Kinder Scholars D.C. Summer Program

Applications for the 2024 Kinder Scholars D.C. Summer Program are now closed and will re-open in fall for the 2025 cohort.

All second- and third-year students at Mizzou are eligible to apply, and for anyone interested in the program, it’s never too early to familiarize yourself with the internship landscape in D.C. (e.g., what internships are out there, what does the cycle of application periods/deadlines look like?) so that you can hit the ground running on your search for summer work if selected.

Use the tabs below to find out more about this once-in-a-lifetime, experiential learning opportunity at Mizzou.

A Summer Immersed in D.C.

The Kinder Scholars D.C. Summer Program provides rising juniors and seniors at the University of Missouri with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a course of study on the American constitutional and democratic traditions that uniquely weds theory, history, and practice. Specifically, by combining coursework on the United States’ constitutional history from the revolutionary era through the modern day with an academically-based internship, Kinder Scholars participants will be able to apply classroom knowledge to practical experience (and vice versa) in a way that deepens their understanding of both the philosophy and function of democracy in America.

The Kinder Institute offers significant financial assistance to participants, providing all members of each class of Kinder Scholars with housing as well as a $1,000 stipend (min.) to defray other expenses related to studying, working, and living in the nation’s capital. While students are responsible for paying tuition/fees for the three-credit hour class (HIST/POL_SC/CNST_DEM 4900) that all Kinder Scholars are required to take, some need-based scholarships are available by application.

Kinder Scholars Coursework

First and foremost, the Kinder Scholars program is academically driven, and participants must enroll in and complete all coursework for HIST/POL SC/CNST_DEM 4900: Beltway History & Politics. Taught by Kinder Institute faculty in a seminar setting, the course is designed to engage students in an in-depth examination of the philosophical foundations and historical development of American constitutional democracy from the revolutionary-era through the present day. The seminar follows the University of Missouri’s eight-week schedule for summer courses, and students will receive three (3) credit hours for successfully completing the course.

There is also an experiential element to the seminar, in the form of field trips that enhance students’ studies by allowing them to learn about constitutional history in places where it actually unfolded. Field trips take place on Friday or Saturday, and participation is mandatory.

Interning in D.C.

In order to ensure that participants have an opportunity to supplement their coursework with practical experience, the Kinder Scholars program also requires students to intern Monday-Thursday (min. 25 hours per week) at an organization in D.C. whose mission relates to their study of the theory and history of American constitutional democracy, as well as their post-college career interests. D.C. provides numerous different avenues for pursuing this kind of academically-driven internship work, including on Capitol Hill, in the lobby firms on K Street, at media outlets, and in the not-for profit sector. Past Kinder Scholars have taken advantage of the multitude of opportunities in the capital by interning with NBC D.C., NPR, and Street Sense; at think tanks and non-profits including the American Federation of Teachers and Federalist Society; in scholarly editorial positions at the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project and NASA History Division; in government agencies such as the U.S. Supreme Court, Federal Reserve, and Department of U.S. Citizen & Immigration Services; and in the offices of Senators and House Representatives from Missouri and beyond. Students can receive up to six (6) credit hours for the work they complete at their internships by enrolling in HIST/POL SC 4940.

While program faculty and staff will be happy to offer advice and assistance to students as they search for summer work, participants are ultimately responsible for arranging their own internship.

Living in the Capital

Living in the heart of historic Woodley Park, participants in the Kinder Scholars Summer Program will enjoy the perks of residing in one of D.C.’s most culturally vibrant neighborhoods and the convenience of having the entire city at their fingertips. With the Woodley Park/Adams Morgan Metro stop just two blocks from the residence, students can be in Dupont Circle, downtown Washington, D.C., or Capitol Hill within minutes of leaving home. The student intern housing complex where Kinder Scholars will spend the summer also provides tenants with a 24-hour on-site staff, an assortment of modern amenities, and a community of students and interns from around the globe.