Semester in Los Angeles

  • The UTLA Center, 3800 Barham Blvd., #103, Los Angeles, CA 90068
  • Ph: 323-512-9200, 877-875-2111
  • Fax: 323-512-0096


The Semester in Los Angeles program welcomes students with a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences. Enrollment in the program is limited to 45 students each semester.

Before You Apply | Requirements  | Instructions | Decision Process | After You Apply | FAQ

 Application Process

Before you apply:

  • Review the program eligibility requirements and the Frequently Asked Questions section on this page.
  • Attend an information session.
  • Strongly suggested: visit your academic advisor to discuss your plans for participation in the program and determine the best semester to participate.
  • Students from other universities should consult their academic advisor and Registrar’s Office to review credit transfer policies based on their plans to attend the program.

Application Requirements

  • Verification of contact information.
  • Completion of an essay.
  • Résumé uploaded to the system. (Resume Guide)

Non-UT students are only eligible to attend during a summer semester. Please obtain a UT EID in order to access the application. Once you have submitted the application, you must also mail the materials listed below to the UTLA Center. All materials must be received by the summer semester application deadline, or your application will be considered incomplete:

  • Official transcript from home institution.
  • Semester in Los Angeles Program Disciplinary Clearance Form (Download this form now) The Disciplinary Clearance Form must be completed by the Dean of Students, a Judicial Affairs Officer or by another appropriate official at your home institution.

Application Instructions

The online application requires login with a UT EID. The application will pull relevant information from your permanent student record. You may log in and return to the application at any time before the semester deadline to edit, update and/or upload documents.

Your application must be completed by the semester deadline. For non-UT students, this also means that hard copies of your supplemental materials also have to be received by the UTLA Center by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and will be automatically disqualified.

By submitting an application to the UTLA program you are indicating your decision to apply for the semester(s) you have selected. Once a semester's deadline has passed, your most recently-submitted application information for that semester will be reviewed by the UTLA admission committee. You may continue to edit your application for future semesters. In addition, you agree to the following:
  • I will allow appropriate faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Austin to access information from my student records and use it internally for purposes of this application and the business needs of the Semester in Los Angeles Program.
  • I will allow appropriate faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Austin to access my financial aid information (FAFSA) for purposes of scholarship consideration and the business needs of the Semester in Los Angeles Program (applicable to UT-Austin students only).
  • The information that I have provided in this application is true and accurate and is entirely my own work. I understand that submission of false information in this application constitutes academic dishonesty and will be reported to the Dean of Students Office. Students who violate University rules on academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in a course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information please visit the Student Judicial Services website. Scholastic dishonesty concerns regarding non-UT-Austin students will be reported to that student’s home institution.

Decision Process

An admission committee composed of faculty and staff will review each applicant’s application materials and applicable academic information (GPA, classification, major, etc.)  Applicants' disciplinary records will be checked, and acceptance decisions will be sent to students via email. All applicants are notified via email, and students must log in to the application system to view their status. All decisions are final and may not be appealed.

Next Steps

When students log in to the system, the system will display their status.

Students who are notified of an offer to participate will have to confirm or cancel their intent to participate in the program and then must meet a series of requirements before they can finalize their acceptance to the program:

  • Confirm their intent to participate in the program by clicking on a link in the online system, which will allow them to review information on program policies and requirements that pertain to participation in the program.
  • Meet all payment deadlines, including the initial deadline to pay a non-refundable program fee deposit. Failure to meet the payment deadlines will result in withdrawal from the program.
  • Complete all pre-departure requirements by the stipulated deadlines.
  • Successfully complete 3 hours of coursework in Radio-Television-Film or equivalent, prior to the semester of participation.
  • Maintain a minimum UT GPA of 2.25 by the semester of participation.
  • Continue to make satisfactory academic progress toward their degree.
  • Complete a mandatory pre-departure orientation.

Further details are included with notification of acceptance. Failure to meet deadlines or complete requirements, or any changes in a student's status that violate the eligibility requirements prior to participation in the program will result in withdrawal of the offer, and may result in financial penalties.

Students who are not offered a seat in their desired semester are encouraged to apply for a later semester based on their ability to meet the eligibility criteria at that time. If acceptance students decline to participate, those vacated seats will be offered to high-ranking students who were initially not offered a seat.

Application FAQs

What factors are taken into consideration during the admission process?

