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Office: Stanford Campus Office: SIEPR Gunn Building, 366 Galvez Street, Room 335
Mail Code: 94305-6125
Phone: (650) 723-4296
Web Site:

The Bing Stanford in Washington program is normally offered during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. Due to COVID-19, these offerings are subject to change; see the SIW website for updated information.

The Autumn Quarter Program for 2020-21 has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Some coursework will be offered remotely during Autumn. The program is currently planning for in-person Winter and Spring quarters in 2021. The Winter Quarter application is closed and the application for Spring Quarter will be posted here in late September.

Director: Adrienne Jamieson
On Campus Program Manager: Jill Vizas

The Bing Stanford in Washington program provides highly-qualified undergraduates with an opportunity to work and study in the nation's capital. In addition to providing students with an understanding of public policy making, the program offers an opportunity to take advantage of the city's unique cultural resources.

Central in the student's educational experience is a full-time internship. Students serve as interns at such institutions and agencies as the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Office of Management and Budget, the White House, the National Institutes of Health, the Smithsonian Institution, World Bank, the departments of State, Justice, Treasury, Education, and Health and Human Services.

In addition to the internship, students also complete an academic course of study consisting of seminars taught by policy experts and Stanford faculty members. Seminars are generally 3-5 units. Past topics have included congressional oversight and the press; economic growth and development patterns, policies, and prospects; critical health issues in the U.S. and abroad; policy making in the Washington community; and criminal justice policy. Speakers from the Washington policy community frequently join students and faculty for discussions.  Course and seminar topics vary according to student and faculty interest.

The program is designed for students in their junior year or during the first or second quarter of their senior year. Applications must be completed two quarters in advance.

Students interested in the program should contact the campus office of the Bing Stanford in Washington program; see contact information above.


SIW 103. Economic Growth and Development Patterns, Policies, and Prospects. 5 Units.

This class is designed to provide an overview of the history of economic and social development, the evolution of thinking on the subject, and current debates regarding the best policy approaches to foster development objectives. To emphasize the constantly evolving nature of the policy debate on development, the text is supplemented by articles from a wide variety of sources, and some additional readings will likely by assigned from contemporary newspaper, blog and magazine articles. Grades will depend on weekly pre-class reading comments and questions, four short assignments, and class participation.

SIW 104. Congressional Oversight and the Press. 5 Units.

Who keeps watch of the federal government and its activities as they grow more complex at home and abroad? This seminar will look at oversight, or the lack of it, by the Executive Branch itself, by Congress, the Courts, outside groups, and the media, with some emphasis on the latter. We will establish the Constitutional basis for oversight through various readings, and we will look at some major scandals and issues from the past.

SIW 105. Education Policy. 5 Units.

This seminar has three primary goals: 1) introduce today¿s major education policy issues; 2) investigate the ways education policy questions are addressed at the federal level, and by implication, the state and local levels; and 3) develop skills to develop and recommend appropriate policy options and solutions. You will become familiar with major education policy questions and over the course of the quarter, analyze these issues, consider policy options, and provide written and oral support for possible solutions.

SIW 106. Criminal Justice Policy. 5 Units.

This class is designed to offer students a chance to explore how criminal justice policies and laws come into being, are executed, and end up changing. Through a different topic focus each week, students will grasp the actors that affect criminal justice policy (across all branches of government) and will learn the true recourse of the law in the United States (it¿s more surprising than you might think). Through an end-of-term paper, students will argue for and against a specific policy of their choosing.

SIW 107. Civil Rights Law. 5 Units.

This course analyzes the major civil rights laws that Congress has enacted since the 1960s, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act, the Public Accommodations ACt, the AGe Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The course provides an in-depth study of the statutory language of each of these laws, examines how courts have interpreted the statutes, and explores the policy arguments in favor and against such laws. The course also reviews the history context surrounding the enactment of these statutes, including an examination of the civil rights movement as a political and social force.

SIW 113. Critical Health Issues in the U.S. and Abroad. 5 Units.


SIW 119. U. S. and Europe: Cooperation or Competition?. 5 Units.

How are Brexit, Trump, Merkel and Macron reshaping the key relationship between the US and Europe? At a time of rising international threats from Russia, China, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as the challenges of populism, Euro-Skepticism, and Islamist terrorism, this course explores the Trans-Atlantic alliance that has been the central axis of US and European relations. By the end of the course, students will have engaged in substantive readings and class discussion in order to investigate these topics.

SIW 129. Women's, Maternal, and Children's Health. 5 Units.


SIW 131. Presidential Transitions in an Era of Polarization and the Covid-19 Pandemic. 3-5 Units.

Presidential Transitions in an Era of Polarization and the Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges to Governing, Policy-Making and Ethical Decision-Making. This seminar will explore the intertwining of several key challenges inherit in all transitions, while analyzing the effects of our current polarized politics and the Covid-19 pandemic on policy making. Drawing upon an array of disciplines and approaches, our weekly meetings will include a series of discussions of readings from the social science literature; studies of health policy from medical ethicists and policy experts; articles from think tanks and government, and conversations with individuals from the worlds of policy, politics, and public health. Collectively, we will seek to understand connections, systemic constraints and to formulate potential policy and political responses. Students will engage in small group exercises on building a team in the Biden administration, along with developing health policy strategies that meet COVID-19 goals and ethical standards. In addition, students will have the option to pursue a capstone project, based upon research conducted with the guidance of one of the instructors, another faculty member or policy maker.

