Current Student Resources

Penn State Washington Program

White House

Washington, D.C., is a city that offers a wide variety of academic, professional and cultural opportunities for undergraduates — and students selected to participate in the Stanley E. Degler Washington Program coordinated by the Bellisario College have a special opportunity.

In Spring 2024, the Degler Program and The News Lab, housed in the Bellisario College, will partner to allow students to have a Maymester-in-residence internship experience reporting on issues in the nation’s capital and an opportunity to meet and learn from a range of journalists (radio, television, print/digital, photo), speech writers and others from across the district, like author and journalist Andy Kroll (Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, ProPublica) and broadcast and print journalist Jesse Holland (C-Span, The Associated Press, Marvel Comics).

The month-long effort will be led by Maggie Messitt, the Eberly Professor of Practice and director of the News Lab. Students will earn academic credit for working in the bureau and will take courses specifically tailored to Washington journalism. A full semester’s worth of credit will be available.


This program is offered by application. Interested students should reach out to Maggie Messitt.

Our History in D.C.

Established in 1995, the Washington Program was created to give Penn State students a complete Washington experience, including internship placement and credit, housing, and special events and programs.

It was formally renamed the Stanley E. Degler Washington Program in 2016, when the alumnus — who built a respected career as a journalist in the city — provided a $1 million endowment to support the program.

Students from all areas of the University have participated in the Washington Program. Over the years, they have worked for organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, CNN, the Environmental Protection Agency, House and Senate offices, and the Organization of American States.


Prof. Maggie Messitt