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Villanova on The Hill

Villanova on The Hill offers students a weeklong immersive experience during fall break that explores all aspects of the policymaking and political ecosystem of Washington DC, and how individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and in a broad range of professions, make it work.

Guided by a team of highly-placed alumni, including members of the Villanova Public Policy Society, students visit and interview Villanova alumni and friends who are influential lawmakers, public policy advocates, lobbyists, think tank analysts, media professionals and federal agency representatives. Each day of the program will allow students to explore a different aspect of the Washington DC ecosystem, with a focus on effective problem-solving.

Students prepare extensively for each visit by researching the people and organizations involved, prepping their cohort members and introducing the organization to the full group. Throughout the week, a counselor from Villanova’s Career Center coaches students on how to present themselves and maximize their contacts for career or internship opportunities.

A special highlight of the week—and an important networking opportunity for the students—is a reception that unites the Villanova DC community of alumni, parents and friends for an evening with University and College leadership and includes a keynote from a prominent journalist or thought-leader.

By the end of the week, students will have a clear grasp on how to forge a path toward a meaningful career in Washington DC, combined with a network of Villanova alumni contacts. They will also be armed with a powerful framework and specific skills on how to craft policy solutions.

Villanova on The Hill is led by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Department of Public Administration

Sample Agenda

Events will vary to include public policy advocates, lobbyists, think tank analysts, media professionals, federal agency representatives, politicians and their staff liaisons. Site visits include Congressional offices, the FBI, think tanks, lobbyists and Politico.

Resume Positioning

The resume is the first thing an employer uses to evaluate you, so it's essential to ensure it effectively summarizes your skills, knowledge and experiences, such as participation in immersion programs such as Villanova on The Hill. 

Utilizing our Resume Guide with an example specific to your career and professional development goals can begin the process toward creating a flawless and thought-out tool for your post-graduate search.


  • When do I apply? 
    Application opens: March 4, 2024
    Application closes: April 1, 2024
    Program dates: October 13-18, 2024                                      
  • How can I find out about application deadlines and costs? These vary each year, so visit this site during the application season for the most up-to-date information.
  • Is this a competitive program? Yes, many students apply for this immersion trip, so take your time with the application and be thoughtful in your video.
  • Where do I get help with funding? You can apply for funding for this program within your application. For other professional development experiences such as conferences, underpaid/unpaid internships and study abroad, refer to our Student Experiences Funding webpage.
  • How can I prepare for this program? Attend the information sessions, which will be posted on Handshake, visit the Career Center along with the professional development offices in your school to build your resume, LinkedIn and elevator pitches.
  • What should I wear? We encourage students to wear business professional clothing. If you need some options, make an appointment at the Wildcat Wardrobe.
  • What are the lodging accommodations?
    Students who participate in Villanova immersion programs stay in a hotel on location and share rooms with each other. Rooms are assigned to students and follow university housing policies and guidance. However, it is central to our mission to make sure we are as inclusive as possible to all members of the Villanova community. If you need a hotel accommodation, please do not hesitate to reach out to discuss your needs and potential possibilities.
  • How do you travel between the various sites? To fully immerse ourselves in the city, we take various modes of transportation, including the DC Metro system, ride shares, and walking. If you need mobility accommodations, please let us know upon acceptance to the program.
  • What can I gain from attending this program? Students in the past learned about various roles within the public policy sector, created relationships with their cohort and connected with alumni that sometimes lead to internship and job opportunities. 
  • When does this trip take place? Fall break.

"Attending Villanova on the Hill was a formative experience in preparing for the transition between college life and a professional career. Meeting with alumni highlighted the variety of professions and sectors of policymaking, as well as the different avenues to building a career rooted in public service. As I began my job application process, I often looked back to my notes from Villanova on the Hill to find positions and organizations that aligned with my professional goals and skills. Meanwhile, engaging with alumni taught me how to stay curious about professional perspectives- a skill I’ve found indispensable to networking and interviewing. Today, I am in the early stages of a career within the government and am excited to move forward in playing a role in public policy. "

- Erin Rodriguez '22 CLAS