Washington, D.C. Accelerator Program

Jumpstart your career in Washington, D.C.

With the O’Neill School’s Washington, D.C. Accelerator Program, you can earn your Master of Public Affairs from the top-ranked program in the nation while gaining experience in D.C. for a full year before graduating.

In addition to learning and working in Washington, D.C., you’ll gain access to powerful networking opportunities through our locally based partners and O’Neill alumni dedicated to your success. 

Description of the video:

An O'Neill degree is currency in Washington D.C. Everyone knows O'Neill and everyone is looking to hire O'Neil students.

The D.C. Accelerator is a very valuable addition to the MPA program because it's going to allow students the opportunity to be at the center of the action. They will be able to take the concepts and principles that they've learned and see the reality every day.

O'Neill is the number one master of public affairs in the country, which is an incredible reason to come to Bloomington in the first place. The opportunity to be with that cohort of people in a Big Ten school in a Midwest environment and then take those Midwestern values and go to D.C. is an invaluable opportunity.

The benefit of doing the D.C. Accelerator program is that you have the best of both worlds. You have the opportunity to be in close communication and contact with your faculty here on the Bloomington campus, but then to also spend one year in Washington D.C. and take courses at the same time in both residence in our D.C. office as well as online.

It's a program that's focused on putting students out there to practically engage in public policy, to practically engage in building networks that are going to help us tomorrow.

Being able to be in the D.C. area and meet people working in the field and build that network early is definitely going to be beneficial to their career when they're ready to graduate.

D.C. is an excellent place to launch a career. The one thing that unites everybody that goes to D.C. is they're looking to change lives. They're looking to change the world.

How the D.C. Accelerator Program works

With our D.C. Accelerator Program, you get the same curriculum as our residential MPA, but with the opportunity to immerse yourself in all that Washington, D.C. has to offer, including connections with nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

You’ll spend your first year on the beautiful Bloomington, Indiana campus, and then dive into a year-long internship in Washington, D.C., while continuing a mixture of online and in-person courses all taught by the same expert faculty from O'Neill. 

Just like with our residential MPA program, you’ll complete a semester-long capstone course, but with a local client in D.C. where you’ll take what you’ve learned and apply it to a real-world situation. No additional time commitment required and tuition will remain the same as the traditional MPA.


How to apply

You can apply to the Washington, D.C. Accelerator Program as part of the regular admission cycle for the MPA, but you must apply by January 15. Space is limited to 24 students per year.

If you apply to the D.C. program and are not accepted, you will still be considered for the residential MPA program as part of the same application.