The Washington Program




From hundreds of applications, the Institute selects some of the nation’s best and brightest African American male college students to participate in its Washington Program.


It includes:

  • High-level internships in their fields of interest
  • The Lynde and Harry Bradley Seminar on Economic and Constitutional Principles
  • Comprehensive leadership and professional development workshops
  • Private briefings with some of the nation’s most prominent public and private sector leaders

The Institute supplements these activities with extensive support from the Institute’s alumni, staff, and friends. Most importantly, the scholars become a part of a genuine network that will support them in their lives.

During the first summer, students focus on classes, internships, meetings with inspirational leaders, and bonding with the other young men in their cohort. Professional development, character development, mentorship, and graduate school preparation are priorities for the second summer, and students still work full-time at internships. Housing is provided by the Institute, and if students are not placed in a paid internship, they will receive stipends to help cover living expenses.

Eligibility criteria

College sophomores

Applicants must have sophomore standing at an accredited college or university and have completed at least one academic year on a college campus. First-year students with sophomore status are not eligible to apply. Second year community college students are welcome to apply, but must show proof of acceptance to a four-year institution before beginning their first summer in the Institute.

Strong academic performance

Although the Institute does not have a GPA requirement, transcripts are carefully reviewed. Applicants’ transcripts should reflect a rigorous and challenging courseload. All majors are welcome.

Campus involvement

Applicants should be active members of their campus communities, including student organizations, arts or athletic programs, and community service activities.

Two-summer committment

Applicants must be willing commit to two consecutive summers in the Institute.

Application Process

Application form

Click to complete a brief application form that includes student information and three short essay responses (50-250 words).


Discuss America’s greatest accomplishment and greatest failure since its founding. Essays should be no more than three pages, double-spaced. We do not expect these essays to be research papers – only expressions of your opinions.


Provide a clear, recent headshot as a profile picture. Passport photos are preferred.


Submit a resume detailing the extent of their campus involvement, volunteerism, and work experience. This allows us to better assess leadership abilities.

Writing samples

Submit two papers written in college-level courses. Writing samples should demonstrate the applicant’s ability to think critically. If possible, applicants should submit papers that bear a professor’s grade and remarks, but this is not required.

Two letters of recommendation

Secure two letters of recommendation from college administrators, professors, internship supervisors, or other individuals who can comment on their academic ability, leadership skills, and personal character.

Official transcript

Submit an official transcript sent directly from their campus registrars.

The Institute for Responsible Citizenship logo


  • Leadership Development
  • Professional Development
  • Summer Opportunities

Eligible applicants

  • Second-year Undergrads


  • Historically Excluded/Underrepresented

ASU Nomination required

  • No

For More Information

Washington Program