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What factors are taken into consideration during the admission process?
The Wofford Denius UTLA Center for Entertainment and Media Studies 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 their 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 Denius 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, Director of The Denius Center, for tips on preparing a great resume (please note that a cover letter is not required for the Denius UTLA Program 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?
Yes. Students may participate in the program up to approximately one year after graduation. 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 Denius Center website after selecting your semester of participation). 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 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 Denius 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.
How many internships do students normally take on?
Most students take on a single internship for 30 or more hours a week, however some students choose to take on a second. There are a variety of reasons why you might choose to take two internships. It gives a broader understanding of the entertainment industry. You can grow a larger network at multiple work locations, and it provides students with the opportunity to explore more career paths.
Is it better to participate in the summer or long semester based on my interest in television/film?
Film is produced year round; those internships that are film oriented will be available to students during any semester. Television, however, sticks to a season that runs August to May and therefore a student seeking an internship in television will have fewer options during the summer semester.
Are all/most internships restricted to film and television?
No, there are a multitude of opportunities within the entertainment industry that cater to students who are not RTF majors. Including internships in business, marketing, public relations and journalism to name a few.
What if I don't have an internship when I come to LA?
Don't panic. We'll help you secure an internship when you get to LA. Many companies are still seeking interns at the start of our Denius UTLA Center semesters. There are all different kinds of companies in all sectors working in entertainment in LA, and we'll find the best fit for you.
What if I can’t land an internship?
We have never had a student go without an internship. It can take a bit of time to find the right place, but students always get hired. If you do discover that you are having difficulty finding an internship the staff at the Denius Center will use every resource at their disposal to help in your internship search.
Can I take additional courses through UT Distance Education or a local college in Los Angeles while participating in the Program?
Taking additional courses outside the Semester in LA Program curriculum is not recommended, as doing so would adversely impact the time and energy you would be able to commit to your Semester in LA internship and course work.
Will I be able to exceed the 42-hour limit on RTF credits and/or the COM credit hour limit stated for my major?
Yes. Our goal is to help you integrate your Semester in Los Angeles courses as fully as possible into your degree plan and help you make progress toward your UT degree. Start planning as early as possible and consult your academic advisor to learn how Denius Center courses will help meet major and/or degree requirements and if you need a waiver to exceed the credit hour limits.
Where will I intern and how will my internship be arranged?
Where you intern will, to a large extent, be determined by your career interests and preferences. A wide variety of internship options are available, and Denius Center staff will assist with your internship search, but you will drive the application process for internships to earn consideration for the positions that interest you. The Communication Career Services office in Austin also maintains a large volume of information on internships available in the Los Angeles area and will provide additional assistance to students in the Moody College of Communication.
In order for an internship to receive approval for academic credit, it will have to meet the internship requirements outlined in the Internship Agreement.
If I have already taken either 3 or 4 hours of internships, how can I take another internship course for credit?
Students participating in the UTLA Program are allowed to count up to 6 hours of internship credit toward their degree upon successful completion of the Semester in Los Angeles program. Consult your academic advisor for more information.
Will credits from the Denius UTLA Center transfer to another college/university?
In most cases, yes. You will need to submit an official transcript from The University of Texas at Austin upon completion of the Denius UTLACenter program to the other college or university. It is your responsibility, though, to consult with an advisor from the other institution beforehand to determine whether the credits can be applied to the particular degree program. Be sure to download the course syllabi to provide the other institution for review and evaluation.
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