Los Angeles Internship Program

This program offers students a semester of study and work in the heart of the film, television, advertising and public relations, and entertainment management and law industries.

Courses are taught by Boston University faculty and alumni who serve as mentors in and out of the classroom.

Program Curriculum

Students take three courses concurrently with their internship. Students typically work at two internships for a minimum of 20 hours per week, in some cases, up to 40 hours per week, and continue to meet with their internship coordinator during the semester.

The program offers four tracks from which undergraduate and graduate students can choose: Advertising & Public Relations, Film & Television, Entertainment Management, and Los Angeles Studies. Graduated students have the opportunity to continue their education by enrolling in the Los Angeles Certificate Program, where students can choose either the Acting in Hollywood Track or The Writer in Hollywood Track. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Advertising & Public Relations Track

Course information for the Advertising & Public Relations Track:

Required Courses

Students take the following two courses:

COM CM 563: Entertainment Marketing (4 credits)

(Formerly COM CM 561 HL.) This course surveys the strategy, techniques, and communication media employed to market the range of entertainment available to the American audience. The course examines the organizations and people who conceive, create, and distribute video, film, print, interactive, and new technology within the framework of the entertainment promotion landscape. The course demonstrates how advertising, publicity, promotion, research, and overall marketing campaigns are created and the impact on the creative and business operations of entertainment companies. Syllabus

COM CM 564: Entertainment Promotion: Speaker Series (4)

(Formerly COM CM 561 HW.) The course will showcase agents, managers, publicists, and studio executives, among others, who will discuss their role and real-life experience in developing and guiding an entertainment project (be it a movie, play, book, or music) to success. The course surveys the nuts and bolts of taking an entertainment project from the ground up with emphasis on doing so in the digital age of the 21st century. Syllabus

Elective Courses

Students choose one elective course:

COM FT 539: Professional Production Methods (4)

To introduce film and television students to professional quality production techniques, suppliers, and equipment. This will be by field trips and speakers in the PLB classroom and at film and video shoots, vendors, and post-production facilities. The class will consist of, primarily, required excursions; it will also include lectures, guest speakers, screenings, class discussions, and demonstrations. The class meetings will be informal, striving for an open exchange of ideas, points of view, experiences, and difficulties encountered in film and video production. Students are encouraged to participate in an open forum of discussions regarding techniques, problems encountered related to directing and producing skills, and so forth. We also discuss potential solutions to problems, some of which are routinely encountered in the film industry. Syllabus

COM FT 566: The Business of Hollywood (4)

A practical analysis of the film & television industries: a general overview of the business of entertainment and the balancing act between art and commerce; how to evaluate, acquire, develop, package, promote, sell, finance, produce, and market motion picture and television product; where to begin, how to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to the marketplace, how to land your first and second jobs; understanding the personalities and social constructs of the industry; and how to navigate your way through the industry and make a career for yourself in film and television. Syllabus

COM FT 584: The Creative Life in Television (4)

(Formerly COM FT 552 A1.) This is a “real-time” class that will follow the life and death of a television season. We examine what makes it on the air, why it gets there, who creates it, who sells it and who buys it, and who is going to pay for it. We look at the cultural, political, and commercial forces that shape the creative environment. The course examines the struggle of the networks to survive in a rapidly changing environment and in the face of new technologies. And as the dinosaurs die, we look at the new opportunities this era of change offers for fresh talent. Every week there are news articles and feature pieces e-mailed to you for discussion in class. You are expected to come in up to date on current television and current events. We have guest speakers from working professionals to share their creative journey, and do our own exercises in creative thinking. The course integrates with your internship. The idea is to have you become conversant in TV as it exists now. You are required to watch TV and think about it like a professional. Final paper is an examination of shows that are “On the Bubble”. It is an exercise in reverse engineering/development. What would you have done differently with the show you select? What could help save or improve the show? It is an assignment about creative thinking. Syllabus

COM FT 585: Careers in Hollywood (4)

(Formerly COM FT 566 B1.) A series of symposium-like evenings with industry professionals speaking primarily on those topics covered in COM FT 566 The Business of Hollywood. Some classes will reflect topics covered in COM FT 584 Creative Life in Television. Students will be given the opportunity for up-close-and-personal interaction with some of the industry’s movers and shakers. An opportunity to network with industry alumni as well as non-alumni professionals.