The Semester in Los Angeles Program application review involves a multi-factorial approach. Applicants are ranked according to a number of factors, including GPA, total number of hours, and essay/resume review scores. While a student’s GPA is important, it is not the most important factor. The application essay and resume are reviewed carefully for content as well as form. Applicants who can clearly articulate their personal interests and goals for a Semester in Los Angeles experience in relation to their current studies, extra-curricular and/or work experience, and career exploration objectives fare better than applicants who may take a more general, inconsistent or vague approach. However, a strong application also depends on details that speak to a student’s sense of professionalism. Applicants who pay close attention to writing clearly, using simple and professional document formatting, check spelling, grammar and punctuation will improve their chances of receiving an offer to participate.

What can I do to prepare a strong application?

There are a number of things you can do. Begin by attending an information session and asking questions that are specific to your interests and priorities. Read the information on the UTLA Center’s website and become familiar with what the program has to offer; this will show through in your essay. Have another person you trust with a professional opinion review drafts of your essays, and consider asking for assistance from the UT Writing Center. Refer to the UTLA Cover Letter & Resume Guide prepared by Phil Nemy, Executive Director of the UTLA Center, for tips on preparing a great resume (please note that a cover letter is not required for the UTLA application-- you will need a cover letter when you prepare to contact potential employers after acceptance to the program). Visit Communication Career Services for help with resume preparation and review their Resume Writing Guide. Read industry publications in your area of interest on a regular basis. And last, but not least, be sure to begin preparing your essay and resume early, so that you can devote the time and attention required to produce a winning application!

Do I need to submit a cover letter with my resume?

No, they are not required. In fact, cover letters are discouraged.

Are applicants interviewed?


Are applicants who don't know exactly what type of internship work they will be seeking at a disadvantage during the application review process?

No, not all applicants know what they would like to do in this respect, but use their participation in the program to hone their interests and determine if they would like to pursue a career in LA after graduation.  Applicants must be able to use the essays to communicate their thoughts and plans for this process of exploration in a clear, concise, manner. 

Is it possible to defer my acceptance to a different semester?

No, it is not possible to defer to a future semester. You must submit your application for a future semester and be judged amongst that semester’s application pool.

I was offered a seat in the program, and now I am planning to graduate before my intended semester of participation. Can I still participate?

No. Participants must be degree-seeking students at the time of participation in the program. Consult your academic advisor about your options.

I confirmed my participation in the program, and now I can no longer go. How can I withdraw from the program?

If you have already confirmed your intent to participate (on the online system), you must contact the program administrator, in writing, to request withdrawal from the program, and to avoid possible financial penalties. Please refer to the timeline for your intended semester of participation to review financial deadlines (dates and information can be found on the Main Page of the UTLA website and the "Before you Go" section of the website). Please include your UT EID and the semester you intend to withdraw from in your email.

If you have NOT confirmed your intent to participate (on the online system), simply log in to the system and decline the offer.

I received an offer to participate in the program, and for various reasons, I now want to change to a different semester. Can I change my semester of participation?

No. You must submit your application for a future semester and be judged amongst that semester’s application pool.

What if I haven't taken 3 hours of coursework in Radio-Television-Film, my GPA drops below the required GPA, or my disciplinary record changes before my semester of participation?

Eligibility checks are run for all accepted students up until the semester of participation. If you think you will not be able to meet the eligibility requirements the semester prior to participation (when the payment schedule kicks in), or if your status at the university changes for any reason (enrollment, disciplinary, or otherwise) contact the UTLA Center immediately. Do not wait for your acceptance to be rescinded, or you may incur financial penalties based on your date of withdrawal. No exceptions will be made.

When would I be subject to paying an additional $500 fee?

If you have received and accepted a primary offer for a seat in the program and received an additional offer for an upcoming semester that you have also applied for and would like to accept the additional offer in place of the primary offer, you will be billed/responsible for an additional $500 non-refundable deposit, regardless of if you have paid the $500 non-refundable deposit for the primary offer. You are responsible for both $500 non-refundable deposits.

Application Schedule

CLICK HERE to apply by:
May 1st, 2017 for Spring 2018
October 2nd, 2017 for Summer 2018
February 12th, 2018 for Fall 2018


Eligibility Requirements

UT Austin students must meet the following requirements:

  • Min. 60 hours by semester of participation.
  • Min. GPA of 2.25 by semester of participation.
  • Successful completion of 3 hours of coursework in Radio-Televison-Film or equivalent.
  • Graduate students of UT-Austin must hold a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Non-UT students must meet above requirements, and are only eligible to apply for summer semester.

All applicants must be currently enrolled degree-seeking students in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university.

Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the Semester in Los Angeles Program. An applicant's total educational and disciplinary record, educational objective, professional attitude, level of preparedness and interpersonal maturity, special talents, personal preparation and personal achievements may be considered in the selection process.  The University reserves the right to interview the student during the application process, to deny acceptance, and to rescind acceptance to any applicant for any reason the University determines to be material to the applicant's qualifications.