Create a portfolio-ready body of work in a cutting-edge design department
Apply design practices and your own innovative thinking to multimedia projects
As of 4/12/2023, The UCLA Design Media Arts Summer Institute is closed to new applicants. Students interested in applying for a 2023 summer institute in art are encouraged to apply to the virtual versions of the UCLA Art Summer Institute program.
The Department of Design Media Arts (DMA) at UCLA is one of the nation’s top design departments offering a comprehensive, multidisciplinary education in media creation, which fosters individual exploration and innovative thinking. Geared specifically for high school students, the department offers the DMA Summer Institute, a two-week program with morning and afternoon classes introducing design practices in the contexts of graphic design (Print), net art (Net), immersive 3D worldbuilding (Worlds), and motion design (Motion). The program is taught by professionally trained and well-experienced instructors using the most current software and technology. It culminates in a final exhibition and the creation of a portfolio-ready body of work that students may include in their college applications in related fields. It also provides students with a rare opportunity to sample college life in a cutting-edge design department, while earning four units of pass/no pass UC credit.
For questions about the program, please contact email@example.com
Design Media Arts Summer Institute Program
During the two-week program, students explore a variety of media examining different practices and design methods applied to the domains of graphic design (Print), net art (Net), immersive 3D worldbuilding (Worlds), and motion design (Motion). Broadly addressing a common theme, all four classes contribute to the creation of an integrated, multi-media exhibition at the end of the residency. Each class is taught by an instructor and program assistant; class size is limited to a maximum of 20 students.
All four classes below will relate to and influence each other, and they will contribute to the creation of an integrated, final, multi-media project.
Students explore graphic design as image-making coupled with basic typography through a series of fun and fast-paced assignments and exercises for the print media. All projects encapsulate the yearly theme while addressing principles of design such as form, data, composition, hierarchy, and creative intent. Students develop a design process and develop a visual vocabulary through hands-on experimentation and projects.
This course focuses on the internet as a medium for creative expression and artistic intervention. Through examples and tutorials, students study the web in the tradition of art, creative coding, and activism. Using techniques like collage, appropriation, and strategies of artistic self-expression, students analyze these forms for their aesthetic and social potentials. References to relevant artworks are provided, both in and outside the field of Net-based art.
Game engines developed originally for electronic games offer an exciting mode of interactive storytelling. Virtual spaces and intangible systems can strike complex moods and imagery. In this course, students learn the basics of how games and immersive media are developed and explore “Worldbuilding” as a form of visual narrative, playfulness, and participatory experience. Students use Unity4D game engine to build and dismantle 3-Dimensional games.
In this course, students learn the exciting properties of time-based media and ways to enable their creative potential. Exploring the technical and experimental approaches to cinematography, animation, editing, and sound, students gain a basic understanding of video-making as a powerful medium capable of capturing, parsing, and imagining environments and stories.
UCLA Summer Sessions Summer Scholars Support
Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2023 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute.
Summer 2023 deadline to apply: March 15.
UCLA Design Media Arts Scholarship
DMA SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
The UCLA Department of Design Media Arts offers full or partial, need-based scholarships. The award is not intended to cover travel costs and may not cover textbooks or other course materials. The final award amount will reflect the fees of the DMA Summer Institute in which the applicant is enrolled.
- February 1: DMA Scholarship Application is available
March 15: DMA Scholarship Application is due by 5 p.m.
April 2: Award announcements are emailed at 5 p.m.
May 1: Students who have been awarded support must confirm acceptance by replying to the award announcement email.
To apply for the DMA Scholarship, you must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:
- You are currently attending a high school in the state of California;
- Enrolled in grades 10th – 12th during Spring 2023
- 15 years of age or older prior to June 24, 2023
- You have not received a DMA Scholarship in the past;
- You will be a continuing high school student in Fall 2023 (seniors graduating in Spring 2023 are not eligible);
- You have a family annual adjusted gross income of $100,00 or less
Submit the DMA Scholarship Application online. The application requires:
- Student Information
- School Information
- Parent/Guardian Information
- Essay Question 1: Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
- Essay Question 2 (optional): Please describe any additional information that you have not had the opportunity to share, including financial hardships or obstacles that have impacted you. What steps have you taken to overcome it, and how has it affected your academic achievement?
Students will need to upload the following to the DMA Scholarship Application online:
- *Federal Income Tax Form (1040) of your parent/s or legal guardian/s – black out social security numbers before uploading
– Only 2021 or 2022 1040 tax forms will be accepted
- *W-2 Tax Form (if eligible) – black out social security numbers before uploading
– Only 2021 or 2022 1040 tax forms will be accepted
- Letter of recommendation from a teacher or school counselor commenting on your ability to successfully complete a rigorous creative program. Please allow your recommender at least 2 weeks to write a complete letter of support before uploading the letter to the application.
For questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students will be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis upon completion. See University Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information about academic credit.
Due to the intense nature of the Design Media Arts Summer Institute and the time commitment involved, living in on-campus housing is mandatory.
For more information on UCLA housing precollege programs, please see the Housing for Minors page.
Many of our precollege programs with mandatory housing (only) also feature non-curricular evening and weekend activities, the availability of which is at the sole discretion of the academic department offering the program, and are not operated by UCLA Summer Sessions. To learn more about whether (and when) your selected program will host such activities, please consult the schedules for each program or contact the department in question directly: email@example.com
Most of our precollege programs with mandatory housing will hold check-in on the Sunday before the start of the program between 4-6pm, and hold check-out the Saturday after the final day of class at 11am. Please contact the department in question directly to confirm check-in and check-out times: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 9 – July 22, 2023
Open Enrollment / In-person
Program Eligibility: 9th-12th grade in Spring 2023 & 15 years of age or older as of June 25, 2023
UCLA Coursework: DESMA 5; 4 units
Enrollment deadline: June 15, 2023
The schedule and syllabus are subject to change.
Fees and Payment Info
The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.
Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.
Meet Your Instructors
The DMA Summer Institute curriculum is based on materials covered in the department’s undergraduate curriculum. Instructors for the DMA Summer Institute are graduate students and alumni of the department’s prestigious MFA program.
Please visit UCLA Department of Design Media Arts for more information about the DMA undergraduate and graduate programs.
Design Media Arts Summer Institute FAQ
Students are not required to have a background in design. Some students may already have experience in design media arts, but beginners are welcome to apply.
Students typically work on their own projects which will be valuable for those who will need a portfolio for college applications.
The program includes a Portfolio Night where a discussion will be held regarding portfolios for college applications.
Students will be asked to create new projects but they are welcome to bring old or ongoing projects to get feedback during Portfolio Night.
WHAT MATERIALS DO STUDENTS NEED?
- We recommend students bring a USB flash drive with at least 200 GB storage capacity to save their projects. Students should label their flash drive with their name in case it is misplaced during the program.
- Notebook, pen, and pencils
ARE STUDENTS REQUIRED TO HAVE ACCESS TO A LAPTOP?
- The program will provide computers and softwares for students to use. Students will not be required to bring laptops.
Still have questions? Check out the general Summer Institutes FAQ.