SMG SI 438 Talent Representation and Management (4) (Spring Only)

(Prerequisite for BU Students: SMG OB 221, CAS PS 367 or COM CM 303.)

(Prerequisite for Non-Boston University Students: Organizational Behavior.)

Participants in this course will be offered a rare, hands-on opportunity to peer behind the historically closed doors of talent agencies, personal management companies, entertainment law firms and other representation team members. Utilizing case studies and business models, the class members will examine the manner in which these critical players interact and attempt to work together on behalf of clients. Participants will gain an understanding of the different areas of talent representation, how each one functions in the scope of a client’s career and what the position responsibilities are in each area of representation. Readings and research projects will focus on current approaches to negotiation. Syllabus

Internship Course

Study marketing techniques, media and consumer behavior, and work in the marketing or PR departments of multinational firms, advertising agencies, or public relations agencies. Previous internship placements have included TBWA-Chiat/Day, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, BWR, mPRm, Initiative, Dreamworks Marketing, ABC/Disney Marketing, and BNC. (Please note these are examples of past internship placements only. While Study Abroad guarantees an internship to program participants, specific placements vary from semester to semester and may not always be available. Likewise, internship placements may be available in academic areas not listed.)

Entertainment Management Track

The Entertainment Management track is available during the spring semester only. Download a description of the Entertainment Management Track.

Required Courses

Students take the following two courses:

SMG SI 435: Entertainment Management (4)

(Prerequisite for BU Students: SMG FE 323, SMG MK 323, SMG IS 323, and SMG OM 323.)

(Prerequisite for Non-Boston University Students: Introduction to Finance, Introduction to Marketing, Introduction to Information Systems, and Introduction to Operations Technology Management.)

Formerly SMG MG 435

Management in the Entertainment Industry surveys the application of management concepts and principles to the film, television, video, new media and music industry. This course examines administration and finance, development, production, and distribution, and introduces students to the organizations and people (such as studios, independent production companies, talent managers, and agents) who manage, invest, and eventually profit in this creative industry. Much of the class time is spent in discussion of current entertainment industry trends. Students gain the skills to achieve their own entertainment goals. Syllabus

SMG LA 430: Entertainment Law (4)

(Prerequisite for BU Students: SMG LA 245.)

(Prerequisite for Non-Boston University Students: Introduction to Business Law.)

This survey class covers the basics of “entertainment law,” including constitutional, contracts, labor and employment law and intellectual property rights. Students develop a clear understanding of the applicable laws and how these laws have been applied in the past, how they are applied today, and how they might be amended and applied in the future. Students learn applicable legal concepts, practical insights, and an appreciation of how to deal with lawyers and the law in their entertainment business futures. It is intended to provide a good conceptual understanding of the law and demonstrate its relevance through case study, reading, guest speakers, field trips, and intense discussion. The application of the law to the “digital now,” the “digital future” and the Internet—now crucial, indeed central, to any discussion of entertainment–will be included throughout and be the subject of an entire class toward the end of the course. The “law” to be explored will be constitutional, copyright, trademark, contracts, labor, employment, and remedies and their application to and use within the entertainment business. Syllabus

Elective Courses

Students choose one elective course:

COM CM 563: Entertainment Marketing (4)

(Formerly COM CM 561 HL.) This course surveys the strategy, techniques, and communication media employed to market the range of entertainment available to the American audience. The course examines the organizations and people who conceive, create, and distribute video, film, print, interactive, and new technology within the framework of the entertainment promotion landscape. The course demonstrates how advertising, publicity, promotion, research, and overall marketing campaigns are created and the impact on the creative and business operations of entertainment companies. Syllabus

COM CM 564: Entertainment Promotion: Speaker Series (4)

(Formerly COM CM 561 HW.) The course will showcase agents, managers, publicists, and studio executives, among others, who will discuss their role and real-life experience in developing and guiding an entertainment project (be it a movie, play, book, or music) to success. The course surveys the nuts and bolts of taking an entertainment project from the ground up with emphasis on doing so in the digital age of the 21st century. Syllabus

