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Los Angeles, CA, USA

Program Description

Golden sunsets, crashing waves, and palm trees. Such are the images that often come to mind when we think of California. From at least the era of the gold rush, these images have sunk into our collective consciousness, shaping California’s status as a vast projection screen for fantasy. In turn, Hollywood’s status as the “dream factory” hinges on the sophisticated production of moving images, which saturate not only national but also global culture.

This intensive site visit to LA considers both sides of this equation: California as both object and producer of visual media. We will learn about the arrival of Europeans attracted by California's land and riches, examine some key moments in the photographic history of the region, and move forward to the cinema and the creation of digital media. The rich, multi-ethnic diversity of Los Angeles will be a vivid through-line of our enquiry.

Students should expect a highly interactive, discussion-based program, engaging material, opportunities for critical and creative reflection, and a rewarding intellectual and cultural experience.

Location Description

Los Angeles--the sun-drenched capital of the film industry is a metropolis of great reach and complexity. Famous as the site of the "dream factory," it is also a vast, multi-ethnic global city, one of the most diverse in the nation.

This program will introduce students to some of its key areas: the Westside (Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills); the revitalized downtown and city center; Hollywood; and neighborhoods such as Koreatown, Pico Rivera, and South Central. Visits to key museums and cultural sites will construct our itinerary.


Robert D. Aguirre| | College of Arts and Letters


Accomodations will be in a three-star Los Angeles hotel, with each room having two queen beds.

One communal meal per day included. Students responsible for other meals.

Additional Items to Consider

Transportation around Los Angeles is included in the overall cost.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.5

Preference given to Honors College students

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Interview with Program Director

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


Honors 300: Imagining California (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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