Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

Messiah University is in session this fall with flexible in-person and remote learning options, health and safety protocols and student care and support.


Los Angeles Film Studies Center

LA Film Studies Center

Hollywood, home to LA Film Studies Center, is the largest influence in the international film industry. Core courses taught at LAFSC help students explore the role of faith in the entertainment industry; students also create a festival-ready piece in a Hollywood Production Workshop and all students experience an internship in some aspect of film or television.

Additional information available at LA Film Studies Center.

Discover more

All Messiah approved semester-long, off-campus programs are approved and designed to meet the requirements for the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI). To learn more about the process, please explore the ELI Off-Campus Study Information Page.

  • Students will complete all of the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) requirements that are a part of this program.
  • Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
  • 2.75 GPA or higher
  • Since studying off-campus for a semester is a privilege, please note the following implications of being place on probation at Messiah University:

    Chapel Probation: A student currently on chapel probation for the first time (or with an impending chapel probation for the upcoming semester) will be required to communicate or meet with the Director of the Intercultural Office to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus.  If a student has been placed on chapel probation more than once during their time at Messiah, they will not be eligible to study off-campus for a semester.

    Academic Probation or Low GPA: A student on academic probation or whose GPA drops below 2.75 will be not be eligible to study off-campus.

    Disciplinary Probation: A student who has been placed on disciplinary probation at any time during the off-campus study application / acceptance process will be required to meet with the Director of the Intercultural Office to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus.

Off-Campus study is a time of challenge and change. The following are some things you should understand about this program before you participate. Students at LAFSC should anticipate:

  • Living in community in apartments with shared bathrooms and bedrooms, 2-3 students per room, 4-5 students per apartment.
  • Possible high pressure/stress work environment in internships.  Internships and the entertainment industry culture may also significantly deviate from university campus standards.
  • Film shoots that are demanding and that can cause great stress.
  • A program that fosters independent living as a transition semester between university and professional life.  Students are responsible for purchase and preparation of their own food, transportation, and chapel/church requirements.
  • Lack of campus services such as onsite medical care or therapists.  The program is able to assist in case of emergency with excellent hospitals nearby, and maintains good resources and relationships with therapists and counseling services.
  • Living in a large, metropolitan area with heavy traffic and lengthy commutes to internships or film locations via car or city bus. 
  • Experiencing potentially challenging personal, religious, and cultural learning, lectures, field trips and assignments.

LAFSC participants have interned with

  • Focus Features ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind");
  • Icon Productions, Mel Gibson's company
  • Lightstorm Entertainment
  • VH-1: Behind the Music.

Following is a listing of previous internship placements.

Courses may meet general education or major requirements.

Courses will come back on your transcript with a letter grade

Participation in this program does not meet cross-cultural requirements.

Pass/Fail Option

During their university careers, students may take a maximum of four courses on a pass/fail (P/F) basis with these conditions: 

  • Such a course must be from a discipline other than those required for the student's major or minor.
  • Courses fulfilling requirements for a major, minor, or general education may not be used.
  • Students may declare their intention to take a course under the Pass/Fail option when they register or through the first calendar week of classes at the beginning of the new term. Students may also select to return to the letter grade system during this same time period. The selection cannot be changed after the first calendar week of classes.
  • The cut-off point to obtain a P is C–.
  • The instructor will submit only conventional letter grades to the Registrar's Office. This office will then convert the grade to P or F. (An instructor does not know which students are taking a course on a pass/fail basis.

The first FIVE DAYS of your classes are critical:

Recognizing that courses change while abroad, a student is required to communicate to the Registrar’s Office within the first FIVE DAYS of classes if their Off-Campus Course Approval Form in Terra Dotta has changed since the original submission/approval. Specifically, if a student desires to change a course to a pass/fail instead of a letter grade, this must be approved by Messiah University Registrar’s Office within the first FIVE DAYS of classes at the host partner program.


Students are required to take no fewer than 12 credits towards their overall degree requirements and no more than 18 credits. These 12-18 credits include courses taken as pass/fail and letter grades. However, in addition to those 12-18 degree credits, students who would like to audit an academic course for no credit are permitted to do so for up to one 4 credit hour course for the sake of learning, cultural immersion or personal interest at no additional charge. This audited course will not appear on the Messiah University student’s transcript.

Because of the high cost of this program, participation is capped at 9 students per academic year.

What do you pay?

TOTAL COSTS = Messiah tuition + Messiah room + Student services fee + $1,910 off-campus study fee*

 *Note: Off-campus study fee increases annual at the same rate as the yearly tuition increase. 

These Costs Include:

  • tuition, housing - meals are not included
  • educational excursions
  • pre-departure, and re-entry orientation
  • student services fee
    • Student Services fee includes access to various services available to all students, including internet access, the Learning & Writing Centers, Career Services, Disability Services, Library, Department of Safety, Intercultural Office Off-Campus Programs, and other campus offices that provide services to students both on and off campus.

Note: additional fees students may encounter include (but are not limited to) transportation, visas, passports, immunizations, and course fees. The deposit is typically requested within two weeks of acceptance.


Credit Limit Policy for Semester-Long, Off-Campus Program

Typically when students study off-campus in Messiah-approved, semester-long programs, students earn between 13 and 18 credits. All students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits.

The tuition/fees charged for Messiah’s approved study abroad programs permits a student to complete 12-18 credits.  Messiah University will process up to 18 credits.  If a student completes more than 18 credits and would like the additional credits applied to their transcript, additional tuition will be charged for credits over 18 and would be assessed after the official transcript is received/processed by Messiah.

Updated 08 April 2019


Messiah Pre-Approval Deadlines

  • Fall - December 1
  • Spring – April 1


LA Film Studies Center Deadline

  • Fall - June 1
  • Spring - October 1 

Rolling admissions; students are strongly encouraged to apply early

Joel Brandon

"The most rewarding & interesting part of my experience at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center was working as an intern for 20th Century Fox Music. I was able to attend scoring sessions for "Family Guy", "The Simpsons", and "A Night at the Museum", where I had the chance to observe and meet legendary composer Alan Silvestri, of "Forrest Gump" and "Back to the Future" fame."