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Spring Semester

In this unique educational experience, students learn about and practice the art and science of political influence and advocacy in Washington. They develop policy proposals and put together advocacy plans for their proposals. After the end of the semester, students will travel to Washington to put their knowledge, and their plans, to work, meeting with governmental officials and advocating for their policy proposals. This immersive experience combines the best of theory and practice, and allows students to learn how political advocacy really works in our national politics 

During the trip to Washington, D.C., housing is provided at the University of Utah’s newly renovated five-story brownstone, the Orrin G. Hatch Center. This historic building is in the heart of Dupont Circle and central to all of D.C.’s most significant landmarks.


Learn how to perform policy research.
Understand theories behind advocacy, policy making, and political influence.
Develop targeted policy proposals, and learn policy writing skills.
Learn lobbying and advocacy strategies.
Understand how influence works in Washington, D.C.


Policy Proposal Sample Papers

Example 1    |    Example 2   |    Example 3

Apply for Spring 2023
Deadline: November 15, 2023



Dr. James Curry - Associate Professor, Political Science
Professor Curry’s research focuses on U.S. politics and policymaking, especially the U.S. Congress. Dr. Curry previously worked on Capitol Hill in the offices of Daniel Lipinski and the House Appropriations Committee.

Gina Shipley - Hinckley Institute
Gina serves as the managing director for national internships for the Hinckley Institute. She has helped hundreds of Hinckley Interns succeed while working in the nation’s capital.


"For anyone looking to do work in the area of public policy—whether it is running for office, working on congressional or legislative staff, working for advocacy groups or a non-profit etc.—this class is a MUST!"

- Kyle Tucker (2019)

"As a communication and international studies major, the Capital Encounter class was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the work that lobbyists do and about how policy is made. It was such a great insight into how lobbying actually works, and gave me the chance to experience lobbying."

- Michelle James (2019)