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Los Angeles, California, USA

Program Description

JMU in LA provides undergraduate and graduate students a chance to learn about and participate in one of the most powerful cultural forces in our world today: the entertainment industry.

This is a highly competitive 10-credit summer program organized by the School of Media Arts and Design, but open to all rising juniors, seniors, and graduate students, regardless of their major.

Students take classes taught by entertainment industry professionals, spend a minimum of 180 hours at entertainment internships, and experience the culture of Los Angeles and the entertainment industry.

Twenty students are selected to participate each summer.

See highlights from previous programs on Instagram.

Course information:

SMAD 465, The Entertainment Industry: In this course, students will gain insight into a variety of careers in the entertainment industry through the experience of guest speakers who work in the industry; many are JMU Alumni. This course also explores the LA culture through outings and events - studio tours, sporting events, museums, tours, etc.

SMAD 495, Internship in the Entertainment Industry: Students meet once a month in the spring for resume and interviewing workshops, internship search support, and team-building exercises. Through a 180-hour internship, students gain professional experience in the entertainment industry in any sector they choose (film, marketing, PR, Journalism, performance, interactive design, social media, business, etc.) The internships allow students to create relationships and professional connections to help them pursue their career goals and identify skills they should develop to ensure career readiness.

SMAD 410, The Creative Producer: Lecture/production - This class explores the process of creating a great story from conception to production

Location Description

Students work in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles, California, while working at locations like Warner Brothers, Universal, Paramount, and Disney Studio.


Talé Mitchell | | Media Arts and Design


Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished apartments with wifi, cable, linens, a full kitchen, and laundry facilities. The apartment complex includes two large swimming pools, a convenience store, an exercise facility, tennis courts, and classrooms. Students will share a 2-bedroom apartment, with two students per room; four students in each apartment.

Students generally purchase and prepare their own food in their apartments, but on outings and special occasions the program pays for meals.

Additional Items to Consider

This program appeals to students interested in working in any sector of the entertainment industry. This includes, but is not limited to, media arts, mass media, theatre, communication, music, creative writing, advertising, journalism, interactive design, marketing, entertainment law, public relations, graphic Design, Management, Marketing, Music, Sport and Recreation Management. Data Analytics, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Film Studies, Music Industry, Sport Communication, digital media, UX/UI.

This program is open to all JMU rising juniors and seniors, and graduate students, regardless of major. 

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.5

Open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students

Students must take the 1-credit course, Entertainment Industry Internship Prep in the Spring

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
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director required
  • Unofficial transcript required

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

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SMAD 465: The Entertainment Industry: An Overview (3 credits)

SMAD 410: The Creative Producer (3 credits)

SMAD 495: Internship in Media Arts and Design (4 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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