washington Center? Move-in dates are Sunday, January 2 and Monday, January 3, 2022. For detailed information about transportation, shopping, and getting settled in DC and at the Center, see our webpage for arriving students.
Can I have family or friends visit me while I’m in DC? This will depend on national, UC, and local DC health and safety guidelines. We will know more as the time comes closer. 
What happens if I contract COVID-19 while I'm in D.C.? We have a protocol for testing, reporting and for quarantine and isolation. The details are here in our Summary of UCDC Reopening for Students. Note: the protocol is subject to change as health and safety requirements and guidelines change. Check these documents regularly. 
Will there be social programs so I can meet other UCDC students? Yes. All social programs will be delivered in accordance with DC Department of Health regulations. This may require events to be outdoors or require pre-registration. We will do our best to create an enriching social experience while adhering to safety regulations.
Will I be allowed to travel to other states once I arrive in DC? We follow DC policies for local requirements and currently the District has no travel restrictions to other states and does not require any quarantine upon return. This may change and we will inform you if it does. 
Will I be able to access Basic Needs resources at UCDC? Yes. Remote resources from your home campus are always accessible to you. This is the best place to start for your Basic Needs support. If you are not already connected to those resources, you should connect to them before you come to Washington D.C. As a supplement, UCDC operates a food pantry and provide other forms of assistance, to which you will have access.
What should I do about health insurance? UCDC strongly advises you to contact your insurance company's provider network to identify a local  health care provider you can use while in D.C. There are local clinics near the Center, but we don't know where your health insurance can be used. If you are not covered by family health insurance, we strongly encourage you to sign up for SHIP, if you're eligible. There are local D.C. providers who accept SHIP insurance, but it may be much more difficult to use MediCal in D.C. 
Are counselling services available at UCDC? Yes, counselling services are available at the Center. Additional information about accessing and scheduling will be available closer to the start of the term.
Additional questions? Email ResidentialServices@ucdc.edu for housing questions and BasicNeeds@ucdc.edu for basic needs questions.

Questions about COVID-19 Safety

What precautions are being taken to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in the building? Multiple precautions are being implemented to quickly identify cases and contain spread. The details can be found in our reopening report to D.C. here and in our summary of the report for students here. In addition to reducing occupancy, anyone entering the building will be required to wear a mask in all public spaces, including hallways and elevators. Contactless faucets and soap dispensers have been installed in all public bathrooms. Mandatory surveillance testing may be required of students, faculty, and staff. We are in regular contact with the UC Office of the President’s risk management team and will comply with all DC Department of Health requirements.

Will vaccines be required for everyone in the building? The University of California has released its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine policy, which you can access here. In accordance with this policy, all students who plan to attend UCDC are required to be fully vaccinated, with allowable exceptions. Proof of vaccination (or application for an exemption) must be provided to the relevant office on your home campus no later than two weeks before UCDC move-in. You may be asked to complete a UC Vaccination Policy survey and provide proof of vaccination directly to UCDC. 

  • Move-in for Winter Quarter/Spring Semester is January 2 - 3, 2022. Be aware that campus offices are likely to be limited in operation if not completely closed for the holiday break so plan accordingly. 

What happens if someone in the UCDC building tests positive for COVID-19? All potentially exposed parties will be notified and contact tracing will occur. Infected students may be moved to a quarantine/isolation space in the building. A protocol will be distributed for meals and managing your internship and class commitments. Details about the protocol for students who test positive for COVID-19 can be found here.

How can I stay up to date on national and DC COVID information? We use the following websites for regular information about COVID health and safety recommendations and requirements. Please check them frequently for updates.

Will classes be taught in person or remotely? We plan to hold classes in person only. One exception to this is Dr. Demessie's semester elective course, which will be remote. Depending on the local DC requirements and UC and national guidelines, masks may be required in classrooms regardless of vaccination status. 

What can I anticipate from the courses being offered? All classes are small, seminar-style and are scheduled in three-hour blocks. Most seminars are offered during the day and electives in the evening. All internship organizations know that students require a day off to attend classes and office hours. Our courses are offered across the week to provide choices for our students depending on their internship schedules. All seminars include individual research and writing assignments. Other assignments depend on the subject matter, and instructor and typically include quizzes, presentations, infographics, video projects, or group discussions. Electives may include midterm and final exams.

What courses will be offered? You can find information about seminars and electives on the Academics section of our website. You will find course titles and descriptions, faculty bios, and past syllabi to give you an idea about what to expect. Winter Quarter/Spring Semester 2022 syllabi will be forthcoming.

