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The Honors Seminar on Public Policy and Global Affairs offers Carolina undergraduates of all majors and minors a unique learning, living, and internship opportunity in our nation’s capital. The seminar offers students first-hand engagement with the actors and organizations—across the public, private and non-profit sectors—that influence domestic and global affairs in Washington, D.C. It aims to expose students to a range of topics that focus on U.S. economic prosperity, national security, and the U.S. role in the broader global community. Internship placements provide opportunities for students to apply academic learning, to derive new insights and questions for seminar discussion, and to work directly with substantive experts.



(The program was formerly known as Burch Field Research Seminar; while the name has changed, the experience remains the same!)


Key Components

Morning Seminar

This seminar examines a range of domestic and global policy challenges, including economic-well-being, income inequality and policy, foreign policy, national security and intelligence policy, global development and poverty, universal education, environment and development, and others.

Afternoon Seminar

This seminar is devoted to learning from public, private and non-profit actors and understanding their roles in addressing and solving major domestic and global problems. We meet and visit with experts in their place of work.


PLCY 352H: Seminar on Public Policy and Global Affairs

Three (3) graded credit hours are awarded for satisfactory completion of the weekly morning seminar, which focuses on a study of domestic and global affairs within the U.S. political and policy-making process.

PLCY 493H: Internship in Public Policy and Global Affairs

Six (6) graded credit hours are awarded for the successful completion of an internship program at a public,  private or non-profit organization. Students are expected to work four days per week following a program of work directed by a mentor at the host organization.

PLCY 395H: Research in Public Policy and Global Affairs

Two (2) additional credits will be awarded for satisfactory completion of the weekly research skills development section to provide students with the mentoring and practice to enhance their research, analytical, writing and presentation skills.

PLCY 353H: The Role of Experts and Advocates in Solving Public Policy and Global Challenges

Three (3) graded credit hours are awarded for satisfactory completion of the weekly afternoon seminar, which focuses on meeting with public, private and non-profit actors and understanding their role in solving domestic and global problems.

Internship Placements

Students intern with public sector or policy-relevant private and non-profit organizations.

Off-Site Excursions

Several group excursions are planned, including a think tank conference, a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a visit to a major museum and a 3 day trip to New York City. UNC alumni mentors lead weekly informal professional development sessions.


Students live in apartments in Washington DC. All townhouses or apartments are located in close proximity to metro stations. The apartments are fully furnished and include on-site laundry facilities, cable TV, and wireless internet access. Students share a room in an apartment building with multiple suites.

Additional Resources

Students may apply online for this program through the Study Abroad Office.

Please check out the following articles about the program:

UNC students study domestic and global policy issues in the nation’s capital

15 Weeks in D.C.

Interns Meet Former White House Communications Chief

The Day After a Rivalry, a DC Class Brings Together Duke, UNC Students

For additional information, please view our PDF and visit Honors Carolina.  You may also contact:

Dr. Daniel P. Gitterman
Chair and Professor of Public Policy
Faculty Director, Honors Seminar on Public Policy and Global Affairs
Senior Fellow, Global Research Institute (GRI), UNC-CH

Gina Difino
Director, Global Education and Fellowships, Honors Carolina