FALL/SPRING:  Your required 12-credit Los Angeles academic experience is built around registering for an 18-to-30-hour entertainment industry practicum (1-3 credits); a vast array of LA-based course offerings (3 credits each); five-week master seminars (1 credit each); and online Arts and Sciences classes.  

SUMMER:  Your 6 credit Los Angeles academic experience is built around registering for an 18-40 hour entertainment industry practicum (1 credit); selecting one of the LA-based Newhouse major requirements (Diversity or Law - 3 credits each); and choosing from a variety of offerings that complement career interests (1-2 credit each). 

Actual course offerings will vary from semester to semester. 

WAITLIST:  If a  Los Angeles ON-SITE class you wish to take is fully enrolled and closed, DOWNLOAD THIS WRITABLE PDF FORM  and email it to Robin Howard at rshoward@syr.eduRequests will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Preference is given to students who need to fulfill degree requirements for their major.  If the PHI 293 ONLINE course is fully enrolled, send a  Newhouse wait list form to Tracy Feocco (tlfeocco@syr.edu).

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BAN 403 (3 cr.) / TRF 475 (1-3 cr.) : Los Angeles Entertainment Industry Practicum 

This course is required for all participants in the semester and has three components.

  • Student Internship Practical Experience
  • Classroom meetings throughout the semester
  • One to One meetings with the program director / assistant director during the semester

This course will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace. In class, we will offer a forum to discuss any challenges, concerns and questions that may arise regarding student’s internships. We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers, thus giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting. Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) , students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.  

BAN 454: Music Business, Technology & Emerging Opportunities (3 cr.)

The class explores how technology has had an impact on the music industry and how the current tech space changes the music industry almost daily. The class explores the opportunity that this creates for entrepreneurial and forward-thinking students in the music and creative spaces.  Offered in the fall semester only. 

COM 350:  Topics in media, diversity, and inclusion (3 cr.)

This course is an introduction to fundamental issues related to diversity and inclusion in the media industries as approached through the lens of topics, industries, and/or media products.  Current themes include SOCIAL CHANGE IN LOS ANGELES and DISNEY ANIMATED FILMS

COM 506: Communications Law for Television, Radio, Film (3 cr.)

This course is intended to prepare students for a number of specific legal problems they are likely to encounter in their jobs in the broadcasting and film industries, including those that will emerge as technology and business organizations change. Preference is given to Bandier, Graphic Design, Photography (Illustration track) and Television-Radio-Film seniors and PC minors.  

COM 509: Communications Law for Communicators (3 cr.)

This course is an integrated communications law course that covers  a broad range of legal issues and is available to most majors.

ENG 464: Classical Hollywood Cinema & the Studio System (3 cr.)

This course will study the aesthetics, historical context, economics, censorship, technological developments of Hollywood studio filmmaking. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the history of studio era Hollywood against the wider backdrop of the cultural history of Los Angeles and the United States. This course will examine Hollywood narrative cinema from the beginning of the sound era in the late 1920s to the demise of the studio system in the late 1950s. Topics will include the emergence of genres, the star system, changing audiences, the innovations of sound and television, and controversies over film content. Students will also acquire some advanced skills for film history research using local archives in the Los Angeles area.

PHI 293:    Ethics & Media Professionals (online) (3 cr.)

Ethics and the Media Professionals is an introduction to the ethical issues raised by the media, including television, radio, film, photography, photojournalism, and graphics. The goal of the course is to provide students with the resources and background required to recognize, navigate, and constructively respond to the ethical challenges faced by media professionals. Toward that end, the course focuses on three interrelated topics:

  1. Ethical concepts and methods, including traditional views about ethical standards and how they should be determined.
  2. Specific areas where ethical issues arise in the mass media, including the portrayal of sex and violence, the use of stereotypes, and the ethical implications of digital media.
  3. Questions concerning personal and professional responsibility, and the ethical challenges of professional life.

Note:  Additional online courses are available.  Please refer to the Syracuse University Course Catalog and myslice for a comprehensive list.

TRF 400:  The Art of Producing  (2 cr.)

Many students express their desire to become producers.  But who is the producer and what do they do exactly?  How do you become a producer?  This course will provide answers to these questions as it explores the many different facets of the producer’s art.   Offered in the summer only. 

TRF 415: Acting for Writers, Producers, and Directors (3 cr.)

This class for non-actors will introduce and explore the process by which actors prepare and execute their performances for film. It will examine the elements of film-making that actors must be aware of like cinematography, lighting, editing, etc. It will also explore the relationship of the director to the actor. This course will require the students to assume the role of an actor and learn and execute the techniques required to excel in the craft.

