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Federal Semester Photos

Click here for photos from 4/29 final reception.

Student Quotes

Federal semester was the jump start I needed to start seriously thinking about my career goals.... I recommend the program to students searching for a supportive network and a competitive edge that will help them land the jobs they want after college.
Teresa G. (Homeland Security Policy)

Before being in the program I never thought I would be able to get an internship at a federal agency. The federal semester program helped me accomplish my dream.  
Rabia B. (Health Policy)

Without Federal Semester I probably would not have considered an internship with the federal government, much less a long career with them…Thank you for inspiring students like myself to work in the federal government and making us feel that we can make a difference in our world
Chelsea W. (Homeland Security Policy)

The experience I gained in Federal Semester, both in and out of the classroom, has been monumental. The opportunity to work for the government at the headquarters of the Department of Defense has been fantastic. Without Federal Semester, it would never have happened.

Daniel D. (Homeland Security Policy)




View images of the Fall 2010 trips to federal agencies and Capitol Hill.

View images of the Fall 2011 trips to federal agencies and Capitol Hill.

View images of the 2010 reception honoring this year's Federal Semester students, their mentors, and internship supervisors.

View images of the 2009-2010 trips to federal agencies and Capitol Hill.

View images of the 2008-2009 trips to Washington, DC and Capitol Hill.

About the Program

Our nation grapples with challenging issues such as health care reform, terrorism, globalization and climate change just as the federal government faces a wave of retirements.

There has never been a better time to work toward solutions, effect change and pursue a career in public service, especially in the federal government.

The Federal Semester Program is a unique opportunity for University of Maryland students to develop insight into federal policy and gain professional experience in the federal government or on Capitol Hill.

Open to students from all majors, this year-long program combines a fall academic seminar with a spring internship. Supplementary courses, field trips and other out-of-class events help students deepen their understanding of the federal government and the policymaking process. Professional development workshops help students navigate the internship search process and prepare for future careers.

Students select one of the following concentrations:

  • Energy and Environmental Policy
  • Homeland Security Policy
  • Foreign Policy (Go to Global Semester in Washington, D.C., our sister program, which has three terrific options for you next year)
  • Public Health Policy (not offered 2014-2015; come by our office to talk about other ways to engage in the program next year!)


Federal Semester students receive $500 stipends to offset transportation costs.

Anyone considering a career in public service or interested in learning first-hand about the federal government is encouraged to apply.




UMD alumnus and Federal Semester participant Nathan Hurwitz has just been named a Presidential Management Fellow.

Nathan received his B.S. from UMD in Environmental Science and Policy in 2012, and his MPP from the UMD School of Public Policy in 2014.
While at the University of Maryland, Nathan participated in the Federal Semester Program and was a member of the University Honors College.

As a Presidential Management Fellow, Nathan is currently working as a Social Science Analyst with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Previous government positions include a Step appointment with the U.S. Department of Energy, a Legislative Assistant internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a Pathways internship with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Inaugural newsletter of Federal & Global Semester DC alumni
Federal & Global Times, Issue 1


Federal Semester and the Federal Aviation Administration celebrate a year of working together to mentor students in the federal sector. Read more about the success of this partnership in its inaugural year.


Federal Semester alumni awarded Boren Scholarship. Three Federal Semester alumni were named Boren Scholars for 2013-14. Erin Hylton, Energy and Environmental Policy FY2011, studied abroad in Brazil for her Boren year, focusing on the Portuguese language as well as Brazil's regional integration process, foreign policy, transformation of the economy and improvements in social well-being. She is interested in understanding the context in which engineering projects are designed and implemented. Elizabeth Teoman, Homeland Security Policy FY2012, studied in Turkey, and Jacob Stanfill, Homeland Security Policy FY2013, studied Arabic in Egypt.


Federal Semester alumnus named Truman Scholar. Mohammad Zia, Foreign Policy FY2012, was selected as a 2013 Truman Scholar. The Truman Scholarship is the nation's most selective and prestigious award for undergraduates with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in public service. Read more -->>


"Your Health is Worth a Shot." By Grace Zhang, March 27, 2013. Grace Zhang, Health Policy FY2013 and DHHS/ACF intern, writes about vaccinations on the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families blog. 


"Women’s History Month and ACF: Keeping our Innovators Innovating." By Dolly Bindon, March 15, 2013. Dolly Bindon, Health Policy FY2013 and DHHS/ACF intern, writes about Women's History Month on the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families blog. 


"The Modern Day Trojan Horse." By Kevin Lalama and Katharyn Nicolle, February 27, 2013. Kevin Lalama, Homeland Security Policy FY2013 and American Security Project intern, cowrites about preventing nuclear terrorism for the Amercian Security Project blog.


"Joint Degree Student Wins Elkins Award." Robbie Rosenthal, Federal Semester FY2011, received the Elkins Award for outstanding leadership in campus activities and contributions to the advancement of student affairs.  Read more -->>


"USM Board of Regents Welcomes 2012-13 Student Regent Steven Hershkowitz," May 22, 2012.  Steven Hershkowitz, Federal Semester FY2011, currently BA/MPP, will be appointed by the Governor as the next Student Regent for the state of MarylandRead more -->>


"Unstoppable Starts Here: Born to Lead, Committed to Serve," By Aisha Hasan, Dec. 8, 2010. The University of Maryland's Federal Service Student Ambassador Aisha Hasan describes the rewards that come with a career in federal service. Read more --»


"UM Senior Named Federal Service Student Ambassador," UM School of Public Health, Oct. 17, 2010. Federal Semester alumna Aisha Hasan selected to serve as the University of Maryland's Federal Service Student Ambassador, a nationwide program of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Read more --»


Federal Semester students and internship supervisors.
Federal Semester students celebrate their internships at an evening reception in May. For information and pictures from the event see our slideshow.


"An HHS intern makes a difference," The Washington Post, April 27, 2010. Federal Semester student Rachel Volke is featured as a Federal Player of the Week. Read more --»


"Federal Semester Awarded Nearly $1M for Internships," Between the Columns, April 12, 2010. Read more --»


"More Terps Become Future Feds," Federal News Radio, April 12, 2010. Director Dr. Joan Burton describes the Federal Semester Program and the grant that is helping expand the program to 80 students. Listen here --»


"Health in Haiti: Lessons to Learn for National Public Health Week 2010," The Huffington Post, April 6, 2010. Federal Semester student Pamela Savitz co-authored this article with Dr. Susan Blumenthal of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Read more --»


"Federal cash will expand university program," The Diamondback, April 5, 2010. The $951,000 Congressional grant "will let the university’s Federal Semester program add a fourth focus, expand from 60 to 80 students, hire additional faculty and offer stipends and scholarships to participants..." Read more --»


Congressionally directed grant enables Federal Semester to expand student internship opportunities. Read more --»


Federal Semester will launch its new, fourth concentration in Federal Energy and Environmental Policy fall 2010. Read more --»


"Survey Finds College Students More Interested in Federal Jobs," The Washington Post, May 1, 2009. Read more --»


"Students Gain Applicable Policy Experience," Between the Columns, March 5, 2009



Student Spotlight

Federal Semester student Stephanie Stevenson introduces Pres. Obama


Federal Semester student Stephanie Stevenson introduces President Obama at a White House news briefing on student financial aid. View her speech...»






The Federal Semester Program is located at

2407 Marie Mount Hall

Click here for directions