AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication will start a “Semester in Los Angeles” program in summer 2005, enabling students to spend a semester learning about the entertainment business through classes and internships.
The program will reside in the University of Texas Los Angeles Center, which will open in May 2005 and serve as the university’s West Coast hub of teaching and research on film, television and electronic media, as well as a location for industry and alumni activity.
“The Semester in LA program and the Los Angeles Center will provide the university an ongoing, dynamic and active presence in the entertainment capital of the world,” said Matt Berndt, director of the Career Services Center in the College of Communication and the person in charge of developing and starting the program. “Talented University of Texas students will be able to spend a semester in residence in Los Angeles studying the entertainment industry and interning with a variety of entertainment businesses.”
The Semester in Los Angeles program will accommodate up to 50 upper division students from the University of Texas at Austin each semester. Admission preference will be given to College of Communication students, with seats reserved each semester for students from other University of Texas at Austin colleges and schools.
The fall and spring semesters will offer a 12-credit program, while the summer semester will offer a nine-credit program. Students will take a series of upper division courses, including How Hollywood Works: The Business of Show Business; The Creative Process of Film and Television Development; and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema: Film Analysis and Criticism. Students also will complete an entertainment industry internship for academic credit.
Application information for the Semester in Los Angeles program will be available through the College of Communication beginning in September.
The College of Communication is securing facilities in Burbank, which will have office space for full-time faculty and staff with additional office space for a professional-in-residence or visiting faculty members. It will feature multimedia classrooms, meeting spaces, a common area for students and a computer lab. Students enrolled in the Semester in Los Angeles program will be required to live in corporate housing contracted by the university.
This fall, officials will begin the search for an executive director who will have academic and administrative management oversight of all Semester in Los Angeles program activities and will be an active member of the center’s teaching faculty. The Semester in Los Angeles program will have a student and academic services manager, whose primary responsibilities will be to provide academic advising and support services to students participating in the program. The manager also will supervise the two resident assistants and oversee the residence life program for students while they are in Los Angeles.
The College of Communication’s offices of Student Affairs and Career Services will provide additional student and career services support from Austin.
The Semester in Los Angeles program is one of a number of innovative programs started by the College of Communication to build opportunity for students and foster stronger industry relationships. Other recent programs include the University of Texas Film Institute, which aims to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities working on commercially viable feature films; the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation, which conducts research on civic participation and develops programs to increase democratic understanding; and the Radio-Television-Film Master Class, which brings film industry luminaries into the classroom for an intense seminar about the reality of succeeding in the business.
For more information contact: Matt Berndt, Career Services Center, 512-471-9421.