COM FT 566 A1: The Business of Hollywood (4)

A practical analysis of the film & television industries: a general overview of the business of entertainment and the balancing act between art and commerce; how to evaluate, acquire, develop, package, promote, sell, finance, produce, and market motion picture and television product; where to begin, how to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to the marketplace, how to land your first and second jobs; understanding the personalities and social constructs of the industry; and how to navigate your way through the industry and make a career for yourself in film and television. Syllabus

COM FT 585: Careers in Hollywood (4)

(Formerly COM FT 566 B1.) A series of symposium-like evenings with industry professionals speaking primarily on those topics covered in COM FT 566E A1, The Business of Hollywood. Some classes will reflect topics covered in COM FT 584, Creative Life in Television. Students will be given the opportunity for up-close-and-personal interaction with some of the industry’s movers and shakers. An opportunity to network with industry alumni as well as non-alumni professionals. Syllabus

SMG MK 435: Introduction to the Music Business and Music Marketing (4)

(Spring only. Prerequisite: SMG MK 323 Marketing Management, or the equivalent.) Survey of the music industry with a focus on understanding of its structure and the intersection of business and music. Discusses key areas of music marketing, including opportunities for musicians, including publicity, advertising, promotion (online and traditional), digital distribution, touring, licensing/synch, and radio. Syllabus

SMG SI 438: Talent Representation and Management (4)

(Prerequisite for BU Students: SMG OB 221, CAS PS 367 or COM CM 303.)

(Prerequisite for Non-Boston University Students: Organizational Behavior.)

Participants in this course will be offered a rare, hands-on opportunity to peer behind the historically closed doors of talent agencies, personal management companies, entertainment law firms and other representation team members. Utilizing case studies and business models, the class members will examine the manner in which these critical players interact and attempt to work together on behalf of clients. Participants will gain an understanding of the different areas of talent representation, how each one functions in the scope of a client’s career and what the position responsibilities are in each area of representation. Readings and research projects will focus on current approaches to negotiation. Syllabus

Internship Course

Study the current economic, political, and social issues affecting the entertainment industry. Internship placements have included Paramount Pictures Finance Department, Essential Entertainment, Shine-Reveille, Fox Sports, NBC-Universal, and Lionsgate Legal Department. (Please note these are examples of past internship placements only. While BU International Programs guarantees an internship to program participants, specific placements vary from semester to semester and may not always be available. Likewise, internship placements may be available in academic areas not listed.)

Film & Television Track

Course information for the Film & Television Track:

Required Courses

Students take the following two courses:

COM FT 566: The Business of Hollywood (4)

A practical analysis of the film & television industries: a general overview of the business of entertainment and the balancing act between art and commerce; how to evaluate, acquire, develop, package, promote, sell, finance, produce, and market motion picture and television product; where to begin, how to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to the marketplace, how to land your first and second jobs; understanding the personalities and social constructs of the industry; and how to navigate your way through the industry and make a career for yourself in film and television. Syllabus

COM FT 585: Careers in Hollywood (4)

(Formerly COM FT 566 B1.) A series of symposium-like evenings with industry professionals speaking primarily on those topics covered in COM FT 566E A1, The Business of Hollywood. Some classes will reflect topics covered in COM FT 584, Creative Life in Television. Students will be given the opportunity for up-close-and-personal interaction with some of the industry’s movers and shakers. An opportunity to network with industry alumni as well as non-alumni professionals. Syllabus

Elective Courses

Students choose one elective course:

COM CM 563: Entertainment Marketing (4)

(Formerly COM CM 561 HL.) This course surveys the strategy, techniques, and communication media employed to market the range of entertainment available to the American audience. The course examines the organizations and people who conceive, create, and distribute video, film, print, interactive, and new technology within the framework of the entertainment promotion landscape. The course demonstrates how advertising, publicity, promotion, research, and overall marketing campaigns are created and the impact on the creative and business operations of entertainment companies. Syllabus

