Smad Jmu Application Essay


Los Angeles, California, USA

Program Description

JMU-LA provides undergraduates a chance to learn about, and participate in, one the most powerful cultural forces in our world today: the entertainment industry.

This is a highly competitive 9-credit summer program organized by the School of Media Arts and Design but open to all students.  

Students take classes taught by industry professionals and work at internships in Los Angeles.

Twenty students are selected to participate each summer.

Applications are accepted from all JMU students who are rising juniors and seniors. 

Location Description

Students work in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles, and live in Oakwood Corporate Housing in Burbank, CA. Oakwood houses professionals working at nearby Warner Brothers, Universal, Paramount and Disney studios. The Oakwood complex includes two large swimming pools, a convenience store, an exercise facility, tennis courts and classrooms.

Downtown Los Angeles from Ian Wood on Vimeo.


Thomas O'Connor | | Media Arts and Design

Sarah O'Connor | | Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication


Accommodations are provided for students through furnished apartments with wifi, cable, linens and full kitchen and laundry facilities. Students will be in shared double rooms with four students in each apartment. Some group meals will be included in the program fee, but the majority of meals will need to be covered by the student.

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

Additional Items to Consider

Typically this program appeals to students in media arts, theatre, communication, music, and creative writing, but since entertainment is an industry, it also appeals to students interested in entertainment law and business.

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

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Rising Juniors or seniors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Resume
  • Faculty Letter of Recommendation
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

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: Critical Studies in Media Arts & Design: The Entertainment Industry (3 credits)

SMAD 410: The Creative Producer (3 credits)

SMAD 495: Internship in Media Arts and Design (3 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.


Freshman Application Process

A complete JMU application includes:

  • The online application. JMU supports the Coalition and plans to accept the Coalition Application for the entering class of 2018.
  • $70 application fee
  • An official high school transcript (including senior year schedule)
  • ACT or SAT1 test scores (sent directly from the testing agency)
  • Applicants may be required to submit official Dual Enrollment College Transcripts upon request.

Your application will be reviewed once you have submitted all of the above required information. In order to expedite the process, please send only the required documents listed above. The Office of Admissions processes documents (electronic and paper) in the order in which they are received.

Required Information

Online Application and Fee

Your application is not sent to us until you pay your $70 processing fee and it is authorized. You can pay by debit/credit card or check (US bank accounts only). Note that there are special admissions requirements if you intend on majoring in art, music, theatre, dance or nursing.

High School Transcript

Please submit an official copy of your high school transcript electronically or via postal mail (not both) including 9th, 10th and 11th grades and a senior year class schedule. If you are meeting all requirements for graduating in less than 4 years, and a grade is omitted on the transcript, we require a written explanation from your guidance counselor.

The Secondary School Report Form (PDF). Many high schools have developed their own version of this form. Ask your school counselor to complete the Secondary School Report Form and send it to JMU's Office of Admissions. 

Please note: Multiple copies of the high school transcript with letters of recommendation attached will not be reviewed unless the transcript is clearly marked “Revised Transcript” with a notation of what that revision is.

Official SAT I or ACT Scores

JMU requires your official test results be sent to us electronically direct from the testing agency. When reviewing test scores we use the highest individual verbal and highest individual math scores from the SAT. For the ACT we use your single highest composite score. SAT IIs are not required nor considered in the admissions process.

Optional Information

Personal Statement

Your optional personal essay gives you an opportunity to tell the admissions committee more about yourself. You may use it to highlight special interests, talents, goals, unique experiences or a special circumstance. Please keep the personal statement to a 500-word maximum. If you do not submit the personal statement with your online application, please include it with your high school transcript packet, not under separate cover.

Letter of Recommendation

If an applicant wishes to have one letter of recommendation included with their application, it must be requested by the applicant via our online recommendation system during the application process. JMU will contact the recommender with instructions for submitting the recommendation letter. Any additional letters of recommendation will not be reviewed. Please give your recommender plenty of notice to have your recommendation arrive in a timely fashion.

Activities, Honors and Awards

The online application provides a place to list six honors and awards as well as six activities. We recommend that you choose your six most notable. We are looking for quality involvement rather than long lists. Please tell us about club, organization and athletic activity. We are also interested in students who have been involved in community service or held part-time jobs.  Resumes will not be considered.

Checking Your Status

You can monitor the status of your application via MyMadison. Admissions decisions are also posted here — you will not receive a notification in the mail. Instructions for accessing this site will be e-mailed to you within 3-5 days of receiving your online application.

View the MyMadison tutorial.

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