TRF 425: The Writers Journey (3 cr.)

In this class we will journey through the writer’s experience, both your experiences as young, learning writers and the experiences of the seasoned, professional writer. We will explore the fundamentals of writing for the screen, both through lecture and a simulated professional “writers’ room” atmosphere in which students will pitch ideas and have their work read aloud at table reads. We will also examine, with the help of our guest writers, the realities of the professional writing process in the entertainment business today – the joys, the frustrations, the collaborations and connectivity’s. Guest writers may be invited to sit in on table readings of student material to give their notes and thoughts.

TRF 430: Topics in Entertainment Business:  Marketing for Film and Television (3 cr.)

Given the rise of streaming (both related and unrelated to the pandemic) another variable has demanded more attention from marketers – theatricality. It’s always been part of the marketing equation but rather than simply solving how we as marketers amplify this variable, we are now faced with the question of whether a movie is considered theater-worthy at all.  Ultimately the goal remains – make audiences choose your movie over something else; convince them that the movie is worth the effort or the money to see it wherever it is being made available.

TRF 465: CAPSTONE  - Hollywood: Game Changers (3 cr.)

The Television/Radio/Film Capstone course in Los Angeles will take students on an up-close immersive journey through the ever-changing ecosystem of the Los Angeles media industry, including traditional TV, feature films, cable TV, the syndication business, social media and the new digital guys on the block.

TRF 471: TV Nation (3 cr.)

We are truly a nation of TV watchers, whether by way of traditional networks or streaming (OTT) services. TV NATION explores the business and creative process that leads to and includes the pitch for new television shows.  It will explain and demystify how programs are created, developed, and sold, as well as the jobs that are responsible for all of these functions.

TRF 510: Artist Representation & The Creative Process (1 cr.)

This course will explore the significant role agents and managers play in the television, film & digital media creative process. Agents and managers who represent talent like actors, writers, directors, producers, musicians, etc. can have a profound impact on the careers of their clients. They can be involved in the projects their clients choose and the development, packaging and financing of those projects. Managers can also be producers and are frequently involved in the actual production of their client’s films and television shows. This class will help you discover the pivotal contribution agents and managers make to the Hollywood media creative ecosystem.

TRF 510:  Anatomy of a TV Series  (1 cr.)

In this 5-week course, students will follow the evolution of a hit television comedy series from the idea through the pitch, development process, script drafts, casting, production, post-production, music and the challenges of maintaining the quality of a successful series through the life of the series.

TRF 510:  Screenwriting:  Breaking the Story (1 cr.)

This course will provide aspiring screenwriters with the tools they need to prepare a detailed document that outlines the elements of their story before they sit down to write the screenplay.  It is imperative to know and understand the depth and breadth of the story you want to tell before you even think about writing the screenplay.  This course will explore all the elements of storytelling including loglines, themes, characters work, act structure, emotional structure, plot points, scene study, conflict and resolution.  Through lecture, examples, assignments, and professional and peer feedback, students will come away with a dynamic tool that will greatly sharpen their screenwriting skills.  Offered in the summer only

TRF 510:  Hollywood:  Navigating the Future (1 cr.)

Learn the secrets to navigating the “new media” ecosystem and how to face real world challenges with creative, insightful and analytical solutions from leading industry producers, creative executives and talent agents.

This course will expose students to the ever changing landscape of the Los Angeles media industry, including traditional television and movies, cable TV, the syndication business, social media, the digital space and more. Students will gain insights into how these different platforms are now thoroughly interconnected and how they impact each other. Students will study the history of how the media business worked, how business models are being turned on their heads on an almost daily basis, and how the student’s career goals and aspirations might fit in to how the business will evolve in the future.

TRF 510:  Riding the Digital Wave (1 cr.)

Riding the Digital Wave explores our vibrant digital media scene. Students will be introduced to a variety of companies as well as learn about technologies and innovations that are growing here. They will also be introduced to digital media corporate initiatives at established LA-based media companies. The course will include lectures from and field trips to movers-and-shakers, founders and creators in this highly creative and fast-moving space. 

SMC 422:  Sports Production  (3 cr.)

An exploration of sports production.  The course examines the way promos, long form, studio and live sports production utilizes storytelling, shooting and editing techniques. Offered in the spring semester only.

SMC 424:  The Sports Media Pitch  (3 cr.)

The Sports Media Pitch is a collaborative project with students executing a marketing and/or branding challenge assignment from a real-world sport entity. Offered in the spring semester only. 


International students:  Non-immigrant visa regulations require that F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors be registered as full-time students in the fall and spring semesters.  Students are limited to one online class if they are registered for a total of 12 credits or two online classes if they register for a total of 15 or more credits. 


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