SIW 136. Enduring Themes in American Politics: Inequality, Race and Elections in the Era of COVID-19. 3-5 Units.

This seminar will explore the intertwining of several key enduring themes in American political history through the lens of the Covid-19 pandemic, the movement for criminal justice reform and the election. Drawing upon an array of disciplines and approaches, our weekly meetings will be a series of conversations with individuals from the worlds of policy, politics and the arts. Collectively, we will seek to understand connections, systemic constraints and to formulate potential policy and political responses. Students will have the option to pursue a capstone project, based upon research conducted with the guidance of one of the instructors or another faculty member. Capstone projects can also be pursued in the context of a remote internship, which can be organized with the assistance of the instructors and Stanford in Washington staff.

SIW 137. Energy and Environment: Technology, Economics and Policy. 5 Units.


SIW 138. Game Theory and Mathematical Models of Politics. 5 Units.


SIW 139. Purposeful Advocacy - Changing Public Policy for Good: A Policy Maker/Advocate¿s Perspective. 5 Units.


SIW 140. Health and Environmental Policy Speaker Series. 2 Units.


SIW 142. Images of National Politics from Classics in Political Science. 5 Units.


SIW 144. Energy, Environment, Climate and Conservation Policy: A Washington, D.C. Perspective. 5 Units.


SIW 148. Art and the First Amendment: Testing the Limits of Expression. 5 Units.

This course will take place in Washington D.C.
Same as: ARTHIST 148

SIW 155. Images of National Politics from Classics in Political Science. 5 Units.


SIW 156. Washington Policymaking: A USER'S GUIDE. 5 Units.

Government Gridlock. Executive Orders. Court Challenges. Congressional Oversight. Presidential Tweets. Regulatory Rollback. Money in Politics. Foreign Agent Influence. Are the rules of the policymaking game changing? In this class, students will learn the advocacy and strategy tools necessary to participate effectively in the legislative and regulatory policymaking process. We will examine the practical aspects and complex intricacies of policy development at the federal level, using current and rapidly evolving topics as examples, while also drawing on historical precedents.

SIW 157. International Law. 5 Units.


SIW 158. Entrepreneurial Ventures in Washington: Valley Meets Mission. 5 Units.

Students in this seminar will investigate the intersection between government, entrepreneurship, technology, and mission with weekly discussions with local business, government, technology and social impact lenses. We will examine drivers behind government mission-oriented innovation and the role of entrepreneurship and venture capital.nStudents will meet with and engage directly with entrepreneurial, government, tech, and business leaders in and out of the classroom to understand the opportunities/challenges in building successful mission-oriented companies and social impact enterprises.

SIW 164. Debating the Nation. 5 Units.


SIW 165. Federal Science Policy. 5 Units.

The U.S. is the leading country in the world in science by several common measures, including Nobel prizes and spending on research and development. Yet some other important science leadership metrics tell a different story. Many countries spend a larger fraction of their wealth on science research and technology development. Also, there is a large and widening gap in science education levels for US citizens vs. Europeans and Asians. Likewise, we have lost our former leadership in some high-profile research fields. This course is designed to introduce the students to the convoluted but sometimes remarkably effective process by which the Federal Government establishes national science policy, sets priorities, and then funds and oversees the science. The course takes full advantage of the SIW location inside the beltway by inviting many of the leaders in various aspects of science policy.

SIW 170. DOCUMENTARY: Films of Persuasion, Advocacy and Change. 5 Units.

In recent years, documentaries have shed their identity as the "broccoli" of the film world - they were good for you, but not necessarily palatable. Audiences are now engaged, entertained, and enlightened by the work of Errol Morris, Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, Marshall Curry, and others. Has a documentary film ever provoked you, challenged your beliefs, motivated you to act or changed your mind about something? Was that the goal of the filmmaker? This course offers a conceptual overview of the forms, strategies, and conventions of a documentary film with a particular focus on the social and political documentary, i.e. documentaries that strive to explore issues, construct arguments about the world, and galvanize attitudinal change. A consideration of both form and content will foreground the mutable characteristics of the genre with respect to filmmaker voice and point of view, the objective/subjective conundrum, ethics of representation, aesthetic choices, and the implied contract between filmmaker and audience. Students will hone their critical viewing skills and consider the potential of film to effect attitudinal and behavioral change through a series of case studies of films that represent a wide range of styles and approach.

SIW 171. American Presidential Elections: A Brief History. 5 Units.


SIW 185. Modern America in Historical Perspective. 5 Units.

Same as: HISTORY 264D

SIW 190. Directed Readings. 1-5 Unit.


SIW 198Y. Health Policy. 5 Units.


SIW 198Z. International Economic Policy. 5 Units.


SIW 201A. CSRE Public Policy Seminar. 3-5 Units.


SIW 201B. CSRE Public Policy Seminar. 3-5 Units.


SIW 245. Art, Business & the Law. 4 Units.

This course examines art at the intersection of business and the law from a number of different angles, focusing on how the issues raised by particular case studies, whether legal, ethical and/or financial, impact our understanding of how works of art circulate, are received, evaluated and acquire different meanings in given social contexts. Topics include the design, construction and contested signification of selected war memorials; the rights involved in the display and desecration of the American flag; censorship of sexually charged images; how the value of art is appraised; institutional critique and the art museum, among others.
Same as: ARTHIST 245