COM CM 564: Entertainment Promotion: Speaker Series (4)

(Formerly COM CM 561 HW.) The course will showcase agents, managers, publicists, and studio executives, among others, who will discuss their role and real-life experience in developing and guiding an entertainment project (be it a movie, play, book, or music) to success. The course surveys the nuts and bolts of taking an entertainment project from the ground up with emphasis on doing so in the digital age of the 21st century.Syllabus

COM FT 539: Professional Production Methods (4)

To introduce film and television students to professional quality production techniques, suppliers, and equipment. This will be by field trips and speakers in the PLB classroom and at film and video shoots, vendors, and post-production facilities. The class will consist of, primarily, required excursions; it will also include lectures, guest speakers, screenings, class discussions, and demonstrations. The class meetings will be informal, striving for an open exchange of ideas, points of view, experiences, and difficulties encountered in film and video production. Students are encouraged to participate in an open forum of discussions regarding techniques, problems encountered related to directing and producing skills, and so forth. We also discuss potential solutions to problems, some of which are routinely encountered in the film industry. Syllabus

COM FT 584: Creative Life in Television (4)

(Formerly COM FT 552 A1.) This is a “real-time” class that will follow the life and death of a television season. We examine what makes it on the air, why it gets there, who creates it, who sells its and who buys it, and who is going to pay for it. We look at the cultural, political, and commercial forces that shape the creative environment. The course examines the struggle of the networks to survive in a rapidly changing environment and in the face of new technologies. And as the dinosaurs die, we look at the new opportunities this era of change offers for fresh talent. Every week there are news articles and feature pieces e-mailed to you for discussion in class. You are expected to come in up to date on current television and current events. We have guest speakers from working professionals to share their creative journey, and do our own exercises in creative thinking. The course integrates with your internship. The idea is to have you become conversant in TV as it exists now. You are required to watch TV and think about it like a professional. Final paper is an examination of shows that are “On the Bubble.” It is an exercise in reverse engineering/development. What would you have done differently with the show you select? What could help save or improve the show? It is an assignment about creative thinking. Syllabus

SMG MK 435: Introduction to the Music Business and Music Marketing (4)

(Spring only. Prerequisite: SMG MK 323 Marketing Management, or the equivalent.) Survey of the music industry with a focus on understanding of its structure and the intersection of business and music. Discusses key areas of music marketing, including opportunities for musicians, including publicity, advertising, promotion (online and traditional), digital distribution, touring, licensing/synch, and radio. Syllabus

SMG SI 438 Talent Representation and Management (4) (Spring Only)

(Prerequisite for BU Students: SMG OB 221, CAS PS 367 or COM CM 303.)

(Prerequisite for Non-Boston University Students: Organizational Behavior.)

Participants in this course will be offered a rare, hands-on opportunity to peer behind the historically closed doors of talent agencies, personal management companies, entertainment law firms and other representation team members. Utilizing case studies and business models, the class members will examine the manner in which these critical players interact and attempt to work together on behalf of clients. Participants will gain an understanding of the different areas of talent representation, how each one functions in the scope of a client’s career and what the position responsibilities are in each area of representation. Readings and research projects will focus on current approaches to negotiation. Syllabus

Internship Course

Study communications and society and work for one of Los Angeles’s television networks or film production companies. Past internship placements have included CBS-TV, The Weinstein Company, HBO Films, Paramount Vantage, E!, Warner Bros., The Directors Bureau, Fox Broadcasting, General Hospital, and the Donners’ Company. (Please note these are examples of past internship placements only. While BU Study Abroad guarantees an internship to program participants, specific placements vary from semester to semester and may not always be available. Likewise, internship placements may be available in academic areas not listed.)

Program Details

Requirements
Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: late August to early December
    • Spring Semester: early January to late April
    Cost
    Credits
    • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of sixteen credits.
    Housing
    Application Deadlines
    • Fall Semester: March 15 
    • Spring Semester: October 1

    Download a description of the Los Angeles Internship Program.

    Program Faculty & Staff

    The Boston University Los Angeles programs are administered by staff in both our Boston and Los Angeles offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in LA. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In LA, the staff comprises a resident director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.