Semester in Olympia

The Semester in Olympia Program is an immersive experience in which students take full advantage of the curricular, extra-curricular, and professional opportunities available in our vibrant and influential capital city. Students who enroll in the program can obtain all semester credits through the specified courses and externship placements and seminars offered in Olympia.

Students who enroll in the Semester in Olympia Program can pursue one of two curricular options:

Full-Time Option - Externship Track

Students who qualify for a full-time externship may obtain all of their credits for the semester by obtaining and completing a full-time externship at one of the sites approved for full-time externship credit. This option is particularly appropriate for Washington State Supreme Court externships but is available at any of our other full-time externship sites. The Semester in Olympia Program is primarily intended for students doing externships in Thurston County but is also open on a space available basis to students pursuing substantively appropriate externships in surrounding areas who obtain the prior approval of the Vice Dean.

Students enrolled in a full-time externship as part of the Semester in Olympia Program will complete a one-credit live externship seminar in Olympia, either the Judicial Externship Seminar or the Olympia Public Policy, Legislation, and Regulation Externship Seminar. With permission of the Externship Program, students who undertake a full-time externship in a substantive area more properly covered by one of our other externship seminars may choose to participate in that seminar via video conference.

For more information please see the Externship Program page.

Part-Time Option - Externship and Government Coursework Track

Students may instead choose to enroll in the two substantive courses we will be offering in Olympia and to undertake a part-time externship at an approved site. Such students will also enroll in one of the two live externship seminars in Olympia. Students who undertake this track will receive six credits for their two academic courses and between 6-9 credits for their externship. The Externship office will work with each student who chooses this option to scale their work obligations to the amount of credits they want and need to obtain. 

For more information please see the Externship Program page.

Academic Courses

  • Legislation and Public Policy: A course designed to expose students to the purpose, function, procedures, operations, and practical realities of the legislative branch of government. This course will provide a necessary theoretical background and a broader national perspective, but will also make use of examples, topics, and guest speakers drawn from the ongoing session of the Washington legislature. 
  • Washington State Administrative and Regulatory Law and Policy: A course designed to expose students to the particular laws, regulations, procedures, and institutions of Washington State’s administrative and regulatory bodies. This course will provide a thorough training in the basic structures and substantive and procedural law in these areas, and will also introduce students to some of the most important contemporary players, interests, and issues through problems, guest speakers, and field trips. Administrative Law would be a recommended but not required prerequisite.