Who are the instructors and what will they bring to the classroom experience? Our instructors are experts in policy, government and media who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to UCDC courses. Most have been teaching in the program for years and are invaluable resources for connecting theory to practice in our classes.

How do I enroll in classes? Enrollment will open to students in mid-November. More information will be emailed to you. 

What date will instruction begin? Winter Quarter/Spring Semester instruction begins on Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Can students be enrolled part-time in UCDC for internship credits only? No. All students must enroll in a UCDC seminar.

What if I have academic ADA accommodations? Contact your campus disability services office and ask them to send your accommodation letter to Professor Diascro, UCDC Associate Director and DSP Liaison, at jennifer.diascro@ucdc.edu. When the term begins, Professor Diascro will share your letter with your instructor(s) and support them and you in providing the necessary accommodations.

For further questions regarding UCDC academics, please contact Professor Diascro, Associate Director, at jennifer.diascro@ucdc.edu.

Questions about Internships

Will internships be offered in-person or remote? Our team is in contact daily with hundreds of organizations in DC to update employers’ plans for re-opening. Many offices' back-to-work plans are evolving as employers adjust to changing local conditions and regulations. It is important to remain flexible. An internship that begins remotely may shift to in-person (or visa-versa) as the term progresses. Currently:

  • In-Person. Roughly 40 percent of internships are offered in-person, with interns expected to report to a local office to work beside supervisors and other staff. 
  • Hybrid. Roughly 20 percent of internships are offered as hybrid, combining both in-person and remote work for interns.
  • Remote. Roughly 40 percent of internships are offered remotely. Interns will work on projects from the UC Washington Center, either from their own apartments or in work areas designated for interns at the Center.

If the organization I am applying to states that internships will be remote or hybrid, what kind of work will I do as an intern? Remote assignments mirror those assigned in person. Projects vary based on the organization and could include research, analysis, news monitoring, social media management, or logistical support. Employers are encouraged to assign projects that relate to the goals of the organization and short-term projects helping with the day-to-day work of the office.

Where can I find a list of organizations offering internships (in-person, remote or hybrid)? We distribute a newsletter to students each Wednesday with internship leads and pertinent details. Remote internships can also be identified in our database by clicking on the Winter/Spring 2022 Internship Opportunities banner.

What are the dates for the internships?

  • Winter Quarter: January 5 - March 11
  • Spring Semester: January 5 - April 15

How many hours per week are students expected to work? Students intern 24-32 hours of work per week. Schedules are determined by agreement between the internship supervisor and the student. Additional hours are permitted if both parties agree.

Are internships compensated? Some positions include compensation, though a majority are unpaid. You should review the description prior to applying and inquire about compensation during the interview with the organization. We encourage internship sites to offer compensation when possible. There are no restrictions on UCDC students receiving compensation while also receiving academic credit.

If remote, will a DC internship increase my chance of securing other internships or employment once organizations re-open to in-person work? The ability to connect with employers in a remote professional setting is a great asset. Since March 2020, thousands of organizations in the DC area have shifted to remote operations. Your creativity, collaboration, empathy, desire to learn, and flexibility are qualities that future employers will value. The connections you make and the experiences you will be able to share will make you a stronger candidate for future opportunities.

Who should I contact if I have internship questions? Members of the Academic Internship Team (AIT) are assigned by campus affiliation.  For further information, contact your program administrator:

Questions about Student Engagement, Networking, and Events

What other programming is planned? UCDC is more than internships and classes. We work with alumni to pair interested students with mentors in fields of interest and develop professional development workshops to help students convert their internships into jobs.  We offer a speaker series, to give students a chance to ask questions of policymakers, journalists, and lawmakers.

Will the UCDC Preparation Series (formerly the UCDC Orientation Series) still be offered? Yes. The UCDC Preparation Series began on September 29 and is offered every Wednesday at 11a PDT.

How open is Washington D.C.? Museums, restaurants, theaters, and most bars are open but the mayor of D.C. has instituted mask guidelines for patrons regardless of vaccination status. Many of Washington’s attractions are outside, which makes them more accessible than they might otherwise be. We have heard that some D.C. businesses may require proof of vaccination before entry; consider this when you are preparing for your stay in the city. D.C.-specific information is at the Government of the District of Columbia site, which includes the D.C. Mayor’s updates. Check these frequently for updated information.